New and forthcoming

The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Attacks on The United States

Dr Jeffrey Lewis

:America lost 1.4 million citizens in the North Korean attacks of 2020. This is the final, authorised report of the US government commission investigating the catastrophe.

‘The skies over the Korean Peninsula on March 21, 2020, were clear and blue . . .’ So begins this investigation by nuclear expert Dr Jeffrey Lewis into the horrific events of the three days that followed.

While covering the fatal milestones — from North Korea’s accidental shootdown of a South Korean airliner to the tweet that triggered carnage — the report asks difficult questions about the conduct of world leaders along the path to war.

Did President Trump and his advisers realise the dangers of provoking Kim Jong Un with social media posts? Was conflict inevitable, or could the peace talks of 2018 have been successful? Who, ultimately, is responsible for one of the greatest tragedies in world history?

Red Thread

Charlotte Higgins

The tale of how the hero Theseus killed the Minotaur, finding his way out of the labyrinth using Ariadne’s ball of red thread, is one of the most intriguing, suggestive and persistent of all myths, and the labyrinth – the beautiful, confounding and terrifying building created for the half-man, half-bull monster – is one of the foundational symbols of human ingenuity and artistry.

Charlotte Higgins, author of the Baillie Gifford-shortlisted Under Another Sky, tracks the origins of the story of the labyrinth in the poems of Homer, Catullus, Virgil and Ovid, and with them builds an ingenious edifice of her own. She follows the idea of the labyrinth through the Cretan excavations of Sir Arthur Evans, the mysterious turf labyrinths of Northern Europe, the church labyrinths of medieval French cathedrals and the hedge mazes of Renaissance gardens. Along the way, she traces the labyrinthine ideas of writers from Dante and Borges to George Eliot and Conan Doyle, and of artists from Titian and Velázquez to Picasso and Eva Hesse.

Her intricately constructed narrative asks what it is to be lost, what it is to find one’s way, and what it is to travel the confusing and circuitous path of a lived life. Red Thread is, above all, a winding and unpredictable route through the byways of the author’s imagination – one that leads the reader on a strange and intriguing journey, full of unexpected connections and surprising pleasures.

The Last Englishmen

Deborah Baker

'A continuously absorbing and stimulating book, which enlarges the cultural and political history of the mid-20th century' Pankaj Mishra

John Auden was a pioneering geologist of the Himalayas. Michael Spender was the first to survey the northern approach to the summit of Mount Everest. While their younger brothers – W.H Auden and Stephen Spender – achieved literary fame, they vied for a place on an expedition that would finally conquer Everest, a quest that had become a metaphor for Britain’s efforts to maintain power over India. To this rivalry was added another: in the summer of 1938 both men fell in love with a painter named Nancy Sharp. Her choice would determine each man’s wartime loyalties.

From Calcutta to pre-war London to the snowy slopes of Everest, The Last Englishmen tracks a generation obsessed with a romantic ideal. As political struggle rages in Spain, the march to war with Germany seems inevitable, Communist spies expand their ranks and the fight for Indian independence enters its final bloody act, writers and explorers, Englishmen and Indians must pick their cause.

The Last Englishmen is an engrossing story that traces the end of empire and the stirring of a new world order. It encourages us to look again at our national story, to seek out the viewpoints of those on the other end of unchecked power, and to question our own mythologies.

Crashed

Adam Tooze

The definitive history of the Great Financial Crisis, from the acclaimed author of The Deluge and The Wages of Destruction.

In September 2008 the Great Financial Crisis, triggered by the collapse of Lehman brothers, shook the world. A decade later its spectre still haunts us. As the appalling scope and scale of the crash was revealed, the financial institutions that had symbolised the West's triumph since the end of the Cold War, seemed - through greed, malice and incompetence - to be about to bring the entire system to its knees.

Crashed is a brilliantly original and assured analysis of what happened and how we were rescued from something even worse - but at a price which continues to undermine democracy across Europe and the United States. Gnawing away at our institutions are the many billions of dollars which were conjured up to prevent complete collapse. Over and over again, the end of the crisis has been announced, but it continues to hound us - whether in Greece or Ukraine, whether through Brexit or Trump. Adam Tooze follows the trail like no previous writer and has written a book compelling as history, as economic analysis and as political horror story.

The Hurricane Girls

Jo Wheeler

The extraordinary true story of the last surviving 'Attagirls' who risked their lives flying planes from the factory to the front line during WWII.

While their husbands, brothers and sweethearts fought in Europe and their mothers, sisters and friends kept the home fires burning, for the first time, a group of remarkable women took to the skies. They weren't allowed into combat but risked their lives in often bad weather and without radios to bring their boys the aircraft they so vitally needed.

Employed by the Air Transport Auxiliary, these women were known as 'attagirls'. They proved that women too could master Spitfires, Mosquitoes and Hawker Hurricanes, forging a new path in aviation.

The Hurricane Girls is the fascinating, moving and inspirational story of bravery, determination and remarkable women.

Brazil: A Biography

Heloisa Maria Murgel Starling (and others)

Since Europeans first reached Brazil in 1500 it has been an unfailing source of extraordinary fascination. More than any other part of the 'New World' it displayed both the greatest beauty and grandeur and witnessed scenes of the most terrible European ferocity.

Brazil: A Biography, written by two of Brazil's leading historians and a bestseller in Brazil itself, is a remarkable attempt to convey the overwhelming diversity and challenges of this huge country from its origins to the 21st century - itself larger than the contiguous USA and still in some regions not fully mapped. The book's major themes are the near-continuous battles to create both political institutions and social frameworks that would allow stable growth, legal norms and protection for all its citizens. Brazil's failure to achieve these except in the very short term has been tragic, but even now it remains one of the world's great experiments - creative, harsh, unique and as compelling a story for its inhabitants as for outsiders.

