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Michael Spicer, Baron Spicer of Cropthorne, has had a varied and remarkable political career by anyone's standards. During three and a half decades as a Conservative Member of Parliament, Spicer has held a plethora of essential political roles both within the party and in government, including Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Transport, and again at the Department of Energy, and a Minister at the Department of Environment. More recently, as a backbencher he chaired the highly influential 1922 committee before receiving a peerage in May 2010. Part political diary, part cautionary tale, part commentary, the spicer diaries is not the dusty memoirs of a Tory grandee, rather it is a collection of absorbing reflections on thirty-five years at the heart of British politics.
An insider's account of the great political stories over the past three decades years, illustrated with Peter Brookes' iconic cartoons. Philip Webster covered politics for The Times newspaper for 43 years, including 18 years as its political editor. He has been at the centre of all the big stories of the past four decades - the fall of Labour in 1979, the rise and fall of Margaret Thatcher, the emergence and fall of John Major, the rise and fall of Tony Blair and his wars with Gordon Brown, the aftermath of 9/11, the war in Iraq, the fall of Brown, the rise and rise of David Cameron, and the shock election of Jeremy Corbyn. Beautifully illustrated with Peter Brookes' cartoons, Webster offers fresh insight into the great stories of his time. He gives a frank and revelatory insider's account of great political events since Michael Heseltine brandished the Mace, the night the Callaghan government fell, the day Sir Geoffrey Howe brought down Margaret Thatcher, the day Tony Blair said farewell, the night MPs voted for war in Iraq; and every Budget and autumn statement for 40 years. With the wit and geniality that has made him so many friends in politics, he reveals how stories came into his hands and how political journalism influences events as they unfolded. He has witnessed what he terms a golden age of political journalism and this book offers an intimate account of his trade. The essential handbook for anyone interested by the craft of journalism, `Inside Story' reviews three decades of lead stories and the many politicians, great and small, that he has encountered.
There may not be a more fascinating a historical period than the late fourteenth century in Europe. The Hundred Years' War ravaged the continent, yet gallantry, chivalry, and literary brilliance flourished in the courts of England and elsewhere. It was a world in transition, soon to be replaced by the Renaissance and the Age of Exploration -- and John of Gaunt was its central figure.In today's terms, John of Gaunt was a multibillionaire with a brand name equal to Rockefeller. He fought in the Hundred Years' War, sponsored Chaucer and proto-Protestant religious thinkers, and survived the dramatic Peasants' Revolt, during which his sumptuous London residence was burned to the ground. As head of the Lancastrian branch of the Plantagenet family, Gaunt was the unknowing father of the War of the Roses; after his death, his son usurped the crown from his nephew, Richard II. Gaunt's adventures represent the culture and mores of the Middle Ages as those of few others do, and his death is portrayed in The Last Knight as the end of that enthralling period.
A Welshman among the English, a nonconformist among Anglicans and a self-made man in the patrician corridors of power, David Lloyd George, the last Liberal Prime Minister of Great Britain, was the founding father of the Welfare State and was as great a peacetime leader as Churchill was in war. In this fascinating biography of an authentic radical, Roy Hattersley charts the great reforms - the first old age pension, sick pay and unemployment benefit - of which Lloyd George was architect, and also sheds light on the complexities of a man who was both a tireless champion of the poor, and a restless philanderer who was addicted to living dangerously.
Born into wealth in New Orleans in 1795 and married into misery fifteen years later, the Baroness Micaela Almonester de Pontalba led a life ripe for novelization. Intimate Enemies, however, is the spellbinding true account of this resilient woman's life -- and the three men who most affected its course.
Immediately upon marrying C?lestin de Pontalba, Micaela was removed to his family's estate in France. For twenty years her father-in-law attempted to drive her to abandon C?lestin; by law he could then seize control of her fortune. He tried dozens of strategies, including at one point instructing the entire Pontalba household to pretend she was invisible. Finally, in 1834, the despairing elder Pontalba trapped Micaela in a bedroom and shot her four times before turning his gun on himself.
Miraculously, she survived. Five years later, after securing both a separation from C?lestin and legal power over her wealth, Micaela focused her attention on building, following in the footsteps of her late, illustrious father, Andr's Almonester. Her Parisian mansion, the H?tel Pontalba, is today the official residence of the American embassy in France; and her Pontalba Buildings, which flank Jackson's Square in New Orleans, form together with her father's St. Louis Cathedral, Presbytere, and Cabildo one of the loveliest architectural complexes in America.
