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Still a controversial figure, Marie Antoinette's dramatic life-story continues to arouse mixed emotions. To many people, she is still "la reine mechante", whose extravagance and frivolity helped to bring down the French monarchy; her indifference to popular suffering epitomised by the (apocryphal) words: "let them eat cake". Others are equally passionate in her defence: to them, she is a victim of misogyny. In this biography Antonia Fraser examines her influence over the king, Louis XVI, the accusations and sexual slurs made against her, her patronage of the arts which enhanced French cultural life, her imprisonment, the death threats made against her, rumours of lesbian affairs, her trial (during which her young son was forced to testify to sexual abuse by his mother) and her eventual execution by guillotine in 1793.
The Cambridge History of Modern European Thought is an authoritative and comprehensive exploration of the themes, thinkers and movements that shaped our intellectual world from the late eighteenth century to the present. Representing both individual figures and the contexts within which they developed their ideas, this two-volume history is rich with original interpretive insight, and is written in a clear and accessible style by leading scholars in the field. Renouncing a single 'master narrative' of European thought across the period, Breckman and Gordon establish a formidable new multi-faceted vision of European intellectual history for the global modern age.
The history and meaning of the Berlin Wall remain controversial, even three decades after its fall. Drawing on an extensive range of archival sources and interviews, this book profiles key memory activists who have fought to commemorate the history of the Berlin Wall and examines their role in the creation of a new German national narrative. With victims, perpetrators and heroes, the Berlin Wall has joined the Holocaust as an essential part of German collective memory. Key Wall anniversaries have become signposts marking German views of the past, its relevance to the present, and the complicated project of defining German national identity. Considering multiple German approaches to remembering the Wall via memorials, trials, public ceremonies, films, and music, this revelatory work traces how global memory of the Wall has impacted German memory policy. It depicts the power and fragility of state-backed memory projects, and the potential of such projects to reconcile or divide.
This gripping autobiography is at once a heart-pounding adventure story, a moving recollection of a larger-than-life father, and an important account of the Czech resistance. Radomir Luza's father was a revered army general when the Nazis stormed into Czechoslovakia. After his father went underground to avoid arrest and torture, the nineteen-year-old Radomir spent weeks in a Gestapo prison. Upon his release, he joined his father in hiding. General Luza became the military commander of the Czech resistance, while Radomir secretly helped organize the country's largest resistance network. Luza's narrative makes palpable the terror of being constantly hunted and nearly snared by betrayals and Gestapo raids. The Hitler Kiss is a portrait of courage, tenderness, optimism, and sheer survival.
By the time Alexander was 30 he had conquered, or was ruler of, the whole of Asia Minor, Greece, the Middle East, Cyprus, Egypt, Persia, Syria, Afghanistan and Northern India as far as the Ganges. If his men had only agreed to cross the Ganges, who knows where his armies might have finished. In this stunning, illustrated reference book, Nick McCarty tells the story of this remarkable man with enthusiasm and passion. It is fascinating, hugely exciting and, moreover, it's true. With at least one major Hollywood blockbuster confirmed, directed by the man who brought us Moulin Rouge and Romeo and Juliet, this is the ultimate companion to the life and times of the greatest of men.
A new investigation, based on previously unseen KGB documents, reveals the startling truth behind Stalin's last great conspiracy.
On January 13, 1953, a stunned world learned that a vast conspiracy had been unmasked among Jewish doctors in the USSR to murder Kremlin leaders. Mass arrests quickly followed. The Doctors' Plot, as this alleged scheme came to be called, was Stalin's last crime.
In the fifty years since Stalin's death many myths have grown up about the Doctors' Plot. Did Stalin himself invent the conspiracy against the Jewish doctors or was it engineered by subordinates who wished to eliminate Kremlin rivals? Did Stalin intend a purge of all Jews from Moscow, Leningrad, and other major cities, which might lead to a Soviet Holocaust? How was this plot related to the cold war then dividing Europe, and the hot war in Korea? Finally, was the Doctors' Plot connected with Stalin's fortuitous death?
Brent and Naumov have explored an astounding arra of previously unknown, top-secret documents from the KGB, the presidential archives, and other state and party archives in order to probe the mechanism of on of Stalin's greatest intrigues -- and to tell for the first time the incredible full story of the Doctors' Plot.
