Journalist and broadcaster Robert Kee was an RAF bomber pilot in the Second World War. When his plane was shot down over Nazi-occupied Holland, he was captured and spent three years and three months in a German POW camp.
From the beginning he was intent on escape. After several false starts, he finally made it.
First published in 1947 as a novel, but now revealed to be an autobiography, A Crowd Is Not Company recounts Kee’s experiences as a prisoner of war and describes in compelling detail his desperate journey across Poland – a journey that meant running the gauntlet of Nazism.
From the personal to the political, this is the much-awaited memoir from Tim Pat Coogan.
Ireland’s best-known journalist, broadcaster, historian and bestselling biographer Tim Pat Coogan has not only reported the news – he’s been the news. Through the Irish Press, where he served as editor for twenty years, he is renowned for bringing social and political change to Ireland. He went on to play a vital role in bringing the IRA/Sinn Fein to the peace talks table, and has always been uniquely placed to comment authoritatively – if not controversially – on all aspects of Irish current affairs.
From personal to political, his revelatory memoir gives genuine insight into the life and high-profile career of a man at the centre of Irish politics and society.
‘This right which I claim for myself and for all those like me is the right to choose the person whom I love’ Peter Wildeblood
In March 1954 Peter Wildeblood, a London journalist, was one of five men charged with homosexual acts in the notorious Montagu case. Wildeblood was sentenced to eighteen months in prison, along with Lord Montagu and Major Michael Pitt-Rivers. The other two men were set free after turning Queen’s Evidence.
Against the Law tells the story of Wildeblood’s childhood and schooldays, his war service, his career as a journalist, his arrest, trial and imprisonment, and finally his return to freedom. In its honesty and restraint it is eloquent testimony to the inhumanity of the treatment of gay men in Britain within living memory.
Some of the most talked about books of recent years, Alan Clark’s diaries provide a witty and irreverant insider’s account of political life in Britain. Now in one volume.
‘From the moment the first scabrous and brilliant volume was published, people wanted more. Now they have it and they will not be disappointed… These diaries are not wonderful simply because they show a politician unafraid to say what he thinks, and refusing to suck up to those whom he represents. They are great because they show all sides of a man who was, within his complex personality, arrogant, sensitive, loyal, unfaithful, patriotic, selfish, selfless, and – at all times – completely Technicolour’ Simon Heffner, DAILY MAIL
A Memoir by Clarissa Eden, born a Churchill and a Prime Minister’s wife at the age of 34.
In 1955, at the astonishingly young age of 34, Clarissa Eden entered No. 10 Downing Street as the wife of the new Prime Minister, Anthony Eden.
Born Clarissa Churchill in 1920, her uncle was the great Winston, and when she married the 55-year-old Eden, then Foreign Secretary, at Caxton Hall register office in 1952, there were crowds as big as the gathering that had cheered Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Wilding’s wedding there six months earlier.
A renowned beauty, she was at home with her mother’s Liberal intellectual circle, and mixed in her youth with the pillars of Oxford’s academic community – Isaiah Berlin, Maurice Bowra and David Cecil among them: according to Antonia Fraser, she was ‘the don’s delight because she was beautiful and extremely intellectual’. Her close circle of friends included some of the leading cultural figures of the twentieth century: Cecil Beaton, Evelyn Waugh, Orson Welles among them. Her observations and insights into these men and their world provide a unique window into the mid 20th century. As the spouse of the most important man in Britain, the hostess at No. 10 and Chequers, Clarissa Eden was inevitably privy to a multitude of top-level secrets. The Suez crisis and Eden’s ill health meant that she shared just four years of Anthony’s political life and eighteen months as Prime Minister’s wife.
This individual, discriminating and honest memoir is her first account of extraordinary times, intuitively edited by Cate Haste, co-author of The Goldfish Bowl.
A publishing sensation, the publication of Victor Klemperer’s diaries brings to light one of the most extraordinary documents of the Nazi period.
‘A classic … Klemperer’s diary deserves to rank alongside that of Anne Frank’s’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘I can’t remember when I read a more engrossing book’ Antonia Fraser
‘Not dissimilar in its cumulative power to Primo Levi’s, is a devastating account of man’s inhumanity to man’ LITERARY REVIEW
The son of a rabbi, Klemperer was by 1933 a professor of languages at Dresden. Over the next decade he, like other German Jews, lost his job, his house and many of his friends.
Klemperer remained loyal to his country, determined not to emigrate, and convinced that each successive Nazi act against the Jews must be the last. Saved for much of the war from the Holocaust by his marriage to a gentile, he was able to escape in the aftermath of the Allied bombing of Dresden and survived the remaining months of the war in hiding. Throughout, Klemperer kept a diary. Shocking and moving by turns, it is a remarkable and important account.
In September 2014, Azad Cudi became one of seventeen snipers deployed when ISIS, trying to shatter the Kurds in a decisive battle, besieged the northern city of Kobani. In LONG SHOT, he tells the inside story of how a group of activists and idealists withstood a ferocious assault and, street by street, house by house, took back their land in a victory that was to prove the turning point in the war against ISIS. By turns devastating, inspiring and lyrical, this is a unique account of modern war and of the incalculable price of victory as a few thousand men and women achieved the impossible and kept their dream of freedom alive.