As for C?lestin, he eventually suffered a total physical and mental breakdown and begged Micaela to return. She did so, caring for him for the next twenty-three years until her death in 1874.
In Intimate Enemies, Christina Vella embroiders the compelling story of the Almonester-Pontalba alliance against a richly woven background of the events and cultures of two centuries and two vivid societies. She provides a window into the yellow fever epidemics that raged in New Orleans; the rebuilding of Paris, the Paris Commune uprising, and the Second Empire of Napoleon III; European ideas of power, class, money, marriage, and love during the baroness' lifetime and their inflection in the New World setting of New Orleans; medical treatments, legal procedures, imperial court life, banking practices, and much more.
Combining the historian's meticulous research with the biographer's exacting knowledge of her subject and the novelist's gift for narrative, Vella has crafted a rare cross-genre work that will capture the imagination and admiration of every reader.
Robert Dallek's brilliant two-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson
has received an avalanche of praise. Michael Beschloss, in The Los
Angeles Times, said that it "succeeds brilliantly." The New York
Times called it "rock solid" and The Washington Post hailed it as
"invaluable." And Sidney Blumenthal in The Boston Globe wrote that
it was "dense with astonishing incidents."
The year is 1942, and World War II is in full swing. Odette Sansom decides to follow in her war hero father's footsteps by becoming an SOE agent to aid Britain and her beloved homeland, France. Five failed attempts and one plane crash later, she finally lands in occupied France to begin her mission. It is here that she meets her commanding officer Captain Peter Churchill. As they successfully complete mission after mission, Peter and Odette fall in love. All the while, they are being hunted by the cunning German secret police sergeant, Hugo Bleicher, who finally succeeds in capturing them. They are sent to Paris's Fresnes prison, and from there to concentration camps in Germany where they are starved, beaten, and tortured. But in the face of despair, they never give up hope, their love for each other, or the whereabouts of their colleagues. This is portrait of true courage, patriotism and love amidst unimaginable horrors and degradation.
Winston Churchill was a soldier, writer, and politician and, after World War II, he became one of the world's greatest statesmen. But his reputation rests on his role as a war leader and, in particular, on the period between May 1940 and July 1941, when Britain stood alone against Nazi Germany. Since his death in 1965, a few dissenting voices have cast him as, among other things, an opportunist and war-monger. But, as flawed as he undoubtedly was, most modern historians and politicians still hold him in the highest regard. In order to gain a better understanding of this remarkable man, this book looks at some of the key moments in Churchill's life, including his role in the British Army's last cavalry charge in the Battle of Omdurman and his escape from a prisoner of war camp during the Boer War. It then focuses on those momentous times when Churchill's courage and force of character almost single-handedly dragged Britain back from the brink of defeat in World War II and onwards towards an eventual Allied victory.
An Honorary Citizen of the U.S.A., and designated as one of the Righteous among the Nations by Israel, Raoul Wallenberg's heroism in Budapest at the height of the Holocaust saved countless lives, and ultimately cost him his own. A series of unlikely coincidences led to the appointment of Wallenberg, by trade a poultry importer, as Sweden's Special Envoy to Budapest in 1944. With remarkable bravery, Wallenberg created a system of protective passports, and sheltered thousands of desperate Jews in buildings he claimed were Swedish libraries and research institutes. As the war drew to a close, his invaluable work almost complete, Wallenberg voluntarily went to meet with the Soviet troops who were relieving the city. Arrested as a spy, Wallenberg disappeared into the depths of the Soviet system, never to be seen again. For this seminal biography, Ingrid Carlberg has carried out unprecedented research into all elements of Wallenberg's life, narrating with vigour and insight the story of a heroic life, and navigating with wisdom and sensitivity the truth about his disappearance and death. Translated from the Swedish by Ebba Segerberg
'I know no one ever believes us nowadays - everyone thinks we knew everything. We knew nothing. It was all a well-kept secret. We believed it. We swallowed it. It seemed entirely plausible'
Brunhilde Pomsel described herself as an 'apolitical girl' and a 'figure on the margins'. How are we to reconcile this description with her chosen profession? Employed as a typist during the Second World War, she worked closely with one of the worst criminals in world history: Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. She was one of the oldest surviving eyewitnesses to the internal workings of the Nazi power apparatus until her death in 2017. Her life, mirroring all the major breaks and continuities of the twentieth century, illustrates how far-right politics, authoritarian regimes and dictatorships can rise, and how political apathy can erode democracy.
