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George Orwell (Author) , Peter Davison (Edited by) , Christopher Hitchens (Introducer)The volume collects together, for the first time ever, Orwell's writings on his experience of the Spanish Civil War - the chaos at the Front, the futile young deaths for what became a confused cause, the antique weapons and the disappointment many British Socialists felt on arriving in Spain to help. ORWELL IN SPAIN includes the complete text of HOMAGE TO CATALONIA.
George Orwell's vivid memoir of his time living among the desperately poor and destitute, Down and Out in Paris and London is a moving tour of the underworld of society.
'You have talked so often of going to the dogs - and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them.'
Written when Orwell was a struggling writer in his twenties, it documents his 'first contact with poverty'. Here, he painstakingly documents a world of unrelenting drudgery and squalor - sleeping in bug-infested hostels and doss houses of last resort, working as a dishwasher in Paris's vile 'Hôtel X', surviving on scraps and cigarette butts, living alongside tramps, a star-gazing pavement artist and a starving Russian ex-army captain. Exposing a shocking, previously-hidden world to his readers, Orwell gave a human face to the statistics of poverty for the first time - and in doing so, found his voice as a writer.
Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism as I understand it'. Thus wrote Orwell following his experiences as a militiaman in the Spanish Civil War, chronicled in Homage to Catalonia. Here he brings to bear all the force of his humanity, passion and clarity, describing with bitter intensity the bright hopes and cynical betrayals of that chaotic episode: the revolutionary euphoria of Barcelona, the courage of ordinary Spanish men and women he fought alongside, the terror and confusion of the front, his near-fatal bullet wound and the vicious treachery of his supposed allies.
A firsthand account of the brutal conditions of the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia includes an introduction by Julian Symons in Penguin Modern Classics.
From Paul Kennedy, author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, one of the most acclaimed history books of recent decades, Engineers of Victory is a new account of how the tide was turned against the Nazis by the Allies in the Second World War.
In January 1943 Churchill and Roosevelt met in Casablanca to review the Allies' war aims. To achieve unconditional surrender they had to overcome some formidable hurdles, from winning air command to 'hopping' across the Pacific islands. Eighteen months later, they had done what seemed impossible.
Here Paul Kennedy reveals the role of the problem-solvers and middle-men who made it happen - like Major-General Perry Hobart, who invented the 'funny tanks' which flattened the D-Day beaches; or Captain 'Johnny' Walker, who worked out how to sink U-boats with a 'creeping barrage'. This book shows the conflict in an entirely new light.
'Consistently original ... An important contribution to our understanding' Michael Beschloss, The New York Times Book Review
'[Kennedy's] refreshing study ... asks the right questions, disposes of clichés and gives a rich account of neglected topics' David Edgerton, Financial Times
'Colourfully and convincingly illustrates the ingenuity and persistence of a few people who made all the difference' Washington Post
PAUL KENNEDY is one of the world's best-selling and most influential historians. He is the author or editor of nineteen books, including The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, which has been translated into over twenty languages, Preparing for the Twenty-First Century, The Parliament of Man and the now classic Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery.
Did you know that the Cornish pasty was invented to protect tin miners from arsenic poisoning, or that the word 'salary' comes from Roman soldiers being paid their wages in salt?
Why do we eat goose (or turkey) at Christmas? Is the Scotch egg actually from Scotland and what did some retired crusaders have to do with French toast? Who was the original Earl Grey and what sauce was inspired by Parliament? What dish was invented by Greek bandits on the run? Why were hot cross buns seen as magical and what's so rebellious about a haggis or medicinal about a gin and tonic? Did you know what the romantic history is behind the Bakewell Pudding?
Albert Jack tells the strange tales behind our favourite dishes and drinks and where they come from (not to mention their unusual creators). In the colourful, wonderful vein of Schott's Food and Drink Miscellany, Albert Jack's What Caesar Did For My Salad is bursting with fascinating insights, characters and enough stories to entertain a hundred dinner parties.
Albert Jack is the author such bestselling titles as Pop Goes the Weasel, Shaggy Dogs and Black Sheep, and The Old Dog and Duck.
Published: 31 Jan 1974
From the gold potatoes at the Sun Temple in Cuzco, Peru, the muddy ones in Ireland and those grown in China for McDonald's chips, via Mrs Beeton, Charles Darwin, Lenin and Chairman Mao, to the mapping of the potato genome, the story of the spud is both satisfying and fascinating.
John Reader follows the thread of the potato's story through the tapestry of human history, from its origins and evolution to its mysterious arrival in Europe, where it became a crucial part of gastronomic and social fabric. As global population swells and environmental sustainability becomes ever more crucial, Reader asks what role the potato still has to play - in this lively, readable study of our most humble foodstuff.
Published: 5 Feb 2009
For thousands of years we have grown, cooked and traded food, and over that time much has changed. Where once we subsisted on gritty, bland grains, we now enjoy culinary creations and epicurean delights made with vegetables from the New World, fish trawled from the deep sea, and flavoured with spices from the Orient.
But how did we make that change from eating for survival to the innovations of modern cuisine? How has food helped to shape our culture? And what will happen when global warming and peak oil have their inevitable effect on agriculture?
