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How Was It For You?

Virginia Nicholson (Author)

"A feeling that we could do whatever we liked swept through us in the 60s..."

The sexual revolution liberated a generation. But men most of all.

We tend to think of the 60s as a decade sprinkled with stardust: a time of space travel and utopian dreams, but above all of sexual abandonment. When the pill was introduced on the NHS in 1961 it seemed, for the first time, that women - like men - could try without buying.

"It was paradise for men... all these willing girls..."

But this book describes a turbulent power struggle.

Here are the voices from the battleground. Meet dollybird Mavis, debutante Kristina, Beryl who sang with the Beatles, bunny girl Patsy, Christian student Anthea, industrial campaigner Mary and countercultural Caroline. From Carnaby Street to Merseyside, from mods to rockers, from white gloves to Black is Beautiful, their stories throw an unsparing spotlight on morals, four-letter words, faith, drugs, race, bomb culture and sex.

This is a moving, shocking book about tearing up the world and starting again. It's about peace, love, psychedelia and strange pleasures, but it is also about misogyny, violation and discrimination - half a century before feminism rebranded. For out of the swamp of gropers and groupies, a movement was emerging, and discovering a new cause: equality.

The 1960s: this was where it all began. Women would never be the same again.

"A ground-breaking book, richly nuanced with titbits of information, insight and understanding" Daily Mail on Singled Out

"A tremendous achievement... a triumph of research and organisation - but also of sympathy" Observer on Millions Like Us

"An important and humane book of female social history" The Times on Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes

A Short History of Europe

Simon Jenkins (Author)

The first short, single-volume history of the continent, from the author of the bestselling A Short History of England

Europe is an astonishingly successful place. In this dazzling new history, bestselling author Simon Jenkins grippingly tells the story of its evolution from warring peoples to peace, wealth and freedom - a story that twists and turns from Greece and Rome, through the Dark Ages, the Reformation and the French Revolution, to the Second World War and up to the present day.

Jenkins takes in leaders from Julius Caesar and Joan of Arc, to Wellington and Angela Merkel, as well as cultural figures from Aristotle to Shakespeare and Picasso. He brings together the transformative forces and dominant eras into one chronological tale - all with his usual insight, colour and authority.

Despite the importance of Europe's politics, economy and culture, there has not been - until now - a concise book to tell this story. Covering the key events, themes and individuals, Jenkins' portrait of the continent could not be more timely - or masterful.

'Full of stand-out facts ... absolutely fascinating' - Richard Bacon, BBC Radio 2, on 'A Short History of England'

'Masterly, perhaps a masterpiece' - Independent, Books of the Year on England's Thousand Best Churches

'Jenkins is, like all good guides, more than simply informative: he can be courteous and rude, nostalgic and funny, elegant, convincing and relaxed' - Adam Nicolson on 'England's Thousand Best Houses', Evening Standard

'Full of the good judgements one might hope for from such a sensible and readable commentator, and they alone are worth perusing for pleasure and food for thought' - Michael Wood on 'A Short History of England', New Statesman

'Any passably cultured inhabitant of the British Isles should ask for, say, three or four copies of this book' - Max Hastings on 'England's Thousand Best Houses', Sunday Telegraph

Arnhem

Antony Beevor (Author)

The Sunday Times #1 Bestseller

The great airborne battle for the bridges in 1944 by Britain's Number One bestselling historian and author of the classic Stalingrad

'Our greatest chronicler of the Second World War . . . his fans will love it' - Robert Fox, Evening Standard

'The eye for telling detail which we have come to expect from Antony Beevor. . . this time, though, he turns his brilliance as a military historian to a subject not just of defeat, but dunderhead stupidity' Daily Mail

On 17 September 1944, General Kurt Student, the founder of Nazi Germany's parachute forces, heard the growing roar of aeroplane engines. He went out on to his balcony above the flat landscape of southern Holland to watch the air armada of Dakotas and gliders carrying the British 1st Airborne and the American 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions. He gazed up in envy at this massive demonstration of paratroop power.

Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold concept: the Americans thought it unusually bold for Field Marshal Montgomery. But could it ever have worked? The cost of failure was horrendous, above all for the Dutch, who risked everything to help. German reprisals were pitiless and cruel, and lasted until the end of the war.

The British fascination with heroic failure has clouded the story of Arnhem in myths. Antony Beevor, using often overlooked sources from Dutch, British, American, Polish and German archives, has reconstructed the terrible reality of the fighting, which General Student himself called 'The Last German Victory'. Yet this book, written in Beevor's inimitable and gripping narrative style, is about much more than a single, dramatic battle.

It looks into the very heart of war.

'In Beevor's hands, Arnhem becomes a study of national character' - Ben Macintyre, The Times

'Superb book, tirelessly researched and beautifully written' - Saul David, Daily Telegraph

'Complete mastery of both the story and the sources' - Keith Lowe, Literary Review

'Another masterwork from the most feted military historian of our time' - Jay Elwes, Prospect Magazine

'The analysis he has produced of the disaster is forensic' - Giles Milton, Sunday Times

'He is a master of his craft . . . we have here a definitive account' - Piers Paul Read, The Tablet

The Great Economists

Linda Yueh (Author)

What can the ideas of history's greatest economists tell us about the most important issues of our time?

'The best place to start to learn about the very greatest economists of all time' Professor Tyler Cowen, author of The Complacent Class and The Great Stagnation

Since the days of Adam Smith, economists have grappled with a series of familiar problems - but often their ideas are hard to digest, before we even try to apply them to today's issues. Linda Yueh is renowned for her combination of erudition, as an accomplished economist herself, and accessibility, as a leading writer and broadcaster in this field; and in The Great Economists she explains the key thoughts of history's greatest economists, how their lives and times affected their ideas, how our lives have been influenced by their work, and how they could help with the policy challenges that we face today.

In the light of current economic problems, and in particular economic growth, Yueh explores the thoughts of economists from Adam Smith and David Ricardo through Joan Robinson and Milton Friedman to Douglass North and Robert Solow. Along the way she asks, for example: what do the ideas of Karl Marx tell us about the likely future for the Chinese economy? How does the work of John Maynard Keynes, who argued for government spending to create full employment, help us think about state investment? And with globalization in trouble, what can we learn about handling Brexit and Trumpism?

In one accessible volume, this expert new voice provides an overarching guide to the biggest questions of our time.

The Great Economists includes:
Adam Smith
David Ricardo
Karl Marx
Alfred Marshall
Irving Fisher
John Maynard Keynes
Joseph Schumpeter
Friedrich Hayek
Joan Robinson
Milton Friedman
Douglass North
Robert Solow

'Economics students, like others, can learn a lot from this book' - Professor Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion

'Not only a great way to learn in an easily readable manner about some of the greatest economic influences of the past, but also a good way to test your own a priori assumptions about some of the big challenges of our time.' - Lord Jim O'Neill, former Chairman at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, former UK Treasury Minister, and author of The Growth Map

'An extremely engaging survey of the lifetimes and ideas of the great thinkers of economic history.' - Professor Kenneth Rogoff, author of The Curse of Cash and co-author of This Time is Different

'This book is a very readable introduction to the lives and thinking of the greats.' - Professor Raghuram Rajan, former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and author of I Do What I Do and Fault Lines

'Read it not only to learn about the world's great economists, but also to see how consequential thought innovations can be, and have been.' - Mohamed el-Erian, Chief Economic Adviser at Allianz, former CEO of PIMCO

Darkest Hour

Anthony McCarten (Author)

THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER AND OFFICIAL TIE-IN TO THE AWARD-WINNING MOTION PICTURE STARRING GARY OLDMAN, WHO TOOK HOME BEST ACTOR AT THE OSCARS FOR HIS SUBLIME TURN AS WINSTON CHURCHILL.

From the prize-winning screenwriter of The Theory of Everything, this is a cinematic, behind-the-scenes account of a crucial moment which takes us inside the mind of one of the world's greatest leaders - and provides a revisionist, more rounded portrait of his leadership.

