2529 results 21-40
Selected as a Book of the Year by the New York Times, Times Literary Supplement and The Times
Despite his status as the most despised political figure in history, there have only been four serious biographies of Hitler since the 1930s. Even more surprisingly, his biographers have been more interested in his rise to power and his methods of leadership than in Hitler the person: some have even declared that the Führer had no private life.
Yet to render Hitler as a political animal with no personality to speak of, as a man of limited intelligence and poor social skills, fails to explain the spell that he cast not only on those close to him but on the German people as a whole. In the first volume of this monumental biography, Volker Ullrich sets out to correct our perception of the Führer. While charting in detail Hitler’s life from his childhood to the eve of the Second World War against the politics of the times, Ullrich unveils the man behind the public persona: his charming and repulsive traits, his talents and weaknesses, his deep-seated insecurities and murderous passions.
Drawing on a wealth of previously neglected or unavailable sources, this magisterial study provides the most rounded portrait of Hitler to date. Ullrich renders the Führer not as a psychopath but as a master of seduction and guile — and it is perhaps the complexity of his character that explains his enigmatic grip on the German people more convincingly than the clichéd image of the monster.
This definitive biography will forever change the way we look at the man who took the world into the abyss.
It is the spring of 2003 and coalition forces are advancing on Iraq. Images of a giant statue of Saddam Hussein crashing to the ground in Baghdad are being beamed to news channels around the world. Nineteen-year-old Specialist Cassandra Wigheard, on her first deployment since joining the US army two years earlier, is primed for war.
For Abu al-Hool, a jihadist since the days of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, war is wearing thin. Two decades of fighting have left him questioning his commitment to the struggle. When Cassandra is taken prisoner by al-Hool’s mujahideen brotherhood, both fighters will find their loyalties tested to the very limits.
Can horses feel shame? Do deer grieve? Why do roosters deceive hens?
We tend to assume that we are the only living things able to experience feelings but have you ever wondered what’s going on in an animal’s head? From the leafy forest floor to the inside of a bee hive, The Inner Life of Animals opens up the animal kingdom like never before. We hear the stories of a grateful humpback whale, of a hedgehog who has nightmares, and of a magpie who commits adultery; we meet bees that plan for the future, pigs who learn their own names and crows that go tobogganing for fun. And at last we find out why wasps exist.
The story of Catholicism in Britain from the Reformation to the present day, from a master of popular history – 'A first-class storyteller' The Times
Throughout the three hundred years that followed the Act of Supremacy – which, by making Henry VIII head of the Church, confirmed in law the breach with Rome – English Catholics were prosecuted, persecuted and penalised for the public expression of their faith. Even after the passing of the emancipation acts Catholics were still the victims of institutionalised discrimination.
The first book to tell the story of the Catholics in Britain in a single volume, The Catholics includes much previously unpublished information. It focuses on the lives, and sometimes deaths, of individual Catholics – martyrs and apostates, priests and laymen, converts and recusants. It tells the story of the men and women who faced the dangers and difficulties of being what their enemies still call ‘Papists’. It describes the laws which circumscribed their lives, the political tensions which influenced their position within an essentially Anglican nation and the changes in dogma and liturgy by which Rome increasingly alienated their Protestant neighbours – and sometime even tested the loyalty of faithful Catholics.
The survival of Catholicism in Britain is the triumph of more than simple faith. It is the victory of moral and spiritual unbending certainty. Catholicism survives because it does not compromise. It is a characteristic that excites admiration in even a hardened atheist.
From the author of the Sunday Times Number One Bestseller Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
Rupert Murdoch is one of the greatest deal-makers alive. His companies possess extraordinary political and cultural power. Whether it is the Sun and the rise of Thatcher, BSkyB and the transformation of football, or Fox News and the war on terror, we have been living in the age of Murdoch since the late seventies. But who is he? What drives him?
With unprecedented access to Murdoch and his inner circle, Michael Wolff chronicles the astonishing growth of the mogul’s giant media kingdom. Drawing upon hundreds of hours of interviews he offers us a portrait of a Machiavellian titan; overbearing, but loving, father; love-struck husband; and a cynical and brilliant newsman. The resulting book is unrivalled in its intimacy and candour and tells a tale of business that is both the story of a man’s life, and the story of our times.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE 2017
'An eye-opening, well-written and very timely book' Yuval Noah Harari
'The best sort of book for our disordered days: timely, urgent and illuminating' Pankaj Mishra
'It strikes a blow…for common humanity' Sunday Times
The Muslim world has often been accused of a failure to modernise and adapt. Yet in this sweeping narrative and provocative retelling of modern history, Christopher de Bellaigue charts the forgotten story of the Islamic Enlightenment – the social movements, reforms and revolutions that transfigured the Middle East from the early nineteenth century to the present day. Modern ideals and practices were embraced across the region, including the adoption of modern medicine, the emergence of women from purdah and the development of democracy.
The Islamic Enlightenment looks behind the sensationalist headlines in order to foster a genuine understanding of Islam and its relationship to the West. It is essential reading for anyone engaged in the state of the world today.