Compelling and unnerving, The Work I Did gives us intimate insight into political complexity at society's highest levels - at one of history's darkest moments.
"An outstanding biography of the most unusual and controversial king of the 20th century. Highly recommended."--"CHOICE"
"Vivid and atmospheric, but based on solid and scrupulous
research, this is an outstanding account of one of the most
intriguing figures in twentieth-century Balkan history.
Non-specialists will read it with pleasure and fascination, and
even specialists in Albanian history will find much to learn here
from Jason Tomes's marvelously lucid analysis of the politics and
diplomacy of the period."
"Very well researched, critical yet balanced, this is the best
book about Zog to have appeared in any language."
Shortly before 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 1, 1928, Europe gained a new kingdom and its only Muslim king: 32-year-old Zog I of the Albanians. Few foreign journalists were present in the Parliament House in Tirana to hear him swear his oath on the Koran and the Bible, yet the birth of the Kingdom of Albania--a native monarchy, not an alien imposition--did not go unnoticed abroad.
King Zog (1895-1961) was a curiosity, and so he has remained: the most atypical European monarch of the twentieth century, a man entirely without royal connections who created his own kingdom. By contemporaries, he was variously labeled "the last ruler of romance," "an appalling gangster," "the modern Napoleon," "the finest patriot," and "frankly a cad." Even today his reputation is disputed, but Zog is undeniably one of the foremost figures in Albanian history. Though notorious for cut-throat political intrigue, he promised tobring order and progress to a land that had long known little of either. "It was I who made Albania," he claimed.
Zog's reign ended in 1939; Italian Fascists forced him into exile and post-war Stalinists kept him there despite his best efforts to return. In this first full biography, Jason Tomes explores the reality behind the man described in "The Times" as "the bizarre King Zog" and shows him to have been the product of a unique time and place. Tomes invites readers to set aside their assumptions about modern European monarchy and meet a king who fired back at assassins and paid his bills with gold bullion.
New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist, Nina Burleigh, explores Donald Trump's attitudes toward women by providing in-depth analysis and background on the women who have had the most profound influence on his life-the mother and grandmother who raised him, the wives who lived with him, and the daughter who is poised to inherit it all. Has any president in the history of the United States had a more fraught relationship with women than Donald Trump? He flagrantly cheated on all three of his wives, brushed off multiple accusations of sexual assault, publicly ogled his eldest daughter, bought the silence of a porn star and a Playmate, and proclaimed his now-infamous seduction technique: "grab 'em by the pussy." Golden Handcuffs is a comprehensive and provocative account of the women who have been closest to Trump-his German-immigrant grandmother, Elizabeth, the uncredited founder of the Trump Organization; his Scottish-immigrant mother, Mary, who acquired a taste for wealth as a maid in the Andrew Carnegie mansion; his wives-Ivana, Marla, and Melania (the first and third of whom are immigrants); and his eldest daughter, Ivanka, groomed to take over the Trump brand from a young age. Also examined are Trump's two older sisters, one of whom is a prominent federal judge; his often-overlooked younger daughter, Tiffany; his female employees; and those he calls "liars"-the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. Of these women, Burleigh writes, "where they come from and what they do now and in the future matters because they have or have had the ear of the most powerful man on earth."
An exhilarating and uplifting account of the lives of sixteen `warriors' from the last three centuries, hand-picked for their bravery or extraordinary military experience by the eminent military historian, author and ex-editor of the Daily Telegraph, Sir Max Hastings. Over the course of forty years of writing about war, Max Hastings has grown fascinated by outstanding deeds of derring-do on the battlefield (land, sea or air) - and by their practitioners. He takes as his examples sixteen people from different nationalities in modern history - including Napoleon's `blessed fool' Baron Marcellin de Marbot (the model for Conan Doyle's Brigadier Gerard); Sir Harry Smith, whose Spanish wife Juana became his military companion on many a campaign in the early 19th-century; Lieutenant John Chard, an unassuming engineer who became the hero of Rorke's Drift in the Zulu wars; and Squadron Leader Guy Gibson, the `dam buster' whose heroism in the skies of World War II earned him the nation's admiration, but few friends. Every army, in order to prevail on the battlefield, needs a certain number of people capable of courage beyond the norm. In this book Max Hastings investigates what this norm might be - and how it has changed over the centuries. While celebrating feats of outstanding valour, he also throws a beady eye over the awarding of medals for gallantry - and why it is that so often the most successful warriors rarely make the grade as leaders of men.
