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Orwell in Spain

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.

Homage to Catalonia

George Orwell (Author)

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.

Down and Out in Paris and London

George Orwell (Author)

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.

The Road To Delphi

Michael Wood (Author)

In this fascinating and highly original book Michael Wood combines vivid story-telling and acutely perceptive analysis to give a sympathetic and entertaining account of humanity's persistent belief in 'signs'. He begins with the oracles of ancient Greece, explaining how people consulted them when they had to make crucial choices. Yet the key point was that the oracles spoke in riddles and gave ambiguous answers - it was up to humans to interpret what they said. Like horoscopes today, this allowed the hearers to fit the message to what they wanted, and sometimes, as in the disastrous tale of the Persian general Xerxes, or in the great drama of Oedipus and the riddle of the Sphinx, - and much later in Shakespeare's tale of Macbeth and the witches' prophesy - the listeners have got things horribly wrong. Michael Wood does not only look at Europe - he considers oracles in the old civilisations of the East, and particularly in pre-Hispanic America. He also explores modern examples, like the puzzles in the Kafka's fiction. And he brings the story up into our own lives, examining oracles in the film The Matrix and looking at the way we 'interpret' authorities we don't quite understand - as in the doctor's consulting room - or avidly puzzle out the meaning of astrology columns of the press. Lively, engaging and revealing, full of warmth and humanity as well as scholarship, The Road to Delphi is a book that sticks in the mind. It is remarkable both for the stories it tells, and the way it makes us think again about our dangerous longing to trust in signs - just as long as we have that tiny bit of freedom to twist them to promise what we hope for.

Vietnam

Christian G. Appy (Author)

In Vietnam, Professor, Christian G. Appy has created a staggering and monumental oral history of the type that is created only once in a generation. The vivid accounts of 135 men and women span the entire history of the Vietnam conflict from its murky origins in the 1940s to the chaotic fall of Saigon in 1975.

The testimony in this book, sometimes detached and reflective, often raw and emotional, allows us to see and feel what this war meant to people on all sides - Americans and Vietnamese, generals and guerillas, policy makers and protesters, CIA operatives, pilots and doctors, artists and journalists, and a variety of ordinary citizens whose lives were swept up in a cataclysm that killed three million people.

A remarkable, eye-opening and essential read for anyone with even a passing interest in one of the 20th century's defining conflicts.

Colours

H Macdonald (Author) , Henry McDonald (Author)

Henry McDonald's childhood and teenage years were dominated by the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Growing up in the Markets - a working-class Catholic district of central Belfast - he witnessed IRA men and British soldiers being shot down outside his door. His home was smashed up by the British troops on Internment Day in 1971, then bombed by loyalist terrorists four years later. But despite being caught up in the maelstrom of incipient civil war, McDonald managed to escape his background. He became a punk rocker in 1977 and, a year later, joined a group of young soccer hooligans who followed Irish League side Cliftonville.

Colours, however, is more than just a memoir about the formative years of someone born in the epicentre of political and sectarian conflict. McDonald time-travels in two directions: first, back to the dark days of Ulster's violent past; second, into the twenty-first century, using some of the key incidents of his boyhood and youth to compare the Ireland of the past with the Ireland of today. It is a journey that takes him from the GPO in Dublin, a revered site in the history of Irish republicanism where the 1916 Easter Rising was launched, to the sex shops and swinging parties of postmodern hedonistic Dublin.

Filled with football thugs, terrorists, paedophile priests, abuse survivors, drug dealers, comic writers and modern-day martyrs, Colours exposes Ireland in all its complexity and diversity, as seen through the eyes of someone who has experienced first-hand an island and a nation undergoing revolutionary changes.

8 out of 10 Brits

Charlie Croker (Author)

How long does the average British male spend in the shower?

What is the worst-paid job?

Where are the keenest DIYers in the UK to be found?

Which profession least favours the wearing of ties?

Why are 63% of us too embarrassed to complain about bad food in a restaurant?

Covering everything from food to travel, via gardening and fashion, 8 out of 10 Brits tells you everything you need to know, and much that you don't, about who we are, where we're going, and why - on statistical grounds - we should all consider living in Southend-on-Sea.

The Frank Family That Survived

Gordon F Sander (Author) , John Keegan (Introducer)

'A major contribution to our understanding of the Second World War in all its complexity.' John Keegan in his Introduction.

