Political & Military: 1-18 of 18
Gurkha: Better to Die than Live a Coward: My Life in the Gurkhas finds Colour Sergeant Kailash Limbu providing a fascinating insight into what life is like as a serving Gurkha.
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In the summer of 2006, Limbu's platoon was sent to relieve and occupy a police compound in the town of Now Zad in Helmand. They were expecting the operation to take 48 hours. It actually took 31 days and became one of the longest sieges during the Afghan campaign.
In this memoir, Limbu recalls the month spent during this time - a period where he and his troop killed an estimated 100 Taliban fighters - and talks about his home life growing up in a village without roads or electricity. From his childhood to traditional Gurkha training and rituals - including learning how to use the lethal Kukri knife - this is an eye-opening and fascinating account of one man's life as a Gurkha.
We Brits love a good escape story - but how much more thrilling is it when the story is true! The Cooler King tells the story of William Ash, an American pilot who, after his plane was shot down over France in early 1942, spent the war striving to escape the Nazis' POW camps.
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Accompanied by Roger Bushell, who would go on to lead the Great Escape, and a host of fascinating characters, the book climaxes in a breakout via a tunnel dug in the latrines of the Oflag XXIB prison camp in Poland - this is one of the great untold stories of World War II. By weaving together contemporary documents and interviews with Ash's comrades, the book vividly recreates the multiple escape attempts, while also examining the POW experience and analysing the passion that drove prisoners to risk death in repeated bids for freedom.
Uplifting, inspirational and full of high drama, The Cooler King by Patrick Bishop is a must for armchair historians - especially fans of Unbroken and The Real Great Escape.
In November 2009, young lawyer Sergei Magnitsky is led to a freezing isolation cell in a Moscow prison, handcuffed to a bed rail and beaten to death by eight police officers. His crime? To testify against the Russian Interior Ministry officials who were involved in a conspiracy to steal millions of dollars in taxes. Magnitsky's killing has remained uninvestigated and unpunished to this day...
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Red Notice is a searing expose of how the Russian authorities swept Magnitsky's imprisonment and murder under the carpet, slicing deep into the sordid truths of the Kremlin. Bill Browder's graphic portrait of the Russian government as a criminal enterprise wielding all the power of a sovereign state illuminates his personal transformation from financier to human rights activist, campaigning for justice for his late lawyer and friend.
With fraud, bribery, corruption and torture exposed at every turn, Red Notice by Bill Browder is a shocking but true political true story of the roller-coaster that plays out in the highest echelons of Western power.
Edited by his official biographer Martin Gilbert, Churchill: The Power of Words contains 200 extracts from Winston Churchill's personal books, articles and speeches that reflect his life story, career and philosophy.
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The hardback book features everything from intimate memories of Churchill's childhood through to his debates on social policy, war and political causes. Fascinating reading for anyone interested in politics, the book is an illuminating, fascinating and compelling portrait of both the public and the private life of Winston Churchill, told in the legendary prime minister's very own words.
After running for president in 2008, Hillary Clinton expected to return to represent New York in the United States Senate. But to her surprise, President Barack Obama asked her to serve in his Democratic administration as Secretary of State.
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Hard Choices is a memoir that finds Clinton looking back at the challenges she faced in her four years in this role. From forming a successful working relationship with Obama to winding down two wars and addressing a global financial crisis, the decisions Clinton helped make would affect the entire world.
With a truly global perspective of the trends affecting the landscape of the 21st century, this book finds Clinton drawing on her conversations with numerous world leaders and experts to give her views on how the US can continue to compete and thrive in modern society. She also gives a personal and passionate plea for human rights, particularly those affecting girls, LGBT people and the youth of today.
Endlessly fascinating, this book not only provides a glimpse into life in Washington, but also an insight into Clinton's mind and a masterclass in international relations.
Uncover the true history of the Great War through the letters exchanged between the real men of the frontline and their families in this strikingly poignant book, Letters from the Trenches.
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Covering a range of social classes and military ranks, this comprehensive, eye-opening and often heartbreaking treasury of personal letters gives readers a first-hand insight to how people really felt during the First World War, uncovering their lost feelings, how conflict changed and affected them as people and how life continued without them...
