The story of the huge mobile battles of 1918, which finally ended the Great War.
1918 was the critical year of battle as the Great War reached its brutal climax. Warfare of an epic scale was fought on the Western Front, where ordinary British soldiers faced the final test of their training, tactics and determination. That they withstood the storm and began an astonishing counterattack, is proof that by 1918, the British army was the most effective fighting force in the world. But this ultimate victory came at devastating cost.
Using a wealth of previously unpublished material, historian Peter Hart gives a vivid account of this last year of conflict – what it was like to fight on the frontline, through the words of the men who were there. In a chronicle of unparalleled scope and depth, he brings to life the suspense, turmoil and tragedy of 1918’s vast offensives.
Prize-winning historian Lawrence Freedman takes an exceptionally clear-eyed look at America’s strategic predicament in the Middle East, over the past 30 years.
The United States is locked into three prolonged conflicts without much hope of early resolution. Iran is pursuing a nuclear programme; the aftermath of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein has seen unrelenting intercommunal violence; and the Taliban have got back into Afghanistan.
Lawrence Freedman teases out the roots of each engagement over the last thirty years and demonstrates with clarity and scholarship the influence of these conflicts upon each other.
The story is complex and often marked by great drama. First, the countries in dispute with America are not themselves natural allies; second, their enmity was not, at first, America’s choice. Third, the region’s problems cannot all be traced to the Arab-Israeli dispute. Unique in its focus, this book will offer not only new revelations but also remind us of what has been forgotten or has never been put in context.
Prize-winning British historian tells the story of the English-speaking peoples in the 20th century
Winston Churchill’s History of the English-Speaking Peoples ended in 1900. Andrew Roberts, Wolfson History prizewinner has been inspired by Churchill’s example to write the story of the 20th century.
Churchill wrote: ‘Every nation or group of nations has its own tale to tell. Knowledge of the trials and struggles is necessary to all who would comprehend the problems, perils, challenges, and opportunities which confront us today ‘It is in the hope that contemplation of the trials and tribulations of our forefathers may not only fortify the English-speaking peoples of today, but also play some small part in uniting the whole world, that I present this account.’
As the greatest of all the trials and tribulations of the English-speaking peoples took place in the twentieth century, Roberts’ book covers the four world-historical struggles in which the English-speaking peoples have been engaged – the wars against German Nationalism, Axis Fascism, Soviet Communism and now the War against Terror. But just as Churchill did in his four volumes, Roberts also deals with the cultural, social and political history of the English global diaspora.
An absolute classic of autobiography and history – one of the few books to explore how and why the Germans were seduced by Hitler and Nazism.
‘If you have never read a book about Nazi Germany before, or if you have already read a thousand, I would urge you to read DEFYING HITLER. It sings with wisdom and understanding’ DAILY MAIL
Sebastian Haffner was a non-Jewish German who emigrated to England in 1938. This memoir (written in 1939 but only published now for the first time) begins in 1914 when the family summer holiday is cut short by the outbreak of war, and ends with Hitler’s assumption of power in 1933. It is a portrait of himself and his own generation in Germany, those born between 1900 and 1910, and brilliantly explains through his own experiences and those of his friends how that generation came to be seduced by Hitler and Nazism.
The Germans lacked an outlet for self-expression: where the French had amour, food and wine, and the British their gardens and their pets, the Germans had nothing, leading to a tendency towards mass psychosis. The upheaval of post-WWI revolution, factionalism and inflation left the Germans addicted to excitement and action: Hitler provided this, and more.
1950s Rome. From the ashes of war, the Eternal City is reborn as the epicentre of film, style, boldfaced libertinism and titillating journalism. It’s the heyday of fashion icons such as Pucci and Brioni, and the height of ‘Hollywood on the Tiber’, when a dizzying array of stars flock to Cinecittà, the huge movie studio on the outskirts of Rome. At the bars on Via Veneto the likes of Ingrid Bergman, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor mix with blue bloods and bohemians, while behind them trail street photographers in pursuit of the most unflattering and dramatic portraits of fame.
