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This fascinating and highly entertaining book contains little-known anecdotes, facts and details from the life of Winston Churchill, the 'man of the century' who, in 2002, was voted the Greatest Briton of all time. As well as providing a new insight into the epochal historical events that Churchill was a part of, it documents some of the lesser known moments of his life, as well as intriguing facts about how he lived and worked, his friends and enemies, loves and hates. Did you know that: - Churchill invented the 'belly band' around cigars? - A duck-billed platypus - named Winston - was sent from Australia to join Churchill's menagerie at Chartwell? - He escaped from a POW camp during the Second Boer War? - He was a handy bricklayer in his spare time? These and many more extraordinary facts are detailed in this book. It will provide even the Churchill aficionado with another perspective on the great man, who remains a figure of fascination for millions worldwide.
Volume 13 of the "Revolutionary War Series" documents a crucial portion of the winter encampment at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, when the fate of Washington's army hung in the balance. The volume begins with Washington's soldiers hard at work erecting log huts to the general's specifications and building a bridge over the Schuylkill River under the direction of Major General John Sullivan. Most of the fighting that characterized the bloody year of 1777 had drawn to a close by Christmas, and although British foraging and raiding parties ventured out of Philadelphia from time to time, Washington's priority was no longer to fight General William Howe but to preserve his own army and prepare it for the next campaign.
The American army was badly in need of reform. Attrition and ineffective recruitment had left most of the Continental regiments dangerously weak, and the rising pace of officer resignations made apparent the need for an equitable pay and pensionary establishment. At the same time the battle losses of the previous summer and autumn had exposed severe problems in military organization, drill, and discipline. Washington hoped that a congressional camp committee would rectify some of these problems, and after consulting his officers on army organization, he submitted to the committee one of the longest, most detailed, and most thoughtful letters he ever wrote. The arrival in camp of a Prussian volunteer who styled himself the Baron von Steuben, meanwhile, promised to bring about improvements in drill and discipline. Washington also had to look to his own authority, as a dispute with Major Generals Thomas Conway and Horatio Gates seemingly threatened to undermine his command of the Continental army.
The turning point of the Valley Forge encampment came in February 1778, when a provision shortage led to what Washington called a "fatal crisis" that threatened the continued existence of the army. Poor management of the commissary department and a breakdown of transport, resulting from bad weather and an insufficiency of wagons, combined to bring about a logistical collapse that brought provision supplies almost to a halt. For many days bread was scarce and meat almost nonexistent. Soldiers, many dressed literally in rags because of the incompetence of the clothier general, threatened mutiny. Washington's efforts to save his army in this crisis mark one of the highest points of his military career and make up an important part of this volume.
A grand and fascinating figure in Victorian politics, the charismatic Lord Palmerston (1784-1865) presided over a period of great political and social change. He served as foreign secretary for fifteen years and prime minister for nine, engaged in struggles with everyone from the Duke of Wellington to Lord John Russell to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, engineered the defeat of the Russians in the Crimean War, and played a major role in the development of liberalism and the Liberal Party. This comprehensive biography, informed by unprecedented research in the statesman's personal archives, gives full weight not only to Palmerston's foreign policy achievements, but also to his domestic political activity, political thought, life as a landlord, and private life and affairs. Through the lens of the period, the book pinpoints for the first time the nature and extent of Palmerston's contributions to the making of modern Britain.
1968 was an unprecedented year in terms of upheaval on numerous scales: political, military, economic, social, cultural. In the United States, perhaps no one was more undone by the events of 1968 than President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Kyle Longley leads his readers on a behind-the-scenes tour of what Johnson characterized as the 'year of a continuous nightmare'. Longley explores how LBJ perceived the most significant events of 1968, including the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr and Robert Kennedy, and the violent Democratic National Convention in Chicago. His responses to the crises were sometimes effective but often tragic, and LBJ's refusal to seek re-election underscores his recognition of the challenges facing the country in 1968. As much a biography of a single year as it is of LBJ, LBJ's 1968 vividly captures the tumult that dominated the headlines on a local and global level.