The inspiring story of a German-Jewish family named Frank which, like Anne Frank's family and 25,000 other Dutch and other 'stateless' Jews, 'dived under' in Nazi-occupied Holland in 1942 - but miraculously survived. Told by the grandson of the head of the family, this is the gripping odyssey of the other Frank family: from childhood in an assimilated German-Jewish family at Breitenheim, through the deceptively good life of Berlin in the 1920s, to the rise of Hitler and their flight to apparently safe Holland, the nightmarish ordeal of their thousand day long 'submersion' in a small apartment in The Hague, and the joy and pain of liberation and their final journey to America, the same route Anne Frank might have taken had she not been betrayed. Based on personal testaments, records and family interviews, the book describes their life behind closed curtains in constant fear of discovery. In 1945, after many adventures and appalling vicissitudes, they finally emerged to face the uncertainties of postwar Holland and the promise of the New World.

Being British

Matthew d'Ancona (Author) , Gordon Brown (Introducer)

What does being British actually mean today? Depending on your age, it can conjure up imagery of the Battle of Waterloo, Queen Victoria's Empire, the British Lions rugby team or that famous Union Jack dress Geri Halliwell wore at the Brit Awards. In the twenty-first century, Britain - like many Western countries - enjoys a diverse racial mix. Therefore, as with the USA, we need to explore the values and cultural reference points around us to fully understand what it now means to be a British citizen.

Twenty contributions written by well-known individuals representing a cross section of Britain's cultural landscape attempt to offer an insight into, or snapshot of, how Britons today see themselves and their place in the world. Their thoughts will highlight just how divergent our society is and where its strengths and weaknesses lie.

All these views are championed by two unlikely collaborators - Spectator editor Matthew d'Ancona and Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Often politically opposed, they share a passionate interest in exploring what is meant by being British. This unique book will enlighten, inspire and stir up many debates but ultimately it will provide a path for any reader wanting to understand just what it is to be British in the new millennium.

The Book of Jacks

Charles Nevin (Author)

What's in a name? Juliet doubted its importance in the matter of her Romeo, but we know what happened to them. Names are important. And first names particularly. People react to them even before meeting their bearers. Parents agonise over their choice. Children agonise over it, too. Small wonder when you remember the challenging time laid on by his dad for the boy named Sue.

Jack, though. Always popular, it has become one of the most common names throughout the English-speaking world over the last 25 years, topping lists in most countries. But how much do all these new Jacks know about their name?

Charles Nevin has explored history, folklore, legend and fiction to emerge with an enthralling list and lexicon of the world's most remarkable Jacks, their potted profiles packed with interesting facts and gripping anecdotes.

How did Jack the Ripper get his name? What was the secret of the success of Jack 'Snuffy' Tracy, music-hall trombonist and husband of Britain's most renowned stripper, Phyllis Dixey? How did Jack Daniel, of bourbon fame, die? All the answers are contained in The Book of Jacks, a remarkable collection of larger-than-life hell-raisers, handfuls, heroes and relishable eccentrics.

The Museum

Rupert Smith (Author)

Egyptian mummies, Michaelangelo's drawings, sculptures from Greece and Rome, exquisite porcelain from China, bronze masterpieces from Africa, the remarkable finds from Sutton Hoo - these are just some of the awe-inspiring objects in the British Museum's famous collections. But the Museum is more than just a treasure house: it is a London landmark, a tourist magnet, a national and international resource- a museum of the world for the world.

Keeping this remarkable institution running is a team of 1000 staff who supervise the galleries, plan major exhibitions and manage a flow of nearly 5 million visitors a year. Rupert Smith has been granted special access to the huge variety of people who work in the Museum, including expert curators, conservators, heavy-object handlers and the people who clean the fabulous new glass roof of the Great Court.

Accompanying a major ten-part BBC television series, The Museum takes us behind the scenes for the first time to see how this amazing place works. Illustrated with over 120 colour photographs, and with a foreword by the Museum's director, Neil MacGregor, this fascinating book is a celebration of the British Museum and the many dedicated people who work there.

L.E.L: The Rise and Fall of Letitia Landon

Lucasta Miller (Author)

On 15 October 1838, the body of a thirty-six-year-old woman was found in Cape Coast Castle, West Africa, a bottle of Prussic acid in her hand. She was one of the most famous English poets of her day: Letitia Elizabeth Landon, known by her initials ‘L.E.L.’

What was she doing in Africa? Was her death an accident, as the inquest claimed? Or had she committed suicide, or even been murdered?