May, 1940. Britain is at war, European democracies are falling rapidly and the public are unaware of this dangerous new world. Just days after his unlikely succession to Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, faces this horror - and a sceptical King and a party plotting against him. He wonders how he can capture the public mood and does so, magnificently, before leading the country to victory.

It is this fascinating period that Anthony McCarten captures in this deeply researched, gripping day-by-day (and often hour-by-hour) narrative. In doing so he revises the familiar view of Churchill - he made himself into the iconic figure we remember and changed the course of history, but through those turbulent and dangerous weeks he was plagued by doubt, and even explored a peace treaty with Nazi Germany. It's a scarier, and more human story, than has ever been told.

The Fear and the Freedom

Keith Lowe (Author)

The Second World War was one of the most catastrophic events in human history. But how did the experience and memory of bloodshed affect our relationships with each other and the world?

The new order, as it emerged after 1945, saw the end of European empires and the birth of two new superpowers, whose wrangling would lead to a new, global Cold War. Scientists delivered new technologies, architects planned buildings to rise from the rubble, politicians fantasized about overhauled societies, people changed their nationalities and dreamed of new lives.

As well as analyzing the major changes, The Fear and the Freedom uses the stores of how ordinary people coped with the post-war world and turned one of the greatest traumas in history into an opportunity for change. This is the definitive exploration of the aftermath of WWII - and the impact it still has today on our nations, cities and families.

The Face of Britain

Simon Schama (Author)

Simon Schama brings Britain to life through its portraits, as seen in the five-part BBC series The Face of Britain and the major National Portrait Gallery exhibition

Churchill and his painter locked in a struggle of stares and glares; Gainsborough watching his daughters run after a butterfly; a black Othello in the nineteenth century; the poet-artist Rossetti trying to capture on canvas what he couldn't possess in life; a surgeon-artist making studies of wounded faces brought in from the Battle of the Somme; a naked John Lennon five hours before his death.

In the age of the hasty glance and the selfie, Simon Schama has written a tour de force about the long exchange of looks from which British portraits have been made over the centuries: images of the modest and the mighty; of friends and lovers; heroes and working people. Each of them - the image-maker, the subject, and the rest of us who get to look at them - are brought unforgettably to life. Together they build into a collective picture of Britain, our past and our present, a look into the mirror of our identity at a moment when we are wondering just who we are.

Combining his two great passions, British history and art history, for the first time, Schama's extraordinary storytelling reveals the truth behind the nation's most famous portrayals of power, love, fame, the self, and the people. Mesmerising in its breadth and its panache, and beautifully illustrated, with more than 150 images from the National Portrait Gallery, The Face of Britain will change the way we see our past - and ourselves.

Charlotte Brontë

Claire Harman (Author)

On the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë's birth, Penguin is publishing the definitive biography of this extraordinary novelist, by acclaimed literary biographer Claire Harman

Charlotte Brontë's life contained all the drama and tragedy of the great Gothic novels it inspired. She was raised motherless on remote Yorkshire moors and sent away to brutally strict boarding school at a young age. She watched helpless growing up as, one by one, her five beloved siblings sickened and died; by the end of her short life, she was the only child of the Brontë clan remaining. And most fascinating and tragic of all, throughout her adult life she was haunted by a great and unrequited love - a love that tortured Charlotte but also inspired some of the most moving, intense and revolutionary novels ever written in the English language.

Charlotte was a literary visionary, a feminist trailblazer and the driving force behind the whole Brontë family. She encouraged her sister Emily to publish Wuthering Heights when no-one else believed in her talent. She took charge of the family's precarious finances when her brilliant but feckless brother Branwell succumbed to opium addiction. She travelled from Yorkshire to Europe to the bright lights of London, met some of the most brilliant literary minds of her generation (Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, William Thackeray), and became a bestselling female author in a world still dominated by men. And in each of her books, from Villette and Shirley to her most famous, Jane Eyre, Charlotte created brand new kinds of heroines, inspired by herself and her life, fiercely intelligent women burning with hidden passions.

