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Books > History > European history > General

The Cambridge History of Modern European Thought 2 Volume Hardback Set (Hardcover): Warren Breckman, Peter E. Gordon The Cambridge History of Modern European Thought 2 Volume Hardback Set (Hardcover)
Warren Breckman, Peter E. Gordon
R5,281 Discovery Miles 52 810 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

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, Warren Breckman and Peter E. Gordon establish a formidable new multi-faceted vision of European intellectual history for the global modern age.

Lonely Courage - The true story of the SOE heroines who fought to free Nazi-occupied France (Paperback): Rick Stroud Lonely Courage - The true story of the SOE heroines who fought to free Nazi-occupied France (Paperback)
Rick Stroud 1
R255 R171 Discovery Miles 1 710 Save R84 (33%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

'A fascinating, superbly researched and revelatory book - told with tremendous pace and excitement' William Boyd 'This compelling and complete account of the extraordinarily courageous women of SOE is at turns enthralling, edge-of-smart exciting and also heart-breaking. The way in which they were sent into Nazi-occupied Europe and left to face unspeakable danger remains astonishing and Stroud's book is a reminder and fitting testimony to their immense bravery.' James Holland On 18 June 1940 General de Gaulle broadcast from London to his countrymen in France about the catastrophe that had overtaken their nation - the victory of the invading Germans. He declared 'Is defeat final? No! . . . the flame of French Resistance must not and will not be extinguished'. The Resistance began almost immediately. At first it was made up of small, disorganised groups working in isolation. But by the time of the liberation in 1944 around 400,000 French citizens, nearly 2 per cent of the population, were involved. The Special Operations Executive (SOE) set up by Winston Churchill in 1941 saw its role in France as helping the Resistance by recruiting and organising guerrilla fighters; supplying and training them; and then disrupting the invaders by any means necessary. The basic SOE unit was a team of three: a leader, a wireless operator and a courier. These teams operated in Resistance circuits and the agents were given random codenames. The aim of this work was to prepare for the invasion of Europe by Allied forces and the eventual liberation of France. It was soon decided that women would play a vital role. There were 39 female agents recruited from all walks of life, ranging from a London shop assistant to a Polish aristocrat. What linked them was that they knew France well, were fluent in French and were prepared to sacrifice everything to help defeat the enemy. The women trained alongside the men, learning how to disappear into the background, how to operate a radio transmitter and how to kill a man with their bare hands. Once trained they were infiltrated behind the lines by parachute or tiny aircraft that could land in remote fields. Some of the women went on to lead thousands of Resistance fighters, while others were arrested, brutally interrogated and sent to concentration camps where they endured torment and death. Lonely Courage tells their story and sheds light on what life was really like for these brave women who tumbled from the sky.

The Nazi Menace - Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, and the Road to War (Hardcover): Benjamin Carter Hett The Nazi Menace - Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, and the Road to War (Hardcover)
Benjamin Carter Hett
R684 R535 Discovery Miles 5 350 Save R149 (22%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

Berlin, November 1937. In a secret meeting with his top advisors, Adolf Hitler proclaims the urgent necessity for a war of aggression in Europe. Some conservatives are unnerved by this grandiose plan, but they are soon silenced, setting in motion events that will lead to the most calamitous war in history. Benjamin Carter Hett, the author of The Death of Democracy, his acclaimed history of the fall of the Weimar Republic, takes us from Berlin to London, Moscow, and Washington to show how anti-Nazi forces inside and outside Germany came to understand Hitler's true menace to European civilisation and learned to oppose him. Drawing on original sources in German, English, French, and Russian, including newly released intelligence documents, he paints a sweeping portrait of governments under siege, populated by larger-than-life figures like Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, Neville Chamberlain, Franklin Roosevelt, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and Vyacheslav Molotov. The Nazi Menace evokes a time when the verities of life were subverted, a time marked by fake news, cultural unrest over refugees, and the challenges of national security in a consumerist democracy. To read Hett's book is to see the 1930s - and our world today - in a new and unnerving light.

