In 2011, a series of anti-government uprisings shook the Middle East and North Africa in what would become known as the Arab Spring. Few could predict that these convulsions, initially hailed in the West as a triumph of democracy, would give way to brutal civil war, the terrors of the Islamic State, and a global refugee crisis. But, as New York Times bestselling author Scott Anderson shows, the seeds of catastrophe had been sown long before.
In this gripping account, Anderson examines the myr..
The fall of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 has become the commemorative symbol of the French Revolution. But this violent and random act was unrepresentative of the real work of the early revolution, which was taking place ten miles west of Paris, in Versailles. There, the nobles, clergy and commoners of France had just declared themselves a republic, toppling a rotten system of aristocratic privilege and altering the course of history forever.
The Revolution was led not by angry mobs, but by ..
In The Future is History Masha Gessen follows the lives of four Russians, born as the Soviet Union crumbled, at what promised to be the dawn of democracy. Each came of age with unprecedented expectations, some as the children or grandchildren of the very architects of the new Russia, each with newfound aspirations of their own - as entrepreneurs, activists, thinkers and writers, sexual and social beings. Gessen charts their paths not only against the machinations of the regime that would seek to..
For as long as there have been wars there have been fears about the next war. Where are the new dangers? What is the best defence? How might peace come about? This is the history of how over the last 150 years we have tried - rightly and wrongly - to predict war's future.
'Britain's leading academic strategist ... read this book' Economist
'Insightful and opinionated ... expertly covers centuries of evolving mayhem' Gary J. Bass, The New York Times
'A bonfire of predictions ... Freedman..
A BBC History magazine Book of the Year and an amazon.com Best Book of the Month.
As religion divided sixteenth-century Europe, an extraordinary group of women rose to power. They governed nations while kings fought in foreign lands. They ruled on behalf of nephews, brothers and sons. They negotiated peace between their warring nations. For decades, they ran Europe. Small wonder that it was in this century that the queen became the most powerful piece on the chessboard. From mother to daughte..
An indispensable guide to the tragic history of a great European nation' (David Blair Sunday Telegraph).
Located at the western edge of the Eurasian steppe, Ukraine has long been the meeting place of empires - Roman to Ottoman, Habsburg to Russian - and they all left their imprint on the landscape, the language and the people living within these shifting borders. In this authoritative book, Harvard Professor Serhii Plokhy traces the history of Ukraine from the arrival of the Vikings in the te..
Gaza in Crisis is Noam Chomsky's clear-sighted analysis of an area in a desperate impasse. From the targeting of schools and hospitals, to the indiscriminate use of white phosphorus, Israel's conduct in 'Operation Cast Lead' has rattled even some of its most strident supporters. In Gaza in Crisis, Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappe survey the fallout from that devastation, and place the massacre in Gaza in the context of Israel's long-standing war against the Palestinians. It is a rigorous, historicall..
Uniquely imprisoned, most Palestinians in Gaza cannot travel beyond the confines of the Strip, and in times of war escape is impossible. They live under siege – economic and armed – and yet so many remain courageous, outspoken and steadfast.
Donald Macintyre lays bare Gaza’s human tragedy and reveals how it became a crucible of conflict and a byword for suffering. He identifies the repeated failings – including those of the international community – that have seen countless opportunities for ..
Genghis Khan - creator of the greatest empire the world has ever seen - is one of history's immortals. In Central Asia, they still use his name to frighten children. In China, he is honoured as the founder of a dynasty. In Mongolia he is the father of the nation. In the USA, Time magazine, voted Genghis Khan 'the most important person of the last millennium'. But how much do we really know about this man? How is it that an unlettered, unsophisticated warrior-nomad came to have such a profound ef..
Marx, Freud, Proust, Einstein, Bernhardt and Kafka. Between the middle of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries a few dozen men and women changed the way we see the world. But many have vanished from our collective memory despite their enduring importance in our daily lives. Without Karl Landsteiner, for instance, there would be no blood transfusions or major surgery. Without Paul Ehrlich no chemotherapy. Without Siegfried Marcus no motor car. Without Rosalind Franklin genetic science would loo..
From the end of the Baroque age and the death of Bach in 1750 to the rise of Hitler in 1933, Germany was transformed from a poor relation among western nations into a dominant intellectual and cultural force more influential than France, Britain, Italy, Holland, and the United States. In the early decades of the 20th century, German artists, writers, philosophers, scientists, and engineers were leading their freshly-unified country to new and undreamed of heights, and by 1933, they had won more ..
WINNER OF THE 2016 PEN HESSELL-TILTMAN PRIZE
The Second World War was a German war like no other. The Nazi regime, having started the conflict, turned it into the most horrific war in European history, resorting to genocidal methods well before building the first gas chambers. Over its course, the Third Reich expended and exhausted all its moral and physical reserves, leading to total defeat in 1945. Yet 70 years on – despite whole libraries of books about the war’s origins, course and atroci..