In this ambitious work, David Byrne analyzes the ideas that informed Ronald Reagan's political philosophy and policies. Rather than appraising his personal and emotional life, Byrne's intellectual biography goes one step further; it establishes a rationale for the former president's motives, discussing how thinkers such as Plato and Adam Smith influenced him. Byrne points to three historical forces that shaped Reagan's political philosophy: Christian values, particularly the concept of a universal kingdom of God; America's firm belief in freedom as the greatest political value and its aversion to strong centralized governments; and the appeasement era of World War II, which stimulated Reagan's aggressive and confrontational foreign policy. Byrne's account of the fortieth president augments previous work on Reagan with a new model for understanding him. Byrne shows how Reagan took conservatism and the Republican Party in a new direction, departing from the traditional conservatism of Edmund Burke and Russell Kirk. His desire to spread a "Kingdom of Freedom" both at home and abroad changed America's political landscape forever and inspired a new conservatism that persists to this day.
An epic story of empire-building and bloody conflict, this ground-breaking biography of one of history's most venerated military and religious heroes opens a window on the Islamic and Christian worlds' complex relationship. When Saladin recaptured Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187, returning the Holy City to Islamic rule for the first time in almost ninety years, he sent shockwaves throughout Christian Europe and the Muslim Near East that reverberate today. It was the culmination of a supremely exciting life, fraught with challenges and contradictions but blessed occasionally with marvellous good fortune. Born into a significant Kurdish family in northern Iraq, Saladin shot to power in faraway Egypt thanks to the tutelage of his uncle. Over two decades, this warrior and diplomat fought under the banner of jihad, but at the same time worked tirelessly to build an immense dynastic empire that stretched from North Africa to Western Iraq. Gathering together a turbulent and diverse coalition he was able to capture Jerusalem, only to trigger the Third Crusade and face his greatest adversary, King Richard the Lionheart. Drawing on a rich blend of Arabic and European sources, this is a comprehensive account of both the man and the legend to which he gave birth, describing vividly the relentless action of his life and then tracing its aftermath through culture and politics all the way to the present day. It reveals the personal qualities that explain his enduring reputation as a man of faith, generosity, mercy and justice, even while showing him to be capable of mistakes, self-interest and cruelty. After Saladin's death, it goes on to explain how in the West this Sunni Muslim became famed for his charm and chivalric virtue, while across much of the Islamic world he stands as one of history's greatest heroes, an inspiration to be admired and emulated. The Life and Legend of the Sultan Saladin shows how this one man's life takes us beyond the crude stereotypes of the `Clash of Civilisations' even while his legacy helps explain them: an intimate portrait of a towering figure of world history that is thrillingly relevant today.
It is widely regarded as one of the greatest threats of our time. Since Brexit and Trump there have been countless news items detailing the populist explosion and how it jeopardises our democracies. But the full story is more complicated than that. To understand the political divisions and crises of today, we must get to grips with the contested concept of populism.
Beginning with the earliest recorded cases, Simon Tormey breaks down the defining aspects of populism, what sets it apart from other styles of politics, and asks whether there are meaningful differences between populisms of the left and right. He draws together political theory and contemporary case studies from around the world to form a defining picture of the populist moment in which we are living. The result is a critical yet highly readable introduction to this often misunderstood phenomenon.
Sir Winston Churchill, statesman, orator and former Prime Minister was a man whose words gave hope and inspiration to the British people and many are as relevant today as they were during the war years. Churchill's speeches were not always confined to serious political rhetoric and motivation: his off-the-cuff quips and comments displayed a wry wit and humour. "Churchill in Quotes" is a celebration of this outstanding figure in British history, presented in almost 200 photographs hand picked from the vast archives of the Press Association. It covers the major events in Churchill's life: from his birth and early days at Blenheim Palace to his marriage and the birth of his children; his service in the army, war correspondence and role as First Lord of the Admiralty, and appointment as Chancellor the Exchequer; his formation of government as wartime Prime Minister and the political and cabinet posts held during almost 50 years; his career as a historian and author; and, his hobby as a sensitive artist and his retirement and death at the age of 90.