The Europeans - Three Lives and the Making of a Cosmopolitan Culture (Paperback): Orlando Figes The Europeans - Three Lives and the Making of a Cosmopolitan Culture (Paperback)
Orlando Figes 1
R340 R272 Discovery Miles 2 720 Save R68 (20%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

'Magnificent. Beautifully written, immaculately researched and thoroughly absorbing from start to finish. A tour de force that explains how Europe's cultural life transformed during the course of the 19th century - and so much more' Peter Frankopan From the bestselling author of Natasha's Dance, The Europeans is richly enthralling, panoramic cultural history of nineteenth-century Europe, told through the intertwined lives of three remarkable people: a great singer, Pauline Viardot, a great writer, Ivan Turgenev, and a great connoisseur, Pauline's husband Louis. Their passionate, ambitious lives were bound up with an astonishing array of writers, composers and painters all trying to make their way through the exciting, prosperous and genuinely pan-European culture that came about as a result of huge economic and technological change. This culture - through trains, telegraphs and printing - allowed artists of all kinds to exchange ideas and make a living, shuttling back and forth across the whole continent from the British Isles to Imperial Russia, as they exploited a new cosmopolitan age. The Europeans is Orlando Figes' masterpiece. Surprising, beautifully written, it describes huge changes through intimate details, little-known stories and through the lens of Turgenev and the Viardots' touching, strange love triangle. Events which we now see as central to European high culture are made completely fresh, allowing the reader to revel in the sheer precariousness with which the great salons, premieres and bestsellers came into existence.

Checkpoint Charlie - The Cold War, the Berlin Wall, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth (Paperback): Iain MacGregor Checkpoint Charlie - The Cold War, the Berlin Wall, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth (Paperback)
Iain MacGregor
R457 R374 Discovery Miles 3 740 Save R83 (18%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days
Armenia - Masterpieces from an Enduring Culture (Paperback): Theo Marten van Lint, Robin Meyer Armenia - Masterpieces from an Enduring Culture (Paperback)
Theo Marten van Lint, Robin Meyer
R1,031 R962 Discovery Miles 9 620 Save R69 (7%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Set like a stronghold south-west of the Caucasus mountains, Armenia is caught between East and West. Briefly a great empire in the first century BCE under King Tigranes the Great, Armenia was later incorporated first by the Sasanian and then the Byzantine Empires. Armenian art, literature, religion and material culture have reinterpreted elements of a wide variety of cultures. Spanning over two and a half millennia, the history of Armenia and the Armenian people is a series of riveting tales, from its first mention under the Achaemenid King Darius I to the independence of the Republic of Armenia from the Soviet Union. With the help of the Bodleian Libraries' magnificent collection of Armenian manuscripts and early printed books, this volume tells the story of the region through the medium of its cultural output. Together with introductions written by experts in their fields, close to one hundred manuscripts, works of art and religious artefacts serve as a guide to Armenian culture and history. Gospel manuscripts splendidly illuminated by Armenian masters feature next to philosophical tractates and merchants' handbooks, affording us an insight into what makes the Armenian people truly unique, especially in the shadow of the genocide that threatened their annihilation a hundred years ago: namely their spirituality, language and perseverance in the face of adversity. VISIT THE EXHIBITION Armenia: Treasures from an Enduring Culture October 2015 - January 2016 Bodleian Library, Oxford

The Secret War - Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-1945 (Paperback, Edition): Max Hastings The Secret War - Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-1945 (Paperback, Edition)
Max Hastings 1
R345 R244 Discovery Miles 2 440 Save R101 (29%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

`As gripping as any spy thriller, Hastings's achievement is especially impressive, for he has produced the best single volume yet written on the subject' Sunday Times `Authoritative, exciting and notably well written' Daily Telegraph `A serious work of rigourous and comprehensive history ... royally entertaining and readable' Mail on Sunday In The Secret War, Max Hastings presents a worldwide cast of characters and extraordinary sagas of intelligence and Resistance to create a new perspective on the greatest conflict in history. The book links tales of high courage ashore, at sea and in the air to the work of the brilliant `boffins' battling the enemy's technology. Here are not only the unheralded codebreaking geniuses of Bletchley Park, but also their German counterparts who achieved their own triumphs and the fabulous espionage networks created, and so often spurned, by the Soviet Union. With its stories of high policy and human drama, the book has been acclaimed as the best history of the secret war ever written.

