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The Bomber War

James Holland (Author) , Keith Burns (By (artist))

Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, The Bomber War is an accessible, insightful and authoritative introduction to the airborne Allied fight against Nazi Germany.

Historian, author and broadcaster James Holland draws on the latest research and interviews with participants to bring colour, detail and a fresh perspective to the story.

Inside, you'll discover how tactics, organisation and new technologies were brought to bear, about the different challenges faced by both the Axis and the Allies, and, above all, the skill, bravery and endurance of those engaged in a contest that was of critical importance to the outcome of the war.

The Cut Out Girl

Bart van Es (Author)

An astonishing, moving story of a young girl's struggle for survival during war

'Luminous, elegant, haunting - I read it straight through' Philippe Sands, Author of East West Street

The last time Lien saw her parents was in the Hague, where she was collected at the door by a stranger and taken away to be hidden from the Nazis. She was raised by her foster family as one of their own, but a falling out after the war put an end of to their relationship. What was her side of the story, Bart van Es - a grandson of the couple who looked after Lien - wondered? What really happened during the war, and after? So began an investigation that would consume and transform both Bart's life and Lien's. This is an astonishing portrait of a young girl's struggle to survive war, and her powerful, tumultuous and painful ties with her foster family.

'Remarkable, deeply moving' Penelope Lively

'An awe-inspiring account of the tragedies and triumphs within the world of the Holocaust's "hide-away" children, and of the families who sheltered them' Georgia Hunter, author of We Were the Lucky Ones

'Harrowing and beautiful' The Bookseller

The Penguin Book of Outer Space Exploration

John Logsdon (Edited by)

Among all the technological accomplishments of the last century, none has captured our imagination more deeply than the movement of humans into outer space. From Sputnik to SpaceX, the story of that journey is told as never before in The Penguin Book of Outer Space Exploration.

Renowned space historian John Logsdon has uncovered the most fascinating items in the NASA archive and woven them together with expert narrative guidance to create a history of how Americans got to space and what they've done there. Beginning with rocket genius Wernher von Braun's vision for voyaging to Mars and closing with Elon Musk's contemporary plan to get there, this volume traces major events like the founding of NASA, the first American astronauts in space, the moon landings, the Challenger disaster, the daring Hubble Telescope repairs and more.

The Pacific 1941-43

James Holland (Author) , Keith Burns (By (artist))

Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, The Pacific: 1941-43 is an accessible, insightful and authoritative introduction to the Allied counter-offensive against the Empire of Japan and Axis forces in the South Pacific.

Historian, author and broadcaster James Holland draws on the latest research and interviews with participants to bring colour, detail and a fresh perspective to the story.

Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history and culture.

For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small hardback format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.

Crucible

Charles Emmerson (Author)

What comes first: the character of the times, or the characters who give it theirs?

Crucible charts the trajectories of the characters who fell from power in the bloody breakdown of Europe’s old order between 1917 and 1924, and those who for whom the restless chaos marked the beginning of an unlikely rise to fame.

Year by year, we follow Kaiser Wilhelm into his wood-chopping Dutch exile, and Lenin from his Swiss library-desk to his muddled end as an invalid in revolutionary Russia gone stale. Ernest Hemingway criss-crosses the Atlantic in search of himself: soldier, hack journalist, writer, fisherman. Surrealism is born in a Paris attic. Europe suffers a nervous collapse, alternating between revolution and reaction. America takes fright. A Viennese doctor of eclectic tastes becomes an intellectual celebrity. An Austrian ex-soldier touts himself as the tribune of the German people.

Outside the classic frames of war and peace, these all-too-human tales – funny, tragic and fateful – tell a wider story of the exuberant dreams, dark fears, grubby ambition and sheer chance which marked Europe’s post-war metamorphosis, and the century to come.

Becoming

Michelle Obama (Author)

Pre-order: Amazon Waterstones Audible Foyles WHSmith

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America - the first African-American to serve in that role - she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations - and whose story inspires us to do the same.

Japan Story

Christopher Harding (Author)

This is a fresh and surprising account of Japan's culture from the 'opening up' of the country in the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

It is told through the eyes of people who greeted this change not with the confidence and grasping ambition of Japan's modernizers and nationalists, but with resistance, conflict, distress.

We encounter writers of dramas, ghost stories and crime novels where modernity itself is the tragedy, the ghoul and the bad guy; surrealist and avant-garde artists sketching their escape; rebel kamikaze pilots and the put-upon urban poor; hypnotists and gangsters; men in desperate search of the eternal feminine and feminists in search of something more than state-sanctioned subservience; Buddhists without morals; Marxist terror groups; couches full to bursting with the psychological fall-out of breakneck modernization. These people all sprang from the soil of modern Japan, but their personalities and projects failed to fit. They were 'dark blossoms': both East-West hybrids and home-grown varieties that wreathed, probed and sometimes penetrated the new structures of mainstream Japan.