In 1934, eleven-year-old Shimon Peres emigrated to the land of Israel from his native Poland, leaving behind an extended family who would later be murdered in the Holocaust. Few back then would have predicted that this young man would eventually become one of the towering figures of the twentieth century. Peres would go on to serve the new nation as prime minister, president, foreign minister, and the head of several other ministries. He was central to the establishment of the Israeli Defense Forces and the defence industry that would provide the young nation with a robust deterrent power. He was crucial to launching Israel’s nuclear energy programme and to the creation of its high-tech “Start Up Nation” revolution. His refusal to surrender to conventional wisdom and political conventions helped save the Israeli economy and prompted some of the most daring military operations in history, among them the legendary Operation Entebbe. And yet, as important as his role in creating and deploying Israel’s armed forces was, his stunning transition from hawk to dove – with its accompanying unwavering commitment to peace – made him one of the globe’s most recognised, honored and admired statesmen.
In his final work, Peres offers a long-awaited examination of the crucial turning points in Israeli history through the prism of having been a decision-maker and eyewitness. Told with the frankness of someone aware this would likely be his final statement, NO ROOM FOR SMALL DREAMS spans decades and events, but as much as it is about what happened, it is about why it happened. Examining pivotal moments in Israel’s rise, Peres explores what makes for a great leader, how to make hard choices in a climate of uncertainty and distress, the challenges of balancing principles with policies, and the liberating nature of imagination and unpredicted innovation. In doing so, he not only charts a better path forward for his beloved country but provides deep and universal wisdom for younger generations who seek to lead – be it in politics, business, or the broader service of making our planet a safer, more peaceful, and just place.
Forthright memoirs of a singular personality – former MP and Strictly Come Dancing star, Ann Widdecombe.
In this life story of one of our most outspoken and celebrated politicians, Ann Widdecombe offers a unique insight into her time as a minister in three government departments and the Shadow Cabinet in the 1990s, as well as taking us back to her wandering childhood and explaining the roots of her deeply held views.
A rare anti-hunting Tory, who campaigned for prison education and once donned a miner’s overalls to go down a coal mine, Ann Widdecombe has never shied away from controversy. Her memoirs reveal a singular personality who lives life to the full. From feisty appearances on Have I Got News for You to her unforgettable and star-turning performances on Strictly Come Dancing, Ann has earned her place in the public’s affections and has been heralded as a ‘national living treasure’ by the Guardian.
A gripping account of the Second World War, from the perspective of a young tank commander.
In 1944, David Render was a nineteen-year-old second lieutenant fresh from Sandhurst when he was sent to France. Joining the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry five days after the D-Day landings, the combat-hardened men he was sent to command did not expect him to last long. However, in the following weeks of ferocious fighting in which more than 90 per cent of his fellow tank commanders became casualties, his ability to emerge unscathed from countless combat engagements earned him the nickname of the ‘Inevitable Mr Render’.
In Tank Action Render tells his remarkable story, spanning every major episode of the last year of the Second World War from the invasion of Normandy to the fall of Germany. Ultimately it is a story of survival, comradeship and the ability to stand up and be counted as a leader in combat.
‘With his Diaries, he has written himself into the life of our times with a panache and candour that ranks him next to Boswell or Pepys’ The Times
The first two volumes of Alan Clark’s were irresistible, irreverent, infamous, outrageous. This last volume is a fitting finale to the work of a man who has been described as ‘the best diarist of his century’.
The third volume begins in 1991 with Alan Clark contemplating quitting as an MP. Life at Saltwood Castle, his home, hangs heavy; then comes the Scott inquiry and the Matrix Churchill affair. Publication of the first volume of the Diaries leads ‘the coven’, a family of former girlfriends, to sell their story to the NEWS OF THE WORLD.
This volume follows his attempts to return to Westminster, an affair that threatens his marriage, and closes with the tragedy of his final months when he is diagnosed with a brain tumour, but keeps his diary until he can no longer focus on the page.
The superb, bestselling diaries of Victor Klemperer, a Jew in Dresden who survived the war – hailed as one of the 20th century’s most important chronicles.
‘Compulsive reading’ LITERARY REVIEW ‘Deeply engrossing’ SPECTATOR
‘Klemperer’s diary deserves to rank alongside that of Anne Frank’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘A vivid and powerful account of a remarkable life’ SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY
June 1945. The immediate postwar period produces many shocks and revelations – some people have behaved better than Klemperer had believed, others much worse. His sharp observations are now turned on the East German Communist Party, which he himself joins, and he notes many similarities between Nazi and Communist behaviour. Politics, he comes to believe, is above all the choice of the “lesser evil”. He serves in the GDR’s People’s Chamber and represents East German scholarship abroad. But it is the details of everyday life, and the honesty and directness, that make these bestselling diaries so fascinating.