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At the end of WWI, Germany was demonised. The Treaty of Versailles contained a 'war guilt' clause pinning the blame on the aggression of Germany and accusing her of 'supreme offence against international morality'. Thirteen Days rejects this verdict. Clive Ponting has made a thorough study of the incredibly complex diplomatic documents. His interpretation also rejects the thesis that Europe in 1914 had reached such a boiling point that war was bound to erupt and the theory that the origins of the War lay in a mighty arms race. He argues that the War occurred primarily because of the situation in the Balkans, while he gives full weight to Austria-Hungary's desire to cripple Serbia instead of negotiating, and to Russia's militaristic programme of expansion.
Clive Ponting begins with a dramatic recreation of the assassination in Sarajevo on 28 June. He then examines how things spiralled out of control during the weeks that led to war. The tension builds as his story criss-crosses the capital cities of Europe and describes developments day by day, and, latterly, hour by hour.
The First World War destroyed the old Europe. During four years of fighting nearly nine million soldiers were killed and twenty-one million wounded; over ten million civilians died. By the end of the War, three great European empires - Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia - had disintegrated. Why did the War happen? In 1914, the states of Europe had been at peace for forty years, and every diplomatic dispute had been resolved peacefully.
Thirteen Days describes failures of communication, fateful decisions and escalating military moves; it is an extraordinary narrative of personalities and diplomacy in the dying weeks of an era in which telephone networks were in their infancy and governments relied on telegrams in code and face-to-face meetings of ambassadors.
The Gulag Archipelago is Solzhenitsyn's masterwork, a vast canvas of camps, prisons, transit centres and secret police, of informers and spies and interrogators and also of heroism, a Stalinist anti-world at the heart of the Soviet Union where the key to survival lay not in hope but in despair.
The work is based on the testimony of some two hundred survivors, and on the recollection of Solzhenitsyn's own eleven years in labour camps and exile. It is both a thoroughly researched document and a feat of literary and imaginative power. This edition has been abridged into one volume at the author's wish and with his full co-operation.
Nelson: A Dream of Glory is the most comprehensive and thoroughly researched account ever written of Horatio Nelson's rise to international fame. Giving us the private as well as the public man, it combines ground-breaking scholarship with a brilliantly vivid and compelling style.
The Floating Egg begins with the search for an alchemist's secret, and ends with the re-imagination of a past world. Each chapter is connected to a particular corner of north-east England, and each explores the uncertain line where myth is dissolved into science, and belief gives way to knowledge.
Different episodes show how the fall of Constantinople converted the common rock of the Yorkshire cliffs into a source of extraordinary wealth and power, and how this in turn uncovered the inhabitants of a succession of past worlds; how a stone falling from the sky near this same coast changed the minds of all the natural philosophers of Europe; and how a new science was born on the top of the tower of York Minster. We learn about the cloak-and-dagger world of fossil trading in the town of Whitby; and we see the entire life-work of a forgotten scientific genius who died from consumption at the age of twenty-five, having revolutionised his science.
The stories move from documentary accounts to fictional recreations of historic events, from contemporary writing and illustrations to present-day reflection. By using different ways of describing the world of scientific endeavour, the author has produced a fascinating visually beautiful and highly entertaining book which allows us to witness the birth of a new science - the science of geology.
One of the most far-reaching events since the Second World War is the re-emergence of China as a world power, and its present government's willingness to open up the country to the rest of the world.
This comprehensive cultural history ranges from prehistoric times to the present - from the disunity of Pre-Imperial China to the renaissance of the Sung and Tang dynasties, from the Mongol conquest to Tiananmen Square and the 1989 student revolt. By placing the modern country in historical perspective this brilliant study reveals how many continuities there are within the oldest of all civilizations.
The origins of the non-royal dukes in the British peerage divide nicely into Tudor looters, Royal bastards, opportunist generals, territorial, metropolitan or Scottish magnates. Lloyd George said that a duke, fully equipped, cost more than a dreadnought to maintain and with their palaces, possessions and retinues, they are nearly all splendid. Some of them are, of course, now poor; some of them have great wealth; some of them hit every headline and others are obscure. But within each duchy, Brian Masters tells the story of quaint grandees determined to survive.