Becoming Hitler: The Making of a Nazi (Hardcover): Thomas Weber Becoming Hitler: The Making of a Nazi (Hardcover)
Thomas Weber 1
R584 R456 Discovery Miles 4 560 Save R128 (22%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

The story of the making of Adolf Hitler that we are all familiar with is the one Hitler himself wove in his 1924 trial, and then expanded upon in Mein Kampf. It tells of his rapid emergence as National Socialist leader in 1919, and of how he successfully rallied most of Munich and the majority of Bavaria's establishment to support the famous beer-hall putsch of 1923. It is an account which has largely been taken at face value for over ninety years. Yet, on closer examination, Hitler's account of his experiences in the years immediately following the First World War turns out to be every bit as unreliable as his account of his experiences as a soldier during the war itself. In Becoming Hitler, Thomas Weber continues from where he left off in his previous book, Hitler's First War, stripping away the layers of myth and fabrication in Hitler's own tale to tell the real story of Hitler's politicization and radicalization in post-First World War Munich. It is the gripping account of how an awkward and unemployed loner with virtually no recognizable leadership qualities and fluctuating political ideas turned into the charismatic, self-assured, virulently anti-Semitic leader with an all-or-nothing approach to politics with whom the world was soon to become tragically familiar. As Weber clearly shows, far from the picture of a fully-formed political leader which Hitler wanted to portray in Mein Kampf, his ideas and priorities were still very uncertain and largely undefined in early 1919 - and they continued to shift until 1923. It was the failed Ludendorff putsch of November 1923 - and the subsequent Ludendorff trial - which was to prove the making of Hitler. And he was not slow to spot the opportunity that it offered. As the movers and shakers of Munich's political scene tried to blame everything on him in the course of the trial, Hitler was presented with a golden opportunity to place himself at the centre of attention, turning what had been the 'Ludendorff trial' into the 'Hitler trial'. Henceforth, he would no longer be merely a local Bavarian political leader. From now on, he would present himself as a potential 'national saviour'. In the months after the trial, Hitler cemented this myth by writing Mein Kampf from his comfortable prison cell. His years of metamorphosis were now behind him. His years as Fuhrer were soon to come.

The Age of the Vikings (Hardcover): Anders Winroth The Age of the Vikings (Hardcover)
Anders Winroth
R705 R562 Discovery Miles 5 620 Save R143 (20%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

The Vikings maintain their grip on our imagination, but their image is too often distorted by medieval and modern myth. It is true that they pillaged, looted, and enslaved. But they also settled peacefully and developed a vast trading network. They traveled far from their homelands in swift and sturdy ships, not only to raid, but also to explore. Despite their fearsome reputation, the Vikings didn't wear horned helmets, and even the infamous berserkers were far from invincible.

By dismantling the myths, "The Age of the Vikings" allows the full story of this period in medieval history to be told. By exploring every major facet of this exciting age, Anders Winroth captures the innovation and pure daring of the Vikings without glossing over their destructive heritage.

He not only explains the Viking attacks, but also looks at Viking endeavors in commerce, politics, discovery, and colonization, and reveals how Viking arts, literature, and religious thought evolved in ways unequaled in the rest of Europe. He shows how the Vikings seized on the boundless opportunities made possible by the invention of the longship, using it to venture to Europe for plunder, to open new trade routes, and to settle in lands as distant as Russia, Greenland, and the Byzantine Empire. Challenging the image of the Vikings that comes so easily to mind, Winroth argues that Viking chieftains were no more violent than men like Charlemagne, who committed atrocities on a far greater scale than the northern raiders.