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."
Volume 8 of the Revolutionary War Series documents Washington's first winter at Morristown. Situated in the hills of north central New Jersey, Morristown offered protection against the British army headquartered in New York City yet enabled Washington to annoy the principal enemy outposts at Newark, Perth Amboy, and New Brunswick. To discover Howe's intentions for the next campaign, Washington refined his intelligence-gathering network in New Jersey and New York during the winter months and kept a watchful, if distant, eye on the British armies in Rhode Island and Canada.
Most of the remainder of Washington's time and efforts were directed toward the reorganization of the Continental army, which dwindled away rapidly following the victories at Trenton and Princeton. Unwilling to face the usual hardships of winter or the dangers of a new outbreak of smallpox, many men returned home when their enlistments expired. Desertion also rose dramatically, and Washington was reluctantly forced to depend upon militia. By mid-March Washington's army in New Jersey numbered only about 4,000 troops, nearly two-thirds of which were militia enlisted only to the end of the month.
Other important matters demanding Washington's attention included the reorganization of the hospital department and the creation of new hospitals, the reorganization of the commissary and clothier generals departments, the appointment of a wagonmaster, the establishment and placement of a new "Magazine, Laboratories, & Foundery for casting Cannon &c.", and continuing negotiations with the British on prisoner exchanges. The volume closes in late March with the good news that a much-anticipated shipment of arms, ammunition, andcloth had arrived from France for the Continental army.
Sankara's legacy, unclear as it may be, still lives and he remains immensely popular. If you travel through Africa his image is unmistakable. His picture, with beret and broad grin, is pasted on run-down taxis and is found on the walls of local bars. Internationally Sankara is often referred to as the `African Che Guevara' and like his South American counterpart; it is his perseverance, dedication and incorruptibility that appeal to the imagination. Voices of liberation: Thomas Sankara starts with a comprehensive timeline covering Thomas Sankara's life and major events in the history of the continent and region. His Life section provides the most critical and fraternal assessment of the 1980s radical experiment within the broader history of the country, the region and continent. His Voice section succinctly provides a selection of Sankara's speeches, broadcasts and interviews and gives us insight to his outlook on the world. His Legacy section combines an almost poetic tribute to the flawed through heroic period of Sankara's `revolution' with an incredibly relentless and honest analysis. This is done through the story of last year's uprising against Compaore - with haunting lessons for South Africa. The Postscript is an indispensable update to the extraordinary events in Burkina Faso during 2015, chiefly the resistance to the coup in September. The authors look at Sankara's influence on the popular movements and its wider significance for Africa.
One of the greatest political advisers of all time, Niccolo Machiavelli thought long and hard about how citizens could identify great leaders--ones capable of defending and enhancing the liberty, honor, and prosperity of their countries. Drawing on the full range of the Florentine's writings, acclaimed Machiavelli biographer Maurizio Viroli gathers and interprets Machiavelli's timeless wisdom about choosing leaders. The brief and engaging result is a new kind of Prince--one addressed to citizens rather than rulers and designed to make you a better voter. Demolishing popular misconceptions that Machiavelli is a cynical realist, the book shows that he believes republics can't survive, let alone thrive, without leaders who are virtuous as well as effective. Among much other valuable advice, Machiavelli says that voters should pick leaders who put the common good above narrower interests and who make fighting corruption a priority, and he explains why the best way to recognize true leaders is to carefully examine their past actions and words. On display throughout are the special insights that Machiavelli gained from long, direct knowledge of real political life, the study of history, and reflection on the political thinkers of antiquity. Recognizing the difference between great and mediocre political leaders is difficult but not at all impossible--with Machiavelli's help. So do your country a favor. Read this book, then vote like Machiavelli would.