This beautifully-produced, landmark biography is essential reading for every fan of the Brontë family's writing, from Jane Eyre to Wuthering Heights. It is a uniquely intimate and complex insight into one of Britain's best loved writers. This is the literary biography of the year; if you loved Claire Tomalin's Charles Dickens, this event is not to be missed.

Ardennes 1944

Antony Beevor (Author)

On 16 December 1944, Hitler launched his 'last gamble' in the snow-covered forests and gorges of the Ardennes on the Belgian/German border. Although Hitler's generals were doubtful of success, younger officers and NCOs were desperate to believe that their homes and families could be saved from the vengeful Red Army approaching from the east. The Ardennes offensive, with more than a million men involved, became the greatest battle of the war in western Europe.

In January 1945, when the Red Army launched its onslaught towards Berlin, the once-feared German war machine was revealed to be broken beyond repair. The Ardennes was the battle which finally broke the Wehrmacht.

The Fateful Year

Mark Bostridge (Author)

The Fateful Year by Mark Bostridge is the story of England in 1914. War with Germany, so often imagined and predicted, finally broke out when people were least prepared for it.

Here, among a crowded cast of unforgettable characters, are suffragettes, armed with axes, destroying works of art, schoolchildren going on strike in support of their teachers, and celebrity aviators thrilling spectators by looping the loop. A theatrical diva prepares to shock her audience, while an English poet in the making sets out on a midsummer railway journey that will result in the creation of a poem that remains loved and widely known to this day.

With the coming of war, England is beset by rumour and foreboding. There is hysteria about German spies, fears of invasion, while patriotic women hand out white feathers to men who have failed to rush to their country's defence. In the book's final pages, a bomb falls from the air onto British soil for the first time, and people live in expectation of air raids.

As 1914 fades out, England is preparing itself for the prospect of a war of long duration.

Mark Bostridge won the Gladstone Memorial Prize at Oxford University. His first book Vera Brittain: A Life was shortlisted for the Whitbread Biography Prize, the NCR NonFiction Award, and the Fawcett Prize. His books also include the bestselling Letters from a Lost Generation; Lives for Sale, a collection of biographers' tales; Because You Died, a selection of Vera Brittain's First World War poetry and prose; and Florence Nightingale: The Woman and her Legend, which was named as a Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2008 and awarded the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography. The Fateful Year was shortlisted for the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History 2015.

Great Britain's Great War

Jeremy Paxman (Author)

Jeremy Paxman's magnificent history of the First World War tells the entire story of the war in one gripping narrative from the point of view of the British people.

'If there is one new history of the war that you might actually enjoy this is very likely it' The Times

'Lively, surprising and memorable' Guardian

'A procession of fascinating details' Prospect

'Paxman writes so well and sympathetically and he chooses his detail so deftly' The Times

'Clever, laconic and racy' Daily Telegraph


Life in Britain during the First World War was far stranger than many of us realize. In a country awash with mad rumour, frenzied patriotism and intense personal anguish, it became illegal to light a bonfire, fly a kite or buy a round of drinks. And yet the immense upheaval of the war led to many things we take for granted today: the vote, passports, vegetable allotments and British Summer Time among them. In this immensely captivating account, Jeremy Paxman tells the entire story of the war through the experience of those who lived it - nurses, soldiers, politicians, factory-workers, journalists and children - explaining why we fought it so willingly, how we endured it so long, and how it transformed us all.


'A profoundly personal and thought-provoking new analysis of the Great War' Mail on Sunday

'One is left with a better understanding of how the Great Britain that began the war became more like ordinary Britain by its end' Sunday Times

'A judicious mix between individual stories and the bigger picture ... engages the mind and emotions' Daily Telegraph

'Particularly good in showing how much a modern perspective distorts our understanding' Prospect

'Incisive, colourful. Paxman delves into every aspect of British life to capture the mood and morale of the nation' Daily Express

Jeremy Paxman is a renowned broadcaster, award-winning journalist and the bestselling author of seven works of non-fiction, including The English, The Political Animal and Empire.

