The Easter Rising began at 12 noon on 24 April, 1916 and lasted for six short but bloody days, resulting in the deaths of innocent civilians, the destruction of many parts of Dublin and the true beginning of Irish independence.
The 1916 Rising was born out of the Conservative and Unionist parties’ illegal defiance of the democratically expressed wish of the Irish electorate for Home Rule; and of confusion, mishap and disorganisation, compounded by a split within the Volunteer leadership.
Tim Pat Coogan introduces the major players, themes and outcomes of a drama that would profoundly affect twentieth-century Irish history. Not only is this the story of a turning point in Ireland’s struggle for freedom, but also a testament to the men and women of courage and conviction who were prepared to give their lives for what they believed was right.
The dramatic story of Scotland – by charismatic television historian, Neil Oliver.
Scotland is one of the oldest countries in the world with a vivid and diverse past. Yet the stories and figures that dominate Scottish history – tales of failure, submission, thwarted ambition and tragedy – often badly serve this great nation, overshadowing the rich tapestry of her intricate past.
Historian Neil Oliver presents a compelling new portrait of Scottish history, peppered with action, high drama and centuries of turbulence that have helped to shape modern Scotland. Along the way, he takes in iconic landmarks and historic architecture; debunks myths surrounding Scotland’s famous sons; recalls forgotten battles; charts the growth of patriotism; and explores recent political developments, capturing Scotland’s sense of identity and celebrating her place in the wider world.
Who were the first Britons, and what sort of world did they occupy?
In A History of Ancient Britain, much-loved historian Neil Oliver turns a spotlight on the very beginnings of the story of Britain; on the first people to occupy these islands and their battle for survival.
There has been human habitation in Britain, regularly interrupted by Ice Ages, for the best part of a million years. The last retreat of the glaciers 12,000 years ago brought a new and warmer age and with it, one of the greatest tsunamis recorded on Earth which struck the north-east of Britain, devastating the population and flooding the low-lying plains of what is now the North Sea. The resulting island became, in time, home to a diverse range of cultures and peoples who have left behind them some of the most extraordinary and enigmatic monuments in the world.
Through what is revealed by the artefacts of the past, Neil Oliver weaves the epic story – half a million years of human history up to the departure of the Roman Empire in the Fifth Century AD. It was a period which accounts for more than ninety-nine per cent of humankind’s presence on these islands.
It is the real story of Britain and of her people.
One of the most devastating portraits ever drawn of a human society – life in Hitler’s Germany during the Third Reich
The Nazis developed a social system unprecedented in history. It was rigidly hierarchical, with the seemingly beneficent and ascetic figure of Hitler at the top – focus for the homage and aspirations of every man,
woman and child. How did the ‘ordinary citizen’ live under such a system? The author discusses such subjects as beauty in the Third Reich (no cosmetics, no slimming) as well as charting how you progressed to the elite Nazi cadres – administrators, propagandists or coercers. It shows childhood with the Hitler Youth and describes the intense medieval ritual injected into every phase of life from school and university to farm labour. It shows life in the office, in industry, in the professions – doctors, lawyers, artists – and in the Nazi Party itself. Finally, it documents what happened at the two extremes of German society – to the aristocrats and to the Jews.
A magisterial account of the rise of capitalism
Eric Hobsbawm’s magnificent treatment of the crucial years 1848-1875 is a penetrating analysis of the rise of capitalism and the consolidation of bourgeois culture. In the 1860s a new word entered the economic and political vocabulary of the world: ‘capitalism’. The global triumph of capitalism is the major theme of history in the decades after 1848. The extension of capitalist economy to four corners of the globe, the mounting concentration of wealth, the migration of men, the domination of Europe and European culture made the third quarter of the nineteenth century a watershed. This is a history not only of Europe but of the world.
Eric Hobsbawm’s intention is not to summarise facts, but to draw facts together into a historical synthesis, to ‘make sense of’ the period, and to trace the roots of the present world back to it. He integrates economics with political and intellectual developments in this objective yet original account of revolution and the failure of revolution, of the cycles of boom and slump that characterise capitalist economies, of the victims and victors of the bourgeois ethos.
THE AGE OF EMPIRE is a book about the strange death of the nineteenth century, the world made by and for liberal middle classes in the name of universal progress and civilisation. It is about hopes realised which turned into fears: an era of unparalleled peace engendering an era of unparalleled war; revolt and revolution emerging on the outskirts of society; a time of profound identity crisis for bourgeois classes, among new and sudden mass labour movements which rejected capitalism and new middle classes which rejected liberalism.
It is about world empires built and held with almost contemptuous ease by small bodies of Europeans which were to last barely a human lifetime, and a European domination of world history, which was never more confident than at the moment it was about to disappear for ever. It is about Queen Victoria, Madame Curie and the Kodak Girl, and the novel social world of cloth caps, golf clubs and brassieres, about Nietzsche, Carnegie, William Morris and Dreyfus, about politically ineffective terrorists, one of whom, to his and everyone’s surprise, started a world war.
With the AGE OF EMPIRE, Eric Hobsbawm, Britain’s leading historian of the left, brings to a dazzling climax his brilliant interpretative history of ‘the long nineteenth century’.
