An account of the events, personalities and repercussions of the Irish rebellion
The Easter Rising began at 12 noon, 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 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Using a wealth of previously unpublished material, historian Peter Hart gives a vivid account of this last year of conflict – what it was like to fight on the frontline, through the words of the men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.
A wonderful portrait of British upper-class life in the Season of 1939 – the last before the Second World War.
The Season of 1939 brought all those ‘in Society’ to London. The young debutante daughters of the upper classes were presented to the King and Queen to mark their acceptance into the new adult world of their parents. They sparkled their way through a succession of balls and parties and sporting events.
The Season brought together influential people not only from Society but also from Government at the various events of the social calendar. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain chaperoned his debutante niece to weekend house parties; Lord Halifax, the Foreign Secretary, lunched with the Headmaster of Eton; Cabinet Ministers encountered foreign Ambassadors at balls in the houses of the great hostesses. As the hot summer drew on, the newspapers filled with ever more ominous reports of the relentless progress towards war. There was nothing to do but wait – and dance. The last season of peace was nearly over.
The Royal Navy’s dramatic race to save the crew of a trapped Russian submarine.
5 August 2005. On a secret mission to an underwater military installation 30 miles off the coast of Kamchatka, Russian Navy submersible AS-28 ran into a web of cables and stuck fast. With 600 feet of freezing water above them, there was no escape for the seven crew. Trapped in a titanium tomb, all they could do was wait as their air supply slowly dwindled.
For more than 24 hours the Russian Navy tried to reach them. Finally – still haunted by the loss of the nuclear submarine Kursk five years before – they requested international assistance. On the other side of the world Commander Ian Riches, leader of the Royal Navy’s Submarine Rescue Service, got the call: there was a sub down.
With the expertise and specialist equipment available to him Riches knew his team had a chance to save the men, but Kamchatka was at the very limit of their range and time was running out. As the Royal Navy prepared to deploy to Russia’s Pacific coast aboard a giant Royal Air Force C-17 airlifter, rescue teams from the United States and Japan also scrambled to reach the area.
On board AS-28 the Russian crew shut down all non-essential systems, climbed into thick thermal suits to keep the bone-chilling damp at bay and waited, desperate to eke out the stale, thin air inside the pressure hull of their craft. But as the first of them began to drift in and out of consciousness, they knew the end was close. They started writing their farewells.
72 HOURS tells the extraordinary, edge-of-the-seat and real-life story of one of the most dramatic rescue missions of recent years.
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.
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.
‘Roberts boldly dons Churchill’s own mantle, setting out to continue where Churchill’s four volumes left off, which was in 1901. The mantle fits … an advocate of Churchillian eloquence’ Mail on Sunday
Andrew Roberts, Wolfson History prize-winner, brilliantly reveals what made the English-speaking people the preeminent political culture since 1900, and how what connects them is far greater than what separates them. This is an enthralling account covering the four world-historical struggles in which the English-speaking peoples have been engaged: the wars against German nationalism, Axis fascism, Soviet communism and fundamentalist terrorism.
Authoritative and engrossing, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples also deals with the cultural, social and political history of the English global diaspora.
‘A wonderful idea, gloriously put into practice. Greg Jenner is as witty as he is knowledgeable’ – Tom Holland
‘You will love Greg Jenner’s jolly account of how we have more in common with our ancestors than we might think … all human life is here, amusingly conveyed in intriguing nuggets of gossipy historical anecdote’ – Daily Mail
Every day, from the moment our alarm clock wakes us in the morning until our head hits our pillow at night, we all take part in rituals that are millennia old. In this gloriously entertaining romp through human history – featuring new updates for the paperback edition – BBC Horrible Histories consultant Greg Jenner explores the hidden stories behind these daily routines.
This is not a story of politics, wars or great events, instead Greg Jenner has scoured Roman rubbish bins, Egyptian tombs and Victorian sewers to bring us the most intriguing, surprising and sometimes downright silly nuggets from our past.
It is a history of all those things you always wondered – and many you have never considered. It is the story of our lives, one million years in the making.
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 vivid page-turning narrative of the most horrific battle in history by a soldier turned bestselling novelist
A fast-paced and vivid narrative of the most horrific campaign in history: the four-year slaughter around the Belgian town of Ypres 1914-18. Switching seamlessly between the generals’ headquarters, the politicians’ councils and — above all — the mud and blood of the trenches, this is a wonderfully accessible history.
Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler both fought in the frontline at Ypres: Groom reveals what happened to both men. We see the campaign through their eyes and the experience of other officers and men, including the war poet Edmund Blunden (later professor of poetry at Oxford).
From the desperate defence put up by the tiny British regular army in 1914 to the infamous Passchendaele offensive, this is popular history at its best.
How the age of the great WWI aces came to an end in the skies over the Western Front
At the beginning of 1918 the great aces seemed invincible. Flying above the battlefields of the Western Front, they cut a deadly swathe through the ranks of their enemies, as each side struggled to keep control of the air. Some were little more than boys when they started to fly, yet they were respected and feared as some of the deadliest killers in the sky. But as the press of fighting increased with the great offensives of 1918, nervous stress and physical exhaustion finally began to take their toll – and one by one the aces began to fall.
This book charts the rise and fall of the WWI aces in the context of the vast battles that were taking place in 1918. It shows the vital importance of reconnaissance, and how large formations of aircraft became the norm – bringing an end to the era of the old, heroic ‘lone wolves’. As the First World War came to a close very few of the aces survived. This epic history of the final year of the air war is both a chronicle of the ways in which 1918 changed aerial combat forever, and a requiem for the pioneers of aerial combat who eventually became the victims of their own brilliant innovations.