On July 17, 1918, the Tsar, his wife, and their four daughters and ailing heir were led down to a basement in Ekaterinburg, Russia, and murdered in cold blood by a Bolshevik firing squad. The DNA analysis and identification of the bones were the conclusive proof the world was waiting for, and the case was considered closed. But is that the real story of the Romanovs?
In Shay McNeal's controversial and groundbreaking account, she presents convincing new scientific analysis questioning the authenticity of the "Romanov" bones and uncovers an extraordinary tale of espionage and double-dealing that has been kept secret for more than eighty years. Based on extensive study of American, Allied, and Bolshevik documents, including recently declassified intelligence files, McNeal reveals the existence of a shadowy group of operatives working to free the Imperial family and guide them to safety.
Most controversial of all is McNeal's belief that one of the plots to rescue the Tsar and his family may, possibly, have succeeded -- and she has compelling evidence to support it.
Between 1950 and 1955, thousands of veterans from the notorious German-led, Ukrainian 14th Waffen-SS Galicia Division emigrated to North America with the full consent of the governments despite immigration regulations in force at the time that forbade entry to all who served in any branch of the SS. The Jewish community fought a brief, but futile, battle to persuade those governments to deny them entry, denouncing them as a "sinister legion" of "bloodthirsty murderers"--war criminals who had engaged in the mass murder of thousands of innocent civilians.
On the other hand, a well-organized body of Division supporters insisted there was nothing "sinister" or "murderous" about the young men who had volunteered to serve in its ranks. They declared them exceptional soldiers who obeyed the international rules of war, praised them for being dedicated soldiers who harbored no hatred for Jews, guarded no concentration camps, and committed no crimes against humanity.
At issue then was the nature of the Division and its war record. Were they "pure soldiers" as many of their supporters contended, or were they, to use Daniel Goldhagen's phrase, among Hitler's willing executioners?
"Pure Soldiers or Bloodthirsty Murderers "traces the 14th Waffen-SS Galicia Division's fortunes from its formation in April 1943, to its surrender to the British in May 1946, from immigrant farm workers in Britain, Canada and the USA, to Cold War CIA assassins. Along the way, it attempts to shed some light on this acrimonious dispute that has continued to the present day.
Sol Littman is former Canadian Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, author of "War Criminal on Trial," founding editor of "The Canadian Jewish News," the First Director of B'nai Brith Canada's "League for Human Rights," and also served with the Anti-Defamation League in the United States.
Since its initial publication in 1973, Hayden White's Metahistory has remained an essential book for understanding the nature of historical writing. In this classic work, White argues that a deep structural content lies beyond the surface level of historical texts. This latent poetic and linguistic content-which White dubs the "metahistorical element"-essentially serves as a paradigm for what an "appropriate" historical explanation should be. To support his thesis, White analyzes the complex writing styles of historians like Michelet, Ranke, Tocqueville, and Burckhardt, and philosophers of history such as Marx, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Croce. The first work in the history of historiography to concentrate on historical writing as writing, Metahistory sets out to deprive history of its status as a bedrock of factual truth, to redeem narrative as the substance of historicality, and to identify the extent to which any distinction between history and ideology on the basis of the presumed scientificity of the former is spurious. This fortieth-anniversary edition includes a new preface in which White explains his motivation for writing Metahistory and discusses how reactions to the book informed his later writing. In a new foreword, Michael S. Roth, a former student of White's and the current president of Wesleyan University, reflects on the significance of the book across a broad range of fields, including history, literary theory, and philosophy. This book will be of interest to anyone-in any discipline-who takes the past as a serious object of study.
"An exceptionally accessible history of the Roman Empire...Much of Ten Caesars reads like a script for Game of Thrones...This superb summation of four centuries of Roman history, a masterpiece of compression, confirms Barry Strauss as the foremost academic classicist writing for the general reader today." -Andrew Roberts, The Wall Street Journal Bestselling classical historian Barry Strauss tells the story of three and a half centuries of the Roman Empire through the lives of ten of the most important emperors, from Augustus to Constantine. Barry Strauss's Ten Caesars is the story of the Roman Empire from rise to reinvention, from Augustus, who founded the empire, to Constantine, who made it Christian and moved the capital east to Constantinople. During these centuries Rome gained in splendor and territory, then lost both. The empire reached from modern-day Britain to Iraq, and gradually emperors came not from the old families of the first century but from men born in the provinces, some of whom had never even seen Rome. By the fourth century, the time of Constantine, the Roman Empire had changed so dramatically in geography, ethnicity, religion, and culture that it would have been virtually unrecognizable to Augustus. In the imperial era Roman women-mothers, wives, mistresses-had substantial influence over the emperors, and Strauss also profiles the most important among them, from Livia, Augustus's wife, to Helena, Constantine's mother. But even women in the imperial family faced limits and the emperors often forced them to marry or divorce for purely political reasons. Rome's legacy remains today in so many ways, from language, law, and architecture to the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. Strauss examines this enduring heritage through the lives of the men who shaped it: Augustus, Tiberius, Nero, Vespasian, Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus, Diocletian and Constantine. Over the ages, they learned to maintain the family business-the government of an empire-by adapting when necessary and always persevering no matter the cost. Ten Caesars is essential history as well as fascinating biography.
