This work abandons the conventional distinctions between history and science. Diamond focuses on what ancient people were endowed with in the way of land, animals and plants, and on the confrontations between less and more advanced people to see how this led to today's inequalities.
In spite of the perpetrators' intentions, the Tokyo gas attack left only twelve people dead, but thousands were injured and many suffered serious after-effects. This title features the author's interviews with the victims to tried and established precisely what happened on the subway that day.
Spanning the millennia and the continents - from India to Andalusia and from the bazaars of Cairo to the streets of Oxford, this is a story of a Jewish world immersed in and imprinted by the peoples among whom they have dwelled, from the Egyptians to the Greeks, from the Arabs to the Christians.
A magisterial new history book about the bloodlands - the lands that lie between Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany - where 14 million people were killed during the years 1933 - 1944 In the middle of Europe, in the middle of the twentieth century, the Nazi and Soviet regimes murdered fourteen million people in the bloodlands between Berlin and Moscow.In a twelve-year-period, in these killing fields - today's Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Western Russia and the eastern Baltic coast - an average of more than one million citizens were slaughtered every year, as a result of deliberate policies unrelated to combat.
In his revelatory book Timothy Snyder offers a ground-breaking investigation into the motives and methods of Stalin and Hitler and, using scholarly literature and primary sources, pays special attention to the testimony of the victims, including the letters home, the notes flung from trains, the diaries on corpses. The result is a brilliantly researched, profoundly humane, authoritative and original book that forces us to re-examine the greatest tragedy in European history and re-think our past.
Tells the official story that has inspired the British film, The Imitation Game, a nail-biting race against time following Alan Turing the pioneer of modern-day computing and credited with cracking the German Enigma code and his brilliant team at Britain's top-secret code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II.
A collection of essays on the key texts that have shaped the Eco, the novelist and critic. After the opening essay on the general significance of literature, this book examines a number of major authors from the Western canon, such as French writer Nerval's masterpiece, "Sylvie", as well as the works of Cervantes, Swift, and Piero Camporesi.
Draws connections between a range of subjects, from the history of the neglect and recovery of the Holocaust to the challenge of 'evil' in understanding the European past. This book shows how much of our history has been sacrificed in the triumph of myth-making over understanding and denial over memory.
Much of Peter Ackroyd's work has been concerned with the life and past of London but here, as a culmination, is his definitive account of the city. For him it is an organism with its own laws of growth and change, so he regards this as a "biography" rather than a history.
The American Civil War was one of the longest and bloodiest of modern wars. It is also one of the most mysterious. This book unpicks the geography, leadership and strategic logic of the war and takes us to the heart of the conflict.
Characterised by Chomsky's informative style, the enlightening and wide-ranging discussions in this book are an ideal introduction to his work, as well as radical interpretations of political events of the past three decades for those who have been listening for years.
Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. This title narrates the stories of Henry VIII's six wives: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleeves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr.
The twentieth century comes to life as an age of ideas - a time when, for good and for ill, the thoughts of the few reigned over the lives of the many. This title presents the triumphs and the failures of prominent intellectuals, adeptly explains both their ideas and the risks of their political commitments.
A collection of 29 pieces on books, writing, photography, and the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. With literary subjects ranging from Defoe through Rilke and Kafka to the giants of the 20th century, those who admire Coetzee as a novelist can also read his literary criticism.
A collection of conversations and essays about writers and writing. The collection explores the importance of religion, politics and history in the work of others. The essays trace the imaginative path by which a writer's individualized art is informed by the wider conditions of life.
Forever in the shadow of the war which followed, 1913 is usually seen as little more than the antechamber to apocalypse. This title proposes a strikingly different portrait, returning the world in that year to its contemporary freshness, its future still undecided, its outlook still open.
It is the most persistent myth of our time: religion is the cause of all violence. But history suggests otherwise. Karen Armstrong, former Roman Catholic nun and one of our foremost scholars of religion, speaks out to disprove the link between religion and bloodshed.
* Religion is as old as humanity: Fields of Blood goes back to the Stone Age hunter-gatherers and traces religion through the centuries, from medieval crusaders to modern-day jihadists.
* The West today has a warped concept of religion: we regard faith as a personal and private matter, but for most of history faith has informed people's entire outlook on life, and often been inseparable from politics.
* Humans undoubtedly have a natural propensity for aggression: the founders of the largest religions - Jesus, Buddha, the rabbis of early Judaism, the prophet Muhammad - aimed to curb violence and build a more peaceful and just society, but with our growing greed for money and wealth came collective violence and warfare.
* With the arrival of the modern all-powerful, secular state humanity's destructive potential has begun to spiral out of control. Is humanity on the brink of destroying itself?
Fields of Blood is a celebration of the ancient religious ideas and movements that have promoted peace and reconciliation across millennia of civilization.
Now includes a new Afterword - Talking to ISIL Across the world governments proclaim that they will never 'negotiate with evil'. And yet they always have and always will.
From jungle clearings to stately homes and anonymous airport hotels, Talking to Terrorists puts us in the room with the terrorists, secret agents and go-betweens who seek to change the course of history.
Jonathan Powell has spent nearly two decades mediating between governments and terrorist organisations. Drawing on conflicts from Colombia and Sri Lanka to Palestine and South Africa, this optimistic, wide-ranging, authoritative book is about how and why we should talk to terrorists.
For Priscilla, pre-war Paris was an exciting carousel of suitors, soirees and heartbreak, and eventually a lavish wedding to a French aristocrat. But the arrival of the Nazi tanks signalled the end of life as a Vicomtesse, and the beginning of a precarious existence under German Occupation.
Elizabeth of York would have ruled England, but for the fact that she was a woman. The eldest daughter of Edward IV, at seventeen she was relegated from pampered princess to bastard fugitive, but the probable murders of her brothers, the Princes in the Tower, left Elizabeth heiress to the royal House of York.
While some scientists tried to create an Aryan physics that excluded any 'Jewish ideas', many others made compromises and concessions as they continued to work under the Nazi regime. Among them were three world-renowned physicists: Max Planck, Peter Debye and Werner Heisenberg.
In North Korea, citizens found humming South Korean pop songs risk being sent to a gulag for six months of hard labour. Jail sentences are handed out if portraits of the late Kim Jong-il are not properly dusted. Shoot-to-kill orders are in effect for anyone caught trying to cross the Yalu or Tumen Rivers into China.
From the bestselling author of Wild Swans and Mao: The Unknown Story In this groundbreaking biography, Jung Chang vividly describes how Empress Dowager Cixi - the most important woman in Chinese history - brought a medieval empire into the modern age. Under her, the ancient country attained virtually all the attributes of a modern state and it was she who abolished gruesome punishments like 'death by a thousand cuts' and put an end to foot-binding. Jung Chang comprehensively overturns the conventional view of Cixi as a diehard conservative and cruel despot andalso takes the reader into the depths of her splendid Summer Palace and the harem of Beijing's Forbidden City, where she lived surrounded by eunuchs - with one of whom she fell in love, with tragic consequences.
Packed with drama, fast-paced and gripping, it is both a panoramic depiction of the birth of modern China and an intimate portrait of a woman: as the concubine to a monarch, as the absolute ruler of a third of the world's population, and as a unique stateswoman.
'Powerful' Simon Sebag Montefiore 'Truly authoritative' New York Times 'Wonderful' Sunday Times Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Biography Prize