The Dukes is an essential guide that provides vital biographical information and explores the history of the dukes in unprecedented depth. This revised edition includes new information which was not available on first publication, and brings up to date the accounts of families whose titles have passed to a subsequent generation in the intervening years.
In 2001, Adam Henson was chosen from 3,500 applicants to become a presenter on Countryfile. Adam's agricultural knowledge and open manner soon made him a popular figure and when the programme moved to its current Sunday evening slot in 2009, he began to present a weekly report from his own farm in the Cotswolds.
There, the ups and downs of the farming calendar, as told in Adam's straight-talking fashion, soon became one of the most popular parts of the programme as viewers watched him endure the stress of TB testing and his sadness at losing valuable cattle as well as the highs of spring lambing.
This is the first book by Adam Henson, and it is an enthralling, first-person account of the drama, emotion and sheer hard work that is life on Adam's Farm.
Three of Ellroy's most compelling novels featuring Detective Sergeant Lloyd Hopkins in one volume. Blood On The Moon: 20 random killings of women are unconnected in police files. But Det. Sgt. Lloyd Hopkins sees a pattern. As he is drawn to the murderer, the two men face a confrontation pitting icy intelligence against white-heated madness. . . Because The Night: Jacob Herzog, hero cop, has disappeared. A multiple murder committed with a pre-Civil War revolver remains unsolved. Are the two cases connected? As Det. Sgt. Lloyd Hopkins pieces the puzzle together he discovers the darker threat of John Haviland, a psychiatrist whose pleasure comes from the manipulation of the weak and lonely. Suicide Hill: Duane Rice leaves jail with good news and bad news: two adulterous bank managers are ripe for squeezing, but Vandy, who he is obsessed with making a rock star, has disappeared. An orgy of violence erupts as Duane's partner goes beserk and Duane settles scores with knife and bullet. Leading the manhunt Sgt. Lloyd Hopkins stumbles on a horrifying conspiracy of corruption and betrayal- among his own colleagues. Ellroy's three great early novels are available in one volume for the first time - the books that led up to his LA Quartet.
No other writer captures like Anne Tyler, with acerbic affection and compassionate clarity, the shifts and defences of the average family struggling to keep life under control. This first omnibus edition of three full-length novels, all set in the respectable Baltimore streets she has made so particularly her own, encompasses the range of eccentricities and compromises to which they are driven.
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant follows the disintegration and eventual reaffirmation of the Tull family - fierce, embittered Pearl, left by Beck to raise handsome, thrusting Cody, Jenny, the pediatrician losing herself in devotion to others, and docile Ezra, whose attempts to unite them all around a table at his eccentric Homesick Restaurant are the focus of their differences and their bond.
In The Accidental Tourist, Macon - a man of habit and routine, who writes guide books for businessmen who hate to leave home - is confronted by chaos in his own family life. Between aching sadness and glorious absurdity, Macon hesitantly emerges from his sage cocoon into the vibrant, unpredictable world of the outrageous Muriel.
And Breathing Lessons, which won the Pulitzer Prize, lays bare the anatomy of a marriage. On the round trip to a friend's funeral, Maggie and Ira Moran make detours literal and metaphorical - into the lives of grown children, old friends, total strangers and their own past - and, despite Ira's disappointments and Maggie's optimistic determination to rearrange life as she would like it to be, an old married couple fall in love all over again.
Wainwright: The Man Who Loved the Lakes is a celebration of the British landscape, and it tells the remarkable story of Alfred Wainwright who in 1952 decided to hand draw a series of guides to the fells of Lakeland. For the next 13 years he spent every weekend walking, and every weekday evening drawing and writing - completing one page per night. The result was Wainwright's Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells. Although initially self published they have now sold over a million copies and are still popular and much loved today.
He went on to present a series of TV shows on the BBC about walking in the Lake District that made him even better known. He was an unlikely celebrity, he preferred his own company and thought walking in the countryside should be a solitary rather than group pursuit. Wainwright: The Man Who Loved the Lakes introduces him to a new generation of lovers of the countryside, features some of Wainwright's favourite walks and is lavishly illustrated, including stunning aerial shots of the Lake District.