Drawing on a wealth of written, visual, and archaeological evidence, "The Age of the Vikings" sheds new light on the complex society and culture of these legendary seafarers.

Mastering Modern German History 1864-1990 (Paperback): John Traynor Mastering Modern German History 1864-1990 (Paperback)
John Traynor
R959 Discovery Miles 9 590 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

"Mastering Modern German History 1864-1990" addresses the key political, social and economic developments in German history from 1864, to unification, through to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and re-unification. In recent years, significant aspects of German history have been the subject of new interpretations and areas such as Bismarck, William II, the origins of the First World War, Hitler, the Holocaust and the Second World War will be fully explored in the light of new research. Completely accessible and written in an engaging and lucid style, this text provides students with an in-depth look at Germany and its complex past.

Young Rembrandt - A Biography (Hardcover): Onno Blom Young Rembrandt - A Biography (Hardcover)
Onno Blom; Translated by Beverley Jackson
R714 R566 Discovery Miles 5 660 Save R148 (21%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

Rembrandt van Rijn's early years are as famously shrouded in mystery as Shakespeare's, and his life has always been an enigma. How did a miller's son from a provincial Dutch town become the greatest artist of his age? How in short, did Rembrandt become Rembrandt? Seeking the roots of Rembrandt's genius, the celebrated Dutch writer Onno Blom immersed himself in Leiden, the city in which Rembrandt was born in 1606 and where he spent his first twenty-five years. It was a turbulent time, the city having only recently rebelled against the Spanish. There are almost no written records by or about Rembrandt, so Blom tracked down old maps, sought out the Rembrandt family house and mill, and walked the route that Rembrandt would have taken to school. Leiden was a bustling center of intellectual life, and Blom, a native of Leiden himself, brings to life all the places Rembrandt would have known: the university, library, botanical garden, and anatomy theater. He investigated the concerns and tensions of the era: burial rites for plague victims, the renovation of the city in the wake of the Spanish siege, the influx of immigrants to work the cloth trade. And he examined the origins and influences that led to the famous and beloved paintings that marked the beginning of Rembrandt's celebrated career as the paramount painter of the Dutch Golden Age. Young Rembrandt is a fascinating portrait of the artist and the world that made him. Evocatively told and beautifully illustrated with more than 100 color images, it is a superb biography that captures Rembrandt for a new generation.

WJEC AS-level History Student Guide Unit 2: Weimar and its challenges c.1918-1933 (Paperback): Gareth Holt WJEC AS-level History Student Guide Unit 2: Weimar and its challenges c.1918-1933 (Paperback)
Gareth Holt
R352 Discovery Miles 3 520 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Exam board: WJEC Level: AS/A-level Subject: History First teaching: September 2015 First exams: Summer 2016 (AS); Summer 2017 (A-level) Build, reinforce and revise the historical knowledge and exam skills required for WJEC AS/A-level History. Matched to the 2016 specification for Wales, this study guide contains clear content summaries and annotated sample answers to exam questions. - Concisely covers the key issues and content in the specification, breaking the Unit down into manageable chunks - Consolidates understanding with regular knowledge-check questions, plus useful tips - Builds the analytical and evaluative skills that students need to succeed in AS/A-level History - Improves students' exam technique, providing sample student answers to past paper questions, with commentary to explain the number of marks awarded - Helps students to learn the content throughout the course, study independently and revise for their exams

Fighter Boys - The Pilots Behind the Battle of Britain (Paperback, New ed): Patrick Bishop Fighter Boys - The Pilots Behind the Battle of Britain (Paperback, New ed)
Patrick Bishop 2
R315 R214 Discovery Miles 2 140 Save R101 (32%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In the summer of 1940, the future of Britain and the free world depended on the morale and skill of the young men of Fighter Command. This is their story. The Battle of Britain is one of the most crucial battles ever fought, and the victory of Fighter Command over the Luftwaffe has always been celebrated as a classic feat of arms. But, as Patrick Bishop shows in this superb history, it was also a triumph of the spirit in which the attitudes of the pilots themselves played a crucial part. Reaching beyond the myths to convey the fear and exhilaration of life on this most perilous of frontlines, Patrick Bishop offers an intimate and compelling account that is a soaring tribute to the exceptional young men of Fighter Command.