One might have thought Alastair Campbell would disappear from view as Gordon Brown moved from No. 11 to No. 10. Far from it. Having negotiated the rapprochement which led to Brown taking a central role in the 2005 election win, Campbell then became central to the transition from one Prime Minister to another. Many books have already been written about Brown and Blair, but none with the intimacy and the unique perspective of Alastair Campbell. As this volume opens, Blair has just won a historic third term. But any joy is short-lived and he knows he is running out of road. By the time it ends two years later, Brown is Prime Minister. Campbell was virtually alone in seeing that process from both sides, as Brown began to lean on him almost as much as Blair had done. Meanwhile we continue to get an insight into Campbell's mental health struggles, his attempts to rebuild a normal family life, and the plethora of new challenges he takes on which introduce dozens of new characters, not least the rugby stars he worked with for the British and Irish Lions, and the football legend he has vowed to mention to someone every day for the rest of his life, charity match teammate, Diego Maradona.
Markus Kornprobst examines the common assumption that states usually respond to crises individually, rather than together. He develops an innovative approach to analyse how crisis co-management comes to succeed or fail. He argues that actors draw from repertoires of taken-for-granted ideas, forming a set of pre-judgments. These are then revisited in justificatory encounters, making various degrees of co-management possible or impossible. This judging and justifying in turn leaves an impression on repertoires put to use for co-managing the next crisis. The author uses this model to analyse the attempts by France, Germany and the United Kingdom to co-manage the crises in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. He links individual reasoning and communication, paving the way for further research into crisis co-management, and providing novel insights into European attempts to act in international affairs.
Volume 6 documents Washington's decisions and actions during the heart of the New York campaign--the period from late summer to early fall 1776 when his British opponent, General William Howe, took the offensive and outmaneuvered the American forces in and around New York City through a series of amphibious landings. Faced with an enemy superior in numbers, mobility, and discipline, Washington attempted to defend New York by placing his green troops behind fortifications on high ground and hoping that courage and patriotism would offset their lack of experience and training. That strategy failed at the Battle of Long Island on 27 August when Howe's army outflanked and routed a larger American force on the Heights of Guana. Two nights later Washington reunited his dangerously divided army by skillfully evacuating every man and most stores and equipment from Long Island to New York City.
During the following weeks Washington spared no one including himself in an effort to restore order and confidence to his badly dispirited troops. He also reassessed his strategy and concluded "that on our side the War should be defensive" and "that we should on all occasions avoid a general Action or put anything to the risque unless compelled by a necessity into which we ought never to be drawn." Reluctantly deciding to abandon New York City, Washington narrowly avoided being forced into a disadvantageous general engagement on 15 September when he marched his army north to defensive positions on Harlem Heights ahead of British and Hessian soldiers landing at Kip's Bay. Although the Battle of Harlem Heights on the following day was an indecisive skirmish between detachments, it raised American morale by showing that some of their troops could and would fight well against enemy regulars in limited actions.
Military concerns so preoccupied Washington that at times his secretary Robert Hanson Harrison had to write the president of Congress and other public officials for him. This volume, nevertheless, includes four long letters that Washington wrote to his plantation manager Lund Washington describing his situation in New York and giving detailed instructions regarding such matters as the sale of flour from the Mount Vernon mill, the remodeling of the mansion house, and the planting of trees around it.
A champion of civil rights and a leading light in India's struggle for independence, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was one of the iconic figures of the 20th century. He is best remembered for continually challenging British supremacy through acts of non-violent civil disobedience, and he willingly subjected himself to prison for his beliefs. But he was a complex and controversial man, someone whose behaviour in his personal life - especially as a father and a husband - was often at odds with his own teachings. A master of conflict resolution, he was adept at forging alliances with his fiercest critics, yet he could be uncompromising in his treatment of family members and loyal followers. This intimate pictorial biography unpicks the nuances of Gandhi's life and character, charting his evolution from fun-loving schoolboy to the man revered throughout India as the `Father of the Nation'. Drawing on contemporary accounts and a myriad letters, documents, illustrations and photographs - including many which have rarely, if ever, been published - it reveals a man of contradictions, a fascinating personality whose complexities are sometimes obscured by the enormity of his achivements.
In this groundbreaking battery of dispatches from the heartland of America, Matt Taibbi tells the full story of the Trump phenomenon, from its tragi-comic beginnings to the apocalyptic election.