‘The extraordinary story of a 1950s Glasgow murder mystery’ Guardian
**WINNER OF THE 2017 MCILVANNEY PRIZE FOR SCOTTISH CRIME BOOK OF THE YEAR**
**CHOSEN BY THE TELEGRAPH AS ONE OF THE BEST CRIME BOOKS OF 2017**
**CHOSEN BY THE FINANCIAL TIMES AS ONE OF THE BEST CRIME BOOKS OF 2017**
**CHOSEN BY THE GUARDIAN AS ONE OF THE BEST CRIME BOOKS OF 2017**
**CHOSEN BY THE SCOTSMAN AS ONE OF THE BEST CRIME BOOKS OF 2017**
Glasgow, 1957. It is a December night and William Watt is desperate. His family has been murdered and he needs to find out who killed them.
He arrives at a bar to meet Peter Manuel, who claims he can get hold of the gun that was used. But Watt soon realises that this infamous criminal will not give up information easily.
Inspired by true events, The Long Drop follows Watt and Manuel along back streets and into smoky pubs, and on to the courtroom where the murder trial takes place. Can Manuel really be trusted to tell the truth? And how far will Watt go to get what he wants?
‘A masterpiece by the woman who may be Britain’s finest living crime novelist’
‘Absorbing… this is a bravura performance, a true original’
‘Revisits a dark episode in Glasgow’s past… Mina navigates the uneasy territory between fact and fiction with consummate grace’
‘An extraordinary book of real passionate research’ Edmund de Waal
In 1945, Ezra Pound was due to stand trial for treason for his broadcasts in Fascist Italy during the Second World War. But before the trial could take place Pound was pronounced insane. Escaping a potential death sentence he was shipped off to St Elizabeths Hospital near Washington, DC, where he was held for over a decade.
At the hospital, Pound was at his most contradictory and most controversial: a genius writer – ‘The most important living poet in the English language’ according to T. S. Eliot – but also a traitor and now, seemingly, a madman. But he remained a magnetic figure. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell and John Berryman all went to visit him at what was perhaps the world’s most unorthodox literary salon: convened by a fascist and held in a lunatic asylum.
Told through the eyes of his illustrious visitors, The Bughouse captures the essence of Pound – the artistic flair, the profound human flaws – whilst telling the grand story of politics and art in the twentieth century.
Longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize
One hot August day a family drives to a mountain clearing to collect birch wood. Jenny, the mother, is in charge of lopping any small limbs off the logs with a hatchet. Wade, the father, does the stacking. The two daughters, June and May, aged nine and six, drink lemonade, swat away horseflies, bicker, sing snatches of songs as they while away the time.
But then something unimaginably shocking happens, an act so extreme it will scatter the family in every different direction.
Hame, n. Scottish form of ‘home’: a valued place regarded as a refuge or place of origin
After her relationship breaks down, Mhairi McPhail dismantles her life in New York and moves with her nine-year-old daughter, Agnes, to the remote Scottish island of Fascaray to write the biography of Grigor McWatt, the late Bard of Fascaray.
But who was the cantankerous Grigor McWatt? Despite his international reputation, details of his past are elusive. As Mhairi struggles to adapt to her new life she begins to unearth the astonishing secret history of the poet regarded by many as the custodian of Fascaray’s – and Scotland’s – soul.
From Dylan Thomas’s eighteen straight whiskies to Sylvia Plath’s desperate suicide in the gas oven of her Primrose Hill kitchen; from Chatterton’s Pre-Raphaelite demise to Keats’ death warrant in a smudge of arterial blood, the deaths of poets have often cast a backward shadow on their work.
The post-Romantic lore of the dissolute drunken poet has fatally skewed the image of poets in our culture. Novelists can be stable, savvy, politically adept and in control, but poets should be melancholic, doomed and self-destructive. Is this just an illusion , or is there some essential truth behind it? What is the price of poetry?
In this book, two contemporary poets embark on a series of journeys to the death places of poets of the past, in part as pilgrims, but also as investigators, interrogating the myth.
In a divided world, empathy is not the solution, it is the problem.
We think of empathy – the ability to feel the suffering of others for ourselves – as the ultimate source of all good behaviour. But while it inspires care and protection in personal relationships, it has the opposite effect in the wider world. As the latest research in psychology and neuroscience shows, we feel empathy most for those we find attractive and who seem similar to us and not at all for those who are different, distant or anonymous. Empathy therefore biases us in favour of individuals we know while numbing us to the plight of thousands. Guiding us expertly through the experiments, case studies and arguments on all sides, Paul Bloom ultimately shows that some of our worst decisions – in charity, child-raising, criminal justice, climate change and war – are motivated by this wolf in sheep's clothing.
Brilliantly argued, urgent and humane, Against Empathy overturns widely held assumptions to reveal one of the most profound yet overlooked sources of human conflict.
‘A brilliant novel… courageous, necessary and deeply touching’ Guardian
Édouard Louis grew up in a village in northern France where many live below the poverty line. His bestselling debut novel about life there, The End of Eddy, has sparked debate on social inequality, sexuality and violence.