In a fast-paced, kaleidoscopic narrative, Shawn Levy shows how all roads lead to Federico Fellini’s world-conquering movie La Dolce Vita, starring Marcello Mastroianni and the Swedish bombshell Anita Ekberg. He recreates Rome’s ascent with vivid and compelling tales of its glitterati and artists, down to every last outrageous detail of the city’s magnificent transformation.
The copper-bottomed classic from a memorable and courageous pilot.
FATE IS THE HUNTER is a fascinating and thrilling account of some of the more memorable experiences Ernest K Gann had in the air. He’s flown in both peace and war and come close to death many times. Here he reveals the characters he’s known and the dramas he’s experienced, portraying fate (or death) as a hunter constantly in pursuit of pilots. This is a fabulous account of both the history of aviation and one man’s life in the air.
Amateurs versus professionals – a social history and memoir of English cricket from 1953 to 1963.
The inaugural Gentlemen v. Players first-class cricket match was played in 1806, subsequently becoming an annual fixture at Lord’s between teams consisting of amateurs (the Gentlemen) and professionals (the Players). The key difference between the amateur and the professional, however, was much more than the obvious one of remuneration. The division was shaped by English class structure, the amateur, who received expenses, being perceived as occupying a higher station in life than the wage-earning professional. The great Yorkshire player Len Hutton, for example, was told he would have to go amateur if he wanted to captain England.
GENTLEMEN & PLAYERS focuses on the final ten years of amateurism and the Gentlemen v. Players fixture, starting with Charles Williams’ own presence in the (amateur) Oxbridge teams that included future England captains such as Peter May, Colin Cowdrey and M.J.K. Smith, and concluding with the abolition of amateurism in 1962 when all first-class players became professional. The amateur innings was duly declared closed.
Charles Williams, the author of a richly acclaimed biography of Donald Bradman, has penned a vivid social-history-cum-memoir that reveals an attempt to recreate a Golden Age in post-war Britain, one whose expiry exactly coincided with the beginnings of top-class one-day cricket and a cricket revolution.
‘His book is timely and a triumph. Roberts manages to convey all the reader needs to know about two men to whom battalions of biographies have been devoted’ EVENING STANDARD
Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill were two totally opposite leaders – both in what they stood for and in the way in which they seemed to lead. Award-winning historian Andrew Roberts examines their different styles of leadership and draws parallels with rulers from other eras. He also looks at the way Hitler and Churchill estimated each other as leaders, and how it affected the outcome of the war.
In a world that is as dependent on leadership as any earlier age, HITLER AND CHURCHILL asks searching questions about our need to be led. In doing so, Andrew Roberts forces us to re-examine the way that we look at those who take decisions for us.
The life of Henry Kissinger seen through one seminal year – 1973.
1973 was a seminal year in world history. The outbreak of the ‘Yom Kippur War’ took both Israel and the US by surprise, the Vietnam War finally ended, it was the year of détente with the Soviet Union, but the US executive was in a state of collapse following Watergate, and the year ended with the Muslim-initiated energy crisis, which brought the Western world to the brink of economic disaster – a story of deepest relevance today.
This book is the biography of Kissinger – the first he has authorised – viewed through the events of this crucial year. A story of his extraordinarily imaginative aims, his near successes, and, as he admits, his ultimate failures.
A vivid blend of history and travel and a sweeping story of collaboration and resistance, fear and heroism, pacifism and sacrifice all set against the backdrop of the Pyrenees.
Over the fifteen years Rosemary has been living in the region, the more she realised she didn’t know about the war; about the French during the Occupation, the real role of the Resistance, the level of collaboration, the concentration camps in the Pyrenees and the treatment of Jews and other refugees. It is still very much a veiled history and most of the archives remain firmly closed.
LOVE AND WAR IN THE PYRENEES is a portrait of human tragedy, heroism and cruelty that will create a picture of the period from a contemporary angle, the history linked to sights that can still be visited, and brought to life by letters, interviews and encounters with people today, including the historians currently trying to investigate what really happened.