Miami and the Siege of Chicago

Norman Mailer (Author)

Miami, Summer 1968. The Vietnam War is raging; Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy have just been assassinated. The Republican Party meets in Miami and picks Richard Nixon as its candidate, to little fanfare. But when the Democrats back Lyndon Johnson's ineffectual vice president, Hubert Humphrey, the city of Chicago erupts. Antiwar protesters fill the streets and the police run amok, beating and arresting demonstrators and delegates alike, all broadcast on live television, and captured in these pages by one of America's fiercest intellects.

100 Years of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!

Ripley (Author)

Celebrate a century of the weird, the eccentric and the amazing with 100 Years of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!

From humble beginnings in 1918, Ripley has become the world’s best-known brand when it comes to incredible-but-true facts. Now, the most remarkable stories from 100 years of adventures have been brought together in this colourful compendium. Its pages contain the most fascinating and surprising stories from a century of Ripley, including:

- The fascinating true story of the original Mr Ripley, who built a global business from his love of unusual stories
- Awe-inspiring fold-out pages that bring the Ripley story alive in three dimensions
- Never-before-seen images of the oddest objects from the depths of the Ripley archive

Spectacular, surprising and inspiring at turns, 100 Years of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! is a must-have for anyone intrigued by the weirder side of the last century . . .

Fight to the Finish

Allan Mallinson (Author)

From the opening shots to the signing of the armistice, the First World War lasted almost 52 months. It was fought on, or in the waters of, six of the seven continents, and in all of the Seven Seas. For the first time, the fighting was on land, sea and in the air. It became industrial, and unrestricted: poison gas, aerial bombing of cities, and the sinking without warning of merchantmen and passenger ships by submarines. Military and civilian casualties probably exceeded 40 million. Four empires collapsed during the course of the war – the German, Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman. In all its military, political, geographical, economic, scientific, technological and above all human complexity, the First World War is almost impossible to comprehend. The day-by-day narratives – excellent reference books – can be dizzying for the reader trying to make sense of the whole. Freer-flowing accounts, while helping to understand the broader trends and factors, can give less of a sense of the human dimension of time. The month is a more digestible gauge. We remember months, because months have names, because they are linked to the seasons, and because they have their own character. Looking at the First World War month by month reveals its complexity while preserving the sense of time.

Based on the author’s monthly commentaries in The Times throughout the centenary, Fight to the Finish is a new and original portrait of “The War to End War.”

Churchill

Andrew Roberts (Author)

Winston Churchill dominates our view of the history of Britain in the twentieth century - the brash, brave and ambitious young aristocrat who sought out danger in late Victorian wars, the mercurial First Lord of the Admiralty who was responsible for the Dardanelles disaster in 1915, the Home Secretary who crushed the General Strike in 1926, the Colonial Secretary who rode with T. E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell at the Pyramids, the Chancellor who took the country back to the Gold Standard and then spent more than ten years in the political wilderness - and who, finally, was summoned to save his country in 1940. 'I felt that I was walking with destiny, and all my life had been but preparation for that hour.' Andrew Robert's titanic new biography interprets all these events, especially Churchill's leadership during the Second World War, which he sees through the prism of all Churchill's earlier life. He gives full visibility to Churchill's flaws, and brilliantly explains his genius.

Roberts has used over forty collections of papers not available to Churchill's previous biographer Roy Jenkins (2001) and he is the first Churchill biographer to be granted access by the Queen to the private diaries of King George VI. This is the Churchill biography for our times and the next generation.

In Europe (Vintage Classic Europeans Series)

Geert Mak (Author)

The Vintage Classics Europeans series - with covers provided by textile design firm Wallace Sewell, these are must-have editions of European masterpieces, celebrating the warp and weft of a shared literary treasury.


In 1999, journalist and historian Geert Mak criss-crossed the continent in the simple yet monumental quest to trace European twentieth-century history as the world slipped into the twenty-first. In Europe is a dazzling account of that journey, and combines the larger story of Europe with intimate, vivid detail. It is also now a poignant reminder that the European project was then and is now a unprecedented experiment; that we still have ‘a great deal to tell each other and a great deal to explain.’