During the last nine months of the Civil War, virtually all of the news reports and President Jefferson Davis's correspondence confirmed the imminent demise of the Confederate States, the nation Davis had striven to uphold since 1861. But despite defeat after defeat on the battlefield, a recalcitrant Congress, naysayers in the press, disastrous financial conditions, failures in foreign policy and peace efforts, and plummeting national morale, Davis remained in office and tried to maintain the government -- even after the fall of Richmond -- until his capture by Union forces on May 10, 1865.
The eleventh volume of The Papers of Jefferson Davis follows the last tumultuous months of the Confederacy and illuminates Davis's policies, feelings, ideas, and relationships, as well as the viewpoints of hundreds of southerners -- critics and supporters -- who asked for favors, pointed out abuses, and offered advice on myriad topics. Printed here for the first time are many speeches and a number of new letters and telegrams. In the course of the volume, Robert E. Lee officially becomes general in chief, Joseph E. Johnston is given a final command, legislation is enacted to place slaves in the army as soldiers, and peace negotiations are opened at the highest levels. The closing pages chronicle Davis's dramatic flight from Richmond, including emotional correspondence with his wife as the two endeavor to find each other en route and make plans for the future in the wreckage of their lives.
The holdings of seventy different manuscript repositories and private collections in addition to numerous published sources contribute to Volume 11, the fifth in the Civil War period.
'Theodore & Eliza' is the first and only account of the eight-year marriage of a mixed-race couple, from whom Princess Diana was directly descended. The strictly factual narrative is taken from the couple's personal correspondence, and also contains many previously unpublished illustrations. This true story of the couple's previously disputed union has been gleaned from rarely-accessed papers in a Scottish family archive in Aberdeen and others in Cambridge and Gloucester. Theodore Forbes is an ambitious young Scot in the service of the East India Company. His appointment, at the age of twenty three, to the post of British Commercial and Political Resident in Yemen marks the start of a promising career. In 1812 he sails from Surat to Mocha, with his Indian-Armenian bride, Eliza Kewark. 'Theodore & Eliza' opens a window onto an adventurous age of sailing ships and spies, pirates and privateers and the earliest European travellers into Africa. By the time the young couple return to India in 1815 they have two young children. With Eliza at his side, Theodore's posting has been a diplomatic and commercial success and his own currency dealings have netted him a fortune. Within weeks, he is offered a prestigious partnership in Bombay. Soon after accepting, he is told that he must choose between his career and his family. Though he still loves her, he decides to leave Eliza and their children in Surat. In a poignant series of letters she pleads to be reunited with him. The narrative charts the means used by a passionate young woman to prevail against the bigotry that has wrenched her beloved husband from her. The couple's young daughter, Kitty, aged six, is sent to Scotland to be brought up by Theodore's parents. Later she 'marries well' and has a large family of her own. In 1961 Kitty's great great grand-daughter Frances, the Countess Spencer, gave birth to a daughter named Diana - the future Princess of Wales - descended from Eliza through the direct female line. Letters from Eliza's extended family in Surat shed light on her ethnicity and the legitimacy of the children. Along with modern DNA analysis, a broken link in the genealogy of Princess Diana has been put back together.
Tony Benn has been portrayed as both hero and villain, as a creative and as a destructive force. This comprehensively revised edition of Jad Adams's classic biography, is written with unparalleled access to Benn's private records, and describes the long and turbulent career of one of the most charismatic politicians of the last hundred years. The first biography to have been written with full access to the Benn archives chronicles the behind-the-scenes story of Benn's bitter battles with every leader of the Labour Party since Gaitskell. It details his service in the governments of Wilson and Callaghan, his role as a champion of the left during the Labout Party's long period in opposition, his retirement from Parliament, to spend more time involved in politicsA" in 2001, and his subsequent emergence as a leading figure of the British opposition to the war in Iraq.