Unfabling the East - The Enlightenment's Encounter with Asia (Hardcover): Jurgen Osterhammel Unfabling the East - The Enlightenment's Encounter with Asia (Hardcover)
Jurgen Osterhammel; Translated by Robert Savage
R864 R685 Discovery Miles 6 850 Save R179 (21%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

How Enlightenment Europe rediscovered its identity by measuring itself against the great civilizations of Asia During the long eighteenth century, Europe's travelers, scholars, and intellectuals looked to Asia in a spirit of puzzlement, irony, and openness. In this panoramic and colorful book, Jurgen Osterhammel tells the story of the European Enlightenment's nuanced encounter with the great civilizations of the East, from the Ottoman Empire and India to China and Japan. Here is the acclaimed book that challenges the notion that Europe's formative engagement with the non-European world was invariably marred by an imperial gaze and presumptions of Western superiority. Osterhammel shows how major figures such as Leibniz, Voltaire, Gibbon, and Hegel took a keen interest in Asian culture and history, and introduces lesser-known scientific travelers, colonial administrators, Jesuit missionaries, and adventurers who returned home from Asia bearing manuscripts in many exotic languages, huge collections of ethnographic data, and stories that sometimes defied belief. Osterhammel brings the sights and sounds of this tumultuous age vividly to life, from the salons of Paris and the lecture halls of Edinburgh to the deserts of Arabia, the steppes of Siberia, and the sumptuous courts of Asian princes. He demonstrates how Europe discovered its own identity anew by measuring itself against its more senior continent, and how it was only toward the end of this period that cruder forms of Eurocentrism--and condescension toward Asia-prevailed. A momentous work by one of Europe's most eminent historians, Unfabling the East takes readers on a thrilling voyage to the farthest shores, bringing back vital insights for our own multicultural age.

Hemingway at War - Ernest Hemingway's Adventures as a World War II Correspondent (Hardcover): Terry Mort Hemingway at War - Ernest Hemingway's Adventures as a World War II Correspondent (Hardcover)
Terry Mort
R563 R362 Discovery Miles 3 620 Save R201 (36%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In the spring of 1944, Ernest Hemingway travelled to London and then to France to cover the Second World War for Colliers Magazine. He had resisted this kind of journalism for the early period of the war but now threw himself into the thick of events. He flew missions with the RAF, went on a landing craft on Omaha Beach on D-Day, involved himself in the French Resistance forces and famously rode into the still dangerous streets of liberated Paris. He was at the Siegfried Line in the Huertgen Forest when the 22nd Regiment lost nearly every man sent into the fight. This invigorating narrative is, in parallel, an investigation into Hemingway's subsequent work-much of it stemming from his wartime experience-which shaped the latter stages of his career.

Postcards from the Russian Revolution (Hardcover): Andrew Roberts Postcards from the Russian Revolution (Hardcover)
Andrew Roberts
R256 R213 Discovery Miles 2 130 Save R43 (17%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