Full of sharp, on-the-ground reporting and gallows humour, his incisive analysis goes beyond the bizarre and disturbing election to tell a wider story of the apparent collapse of American democracy. Taibbi saw the essential themes right from the start: the power of spectacle over truth; the end of a shared reality on the left and right; the nihilistic rebellion of the white working class; the death of the political establishment; and the emergence of a new, explicit form of white nationalism.
From the thwarted Bernie Sanders insurgency to the aimless Hillary Clinton campaign, across the flailing media coverage and the trampled legacy of Obama, this is the story of ordinary voters forced to bear witness to the whole charade. At the centre of it all, "a bumbling train wreck of a candidate who belched and preened his way past a historically weak field" who, improbably, has taken control of the world's most powerful nation.
This is essential and hilarious reading that explores how the new America understands itself, and about the future of the world just beyond the horizon.
Barack Obama was the breath of fresh air the Democrats didn't even realise they needed. Running on a platform of hope, change and progress, he won his first term with a decisive landslide, completely rewriting the rules of politics. So how did we go from Obama to Trump - and how can the Democrats turn the tide? Once his communications director, and now co-host of Pod Save America, Dan Pfeiffer was at Obama's side through two presidential elections and six years in the White House. Offering up surreal stories from behind the scenes, Pfeiffer explains how Obama navigated the forces that propelled Trump to power, and metes out critical wisdom on how the Democrats can reverse the country's fate. A funny, thoughtful and humble account of Pfeiffer's time on the front line of politics, Yes We (Still) Can is not just a memoir but an action plan for those who still dare to hope for change - and for the end of the Trump era.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE PUSHKIN HOUSE BOOK PRIZE 2018 From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Khrushchev: The Man and his Era 'A phenomenally researched life of the man who did more than any other to change Europe and the world in the last half of the 20th century'. Jonathan Steele, The Guardian 'An engaging, poignant portrayal of one of the most significant of Russian leaders' Kirkus review ' ... deeply penetrating history and engrossing psychological study.' Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs Magazine `Impressive... full of fascinating detail' Peter Conradi, Sunday Times `Comprehensive and immensely readable' The Economist `Superb...an extraordinary story of one man and history in a tense wrestling match' The Washington Post This is the definitive biography on one of the most important and controversial figures of the 20th century. Drawing on interviews with Gorbachev himself, transcripts and documents from the Russian archives, and interviews with Kremlin aides and adversaries, as well as foreign leaders, Taubman's intensely personal portrait extends to Gorbachev's remarkable marriage to a woman he deeply loved, and to the family that they raised together. Nuanced and poignant, yet unsparing and honest, this sweeping account has all the amplitude of a great Russian novel. When Mikhail Gorbachev became its leader in March 1985, the USSR was still one of the world's two superpowers. By the end of his tenure six years later, the Communist system was dismantled, the cold war was over and, on 25th December 1991, the Soviet Union itself ceased to exist. While not solely responsible for this remarkable upheaval, he set decisive changes in motion. Assessments of Gorbachev could not be more polarised. In the West, he is regarded as a hero. In Russia, he is widely hated by those who blame him for the collapse of the USSR. Admirers marvel at this vision and courage. Detractors, including many of his Kremlin comrades, have accused him of everything from naivete to treason.
Volume 3 covers the final months of the siege of Boston. It opens with General Washington proclaiming the commencement of the remodeled Continental army on New Year's Day 1776 and closes at the end of March as he prepares to depart for New York in the wake of the British evacuation of Boston.