'Never before had the world seen four such giants co-existing. Sometimes friends, more often enemies, always rivals, these four men together held Europe in the hollow of their hands.' Four great princes - Henry VIII of England, Francis I of France, Charles V of Spain and Suleiman the Magnificent - were born within a single decade. Each looms large in his country's history and, in this book, John Julius Norwich broadens the scope and shows how, against the rich background of the Renaissance and destruction of the Reformation, their wary obsession with one another laid the foundations for modern Europe. Individually, each man could hardly have been more different -- from the scandals of Henry's six wives to Charles's monasticism - but, together, they dominated the world stage. From the Field of the Cloth of Gold, a pageant of jousting, feasting and general carousing so lavish that it nearly bankrupted both France and England, to Suleiman's celebratory pyramid of 2,000 human heads (including those of seven Hungarian bishops) after the battle of Mohacs; from Anne Boleyn's six-fingered hand (a potential sign of witchcraft) that had the pious nervously crossing themselves to the real story of the Maltese falcon, Four Princes is history at its vivid, entertaining best. With a cast list that extends from Leonardo da Vinci to Barbarossa, and from Joanna the Mad to le roi grand-nez, John Julius Norwich offers the perfect guide to the most colourful century the world has ever known and brings the past to unforgettable life.
In January 1928 Stalin, the ruler of the largest country in the world, boarded a train bound for Siberia where he would embark upon the greatest gamble of his political life. He was about to begin uprooting and collectivization of agriculture and industry across the entire Soviet Union. Millions would die, and many more would suffer. Where did such great, monstrous power come from? The first of three volumes, the product of a decade of intrepid research, this landmark book offers the most convincing explanation yet of Stalin's power.
Tom Holland's 'stirring new translation' (Telegraph) of Herodotus' Histories, one of the great books in Western history - now in paperback The Histories of Herodotus, completed in the second half of the 5th century BC, is generally regarded as the first work of history and the first great masterpiece of non-fiction writing. Joined here are the sheer drama of Herodotus' narrative of the Persian invasions of Greece, and the endless curiosity - turning now to cannabis, now to the Pyramids - which make his book the source of so much of our knowledge of the ancient world. This absorbing new translation, by one of Britain's most admired young historians, allows all the drama and mysteriousness of this great book to be fully appreciated by modern readers. TOM HOLLAND is the author of Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic, which won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. Persian Fire, his history of the Graeco-Persian wars, won the Anglo-Hellenic League's Runciman Award in 2006. His most recent book, In the Shadow of the Sword, describes the collapse of Roman and Persian power in the Near East, and the emergence of Islam. He has adapted Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides and Virgil for the BBC, and is the presenter of BBC Radio 4's Making History. In 2007, he was the winner of the Classical Association Prize awarded to 'the individual who has done most to promote the study of the language, literature and civilisation of Ancient Greece and Rome'. He served two years as the Chair of the Society of Authors 2009-11. PAUL CARTLEDGE is the inaugural A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge. His numerous books include Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History 1300-362 BC; The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others; Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed the World; Ancient Greece. A Very Short Introduction; and After Thermopylae: The Oath of Plataea and the End of the Graeco-Persian Wars. He is an Honorary Citizen of Sparta, Greece and holds the Gold Cross of the Order of Honour conferred by the President of the Hellenic Republic. 'Unquestionably the best English translation of Herodotus to have appeared in the last half-century, and there have been quite a few . . . fast, funny, opinionated, clear and erudite . . . I am in awe of Tom Holland's achievement' Edith Hall, TLS 'A labour of love . . . full of rattling good yarns . . . the minister for education should present each of his cabinet colleagues with a copy of Holland's admirable translation' Economist 'Tom Holland has been captivated by Herodotus since he was a child. His pleasure shines through his relaxed, idiomatic, expansive and often dramatic translation ... He, like Herodotus, is a storyteller par excellence' Peter Jones, New Statesman
"This book is basic for any attempt to understand interwar Polish
Jewry as well as the holocaust period and offers many new points of
The Bund was the first modern Jewish political party in Eastern Europe and, arguably, the strongest Jewish party in Poland on the eve of the Second World War. Though 100 years have passed since its inception, the Bund and its legacy continue to be of abiding interest.
