New and forthcoming
A new approach to ideas about war, from one of the UK's leading strategic thinkers
In 1912 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a short story about a war fought from underwater submersibles that included the sinking of passenger ships. It was dismissed by the British admirals of the day, not on the basis of technical feasibility, but because sinking civilian ships was not something that any civilised nation would do. The reality of war often contradicts expectations, less because of some fantastic technical or engineering dimension, but more because of some human, political, or moral threshold that we had never imagined would be crossed.
As Lawrence Freedman shows, ideas about the causes of war and strategies for its conduct have rich and varied histories which shape predictions about the future. Freedman shows how looking at how the future of war was conceived about in the past (and why this was more often than not wrong) can put into perspective current thinking about future conflicts. The Future of War - which takes us from preparations for the world wars, through the nuclear age and the civil wars which became the focus for debate after the end of the Cold War, to present preoccupations with hybrid and cyber warfare - is filled with fascinating insights from one of the most brilliant military and strategic historians of his generation.
'Like The Clash of Civilizations and The End of History, this brilliant book lays out a vision that makes sense of the world today in the context of centuries of history. It will change the way you remember the 20th century and read the news in the 21st' Steven Pinker
Since the end of the Second World War, we have moved from an international system in which war was legal, and accepted as the ultimate arbiter of disputes between nations, to one in which it was not. Nations that wage aggressive war have become outcasts and have almost always had to give up their territorial gains. How did this epochal transformation come about? This remarkable book, which combines political, legal, and intellectual history, traces the origins and course of one of the great shifts in the modern world.
'Sweeping and yet personable at the same time, The Internationalists explores the profound implications of the outlawry of war. Professors Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro enrich their analysis with vignettes of the many individuals (some unknown to most students of History) who played such important roles in this story. None have put it all together in the way that Hathaway and Shapiro have done in this book' Paul Kennedy
'In this timely, elegant and powerful book, Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro help us understand the momentous significance of the individuals who imagined an end to war. As the world stands on the cusp of a return to an earlier age, The Internationalists is a clarion call to preserve law and order across our planet' Philippe Sands
The momentous new book from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gulag and Iron Curtain.
In 1932-33, nearly four million Ukrainians died of starvation, having been deliberately deprived of food. It is one of the most devastating episodes in the history of the twentieth century. With unprecedented authority and detail, Red Famine investigates how this happened, who was responsible, and what the consequences were. It is the fullest account yet published of these terrible events.
The book draws on a mass of archival material and first-hand testimony only available since the end of the Soviet Union, as well as the work of Ukrainian scholars all over the world. It includes accounts of the famine by those who survived it, describing what human beings can do when driven mad by hunger. It shows how the Soviet state ruthlessly used propaganda to turn neighbours against each other in order to expunge supposedly 'anti-revolutionary' elements. It also records the actions of extraordinary individuals who did all they could to relieve the suffering.
The famine was rapidly followed by an attack on Ukraine's cultural and political leadership - and then by a denial that it had ever happened at all. Census reports were falsified and memory suppressed. Some western journalists shamelessly swallowed the Soviet line; others bravely rejected it, and were undermined and harassed. The Soviet authorities were determined not only that Ukraine should abandon its national aspirations, but that the country's true history should be buried along with its millions of victims. Red Famine, a triumph of scholarship and human sympathy, is a milestone in the recovery of those memories and that history. At a moment of crisis between Russia and Ukraine, it also shows how far the present is shaped by the past.
'The embodiment of the spirit of rural Ireland'
Anna May McHugh's name is synonymous with 'the Ploughing' - the annual Championships of the National Ploughing Association. The event is the biggest outdoor agricultural show in Europe and Anna May is the driving force behind its spectacular growth.
Anna May now tells her story. Her description of growing up as part of a large family in rural County Laois is an evocative and affectionate account of an Ireland that is now gone. But in her account of how she went from being a secretary of the Ploughing Association, her first job, to becoming - to her own amazement - its managing director twenty years later is a story of leadership and people skills that are very much of the twenty-first century. Anna May was truly ahead of her time.