The tumultuous political events that swept Russia in the early twentieth century sent powerful ripples around the world. The Bolshevik revolutionaries and activists had sympathizers among Americans and Europeans alike, and one notable way they exercised their support was through artfully created postcards. This remarkable volume" "presents for the first time a newly unearthed collection of those cards that recount the 1917 Russian Revolution in a novel way.
The postcards originated not only from Russia, but also from Germany, the United States, Belgium, and France, and they reflect their diverse origins in the rich array of artistic styles employed to create them. Whether simply drawn, hand-painted, or mass-printed, the cards present compelling and complex images of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the people who were enmeshed in it. The cards serve as concise yet powerful artistic documents of Russian history and culture, as they display bloody and graphic street scenes, rare pictures of lesser-known revolutionary leaders, satirical sketches of Russian rulers, portraits of the royal family, illustrations of palaces and institutional buildings, and depictions of pivotal events leading up to the Revolution such as the 1905 assassination of Grand Duke Alexander. Also included in this fascinating visual narrative are cards depicting crucial events from the aftermath of the Revolution, including the great famine of 1921 and public celebrations of the newly formed Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
An unprecedented and arresting exploration of the Russian Empire in its death throes, "Postcards from the Russian Revolution" reveals a wholly new and vibrant perspective on one ofthe most important political movements of the twentieth century.

Ancient Rome The Republic 753BC-30BC (Paperback): Patricia Southern Ancient Rome The Republic 753BC-30BC (Paperback)
Patricia Southern 1
R287 R251 Discovery Miles 2 510 Save R36 (13%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Rome began as a collection of primitive huts on the banks of the Tiber, some considerable time before Romulus founded the great city. Ruled by kings for the first two and a half centuries, the Romans abolished the monarchy and created for their little city state a form of government that was successfully adapted to control an Empire. The Romans learned how to weld together a larger state by integrating other city states and tribes, offering them the benefits and privileges of Roman citizenship in return for services and manpower in the army and government. Roman society was based on wealth, and extreme snobbery permeated every level of the social hierarchy. Upward mobility was rare during the Republic, and equal rights were out of the question. At the bottom of the heap were the slaves, with no rights at all. Although little remains of Roman architecture from this period, the famously straight Roman roads began during the Republic, fanning out from the capital towards all parts of Italy. Patricia Southern charts the rise of Rome from its humble origins to its dominance of the western world, describing the personalities who helped to shape it, such as rebel gladiator Spartacus, Hannibal, the Carthaginian leader who invaded Italy, Caesar and Pompey, and finally Octavian, Cleopatra and Mark Antony.

The Mirror of Venus - Women in Roman Art (Paperback): Iain Ferris The Mirror of Venus - Women in Roman Art (Paperback)
Iain Ferris
R284 R248 Discovery Miles 2 480 Save R36 (13%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Though images of women were ubiquitous in the Roman world, these were seldom intended to be taken simply at face value. The importance of marriage, motherhood and political stability was often conveyed to the Roman people through carefully constructed representations of the women of the ruling house. Mythological representations were used to present moral and political lessons to the women of Rome. Roman society was, on most levels, male dominated and women's roles were sometimes subordinate to political and cultural needs and imperatives. Images of mortal women - empresses and other female members of the imperial family, elite women from around the empire and working women from Rome, Ostia, Pompeii and elsewhere - are analysed alongside images of goddesses and personifications and of complex mythological figures such as Amazons. This is the first general book to present a coherent, broad analysis of the numerous images of women in Roman art and to interpret their meaning and significance, all set against the broader geographical, chronological, political, religious and cultural context of the world of the Roman republic and empire and of Late Antiquity.

Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain, 1942 (Hardcover, Revised): Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain, 1942 (Hardcover, Revised)
R138 R118 Discovery Miles 1 180 Save R20 (14%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In 1942, the United States War Department distributed a handbook to American servicemen that advised them on the peculiarities of the "British, their country, and their ways."

Over sixty years later, this newly published reproduction from the rich archives of the Bodleian Library offers a fascinating glimpse into American military preparations for World War II. The guide was intended to alleviate the culture shock for soldiers taking their first trip to Great Britain, or, for that matter, abroad. The handbook is punctuated with endearingly nostalgic advice and refreshingly candid quips such as: "The British don't know how to make a good cup of coffee. You don't know how to make a good cup of tea. It's an even swap."