Empires of Food is an authoritative exploration of the innumerable ways that food has changed the course of history. The earliest cities, after all, were founded on the creation and exchange of food surpluses, and since then trade routes of ever greater sophistication have developed. We've built complex societies by shunting corn and wheat and rice along rivers, up deforested hillsides, and into the stockpots of history.
But we cannot go on forever. As Evan D. G. Fraser and Andrew Rimas compellingly show, the abundance that we all enjoy comes at a price, and unless we think of a more sustainable way to grow, eat and enjoy food, we may find that our civilization reaches its best before date.
Jasper Becker (Author)
The great city of Beijing, capital of China from the ninth century, and given its form for five hundred years by the Ming Dynasty, was for a millennium one of the most extraordinary places on earth. At a time when London, Paris, or Rome had only several hundred thousand residents, Beijing held over a million. This book tells the history of this great city, and through it provides a highly engaging summary history of China.
In the summer of 1997, President Jiang Zemin made a decision to destroy the old city. There was no announcement, no explanation given, nor any attempt made to justify his decision. Even those working as architects only became aware of what was happening when it was already too late. Expertly moving between historical analysis and reportage, Jasper Becker describes the impact of this systematic destruction, a unique telling of the history of Beijing that encapsulates both the grandeur of its creation and the tragedy of its current transformation.
Published: 5 Jun 2008
Published: 1 Nov 2007
Published: 7 Oct 1999
Over thirteen centuries, Baghdad has enjoyed both cultural and commercial pre-eminence, boasting artistic and intellectual sophistication and an economy once the envy of the world. It was here, in the time of the Caliphs, that the Thousand and One Nights were set. Yet it has also been a city of great hardships, beset by epidemics, famines, floods, and numerous foreign invasions which have brought terrible bloodshed. This is the history of its storytellers and its tyrants, of its philosophers and conquerors.
Here, in the first new history of Baghdad in nearly 80 years, Justin Marozzi brings to life the whole tumultuous history of what was once the greatest capital on earth.
Published: 24 Jun 1993
A plotting Duchess, a mysterious death and a castle full of lies in Catherine Bailey's The Secret Rooms.
At 6 am on 21 April 1940 John the 9th Duke of Rutland, and one of Britain's wealthiest men, ended his days, virtually alone, lying on a makeshift bed in a dank cramped suite of rooms in the servants' quarters of his own home, Belvoir Castle, in Leicestershire.
For weeks, as his health deteriorated, his family, his servants - even the King's doctor - pleaded with him to come out, but he refused.
After his death, his son and heir, Charles, the 10th Duke of Rutland, ordered that the rooms be locked up and they remained untouched for sixty years.
What lay behind this extraordinary set of circumstances?
For the first time, in The Secret Rooms, Catherine Bailey unravels a complex and compelling tale of love, honour and betrayal, played out in the grand salons of Britain's stately homes at the turn of the twentieth century, and on the battlefields of the Western Front. At its core is a secret so dark that it consumed the life of the man who fought to his death to keep it hidden. This extraordinary mystery from the author of Black Diamonds, perfect for lovers of Downton Abbey, Brideshead Revisited and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.
Published: 1 Nov 2012
Published: 29 Jun 2006
Published: 31 Mar 1994
Harry Drinkwater (Author) , Jon Cooksey (Edited by), David Griffiths (Edited by)
‘I saw several fellows fall, one fellow coughing up blood and all the time, bullets were hacking about me. I ran for about 70 yards carrying with me all the Lewis gun things I had brought up and dropped breathless into a shell hole headlong onto a German who had been dead for months.’
Harold Drinkwater was not supposed to go to war. He was told he was half an inch too short. But, determined to fight for king and country, he found a battalion that would take him and was soon on his way to the trenches of the Somme. As the war dragged on, Harry saw most of the men he joined up with killed around him. But, somehow, he survived.
Soldiers were forbidden from keeping a diary so Harry wrote his in secret, recording the horrendous conditions and constant fear, as well as his pleasure at receiving his officer's commission, the joy of his men when they escaped the trenches for the Italian Front and the trench raid for which he was awarded the Military Cross.
Harry writes with such immediacy it is easy to forget that a hundred years have passed. He is by turns wry, exhausted, annoyed, resigned and often amazed to be alive. Never before published, Harry's War is a moving testament to one man's struggle to keep his humanity in the face of unimaginable violence.
No empire has been larger or more diverse than the British Empire. At its apogee in the 1930s, 42 million Britons governed 500 million foreign subjects. Britannia ruled the waves and a quarter of the earth's surface was painted red on the map. Yet no empire (except the Russian) disappeared more swiftly.
Within a generation this mighty structure collapsed, often amid bloodshed, leaving behind a scatter of sea-girt dependencies and a ghost of an empire, the Commonwealth, overshadowed by Imperial America. It left a contested legacy: at best a sporting spirit, a legal code and a near-universal language; at worst, failed states and internecine strife.
Full of vivid particulars, brief lives, telling anecdotes, comic episodes, symbolic moments and illustrative vignettes, The Decline and Fall of the British Empire is popular history at its scholarly best.