Still living in County Laois, close to where she grew up, and now in her eighties, Anna May still runs the multi-million euro operation from her home, alongside her daughter, Anna Marie.
Queen of the Ploughing is a captivating read, full of warmth, lively stories and Anna May's sharp observations. And it's not just about Anna May's life, but is also a celebration of the best of Irish life over eight decades.
Edward VI died a teenager in 1553, yet his brief reign would shape the future of the nation, unleashing a Protestant revolution that propelled England into the heart of the Reformation. This dramatic account takes a fresh look at one of the most significant and turbulent periods in English history.
'A challenging, elegant and persuasive biography of an unjustly neglected king' Jerry Brotton, author of This Orient Isle
'MacCulloch puts the young Edward at the centre of the action ... as this excellent and lively study shows, his ghost continues to haunt the history of Anglicanism' Sunday Times
'This is Reformation history as it should be written, not least because it resembles its subject matter: learned, argumentative, and, even when mistaken, never dull' Eamon Duffy, author of The Stripping of the Altars
'One of the best historians writing in English today' Sunday Telegraph
A landmark book from a remarkable new historian, on a subject that has never been more important - or imperilled
Today, everybody seems to agree that something has gone badly wrong with the British welfare state. In the midst of economic crisis, politicians and commentators talk about benefits as a lifestyle choice, and of 'skivers' living off hard-working 'strivers' as they debate what a welfare state fit for the twenty-first century might look like.
This major new history tells the story of one the greatest transformations in British intellectual, social and political life: the creation of the welfare state, from the Victorian workhouse, where you had to be destitute to receive help, to a moment just after the Second World War, when government embraced responsibilities for people's housing, education, health and family life, a commitment that was unimaginable just a century earlier. Though these changes were driven by developments in different and sometimes unexpected currents in British life, they were linked by one over-arching idea: that through rational and purposeful intervention, government can remake society. It was an idea that, during the early twentieth century, came to inspire people across the political spectrum.
In exploring this extraordinary transformation, Bread for All explores and challenges our assumptions about what the welfare state was originally for, and the kinds of people who were involved in creating it. In doing so, it asks what the idea continues to mean for us today.
'The Choice is a gift to humanity. One of those rare and eternal stories that you don't want to end and that leave you forever changed' DESMOND TUTU, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
In 1944, sixteen-year-old Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. There she endured unimaginable experiences, including being made to dance for the infamous Josef Mengele. Over the coming months, Edith’s bravery helped her sister to survive, and led to her bunkmates rescuing her during a death march. When their camp was finally liberated, Edith was pulled from a pile of bodies, barely alive.
In The Choice, Dr Edith Eger shares her experience of the Holocaust and the remarkable stories of those she has helped ever since. Today, she is an internationally acclaimed psychologist whose patients include survivors of abuse and soldiers suffering from PTSD. She explains how many of us live within a mind that has become a prison, and shows how freedom becomes possible once we confront our suffering.
Like Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, The Choice is life changing. Warm, compassionate and infinitely wise, it is a profound examination of the human spirit, and our capacity to heal.
A polemical history of the British ruling class and how they ended up owning our nation.
The full, shocking story of the British aristocracy, from Anglo-Saxon times until the present day.
Exploring the extraordinary and sometimes pernicious social and political dominance enjoyed by the British aristocracy over centuries, Entitled seeks to explain how a tiny number of noble families rose to such a position in the first place and reveals the often nefarious means they have employed to maintain their wealth, power and prestige. It examines the greed, ambition, jealousy and rivalry which drove local barons to compete with one another and aristocratic families to guard their inheritance with phenomenal determination. In telling their history, it introduces a cast of extraordinary characters: fierce warriors, rakish dandies, political dilettantes, charming eccentrics, arrogant snobs and criminals who got away with murder.