To her contemporaries, she was an icon, hailed as the ‘female Byron’, admired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Heinrich Heine, the young Brontë sisters and Edgar Allan Poe. However, she was also a woman with secrets, the mother of three illegitimate children whose existence was subsequently wiped from the record. After her death, she became the subject of a cover-up which is only now unravelling.

Too scandalous for her reputation to survive, Letitia Landon was a brilliant woman who made a Faustian pact in a ruthless world. She embodied the post-Byronic era, the ‘strange pause’ between the Romantics and the Victorians. This new investigation into the mystery of her life, work and death excavates a whole lost literary culture, in which the legacy of Keats and Shelley turned toxic.

All God's Children

Rene Denfeld (Author)

In May 2003 the body of nineteen-year-old Jessica Kate Williams was found by a railway track in Portland Oregon: beaten, broken and horribly burnt. But the terrible chain of events that led to her death had been put in place almost a decade before.

James Daniel Nelson first hit the streets as a teenager in 1992, joining a clutch of runaways and misfits who camped out together in a squat under a Portland bridge. Within a few months the group - they called themselves a 'family' - was arrested for a string of violent murders. While Nelson sat in prison, the society he had helped form grew into a phenomenon. In 2003, almost eleven years after his original murder, Nelson, now called 'Thantos', got out of prison, returned to Portland, created a new street family, and was ready to kill again.

In this dark and compelling portrait of one of America's most frightening subcultures, Rene Denfeld draws on material gathered over a decade spent with the 'families', revealing the dark side of an American ideal, and the extremes to which desperate teenagers (the majority of whom hail from loving middle-class homes) will go in their search for a sense of a belonging.

The History Of Germany Since 1789

Golo Mann (Author)

'At times,' writes Golo Mann, 'the Germans seem a philosophical people, at others the most practical and most materialistic at times the most peaceful, at others the most domineering and brutal. Time after time they have surprised the world by things least expected of them.'

It is this quality of paradox, even of mystery, in the German nation that the distinguished historian renders with such subtlety and penetration in this celebrated study. It traces the whole sweep of intellectual development in Germany since the French Revolution. As well as chronicling historic events, the book deals in detail with the contributions of philosophers, poets and novelists alongside those of parliamentarians and generals.

With My Face To The Enemy

Robert Cowley (Author)

With My Face to the Enemy is a provocative and wide-ranging anthology of essays on the Civil War - America's defining struggle and the first modern war in history.

In thirty-five illuminating essays it examines the war from the perspectives critical to its outcome - the larger-than-life personalities of the important players from Lincoln to Lee, and the national strategies and key battle tactics that shaped the four-year-long crisis. Contributors include the leading lights of Civil War scholarship: James M. McPherson, Stephen W. Sears, Gary W. Gallagher, David Herbert Donald and twenty others.

James M. McPherson's essays ponder three diverse, yet fascinating subjects: Abraham Lincoln's use of language and its role in his victory; Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee's failed Southern strategies; and Ulysses S. Grant's memoirs as a reflection of his superlative generalship. Stephen W. Sears, in four essays, describes the daring flanking manoeuvres of Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorville, and presents the last word on Lee's infamous 'lost order', among other topics.

Other highlights include David Herbert Donald on Lincoln's early command; Gary W. Gallagher on Lee's record before his ascension as a Southern icon; John Bowers on Chickamauga; Noah Andre Trudeau on the battle of the Wilderness; Thomas Fleming on West Point, and much more.

The Charge

Mark Adkin (Author)

The charge of the Light Brigade is one of Britain's best-known glorious military disasters. On 25 October 1854, during the siege of Sebastopol, the Light Brigade attacked Russian gun positions at Balaclava. The charge lasted 7 and 1/2 minutes; of 673 officers and men who went into action, 247 men and 497 horses were lost. This book shatters many long-held conceptions of how and why it happened, and who was to blame. Mark Adkin, a former professional soldier, has combined military expertise and detailed research of participants' accounts with a careful examination of the actual ground. The result is a gripping and definitive study of a debacle that has never ceased to entral the imagination.