How to be a Victorian

Ruth Goodman (Author)

How to be a Victorian - a time traveller's guide to Victorian Britain by the BBC's Ruth Goodman

We know what life was like for Victoria and Albert. But what was it like for a commoner like you or me? How did it feel to cook with coal and wash with tea leaves? Drink beer for breakfast and clean your teeth with cuttlefish? Dress in whalebone and feed opium to the baby? Surviving everyday life came down to the gritty details, the small necessities and tricks of living.

Drawing on Ruth's unique first-hand experience, gained from living on a Victorian farm for a year, this book will teach you everything you need to know about 19th century living.

If you liked A Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England or If Walls Could Talk, you will love this book.

Popular Historian Ruth Goodman is an expert in nineteenth-century social and domestic history. She has presented a number of BBC television series, including Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm and is a regular expert on The One Show. She spent ten years as a historical advisor to the Royal Shakespeare Company's Globe Theatre and has co-authored three books, including the Number One Bestseller Victorian Farm.

Empire

Jeremy Paxman (Author)

From the bestselling author of The English comes Empire, Jeremy Paxman's history of the British Empire accompanied by a flagship 5-part BBC TV series, for readers of Simon Schama and Andrew Marr.

The influence of the British Empire is everywhere, from the very existence of the United Kingdom to the ethnic composition of our cities. It affects everything, from Prime Ministers' decisions to send troops to war to the adventurers we admire. From the sports we think we're good at to the architecture of our buildings; the way we travel to the way we trade; the hopeless losers we will on, and the food we hunger for, the empire is never very far away.

In this acute and witty analysis, Jeremy Paxman goes to the very heart of empire. As he describes the selection process for colonial officers ('intended to weed out the cad, the feeble and the too clever') the importance of sport, the sweating domestic life of the colonial officer's wife ('the challenge with cooking meat was "to grasp the fleeting moment between toughness and putrefaction when the joint may possibly prove eatable"') and the crazed end for General Gordon of Khartoum, Paxman brings brilliantly to life the tragedy and comedy of Empire and reveals its profound and lasting effect on our nation and ourselves.

'Paxman is witty, incisive, acerbic and opinionated . . . In short, he carries the whole thing off with panache bordering on effrontery' Piers Brendon, Sunday Times

'Paxman is a magnificent historian, and Empire may be remembered as his finest work' Independent on Sunday

Jeremy Paxman was born in Yorkshire and educated at Cambridge. He is an award-winning journalist who spent ten years reporting from overseas, notably for Panorama. He is the author of five books including The English. He is the presenter of Newsnight and University Challenge and has presented BBC documentaries on various subjects including Victorian art and Wilfred Owen.

The Story of England

Michael Wood (Author)

In The Story of England Michael Wood tells the extraordinary story of one English community over fifteen centuries, from the moment that the Roman Emperor Honorius sent his famous letter in 410 advising the English to look to their own defences to the village as it is today.

The village of Kibworth in Leicestershire lies at the very centre of England. It has a church, some pubs, the Grand Union Canal, a First World War Memorial - and many centuries of recorded history. In the thirteenth century the village was bought by William de Merton, who later founded Merton College, Oxford, with the result that documents covering 750 years of village history are lodged at the college.
Building on this unique archive, and enlisting the help of the current inhabitants of Kibworth, with a village-wide archeological dig, with the first complete DNA profile of an English village and with use of local materials like family memorabilia, the story of Kibworth is the story of England itself, a 'Who Do You Think You Are?' for the entire nation.

'Better than any historian for decades, [in In Search of England] Wood brings home not just the ways in which buildings, landscapes and written texts may be read, but the sensual beauty of encounters with them' TLS

Michael Wood was born and educated in Manchester. He was an open scholar in Modern History at Oriel College, Oxford, where he held a Bishop Fraser scholarship in Medieval History as a postgraduate. He has made a number of internationally successful tv series, including In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, and four of his books have been UK non-fiction number one bestsellers. His highly acclaimed book of essays on early English history, In Search of England, was published by Penguin in 1999.

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