Meticulously researched and engagingly written, Entitled tells a riveting story of arrogance, corruption and greed, the defining characteristic of the British ruling class.
It could have been a very different story.
British and US forces could have successfully withdrawn from Afghanistan in 2002, having done the job they set out to do: to defeat al-Qaeda and stop it from launching further terrorist attacks against the West. Instead, British troops became part of a larger international effort to stabilise the country. Yet over the following thirteen years the British military paid a heavy price for their presence in Helmand province; and when Western troops departed from Afghanistan in 2014, they had failed to stop a Taliban resurgence.
In this magisterial study, Theo Farrell explains the origins and causes of the war, providing fascinating insight into the British government’s reaction to 9/11 and the steps that led the British Army to Helmand. He details the specific campaigns and missions over the subsequent years, revealing how the military’s efforts to create a strategy for success were continually undermined by political realities in Kabul and back home. And he demonstrates conclusively that the West's failure to understand the dynamics of local conflict in the country, and to tackle Afghan government corruption, meant that the war was unwinnable.
Drawing on unprecedented access to military reports and government documents, as well as hundreds of interviews with Western commanders, senior figures in the Taliban, Afghan civilians and British politicians, Unwinnable is an extraordinary work of scholarship. Its depth of analysis, scope and authority make it the definitive history of Britain’s War in Afghanistan.
The dramatic story of the relationship between the world's three largest economies, one that is shaping the future of us all, by one of the foremost experts on east Asia
For more than half a century, American power in the Pacific has successfully kept the peace. But it has also cemented the tensions in the toxic rivalry between China and Japan, consumed with endless history wars and entrenched political dynasties. Now, the combination of these forces with Donald Trump's unpredictable impulses and disdain for America's old alliances threatens to upend the region, and accelerate the unravelling of the postwar order. If the United States helped lay the postwar foundations for modern Asia, now the anchor of the global economy, Asia's Reckoning will reveal how that structure is now crumbling.
With unrivalled access to archives in the US and Asia, as well as many of the major players in all three countries, Richard McGregor has written a tale which blends the tectonic shifts in diplomacy with the domestic political trends and personalities driving them. It is a story not only of an overstretched America, but also of the rise and fall and rise of the great powers of Asia. The confrontational course on which China and Japan have increasingly set themselves is no simple spat between neighbors. And the fallout would be a political and economic tsunami, affecting manufacturing centers, trade routes, and political capitals on every continent.
What makes a colour work? What do colours mean to artists or cultures? Why does grey make a colour stand out? What colour are the oceans? Why is the yellow of lemons something to treasure?
Award-winning illustrator Marion Deuchars takes us on a journey through colour, showing how its language is at the centre of how we think and feel about the world. Colour is everywhere. Through this book, we can see it afresh.
As Germany and then Japan surrendered in 1945 there was a tremendous hope that a new and much better world could be created from the moral and physical ruins of the conflict. Instead, the combination of the huge power of the USA and USSR and the near-total collapse of most of their rivals created a unique, grim new environment: the Cold War.
For over forty years the demands of the Cold War shaped the life of almost all of us. There was no part of the world where East and West did not, ultimately, demand a blind and absolute allegiance, and nowhere into which the West and East did not reach. Countries as remote from each other as Korea, Angola and Cuba were defined by their allegiances. Almost all civil wars became proxy conflicts for the superpowers. Europe was seemingly split in two indefinitely.
Arne Westad's remarkable new book is the first to have the distance from these events and the ambition to create a convincing, powerful narrative of the Cold War. The book is genuinely global in its reach and captures the dramas and agonies of a period always overshadowed by the horror of nuclear war and which, for millions of people, was not 'cold' at all: a time of relentless violence, squandered opportunities and moral failure.
This is a book of extraordinary scope and daring. It is conventional to see the first half of the 20th century as a nightmare and the second half as a reprieve. Westad shows that for much of the world the second half was by most measures even worse.