Skilfully bound together by journalist Jacqueline Wadsworth, Letters for the Trenches provides a fully comprehensive yet personal account of life during wartime.
Thousands of lives have been saved by this spaniel. He is a best friend in dog's clothing. An RAF dog with his mossy feet firmly on the ground. A brave dog who has served his colleagues and his country with unstinting devotion. A dog in a million. This is the story of the partnership of Buster and Will, told by Will himself, describing how each came to save the other's life. This is a relationship that produced some heroic feats in the dust and desert heat of Afghanistan - and beyond. Buster, uniquely, has served five tours of duty - more than any other military dog. "With some dogs you share a boil in the bag breakfast and maybe a blanket on a cold desert floor. Some you wouldn't leave in charge of your Grandma unless you wanted to find out just how fast the old girl could run. But, if you're very, very lucky there will be the one dog you would lay down your life for - and for me that dog is Buster." As told to Isabel George.
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Presented in this highly personal account, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown lays bare his family's ancestry over 300 years of the Union and explains how it has shaped his life.
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Charting what it was like growing up in Scotland in the 1950s and 1960s, and explaining the influence of religion, education and Scotland's unique industrial structure on the shaping of his - and Scotland's - identity, he sets out the dramatic economic, social and cultural changes of the past 50 years and the vastly different prospects his children will face with or without Scottish independence.
With the referendum on Scottish independence being a hot topic for debate recently, Brown argues that Scotland will prosper with a strong Scottish Parliament that is part of the UK. Agree or disagree, My Scotland, Our Britain is an enlightening, eye-opening and honest account of how a nation's history has shaped one man's present and how our choices can shape the future of the next generation.
Highly detailed, frank and totally raw, Navy Seal Chris Kyle's autobiography American Sniper has been recently dramatised in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated film starring The Silver Linings Playbook's Bradley Cooper. If you've seen the film yet or not, the book is a must read!
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Hunted by his enemies, praised by his military brothers, Chris Kyle's life as the United States' most deadly marksman saw him kill a reported (although the actual figure is considered to be much higher) 150 enemy combatants. In his gripping memoir, American Sniper, Kyle shares the true story of his extraordinary decade-long career, including his multiple combat tours in Iraq and elsewhere from 1999-2009, and the difficulties he and his family faced when he returned home...
A riveting read detailing how a Texan cowboy can become an expert marksman and feared assassin, American Sniper by Chris Kyle is a perfect read for fans Marcus Luttrell's Lone Survivor and No Easy Day by Mark Owen.
Memorably brought to the big screen by director Angelina Jolie, Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken tells the story of Louis Zamperini (played in the film by Jack O'Connell) - an Olympic athlete who served as an airman during the Second World War and went through a number of torturous experiences...
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After a troubled youth, Zamperini found solace in his running and took part in the Berlin Olympics, almost running a four-minute mile. During the war, the bomber Zamperini was flying in crashed into the Pacific Ocean - surviving this, Zamperini had to fend off everything from hunger and thirst to sharks and enemy aircraft attacks. But when saviour eventually came, Zamperini would be faced with his toughest experience yet...
The extraordinary true story of a remarkable individual and a celebration of triumph against the most brutal of tribulations, this is a poignant read. You'll be inspired as you learn how Zamperini never gave up on hope and used his powers of endurance and resilience to survive every challenge that came his way...
At just 16 years old, Benjamin Clouting embarked with the British Expeditionary force for France in August 1914. Following this, he served on the Western front during every major engagement of the First World War except Loos, being wounded twice and having his horse shot from under him during a cavalry charge.
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Always wanting to be a soldier, he signed up for the force in 1913, meaning his training had barely completed by the time war broke out. Even though the Regiment tried to stop him going to France as he was under age, Ben flatly refused and went to serve under some of Britain's greatest war officers, including Major Tom Bridges and Captain Hornby.
These memoirs, edited by Richard Van Emden, offer a detailed account of life during the war, covering everything from the desperate fighting to hold back the German onslaught at 2nd Ypres to the camaraderie and bonds built between those situated in the trenches.