Washington's correspondence and orders for this period reveal an uncompromising attitude toward reconciliation with Britain and a single-minded determination to engage the enemy forces in Boston before the end of the winter. Washington's bold proposal to attack Boston across the frozen back bay in the middle of February was rejected as too risky by a council of war, but the council did approve occupying the strategic Dorchester Heights overlooking the city and harbor. During the last weeks of February and the first days of March, Washington devoted himself to mobilizing artillery and gunpowder for a massive cannonade of Boston and assembling materials for portable fortifications to be erected on the frozen soil of Dorchester Heights. The successful execution of this operation on the night of 4 March failedto provoke General William Howe into assaulting the American lines and thereby open the way to counterattack on the city as Washington hoped it would. It did, however, compel the British to withdraw from Boston in haste a few days later, giving Washington and his army a spirit of confidence with which to embark on the New York campaign. The volume also includes a number of documents relating to Washington's private affairs in Virginia, the most important of which are eight letters from his Mount Vernon manager Lund Washington.
Tackling one of the most prevalent myths about insurgencies, this book examines and rebuts the popular belief that Mao Zedong created a fundamentally new form of warfare that transformed the nature of modern insurgency. The labeling of an insurgent enemy as using "Maoist Warfare" has been a common phenomenon since Mao's victory over the Guomindang in 1949, from Malaya and Vietnam during the Cold War to Afghanistan and Syria today. Yet, this practice is heavily flawed. This book argues that Mao did not invent a new breed of insurgency, failed to produce a coherent vision of how insurgencies should be fought, and was not influential in his impact upon subsequent insurgencies. Consequently, Mao's writings cannot be used to generate meaningful insights for understanding those insurgencies that came after him. This means that scholars and policymakers should stop using Mao as a tool for understanding insurgencies and as a straw man against whom to target counterinsurgency strategies.
New York Times Bestseller The Trump administration is remaking the government. It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America tells us exactly how it is making America worse again. Bestselling author and longtime Trump observer David Cay Johnston shines a light on the political termites who have infested our government under the Trump Administration, destroying it from within and compromising our jobs, safety, finances, and more. No journalist knows Donald Trump better than David Cay Johnston, who has been following him since 1988. It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America goes inside the administration to show how the federal agencies that touch the lives of all Americans are being undermined. Here is just some of what you will learn: The Wall. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto told President Trump that Mexico will never pay for the border wall. So, Trump is proposing putting a tariff on Mexican imports. But a tariff will simply raise the price of Mexican goods in the US, meaning American consumers will end up paying for the wall-if it ever gets built. Climate Change. Welcome to the new EPA, run by Scott Pruitt, a lawyer who has spent much of his career trying to destroy the agency he now heads. Secrecy reigns at the new EPA because Pruitt meets with industry executives to find out which clean air and clean water provisions they most want to roll back, and keeps staffers in the dark to make sure these pro-pollution plans don't leak prematurely. Stocking the Swamp. Contrary to his promise to "drain the swamp" in Washington, DC, Trump has filled his cabinet with millionaires and billionaires, from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a Goldman Sachs and hedge fund veteran who made much of his fortune foreclosing on homeowners to billionaire heiress Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has already put the interests of bankers ahead of debt-burdened students and their families. The Kleptocracy. Under Donald Trump conflict of interest is passe. When Trump isn't in Washington, he stays at one of his properties, where the taxpayers pick up the tab for staffers, Secret Service, and so on, all at full price. And back in Washington, everyone now knows that the Trump International Hotel is the only place to stay if you want to do business with the administration. Meanwhile sons Donald Jr. and Eric run an eyes-wide-open blind trust of Trump holdings to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest-but not the reality.
This book portrays Nero, not as the murderous tyrant of tradition, but as a young man ever-more reluctant to fulfil his responsibilities as emperor and ever-more anxious to demonstrate his genuine skills as a sportsman and artist. This reluctance caused him to allow others to rule, and rule surprisingly well, in his name. On its own terms, the Neronian empire was in fact remarkably successful. Nero's senior ministers were many and various, but notably they included a number of powerful women, such as his mother, Agrippina II, and his second and third wives, Poppaea Sabina and Statilia Messalina. Using the most recent archaeological, epigraphic, numismatic and literary research, the book explores issues such as court-politics, banter and free speech; literary, technological and scientific advances; the Fire of 64, 'the persecution of Christians' and Nero's 'Golden House'; and the huge underlying strength, both constitutional and financial, of the Julio-Claudian empire.
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