It made me laugh so hard that I woke up my wife and had to give up reading the book in bed. If Bill Bryson had collaborated with W. G. Sebald to write a book about Germany, they might have wound up with something like this' (Sunday Times).
Germania is a very personal guide to the Germany that Simon Winder loves. Equally passionate about the region's history, folklore, cuisine, architecture and landscape, Winder describes Germany's past afresh -- and in doing so sees a country much like our ow..
From Neil MacGregor, the author of A History of the World in 100 Objects, this is a view of Germany like no other
For the past 140 years, Germany has been the central power in continental Europe. Twenty-five years ago a new German state came into being. How much do we really understand this new Germany, and how do its people now understand themselves?
Neil MacGregor argues that uniquely for any European country, no coherent, over-arching narrative of Germany's history can be constructed, f..
A provocative book from a highly original scholar, challenging much of what we know about early Christian manuscripts In this bold and groundbreaking book, Brent Nongbri provides an up-to-date introduction to the major collections of early Christian manuscripts and demonstrates that much of what we thought we knew about these books and fragments is mistaken. While biblical scholars have expended much effort in their study of the texts contained within the earliest Christian manuscripts, there ha..
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
In God, Reza Aslan sheds new light on mankind’s relationship with the divine and challenges our perspective on the history of faith and the birth of religion.
From the origins of spiritual thought to the concept of an active, engaged, divine presence that underlies all creation, Aslan examines how the idea of god arose in human evolution, was gradually personalized, endowed with human traits and emotions, and eventually transformed into a single Divine Persona..
Elegant and entertaining, this is the history of the most vibrant characters in classical civilisation. With their vast appetites, great beauty and warlike tendencies, it's hard to resist their pull on the imagination, even though, in antiquity, the gods of Olympus were just as often seen as cruel, over-sexed, mad or just plain silly. And yet they were survivors, whose story only began with classical civilisation.
Masters of re-invention (though never too hard to identify), they began to rese..
A photographically-led souvenir of the city, providing an overview of the sites, key buildings, museums, events, parks, literary Dublin, pub culture and the city today. Divided by location to make it easy for even the first time visitor to follow, "The Golden Book of Dublin" presents famous buildings and tourist attractions such as Trinity College, O'Connell Street, Christ Church Cathedral and Temple Bar, as well as some of Dublin's lesser known treasures such as Collins Barracks, Marsh's Librar..
SHORTLISTED FOR THE PUSHKIN HOUSE BOOK PRIZE 2018
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Khrushchev: The Man and his Era
'A phenomenally researched life of the man who did more than any other to change Europe and the world in the last half of the 20th century'. Jonathan Steele, The Guardian
'An engaging, poignant portrayal of one of the most significant of Russian leaders' Kirkus review
' ... deeply penetrating history and engrossing psychological study.' Robert Legvold, Foreign A..
A compelling history of the Black Death that scoured Europe in the mid 14th-century killing twenty-five million people. It was one of the worst human disasters in history.
‘The bodies were sparsely covered that the dogs dragged them forth and devoured them…And believing it to be the end of the world, no one wept for the dead, for all expected to die.’ Agnolo di Turo, Siena, 1348
In just over a thousand days from 1347 to 1351 the 'Black Death' travelled across medieval Europe killing thirty per..
China's Great Wall north of Beijing is one of the world's most famous sights. Millions every year climb the line of stone snaking over mountains. We all feel we know the Wall. But we are wrong. It is too big, too varied, too complex to be captured by a few images or a day-trip.
Myths surround it. Many believe that the stone barrier marches across all China, that it has been in existence for over 2,000 years, and that it is the only man-made structure visible from the Moon. In fact, most of it..
Robert Fisk’s bestselling eyewitness account of the events that have shaped the Middle East is alive with vivid reporting and incisive historical analysis.
The history of the Middle East is an epic story of tragedy, betrayal and world-shaking events. It is a story that Robert Fisk has been reporting for over thirty years. His masterful narrative spans the most volatile regions of the Middle East, chronicling with both rage and compassion the death by deceit of tens of thousands of Muslims, Ch..
The Great War was the first truly global conflict, and it changed the course of world history
In this magnum opus, critically-acclaimed historian Peter Hart examines the conflict in every arena around the world, in a history that combines cutting edge scholarship with vivid and unfamiliar eyewitness accounts, from kings and generals, and ordinary soldiers. He focuses in particular on explaining how technology and tactics developed during the conflict - and determines which battles were crucia..