A remarkable study of the men who created the poetry that told the story of the First World War, The Red Sweet Wine of Youth by Nicholas Murray documents the brave lives of some remarkable men.
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Using journals, letters and literary archives, the author explores the lives of these frontline artists as they suffered in order to act as a literary beacon for the peace. Including fascinating insight into the political messages contained in World War I poetry, this excellent hardback is an absorbing testament to the courage of great men.
Published for the very first time, Guantanamo Bay detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi's Guantanamo Diary is a terrifying, darkly humorous and surprisingly gracious record of his detention at the infamous US prison camp.
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Imprisoned since August 2002 for an as yet unknown reason, Mohamedou Ould Slahi was a prisoner at the United States' Guantanamo Bay military detention camp who was subjected to torture of unthinkable forms as part of the United States' War on Terror. Three years into his incarceration, Slahi began documenting his experiences, crafting this deeply personal and harrowing account of his detainment by the US government - including the their decision to block his release despite being ordered by a federal judge...
In Guantanamo Diary, Mohamedou Ould Slahi details his life and treatment as a prisoner of the United States government and vividly presents not only a miscarriage of justice of true enormity, but a deeply personal and shocking memoir of a man who was both wrongly imprisoned and inhumanly treated.
As portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in the film adaptation The Imitation Game, Alan Turing: The Enigma is a book that tells the true story of how Turing's contributions and genius significantly shortened the length of the Second World War.
Written with great insight by Andrew Hodges, the book celebrates the achievements of a mysterious and highly intellectual individual. Alan Turing was a true pioneer, whose work can still be seen in the computers we use today and this book shows how Turing and his team managed to crack the German Enigma code while stationed at Bletchley Park.
An extraordinary story, the book also looks at the appalling way Turing was treated by the British establishment following his achievements. A fascinating read about an - until recently - unsung British hero.
A charismatic young man abandoned by his family at an early age, Joe Rantz dared to dream of escaping the challenges of the Great Depression and the painful memories of his early family life, finding solace in rowing. Heading on an extraordinary journey, Joe found himself lining up in a gold medal rowing race at the Berlin Olympics of 1936, in front of Adolf Hitler himself.
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Written by Daniel James Brown and full of lyricism and unexpected beauty, The Boys in the Boat is an inspirational true story.
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Mike Snook's Like Wolves on the Fold: The Defence of Rorke's Drift is the incredible story of the British Army's most famous action in the Zulu War. On 22 January 1879, a modern British Army was swept aside by the onset of a seemingly unstoppable host. Nearby a single company were certain they'd share the terrible fate of their comrades - but victory at Rorke's Drift was achieved largely by sheer bloody-mindedness against remarkable odds. This beautiful hardback tells the incredible story of how the Zulu attack unfolded and how 150 men achieved their momentous victory.
Stolen: Escape from Syria describes how, as one of the worst civil wars in Syria's history raged throughout the country, Louise Monaghan walked across a heavily guarded border to save her six-year-old child from the father who had so callously kidnapped her.
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She encountered captivity, beatings and cruelty beyond belief along the way, but miraculously both Louise and her little girl escaped. Their journey back, led by illegal people-smugglers, took them through bomb attacks and sniper fire and is actually a miracle in itself.
This emotional read is a breathtaking true story about survival.
As "The Dream of the Celt" opens, it is the summer of 1916 and Roger Casement awaits the hangman in London's Pentonville Prison. Dublin lies in ruins after the disastrous Easter Rising led by his comrades of the Irish Volunteers. He has been caught after landing from a German submarine. For the past year he has attempted to raise an Irish brigade from prisoners of war to fight alongside the Germans against the British Empire that awarded him a knighthood only a few years before. And now his petition for clemency is threatened by the leaking of his private diary and his secret life as a gay man...Vargas-Llosa, with his incomparable gift for powerful historical narrative, takes the reader on a journey back through a remarkable life dedicated to the exposure of barbaric treatment of indigenous peoples by European predators in the Congo and Amazonia. Casement was feted as one of the greatest humanitarians of the age. Now he is about to die ignominiously as a traitor.
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