The first in Eric Hobsbawm’s dazzling trilogy on the history of the nineteenth century.
Between 1789 and 1848 the world was transformed both by the French Revolution and also by the Industrial Revolution that originated in Britain. This ‘Dual Revolution’ created the modern world as we know it.
Eric Hobsbawm traces with brilliant analytical clarity the transformation brought about in every sphere of European life by the Dual Revolution – in the conduct of war and diplomacy; in new industrial areas and on the land; among peasantry, bourgeoisie and aristocracy; in methods of government and of revolution; in science, philosophy and religion; in literature and the arts. But above all he sees this as the period when industrial capitalism established the domination over the rest of the world it was to hold for a century.
Eric Hobsbawm’s enthralling and original account is an impassioned but objective history of the most significant sixty years in the history of Europe.
The first single-volume biography of Berlin, one of the world’s great cities – told via twenty-one portraits, from medieval times to the twenty-first century.
A city devastated by Allied bombs, divided by a Wall, then reunited and reborn, Berlin today resonates with the echo of lives lived, dreams realised and evils executed. No other city has repeatedly been so powerful and fallen so low. And few other cities have been so shaped and defined by individual imaginations.
Through vivid portraits spanning five centuries, Rory MacLean reveals the varied and rich history of Berlin, from its brightest to its darkest moments. We encounter an ambitious prostitute refashioning herself as a princess, a Scottish mercenary fighting for the Prussian Army, Marlene Dietrich flaunting her sexuality and Hitler fantasising about the mega-city Germania. The result is a uniquely imaginative biography of one of the world’s most volatile yet creative cities.
How two men brought about the defeat of Louis XIV’s previously unbeaten army and saved Europe from French domination – A Sunday Times Bestseller
By the summer of 1704 Louis XIV’s vast armies dominated Europe. France defeated every alliance formed against her and Louis was poised to extend his frontier to the Rhine and install a French prince on the throne of Spain. Two men saved Europe from French military domination: the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy. Marlborough masterminded a brilliant campaign, working with Eugene to surprise the French invaders inside Germany. The rival armies clashed in August and the hitherto unbeaten French were utterly destroyed.
Blenheim was a major turning point in European history. Charles Spencer’s narrative is drawn from original sources and moves seamlessly from the deliberations of Kings and princes to the frontline soldiers. This is the battle that creates the enduring reputation of the British redcoat and shatters the image of the ‘Sun King’ and his mighty army.
A classic and vivid history of Ukraine, fully updated to cover the Euromaidan Revolution of 2014 and ongoing crisis in the Donbass.
Centre of the first great Slav civilisation in the tenth century, then divided between warring neighbours for a millennium, Ukraine finally won independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Tiring of their own corrupt governments, Ukrainians have since mounted two popular revolutions, taking to the streets to demand fair elections and closer ties to Europe. In the spring of 2014, Russia responded by invading Crimea and sponsoring a civil war in the Russian-speaking Donbass. Threatened by Moscow, misunderstood in the West, Ukraine hangs once more in the balance. Speaking to pro-democracy activists and pro-Russia militiamen, peasants and miners, survivors of Hitler’s Holocaust and Stalin’s famine, Anna Reid combines history and travel-writing to unpick the past and present of this bloody and complex borderland.
‘Beautifully written and lovingly researched’ Daily Telegraph
‘Gripping history’ The Times
Richard III and Henry Tudor’s legendary battle: one that changed the course of English history.
On the morning of 22 August 1485, in fields several miles from Bosworth, two armies faced each other, ready for battle. The might of Richard III’s army was pitted against the inferior forces of the upstart pretender to the crown, Henry Tudor, a 28-year-old Welshman who had just arrived back on British soil after 14 years in exile. Yet this was to be a fight to the death – only one man could survive; only one could claim the throne.
It would become one of the most legendary battles in English history: the only successful invasion since Hastings, it was the last time a king died on the battlefield. But BOSWORTH is much more than the account of the dramatic events of that fateful day in August. It is a tale of brutal feuds and deadly civil wars, and the remarkable rise of the Tudor family from obscure Welsh gentry to the throne of England – a story that began 60 years earlier with Owen Tudor’s affair with Henry V’s widow, Katherine of Valois.
Drawing on eyewitness reports, newly discovered manuscripts and the latest archaeological evidence, Chris Skidmore vividly recreates this battle-scarred world in an epic saga of treachery and ruthlessness, death and deception and the birth of the Tudor dynasty.
A new political history of modern Britain – entertaining, instructive and thought-provoking.
The history of democratic politics in Britain since the coming of universal male suffrage in 1918 is a dramatic one, crowded with events and colourful figures. As well as the great events of war and economic crises, and the quieter drama of constitutional change, this era has been studded with democratic protests of every sort.
The story opens more than 350 years ago. The Levellers of the 17th century, 18th-century radicals, the Chartists and the Reform Acts are all part of the unsteady and fiercely contested progress towards a democratic constitution. Dreams, visions and ideals are important too – of George Orwell, and Enoch Powell, Milton, Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke, Churchill and Lord Salisbury, Aneurin Bevan and Tony Benn – for they have also shaped our outlook.