By turns hilarious and poignant, many observations featured in the handbook remain relevant even today. Reproduced in a style reminiscent of the era, "Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain" is a powerfully evocative war-time memento that offers a unique perspective on the longstanding American-British relationship and reveals amusingly incisive American perceptions of the British character and country.

Khrushchev - The Man And His Era (Hardcover): William Taubman Khrushchev - The Man And His Era (Hardcover)
William Taubman
R747 R487 Discovery Miles 4 870 Save R260 (35%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

`Taubman delivers a political and biographical tour de force, something approaching a definitive work' Simon Sebag-Montefiore, The Financial Times `Outstanding, superbly gripping and surely definitive' Daily Telegraph 'Taubman has produced an utterly convincing picture of the contradictory Khrushchev, from his peasant origins and meteoric rise, through purges, politburo plotting, brave de-Stalinisation and the erratic, blustering, bull-in-a-china-shop style that eventually alienated his colleagues and took the world to the brink of Armageddon over Cuba' SUNDAY TIMES `Unlikely to be surpassed any time soon either in richness or complexity . . . [A] monumental biography' New York Times William Taubman's brilliant biography of one of the key figures of the Soviet Union is a study in contrasts -- how the boy from a peasant background rose to the heights of power; how a single-minded, ambitious political player survived twenty years under Stalin; how he opened up to the West after Stalin's death and yet brought the world close to oblivion in the Cuban Missile Crisis. What emerges is a fascinating picture of a man constantly torn between benevolence and malevolence -- a man who made himself cultured and yet who could never really escape his image as a bullying country bumpkin (most famously demonstrated by his interruption of Macmillan's speech to the UN in 1960 by banging his shoe on the table -- the urbane Macmillan responded, 'Mr President, perhaps we could have a translation, I could not quite follow'). William Taubman has previously edited collections of Nikita Khrushchev's speeches and reminiscences and is completely immersed in this subject -- his biography is likely to remain the standard work for years to come.

All Hell Let Loose - The World at War 1939-1945 (Paperback): Max Hastings All Hell Let Loose - The World at War 1939-1945 (Paperback)
Max Hastings 2
R441 R290 Discovery Miles 2 900 Save R151 (34%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

A magisterial history of the greatest and most terrible event in history, from one of the finest historians of the Second World War. A book which shows the impact of war upon hundreds of millions of people around the world- soldiers, sailors and airmen; housewives, farm workers and children.. Reflecting Max Hastings's thirty-five years of research on World War II, All Hell Let Loose describes the course of events, but focuses chiefly upon human experience, which varied immensely from campaign to campaign, continent to continent. The author emphasises the Russian front, where more than 90% of all German soldiers who perished met their fate. He argues that, while Hitler's army often fought its battles brilliantly well, the Nazis conducted their war effort with 'stunning incompetence'. He suggests that the Royal Navy and US Navy were their countries' outstanding fighting services, while the industrial contribution of the United States was much more important to allied victory than that of the US Army. The book ranges across a vast canvas, from the agony of Poland amid the September 1939 Nazi invasion, to the 1943 Bengal famine, in which at least a million people died under British rule- and British neglect. Among many vignettes, there are the RAF's legendary raid on the Ruhr dams, the horrors of Arctic convoys, desert tank combat, jungle clashes. Some of Hastings's insights and judgements will surprise students of the conflict, while there are vivid descriptions of the tragedies and triumphs of a host of ordinary people, in uniform and out of it. 'The cliche is profoundly true', he says. 'The world between 1939 and 1945 saw some human beings plumb the depths of baseness, while others scaled the heights of courage and nobility'. This is 'everyman's story', an attempt to answer the question: 'What was the Second World War like ?', and also an overview of the big picture. Max Hastings employs the technique which has made many of his previous books best-sellers, combining top-down analysis and bottom-up testimony to explore the meaning of this vast conflict both for its participants and for posterity.