Charles Darwin's masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, shook society to its core on publication in 1859. Darwin was only too aware of the storm his theory of evolution would provoke but he would surely have raised an incredulous eyebrow at the controversy still raging a century and a half later. Evolution is accepted as scientific fact by all reputable scientists and indeed theologians, yet millions of people continue to question its veracity.
In The Greatest Show on Earth Richard Dawkins ta..
'The best history of Greece around... Beautifully written and packed with insights about the culture and the people. I will be dipping into this book for the rest of my life' Victoria Hislop
We think we know ancient Greece, the civilisation that shares the same name and gave us just about everything that defines 'western' culture today, in the arts, sciences, social sciences and politics. Yet, as Greece has been brought under repeated scrutiny during the financial crises that have convulsed the..
*The definitive and comprehensive edition of Robert Graves's classic retelling of the Greek myths*
'Icarus disobeyed his father's instructions and began soaring towards the sun, rejoiced by the lift of his great sweeping wings. Presently, when Daedalus looked over his shoulder, he could no longer see Icarus; but scattered feathers floated on the waves below...'
These are the greatest stories ever told - the labours of Hercules, the voyage of the Argonauts, Theseus and the minotaur, Midas a..
This landmark book uncovers for the first time in detail one of the greatest horrors of the twentieth century: the vast system of Soviet camps that were responsible for the deaths of countless millions.
Gulag is the only major history in any language to draw together the mass of memoirs and writings on the Soviet camps that have been published in Russia and the West. Using these, as well as her own original research in NKVD archives and interviews with survivors, Anne Applebaum has written a ..
In a panoramic and pioneering reappraisal, Pieter Judson shows why the Habsburg Empire mattered so much, for so long, to millions of Central Europeans. Across divides of language, religion, region, and history, ordinary women and men felt a common attachment to “their empire,” while bureaucrats, soldiers, politicians, and academics devised inventive solutions to the challenges of governing Europe’s second largest state. In the decades before and after its dissolution, some observers belittled th..
The book that immerses the Cold War in the warm bath of nostalgia.
Q: Why, despite all the shortages, was the toilet paper in East Germany always 2-ply?
A: Because they had to send a copy of everything they did to Moscow.
Communist jokes are the strangest, funniest, most enchanting and meaningful legacy of the 80 years of political experimentation in Russia and Eastern Europe, known as Communism. The valiant and sardonic citizens of the former Communist countries - surrounded by an invisi..
Despite its reputation for religious intolerance, the Middle East has long sheltered many distinctive and strange faiths: one regards the Greek prophets as incarnations of God, another reveres Lucifer in the form of a peacock, and yet another believes that their followers are reincarnated beings who have existed in various forms for thousands of years. These religions represent the last vestiges of the magnificent civilizations in ancient history: Persia, Babylon, Egypt in the time of the Pharao..
We think the way we do because Socrates thought the way he did. His aphorism 'The unexamined life is not worth living' may have originated twenty-five centuries ago, but it is a founding principle of modern life. For seventy years Socrates was a vigorous citizen of Golden Age Athens, philosophising in the squares and public arenas rather than in the courts of kings, before his beloved city turned on him, condemning him to death by poison. Socrates lived in and contributed to a city that nurtured..
These are the stories of women, famous, infamous and unknown, who shaped the course of medieval history. The lives and actions of medieval women were restricted by the men who ruled the homes, countries and world they lived in. It was men who fought wars, made laws and dictated religious doctrine. It was men who were taught to read, trained to rule and expected to fight. Today, it is easy to think that all women from this era were downtrodden and obedient housewives, whose sole purpose was to gi..
With the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815, the next two centuries for France would be tumultuous.
Bestselling historian and political commentator Jonathan Fenby provides an expert and riveting journey through this period as he recounts and analyses the extraordinary sequence of events of this period from the end of the First Revolution through two others, a return of Empire, three catastrophic wars with Germany, periods of stability and hope interspersed wit..
The greatest history of an event I know' (C.L.R. James).
Regarded by many as among the most powerful works of history ever written, The History of the Russian Revolution offers an unparalleled account of one of the most pivotal and hotly debated events in world history. This book presents, from the perspective of one of its central actors, the profound liberating character of the early Russian Revolution.
Originally published in three parts, Trotsky's masterpiece is collected here in a sin..
Now available in a single, abridged paperback, Ian Kershaw's Hitler is the definitive biography of the Nazi leader.
Ian Kershaw's two volume biography, Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris and Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis, was greeted with universal acclaim as the essential work on one of the most malign figures in history, from his earliest origins to the final days of the Second World War.
Now this landmark historical work is available in one single, abridged edition, tracing the story of how a bitter, fai..
The fifteenth century saw the crown of England change hands seven times as the great families of England fought to the death for power, majesty and the right to rule. The Hollow Crown completes Dan Jones' epic history of medieval England, and describes how the Plantagenets tore themselves apart to be finally replaced by the Tudors.