It is an extraordinary portrait of escaping from an unbearable childhood, inspired by the author’s own. Written with an openness and compassionate intelligence, ultimately, it asks, how can we create our own freedom?
‘A mesmerising story about difference and adolescence’
New York Times
‘Édouard Louis…is that relatively rare thing – a novelist with something to say and a willingness to say it, without holding back’
‘Louis’ book has become the subject of political discussion in a way that novels rarely do’
Garth Greenwell, New Yorker
**A New York Times top 100 Notable Book of the Year**
Alexander Bruno is a man with expensive problems. Sporting a tuxedo and trotting the globe, he has spent his adult life as a professional gambler. His particular line of work: backgammon, at which he extracts large sums of money from men who think they can challenge his peerless acumen. In Singapore, his luck turned.
Maybe it had something to do with the Blot – a black spot which has emerged to distort Bruno’s vision. It’s not showing any signs of going away. As Bruno extends his losing streak in Berlin, it becomes clinically clear that the Blot is the symptom of something terrible. There’s a surgeon who can help, but surgery is going to involve a lot of money, and worse: returning home to the garish, hash-smoke streets of Berkeley, California. Here, the unseemly Keith Stolarsky – a childhood friend in possession of an empire of themed burger bars and thrift stores – is king. And he’s willing to help Bruno out. But there was always going to be a price.
Kate, a grieving, semi-alcoholic film student, invites an elderly woman to take part in an oral-history documentary. Jean declines, but makes her a bizarre counter-offer: if Kate can stay sober for four days, she will tell her a story. If she can stay sober beyond that, there will be another, and then another, amounting to the entire history of one family’s life.
Gradually, Jean offers a heart-breaking account, not only of her own history – a lost lover, a family scarred by war – but of the American century itself; as a deep connection emerges between the women which will transform both of their lives.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD
Mussolini was not only ruthless: he was subtle and manipulative. Black-shirted thugs did his dirty work for him: arson, murder, destruction of homes and offices, bribes and intimidation. His opponents – including editors, union representatives, lawyers and judges – were beaten into submission. But the tide turned in 1924 when his assassins went too far, horror spread across Italy, and antifascist resistance was born. Among those whose disgust hardened into bold and uncompromising resistance was a family from Florence: Amelia, Carlo and Nello Rosselli. Caroline Moorehead draws readers into the lives of this remarkable family – their loves, their loyalties, their laughter and their ultimate sacrifice.
*Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award*
*Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award*
*Shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize*
*A Sunday Times Book of the Year*
Xiaolu Guo meets her parents for the first time when she is almost seven. They are strangers to her.
When she is born in 1973, her parents hand her over to a childless peasant couple in the mountains. Aged two, and suffering from malnutrition on a diet of yam leaves, they leave Xiaolu with her illiterate grandparents in a fishing village on the East China Sea.
Once Upon a Time in the East takes Xiaolu from a run-down shack to film school in a rapidly changing Beijing, navigating the everyday peculiarity of modern China: censorship, underground art, Western boyfriends. In 2002 she leaves Beijing on a scholarship to study in Britain. Now, after a decade in Europe, her tale of East to West resonates with the insight that can only come from someone who is both an outsider and at home.
'This generation's Wild Swans' Daily Telegraph
‘As a writer, Carrère is straight berserk’ Junot Díaz
In this non-fiction novel – road trip, confession, and erotic tour de force – Emmanuel Carrère pursues two consuming obsessions: the disappearance of his grandfather amid suspicions that he was a Nazi collaborator in the Second World War; and a violently passionate affair with a woman that he loves but which ends in destruction. Moving between Paris and Kotelnich, a grisly post-Soviet town, Carrère weaves his story into a travelogue of a journey inward, travelling fearlessly into the depths of his tortured psyche.
Two sisters quarrel over an inheritance and a new baby. A housekeeper caring for a helpless old man uncovers secrets from his past. A young girl accepts a lift in a car with a group of strangers. An old friend brings bad news to a dinner party.
In these gripping and unsettling stories, the ordinary is made extraordinary and the real things that happen to people turn out to be every bit as mysterious as their dreams.
'As compelling as it is tough, sidestepping piety in favour of clear-eyed infectious anger' Sunday Times
Irene Dalila Mwathi comes from Kenya with a brutally violent personal history. Once she wanted to be a journalist, now all she wants is to be safe. When she finally arrives, bewildered, in London, she is attacked by the very people paid to protect her, and she has no choice but to step out on her own into this strange new world. Through a dizzying array of interviews, lawyer’s meetings, regulations and detention centres, she realises that what she faces may be no less dangerous than the violence she has fled.
Written with grace, humour and compassion, this timely and thought-provoking novel tackles its uncomfortable subject matter in a deeply affecting way. A book about forging dignity in a world of tragedy, and raising issues about immigration and asylum-seekers through the story of one woman’s plight, Dalila is a necessary tale of our times. It is also a work of great literary power: a slow-burning, spell-binding novel about how we treat the vulnerable and dispossessed that will leave its readers devastated.