The Russian Civil War (Paperback, New edition): Evan Mawdsley The Russian Civil War (Paperback, New edition)
Evan Mawdsley
R432 R327 Discovery Miles 3 270 Save R105 (24%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

The Russian Civil War of 1917-1920, out of which the Soviet Union was born, was one of the most significant events of the twentieth century. The collapse of the Tsarist regime and the failure of the Kerensky Provisional Government nearly led to the complete disintegration of the Russian state. This book, however, is not simply the story of that collapse and the rebellion that accompanied it, but of the painful and costly reconstruction of Russian power under a Soviet regime. Evan Mawdsley's lucid account of this vast and complex subject explains in detail the power struggles and political manoeuvres of the war, providing a balanced analysis of why the Communists were victors. This edition includes illustrations, a new preface and an extensively updated bibliography.

The History of Modern France - From the Revolution to the War with Terror (Paperback): Jonathan Fenby The History of Modern France - From the Revolution to the War with Terror (Paperback)
Jonathan Fenby 1
R324 R219 Discovery Miles 2 190 Save R105 (32%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

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.

Jorge Semprun - The Spaniard Who Survived the Nazis & Conquered Paris (Paperback): Soledad Fox Maura Jorge Semprun - The Spaniard Who Survived the Nazis & Conquered Paris (Paperback)
Soledad Fox Maura
R697 R571 Discovery Miles 5 710 Save R126 (18%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Spanish by birth, Parisian by adoption, Semprun (1923-2011) was a legendary figure on the front lines of twentieth-century European history. During the first half of his life he was an exile of the Spanish Civil War, a member of the French Resistance, a Nazi camp survivor, and clandestine agent for the Spanish Communist Party. After repeatedly risking his life from the 1930s to the 1960s, he reinvented himself as a prolific writer who turned the extraordinary material from his own life into a series of autobiographical novels, beginning with The Long Voyage, his 1963 masterpiece about his deportation to Buchenwald. Semprun was equally at home amongst the madrilenos of his childhood, fellow prisoners of the Buchenwald concentration camp, politicians, and artists and writers, such as his close friend Yves Montand or Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He is best known internationally as a prize-winning novelist and memoirist, and an Oscar-nominated screenwriter. In collaboration with Alain Resnais and Costa-Gavras he wrote the screenplays for, respectively, La guerre est finie and Z. In Spain, his extraordinary achievements were recognised when in 1988 he was named Minister of Culture. The research for this biography draws on archival materials from Spain, France, Germany, the United States and Russia; it includes many interviews with family members, close friends, politicians, and artists including former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez, and film director Costa Gavras. Published in association with the Canada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies.

Mapping the Second World War - The History of the War Through Maps from 1939 to 1945 (Hardcover): Peter Chasseaud, The Imperial... Mapping the Second World War - The History of the War Through Maps from 1939 to 1945 (Hardcover)
Peter Chasseaud, The Imperial War Museum, Collins Books 1
R904 R637 Discovery Miles 6 370 Save R267 (30%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Follow the conflict of the Second World War from 1939 to 1945 in this unique volume, published in association with Imperial War Museums, London, featuring historical maps and photographs from their archives, and fascinating commentary from an expert historian. Over 150 maps tell the story of how this global war was fought. Types of maps featured: * Strategic maps showing theatres of war, frontiers and occupied territories * Maps covering key battles and offensives on major fronts * Planning and operations maps showing defences in detail * Propaganda and educational maps for the armed forces and general public * Maps showing dispositions of Allied and enemy forces * Bomber and V-weapon target maps Descriptions of key historical events accompany the maps, giving an illustrated history of the war from an expert historian. Key topics covered include * 1939: Invasion of Poland * 1940: German invasion of Low Countries & France * 1940: Battle of Britain & German invasion threat * Dec 1941: Pearl Harbor * 1942: Turning points: Midway, Alamein, Stalingrad * 1941-45: Barbarossa and the Eastern Front * The War at Sea * The advances to Jerusalem, Damascus and Baghdad * The War in the Air * 1944: Neptune & Overlord; D-Day & liberation of France

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