Henry I (Penguin Monarchs)

Edmund King

The youngest of William the Conqueror's sons, Henry I (1100-35) was never meant to be king, but he was destined to become one of the greatest of all medieval monarchs, both through his own ruthlessness and intelligence and through the dynastic legacy of his daughter Matilda, who began the Plantagenet line that would rule England until 1485. A self-consciously diligent and thoughtful king, his rule was looked back on as the real post-invasion re-founding of England as a new realm, integrated into the continent, wealthy and stable.

Edmund King's wonderful portrait of Henry shows him as a strikingly charismatic and thoughtful man. His life was dogged by a single great disaster, the death of his teenage heir William in the White Ship disaster. Despite astonishing numbers of illegitimate sons, Henry was now left with only a daughter. This fact would shape the rest of the 12th century and beyond.

The Desert War

James Holland (and others)

Part of the ALL-NEW LADYBIRD EXPERT SERIES.

____________

Why was North Africa such a key component in Britain's success over Mussolini and his Italian Army?

How did they blunt Italy's actions?

What challenges did they face?

And what new technologies were brought to bear?


When fascist dictator Mussolini declared war against Britain he was taking a huge risk . . .

Italy lacked natural resources, and Britain and France's wealth.

He hoped to create a new Roman Empire across the Mediterranean and into Africa. And with Hitler and the Nazi's by his side he had a great chance of doing so - but what was it that stopped him?

Discover the answers and more inside James Holland's The Desert War, the thrilling and accessible account that explains what happened, who the key figures were and the tactics, triumphs and failures on both sides . . .

Stalin’s Meteorologist

Olivier Rolin (and others)

Shortlisted for the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize 2018

The beautifully illustrated, heartbreaking story of an innocent man in a Soviet gulag, told for the first time in English.

One fateful day in 1934, a husband arranged to meet his wife under the colonnade of the Bolshoi theatre. As she waited for him in vain, he was only a few hundred metres away, in a cell in the notorious Lubyanka prison.

Less than a year before, Alexey Wangenheim – a celebrated meteorologist – had been hailed by Stalin as a national hero. But following his sudden arrest, he was exiled to a gulag, forced to spend his remaining years on an island in the frozen north, along with thousands of other political prisoners.

Stalin’s Meteorologist is the thrilling and deeply moving account of an innocent man caught up in the brutality of Soviet paranoia. It's a timely reminder of the human consequences of political extremism.

Auschwitz

Sybille Steinbacher

At the terrible heart of the modern age lies Auschwitz. In a total inversion of earlier hopes about the use of science and technology to improve, extend and protect human life, Auschwitz manipulated the same systems to quite different ends. In Sybille Steinbacher's terse, powerful new book, the reader is led through the process by which something unthinkable to any European in the 1930s had become a sprawling, industrial reality during the course of the world war. How Auschwitz grew and mutated into an entire dreadful city, how both those who managed it and those who were killed by it came to be in Poland in the 1940s, and how it was allowed to happen, is something everyone needs to understand.

Curiocity

Henry Eliot (and others)

'The most ingenious, informative, inimitable, individual, innovative, insightful, inspiring, instructive, intelligible, intoxicating, intricate guide to the great city that I have ever seen. Bravo!' Philip Pullman

Curiocity is a London book unlike any other. Its 26 chapters weave together facts, myths, stories, riddles, essays, diagrams, illustrations and itineraries to explore every aspect of life in the capital. At the heart of each chapter is a hand-drawn map, charting everything from thecity's islands and underground spaces, to its erogenous zones and dystopian futures. Taking you from Atlas to Zones, via Congestion, Folkmoot, Pearls and Xenophilia, Curiocity will transform the way you see London.

'The greatest book about London published in modern times ... an illuminated manuscript for the 21st century city' Londonist

'Here is something different ... the literary equivalent of Sir John Soane's Museum ... quite breathtaking' The Times Literary Supplement

'Remarkable ... a nerdy Londoner's paradise ... an exquisite 450-page cross between an encyclopaedia and an artwork' Evening Standard

'Utterly extraordinary' Tom Holland

'However well you think you know London, you will discover something newon virtually every page, and the things you know well will be seen completely differently' The London Society

What You Did Not Tell

Mark Mazower

SHORLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE 2018

NEW STATESMAN AND EVENING STANDARD BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2017

'Brilliant ... a staggering story' Robert Fox, Evening Standard, Books of the Year
'Fascinating, vast and rich ... a dramatic family memoir' Guardian

Uncovering his family's remarkable and moving stories, Mark Mazower recounts the sacrifices and silences that marked a generation and their descendants. It was a family that fate drove into the siege of Stalingrad, the Vilna ghetto, occupied Paris, and even into the ranks of the Wehrmacht. His British father was the lucky one, the son of Russian Jewish emigrants who settled in London after escaping the civil war and revolution. Max, the grandfather, had started out as a socialist and manned the barricades against tsarist troops, but never spoke of it. His wife, Frouma, came from a family ravaged by the Great Terror yet somehow making their way in Soviet society.

In the centenary of the Russian Revolution, What You Did Not Tell recounts a brand of socialism erased from memory - humanistic, impassioned, and broad-ranging in its sympathies. But it also explores the unexpected happiness that may await history's losers, the power of friendship, and the love of place that allowed Max and Frouma's son to call England home.