TRANSLATED FROM THE DUTCH BY SAM GARRETT


‘A wonderfully rich journey through time and space’ Independent on Sunday

Gandhi 1915-1948

Ramachandra Guha (Author)

The magnificent new biography of Gandhi by India's leading historian

Gandhi lived one of the great 20th-century lives. He inspired and enraged, challenged and galvanized many millions of men and women around the world. He lived almost entirely in the shadow of the British Raj, which for much of his life seemed a permanent fact, but which he did more than anyone else to destroy, using revolutionary tactics. In a world defined by violence on a scale never imagined before and by ferocious Fascist and Communist dictatorship, he was armed with nothing more than his arguments and example.

This magnificent book tells the story of Gandhi's life, from his departure from South Africa to his assassination in 1948. It is a book with a Tolstoyan sweep, both allowing us to see Gandhi as he was understood by his contemporaries and the vast, varied Indian societies and landscapes which he travelled through and changed beyond measure. Drawing on many new sources and animated by its author's wonderful sense of drama and politics, Gandhi is a major reappraisal of the crucial years in this titanic figure's story.

The Spy and the Traitor

Ben MacIntyre (Author)

'THE BEST TRUE SPY STORY I HAVE EVER READ' JOHN LE CARRÉ

A thrilling Cold War story about a KGB double agent, by one of Britain's greatest historians

On a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket.

The man was a spy for MI6. A senior KGB officer, for more than a decade he had supplied his British spymasters with a stream of priceless secrets from deep within the Soviet intelligence machine. No spy had done more to damage the KGB. The Safeway bag was a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia.

So began one of the boldest and most extraordinary episodes in the history of espionage. In The Spy and the Traitor Ben Macintyre reveals a tale of betrayal, duplicity and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever.

Our Boys

Helen Parr (Author)

'This is an extraordinary book. It is partly about the Falklands War itself and the terrible things that the Paras endured, and the terrible things that some of them did, but it is also about the white working class of the 1970s and why some men born into this class ended up marching across an island that most of them had never heard of. Thoughtful and sometimes heart-breaking' Richard Vinen, author of National Service

Our Boys brings to life the human experiences of the paratroopers who fought in the Falklands War, and examines the long aftermath of that conflict. It is a first in many ways - a history of the Parachute Regiment, a group with an elite and aggressive reputation; a study of close-quarters combat on the Falkland Islands; and an exploration of the many legacies of this short and symbolic war.

Told unflinchingly through the experiences of people who lived through it, Our Boys shows how the Falklands conflict began to change Britain's relationship with its soldiers, and our attitudes to trauma and war itself. It is also the story of one particular soldier: the author's uncle, who was killed during the conflict, and whose fate has haunted both the author and his fellow paratroopers ever since.

Roller-Coaster

Ian Kershaw (Author)

From one of Britain's most distinguished historians and the bestselling author of Hitler, this is the definitive history of a divided Europe, from the aftermath of the Second World War to the present.

After the overwhelming horrors of the first half of the 20th century, described by Ian Kershaw in his previous book as having gone 'to Hell and back', the years from 1950 to 2017 brought peace and relative prosperity to most of Europe. Enormous economic improvements transformed the continent. The catastrophic era of the world wars receded into an ever more distant past, though its long shadow continued to shape mentalities.

Europe was now a divided continent, living under the nuclear threat in a period intermittently fraught with anxiety. Europeans experienced a 'roller-coaster ride', both in the sense that they were flung through a series of events which threatened disaster, but also in that they were no longer in charge of their own destinies: for much of the period the USA and USSR effectively reduced Europeans to helpless figures whose fates were dictated to them by the Cold War. There were striking successes - the Soviet bloc melted away, dictatorships vanished and Germany was successfully reunited. But accelerating globalization brought new fragilities. The impact of interlocking crises after 2008 was the clearest warning to Europeans that there was no guarantee of peace and stability.

In this remarkable book, Ian Kershaw has created a grand panorama of the world we live in and where it came from. Drawing on examples from all across the continent, Roller-Coaster will make us all rethink Europe and what it means to be European.

The Stepney Doorstep Society

Kate Thompson (Author)

The unsung and remarkable stories of the women who held London's East End together during not one, but two world wars.

While the men were away at war it was strong women like Joan, Marie, Babs, Beattie and Minksy who ruled the streets of the East End. Kate Thompson tells the real stories of the war experienced by these matriarchs, a tribe of working-class women in the stinking streets, teeming tenements and sweatshops of East London.

Forget church halls and jam making, these powerfully authentic stories will have you questioning what you thought you knew about wartime women. From standing up to the Kray twins, taking over the London Underground, and crawling out of bombsites, these women fought to survive and protect their community in some of our country's darkest hours.

The Last Englishmen

Deborah Baker (Author)

'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 (Author)

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.

Stalin’s Meteorologist

Olivier Rolin (Author) , Ros Schwartz (Translator)

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.

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