The Complete War Walks

Richard Holmes (Author)

This one-volume edition comprises both Richard Holmes' well-loved War Walks and War Walks 2. Dates such as 1066 and names such as Dunkirk often strike a chord of nostalgia, but the details of the historic events associated with them are forgotten. In The Complete War Walks Richard Holmes takes us on fascinating journey through time to visit twelve battlefields throughout Britain, Northern France and Belgium that mark crucial moments in Britain's bloody and turbulent history. From Hastings to Dunkirk, Agincourt to The Somme, Richard vividly recreates the atmosphere of these key battles in our history. With his expert knowledge of weapons and warfare and using specially commissioned maps, Richard Holmes provides a brilliantly clear picture of the events which led up to each battle, the conflicts themselves, and the people who fought them. Using practical 'views of the field', he travels the battlefields as they exist today, pointing out their places of interest, paying tribute to the men who fought there, and bringing history to life. This book focuses on a selection of battles, six fought in Britain - or, in one case, on a struggle that straddled the Channel. A further six are set in a few hundred square miles of northern France and southern Belgium, a space so confined that a single day's drive could take us across all our battlefields. Choosing the battles from a long list of potential candidates was far from easy, but a certain logic prevails. Battles that had far-reaching consequences, historically and politically, were brought to the forefront of the possible choices. In some cases, because of a battle's importance, it entered part of an enduring mythology that demands attention. There were other obvious considerations that favoured certain battles over others: battles that were particularly decisive, or ones that were well documented, or have battlefields that remain striking today. I shied away from some battles that had already been described so well in print or on film, that I felt there was nothing new to add. In the twentieth-century France: Hastings, Agincourt, Bosworth, Naseby, The Boyne, Waterloo, Mons and Le Cateau, the Somme, Arras, Dunkirk, the Blitz and Operation Goodwood.

The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn

David Okuefuna (Author)

In 1909 the millionaire French banker and philanthropist Albert Kahn embarked on an ambitious project to create a colour photographic record of, and for, the peoples of the world. As an idealist and an internationalist, Kahn believed that he could use the new Autochrome process, the world's first user-friendly, true-colour photographic system, to promote cross-cultural peace and understanding.

Until recently, Kahn's huge collection of 72,000 Autochromes remained relatively unheard of. Now, a century after he launched his project, this photography book and the BBC TV series it accompanies are bringing these dazzling historical photos to a mass audience for the first time and putting colour into what we tend to think of as an entirely monochrome age.

Kahn sent photographers to more than 50 countries, often at crucial junctures in their history, when age-old cultures were on the brink of being changed for ever by war and the march of 20th-century globalisation. They documented in true colour the collapse of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires, the last traditional Celtic villages in Ireland, and the soldiers of the First World War. They took the earliest known colour photographs in countries as far apart as Vietnam and Brazil, Mongolia and Norway, Benin and the United States. In 1929 the Wall Street Crash forced Kahn to bring his project to an end. He died in 1940, but left behind the most important collection of early colour photographs in the world.

Three Whys Of Russian Revolution

Richard Pipes (Author)

It is my considered judgement that, had it not been for the Russian Revolution, there would very likely have been no National Socialism; probably no Second World War and no decolonization; and certainly no Cold War, which one dominated our lives. I will attempt here to distill the essence of my books The Russian Revolution and Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime by raising the three central questions addressed in those volumes: Why did tsarism fall? Why did the Bolsheviks gain power? Why did Stalin succeed Lenin?' Richard Popes, from Three Whys of the Russian Revolution.

Arguably the most important event of the twentieth century, the Russian Revolution changed for ever the course of modern history. Due to the Soviet clampdown on archives regarding the Revolution, many aspects of the event have been shrouded in mystery for over seventy years. However, since the collapse of Communism the archival depositories havebeen thrown open to interested parties.

The author of several groundbreaking and controversial works on Russian history, Richard Pipes has written an invaluable book for anyone who wishes to understand the complicated events taking place in Russia today.

Murders of London

David Long (Author)

From the dimly lit alleyways of Whitechapel that played host to the Ripper's darkest deeds to the well-to-do streets of Belgravia where Lord Lucan was last seen, Murders of London stalks the Capital's thoroughfares, uncovering the city's violent past.

Investigating the ordinary-looking roads and buildings whose gruesome pasts are all but forgotten, David long visits crime scenes and uncovers who did what to whom - and why. What drove Joe Meek, pop's space-age pioneer, to attack his landlady? When did Ruth Ellis conceive of her plan to shoot her lover dead? How did Dennis Nilsen escape detection for so long?

What emerges is an intriguing and enigmatic picture of London's underworld: a dark, frightening, yet strangely thrilling place.

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