Founded illegally and operated under the most adverse conditions, the Bund grew dramatically in the years immediately after its 1897 creation in Czarist Russia. It helped to organize the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party, it organized armed self-defense groups to fight against pogroms, and it played a significant role in the Russian Revolution of 1905. The Bundist became for many the symbol of the new Jew--enlightened, willing to fight for Jewish rights and needs, and unwilling to accept the status quo of Jewish communities dominated by the orthodox and the wealthy, and of a Russia oppressed by the Czar. Later, Bundist members were among those who contributed substantially to armed resistance in Nazi occupied Poland.
"Jewish Politics in Eastern Europe" makes use of previously unexamined source materials to offer a range of new perspectives on the significance of the Bund and its ideas. Its fresh and insightful approaches will be of interest to all those concerned with Eastern European Jewry, Russian, Polish, and Ukranian history, and the history of socialist and labor movements.
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 with years of uncertainty and high tensions. As her cross-Channel neighbour Great Britain would equally suffer, France was to undergo the wrenching loss of colonies in the post-Second World War as the new modern world we know today took shape. Her attempts to become the leader of the European union is a constant struggle, as was her lack of support for America in the two Gulf Wars of the past twenty years. Alongside this came huge social changes and cultural landmarks but also fundamental questioning of what this nation, which considers itself exceptional, really stood - and stands - for. That saga and those questions permeate the France of today, now with an implacable enemy to face in the form of Islamic extremism which so bloodily announced itself this year in Paris. Fenby will detail every event, every struggle and every outcome across this expanse of 200 years. It will prove to be the definitive guide to understanding France.
The story of relativity - showing how science really works, and how Einstein became famous In 1916, Arthur Eddington, a war-weary British astronomer, opened a letter written by an obscure German professor named Einstein. The neatly printed equations on the scrap of paper outlined his world-changing theory of general relativity. Until then, Einstein's masterpiece of time and space had been trapped behind the physical and ideological lines of battle, unknown. Many Britons were rejecting anything German, but Eddington realized the importance of the letter: perhaps Einstein's esoteric theory could not only change the foundations of science but also lead to international co-operation in a time of brutal war. Einstein's name is now synonymous with 'genius', but it was not an easy road. He spent a decade creating relativity and his ascent to global celebrity, which saw him on front pages around the world, also owed much to against-the-odds international collaboration, including Eddington's crucial expedition of 1919 -- which was still two years before they finally met. We usually think of scientific discovery as a flash of individual inspiration, but here we see it is the result of hard work, gambles and wrong turns -- in this case subject to the petty concerns of nations, religions and individuals. Einstein's War is a moving human story of a pair on opposite sides of history who came together for science. It sheds light on science through history, and the physics is more accessible as a result: we see relativity built brick-by-brick in front of us, as it happened 100 years ago.