‘The best ‘bird’s eye view’ of the helicopter war in Vietnam in print today … Mills has captured the realities of a select group of aviators who shot craps with death on every mission’ R.S. Maxham, Director, US Army Aviation Museum
The aeroscouts of the 1st Infantry Division have three words emblazoned on their unit patch: Low Level Hell. It was the perfect concise defininition of what those intrepid aviators experienced as they ranged the skies of Vietnam from the Cambodian border to the Iron Triangle. The Outcasts, as they were known, flew low and slow. They were the aerial eyes of the division in search of the enemy. Too often for longevity’s sake they found the Viet Cong and the fight was on. These young pilots, who were usually 19 to 22 years old, invented the book as they went along.
A sweeping history of 80 fascinating years.
A history of the world from the 1920s to 2000, this account begins with the end of World War I and moves on to the destruction of the traditional European order, the triumph of Einstein’s new cosmology, the full impact of Freudianism, the establishment of the first Marxist state and the genesis of Fascism.
A chilling and powerful account of the rise and fall of the Nazis, emphasising their beliefs in race and war which produced the most terrible killing frenzy in the history of humanity
As this book shows, Nazi ideology was based on two central beliefs: in war and race. Peace was merely a preparation for war, war which would redraw the racial map of Europe. The author begins with the aftermath of the First World War and the corrosive myth-building which substituted memories of senseless slaughter with the myth of a meaningful and even sacred event. It moves on steadily through the 1920s and the Nazi seizure of power, to the economic boom, massive rearmament and government-sponsored anti-Semitism of the 1930s. And then on to the war itself and the Nazis’ racist war of extermination.
The author pays particular attention to the chaos and extreme violence of the last months of the war, so catastrophic for the German people that they came to believe that they too had been victims of the war. Finally he describes the aftermath of the Second World War and the wreckage left behind by the Nazis which affected the lives of Germans and Europeans far beyond May 1945.
The real Top Gun – the dramatic account of the US Navy’s fighter pilots and how they took back the skies over Vietnam
In the darkest days of the Vietnam War, the US Navy’s kill ratio had fallen to 2:1 – a deadly decline in pilot combat effectiveness. To improve the odds, a corps of hardened fighter pilots founded the Fighter Weapons School, a.k.a. Top Gun. Utilising actual enemy fighter planes in brutally realistic dogfights, the Top Gun instructors dueled with their students and each other to achieve a lethal new level of fighting expertise. The training paid off and the Top Gunners dominated the skies over Vietnam.
This gripping account takes you inside the cockpit for an adventure more explosive than any fiction, in the dramatic true story of the legendary military school that has created the most dangerous fighter pilots the world had ever seen.
The secret history of MI6 – from the Cold War to the present day.
The British Secret Service has been cloaked in secrecy and shrouded in myth since it was created a hundred years ago. Our understanding of what it is to be a spy has been largely defined by the fictional worlds of James Bond and John le Carre. THE ART OF BETRAYAL provides a unique and unprecedented insight into this secret world and the reality that lies behind the fiction. It tells the story of how the secret service has changed since the end of World War II and by focusing on the people and the relationships that lie at the heart of espionage, revealing the danger, the drama, the intrigue, the moral ambiguities and the occasional comedy that comes with working for British intelligence. From the defining period of the early Cold War through to the modern day, MI6 has undergone a dramatic transformation from a gung-ho, amateurish organisation to its modern, no less controversial, incarnation. Gordon Corera reveals the triumphs and disasters along the way.
The grand dramas of the Cold War and after – the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the 11 September 2001 attacks and the Iraq war – are the backdrop for the human stories of the individual spies whose stories form the centrepiece of the narrative. But some of the individuals featured here, in turn, helped shape the course of those events. Corera draws on the first-hand accounts of those who have spied, lied and in some cases nearly died in service of the state. They range from the spymasters to the agents they ran to their sworn enemies. Many of these accounts are based on exclusive interviews and access. From Afghanistan to the Congo, from Moscow to the back streets of London, these are the voices of those who have worked on the front line of Britain’s secret wars. And the truth is often more remarkable than the fiction.