Some of the greatest heroes and villains in British history were thrown together in these turbulent times: Henry V, whose victory at Agincourt and pruden..
THE SUNDAY TIMES AND ECONOMIST BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2016.
'A definitive study of the amorphous state that lasted a thousand years ...The Holy Roman Empire deserves to be hailed as a magnum opus' (Tom Holland, Daily Telegraph). 'Engrossing ...staggering ...a book that is relevant to our own times' (The Times). 'Masterly ...If, like most people, you know little more about the Holy Roman Empire other than Voltaire's bon mot - "neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire" - then this is the book for you'..
Chris Stringer's Homo Britannicus is the epic history of life in Britain, from man's very first footsteps through to the present day.
When did the first people arrive here? What did they look like? How did they survive? Who were the Neanderthals?
Chris Stringer takes us back to when it was so tropical we lived here alongside hippos, elephants and sabre-toothed tigers or to times so cold we hunted reindeer and mammoth, and to others even colder when we were forced to flee a wall of ice. Her..
Hopes and Prospects is Noam Chomsky's indispensable analysis of the world at present and a roadmap for the future. In Hopes and Prospects, Noam Chomsky examines the challenges of our early twenty-first century. He explores obstacles and threats such as the widening gap between North and South America, US exceptionalism (which continues under Obama), the fiascos of Iraq and Afghanistan, the US-Israeli assault on Gaza and the recent financial bailouts. He sees hope for the future and opportunities..
Readers can discover all the foul facts about the Twentieth Century, including who shocked the world by showing her knickers, how two monkey's and a dog became astronauts and why a posh London restaurant served stewed cat. With a bold, accessible new look and a heap of extra-horrible bits, these bestselling titles are sure..
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE, THE PUSHKIN HOUSE RUSSIAN BOOK PRIZE and THE LONGMAN HISTORY TODAY PRIZE 2017, THE TIMES, BBC HISTORY and TLS BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2016. 'Masterful, gripping ...filled with astonishing, vivid and heartbreaking stories of crime and punishment, of redemption, love and terrifying violence. It has an amazing cast of despots, murderers, whores and heroes. It's a wonderful read' (Simon Sebag Montefiore).
It was known as 'the vast prison without a roof'. From ..
For centuries following the fall of Rome, Western Europe was backward and benighted, locked into the Dark Ages and barely able to tell the time of day. Arab culture, however, was thriving, and had become a powerhouse of intellectual exploration and discussion that dazzled the likes of British adventurer Adelard of Bath. The Arabs could measure the earth's circumference (a feat not matched in the West for eight hundred years); they discovered algebra; were adept at astronomy and navigation, devel..
The real Wolf Hall - a time traveller's guide to daily life in Tudor England
The Tudor era encompasses some of the greatest changes in our history. But while we know about the historical dramas of the times - most notably in the court of Henry VIII - what was life really like for a commoner like you or me? The real Wolf Hall - a time traveller's guide to daily life in Tudor England
To answer this question, the renowned "method historian" and historical advisor to the BBC Ruth Goodman has s..
How to be a Victorian - a time traveller's guide to Victorian Britain by the BBC's Ruth Goodman
We know what life was like for Victoria and Albert. But what was it like for a commoner like you or me? How did it feel to cook with coal and wash with tea leaves? Drink beer for breakfast and clean your teeth with cuttlefish? Dress in whalebone and feed opium to the baby? Surviving everyday life came down to the gritty details, the small necessities and tricks of living
Drawing on Ruth's u..
'Wry, readable and often astonishing... A provocative and absorbing history of the United States' New York TimesThe United States denies having dreams of empire.We know America has spread its money, language and culture across the world, but we still think of it as a contained territory, framed by Canada above, Mexico below, and oceans either side. Nothing could be further from the truth.This is the story of the United States outside the United States – from nineteenth-century conquests like Ala..
'Superbly explained' Washington Post'Fascinating' Sunday Times'Engrossing' Evening StandardEvery phase since the advent of the industrial revolution - from the fate of the British Empire, to the global challenges from Germany, Japan and Russia, to America's emergence as a sole superpower, to the Arab Spring, to the long-term decline of economic growth that started with Japan and has now spread to Europe, to China's meteoric economy, to Brexit and the presidency of Donald Trump - can be explained..
‘F*cking brilliant’ Sarah Knight‘Very funny’ Mark Watson An exhilarating journey through the most creative and catastrophic f*ck ups in human history, from our very first ancestor falling out of that tree, to the most spectacular fails of the present day. In the seventy thousand years that modern human beings have walked this earth, we've come a long way. Art, science, culture, trade - on the evolutionary food chain, we're real winners. But, frankly, it's not exactly been plain sailing, and som..