Robert Kershaw follows up his best-selling account of the Battle of Arnhem from German eyes - It Never Snows in September - to focus on the experiences the Dutch civilians and British and German soldiers in one street fighting to survive at the heart of one of the most intense battles of World War 2. A Street in Arnhem tells the story of the battle of Arnhem in September 1944 from the perspective of what could be seen or heard from the Utrechtseweg, a road that runs seven kilometres from the Arnhem railway station west to Oosterbeek. This stretch of road saw virtually every major event during the fighting for Arnhem during Operation Market-Garden in September 1944. The story is about the disintegration of a wealthy Dutch suburb caught up unexpectedly in the war it had escaped for so long. The war had thus far been kind to Oosterbeek and its swift liberation on 17th September suggested they might well escape the abject misery inflicted on so many other unfortunate European communities. The book charts the steady destruction of a well established and exclusive rural community, where wealthy Dutch holiday makers had relaxed enjoying its rural delights before the war.It was a popular hotel destination. The destruction of this pretty village is charted through the eyes of British, Polish and German soldiers fighting amid its confused and horrified Dutch inhabitants. It portrays a collage of human experiences, sights, sounds, visceral fears and emotion as ordinary people seek to cope when their street is so suddenly and unexpectedly overwhelmed in a savage battle, in which the heaviest weapons of the day were employed. Robert Kershaw's new research reveals the extent to which most people in this battle, whether soldiers or civilians, saw only what was immediately happening to them. They had virtually no idea of what was going on around them. It offers a unique picture of a stable community coping with a disaster progressing through joy, shock, horror, resignation and then despair as their lives are irrevocably ruined by the conflagration bursting over them. Many original Dutch, German and English accounts have been unearthed through interviews, diary accounts and letters. Post combat reports have been discovered charting the same incidents from both sides as well giving the Dutch civilian perspective.The story is told as a docudrama following the fortunes of a number of British, Polish, German and Dutch characters, within a gripping narrative format. This tale will resonate with any reader. Holland had not witnessed conflict since the Napoleonic wars. What happens when your street, where you have lived for generations is suddenly overwhelmed by conflict? A Street in Arnhem tells that story and provides some of the answers.
The number of travelers France welcomes each year is as great as its population-some sixty million. They arrive to experience not only the latest fashions in clothing, art, and cuisine, but also the vestiges of a past that encompasses a half million years. Among these vestiges are Neolithic cave paintings, Roman villas and temples, medieval cathedrals, and royal chateaux. This concise volume outlines French history from prehistoric times to the twenty-first century. The diverse themes discussed include the relations of France with its neighbors, the ever-present tension between national unity and regional autonomy, the role of the Catholic Church, and developments in public works and education. In order to lend this vast panorama a more human face, the author gives special attention to the life of at least one individual in each major era.
This beautifully written history recentres the West and rekindles the past in a vivid narrative crafted for beginning students. Grafton and Bell tell the epic story of a West engaged in a continuing search for order across politics, society and culture, driven by internal tensions and global influences. They deliver the past not as a path to the present but as it was lived at the time, grounded in a balanced, comprehensive, chronological narrative. Combined with rich digital resources to instill practical history skills, The West establishes a dynamic NEW foundation for teaching the Western Civilizations course.
This series is for the Cambridge International AS History syllabus (9489) for examination from 2021. Written by an experienced author team that includes examiners, a practising teacher and trainer, this coursebook supports the Cambridge International AS History syllabus. With increased depth of coverage, this coursebook helps build confidence and understanding in language, essay-writing and evaluation skills. It develops students' conceptual understanding of history with the five new 'Key concepts', for example exploring similarity and difference in the aims/achievements of Witte and Stolypin. In addition, it encourages individuals to make substantiated judgments and reflect on their learning. Students can consolidate their skills though exam-style questions with source material and sample responses.
In the mid-1980s Mikhail Gorbachev's political and economic reforms promised a relaxation of tensions between the U.S.S.R. and the United States without disturbing the basic balance of power in Europe established after the Second World War. Then came the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the vast democratic revolution that swept the Soviet empire, creating a power vacuum east of Berlin. Could such an upheaval have been a natural and logical extension of the course of reform that Gorbachev began plotting in 1985?
Gorbachev's Revolution argues persuasively that the end of Communism was never the goal of the Soviet leader but rather the unintended result of an intense and many-faceted struggle for power. Anthony D'Agostino demonstrates that the pervasive image of stable in-system reform in fact ignored evidence from history. Succession struggles in the U.S.S.R. were generally wars of ideas in which the victors got their way by challenging their opponents' interpretations of the past.
Through political memoirs, newspaper accounts, and historical documents, Gorbachev's Revolution demonstrates once again that revolutionaries change the world not only according to their own designs but also according to the world's designs on them.
The war in Chechnya left us with some of the most harrowing images in recent times: a modern European city bombed to ruins while its citizens cowered in bunkers; mass graves; mothers combing the hills for their missing sons.
The product of investigative and on-the-scene reporting by two established journalists, Carlotta Gall and Thomas de Waal's captivating book recounts the story of the Chechens' violent struggle for independece, and the Kremlin politics that precipitated it. Exploring Chechnya's complex and bloody history, the work is also a portrait of Russia's failed attempt to make the transition to a democratic society.
"A harrowing glimpse into the destabilization caused by the
collapse of the Soviet Union and the troubled road to independence
and democracy faced by its non-Russian members."
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