Ingrid Betancourt's story - her exemplary courage, spirit and resilience - has captured the world's imagination. A politician and presidential candidate celebrated for her determination to combat the corruption and climate of fear endemic in Colombia, in 2002 she was taken hostage by FARC, a terrorist guerrilla organisation. She was held captive in the depths of the jungle for six and a half years, chained day and night for much of that time, constantly on the move and enduring gruelling conditions. She was freed and reunited with her children and relatives in 2008. It is Betancourt's indomitable spirit that drives this important and deeply moving book, telling in her own words the extraordinary drama of her capture and eventual rescue, and describes her fight to survive, mentally and physically. As she confronts the horror of what she went through, her story also goes beyond the specifics of her own confinement to offer an intensely intelligent, thoughtful and compassionate reflection on what it means to be human.
A Working Woman: The Remarkable Life of Ray Strachey is a traditional biography of a very untraditional woman. Tug-of-love child, Ward in Chancery, pampered schoolgirl, pioneer car driver, would-be electrical engineer, triumphant suffragist, political lobbyist, historian, biographer, novelist, journalist, broadcaster, well-known public figure, enthusiastic bricklayer, devoted mother, despairing stepmother, neglected wife: Ray Strachey was all of these and more. Bertrand Russell taught her maths; John Maynard Keynes fell (a little) in love with her; Virginia Woolf was over-awed by her; Millicent Garrett Fawcett and Nancy Astor depended on her. She inspired admiration in men and gratitude close to worship in women. As a close colleague of Millicent Fawcett, Ray Strachey played a major, non-violent, role in gaining British women the vote in 1918. She was one of the first female Parliamentary candidates, and became one of the leading feminists of the inter-war years, devoted in particular to improving employment opportunities for women. A brilliant political lobbyist with an extraordinary range of contacts, she was also a celebrated author, journalist and broadcaster, still remembered for her classic history of the Women's Movement, The Cause (1928). She achieved all this as a working mother with overwhelming family responsibilities and an unusual (some said eccentric) private life. Lavishly illustrated, this first full account of Ray Strachey's life is based on extensive research and draws heavily on her own lively and forthright comments on people and events. Interweaving her public roles with her challenging private life on the fringes of the Bloomsbury set, it features a host of well-known personalities, and introduces a new generation of readers to a fascinating though neglected fighter for women's rights.
In fascinating detail, Ivan Solotaroff introduces us to the men who carry out executions. Although the emphasis is on the personal lives of these men and of those they have to put to death, The Last Face You'll Ever See also addresses some of the deeper issues of the death penalty and connects the veiled, elusive figure of the executioner to the vast majority of Americans who, since 1977, have claimed to support executions. Why do we do it? Or, more exactly, why do we want to?
The Last Face You'll Ever See is not about the polarizing issues of the death penalty -- it is a firsthand report about the culture of executions: the executioners, the death-row inmates, and everyone involved in the act. An engrossing, unsettling, and provocative book, this work will forever affect anyone who reads it.
An epic, uplifting story of one family’s journey through the violent unravelling of Somalia, and a timely exploration of what it means to lose your country and then to reclaim it. In The Mayor of Mogadishu, Andrew Harding, one of the BBC’s most experienced foreign correspondents, reveals the tumultuous life of Mohamud “Tarzan” Nur—an impoverished nomad who was abandoned in a state orphanage in newly independent Somalia and became a street brawler and activist. When the country collapsed into civil war and anarchy, Tarzan and his young family became part of an exodus, eventually spending twenty years in north London. In 2010 Tarzan returned, as mayor, to the unrecognizable ruins of a city now almost entirely controlled by the Islamist militants of Al Shabab. For some in Mogadishu, he was a divisive thug who sank beneath the corruption and clan rivalries that continue to threaten the country’s revival. But for others, both locally and in the diaspora, Tarzan became a galvanizing symbol of courage and hope for Somalia. The Mayor of Mogadishu is a rare an insider’s account of Somalia’s unravelling and an intimate portrayal of one family’s extraordinary journey.
This text aims to present a revelatory examination of the life and times of Augusto Sandino, the Nicaraguan rebel leader who has become a national icon and messianic prophet, sheding light on the man's complex nature.
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