So you're organising Christmas this year. What are you going to give everyone? How can you make it that extra bit special? The perfect housewife is at hand to help you - with a little planning and some top tips your halls will be decked with the minimum of fuss and the greatest of flair!
The Perfect Christmas is a lavishly illustrated guide to preparing and executing a Yuletide to remember, with hundreds of inspiring ideas to make your Christmas special - from handmade decorations and top shopping tips to planning a festive party and the all important Christmas dinner.
Your Christmas year planner and countdown to Christmas
Designing your own Christmas cards and e-cards
Decorating the tree and house
Projects and crafts for the kids
Ideas and recipes for Christmas get-togethers
Where to shop and things to see
Isaiah Berlin is regarded by many as one of the greatest historians of ideas of his time. In The Crooked Timber of Humanity, he argues passionately, eloquently, and subtly, that what he calls 'the Great Goods' of human aspiration - liberty, justice, equality - do not cohere and never can. Pluralism and variety of thought are not avoidable compromises, but the glory of civilisation. In an age of increasing ideological fundamentalism and intolerance we need to listen to Isaiah Berlin more carefully than ever before.
Two people. How many lies?
Liese Campbell has an engagement for the weekend: Alexander Colquhoun, a handsome, well-mannered farmer, is paying for her to stay at his property in remote Australia. Liese, an English architect in flight from the financial crisis, has been working at her uncle's estate agency in Melbourne, where Alexander is looking for a place to buy. The luxury apartments Liese shows him become sets for a relationship that satisfies their fantasies - and helps pay her debts. It's a game. Both players understand the rules. Or so she thinks.
Across the ancient landscape they drive at dusk to his grand decaying mansion. Here Liese senses a change in Alexander, and realises a new game has begun.
Chloe Hooper's riveting and provocative new novel is a psychological thriller for the modern age, an exploration of the snares of money and love and the dark side of erotic imagination. A trap has been set, but how and why? And for whom?
As the creator of Sherlock Holmes, 'the world's most famous man who never was', Arthur Conan Doyle remains one of our favourite writers; his work is read with affection - and sometimes obsession - the world over. Writer, doctor, cricketer, public figure and family man, his life was no less fascinating than his fiction.
Conan Doyle grew up in relative poverty in Edinburgh, with the mental illness of his artistically gifted but alcoholic father casting a shadow over his early life. He struggled both as a young doctor and in his early attempts to sell short stories, having only limited success until his Sherlock Holmes stories became a publishing phenomenon and propelled him to worldwide fame. Whilst he enjoyed the celebrity Holmes brought him, he also felt that the stories kept him from more serious work.
Beyond his writing, Conan Doyle led a full life, participating in the Boer War, falling in love with another woman while his wife was dying of tuberculosis, campaigning against injustice, and converting to Spiritualism, a move that would ultimately damage his reputation.
During his lifetime Conan Doyle wrote more than 1,500 letters to members of his family, most notably his mother, revealing his innermost thoughts, fears and hopes: Russell Miller is the first biographer to have been granted unlimited access to Conan Doyle's private correspondence. The Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle also makes use of the writer's personal papers, unseen for many years, and is the first book to draw fully on the Richard Lancelyn Green archive, the world's most comprehensive collection of Conan Doyle material.
Told with panache, The Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle is an unprecedentedly full portrait of an enduringly popular figure and an outstanding literary biograhy.
On a hot June morning in 1975, a shoot-out between FBI agents and American Indians erupted on a reservation near Wounded Knee in South Dakota. Two FBI agents and one Indian died. Eventually four Indians, all members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) were indicted on murder charges, Twenty-two years late, one of them, Leonard Peltier, is still serving two consecutive life sentences.
The story of what really happened and why Matthiessen is convinced of Peltier's innocence, forms the central narrative in this classic work of investigative reporting. But Mathiessen also reveals the larger issues behind the Pine Ridge shoot-out: systematic discrimination by the white authorities; corporate determination to exploit the uranium deposits in the Black Hills; the breaking of treaties; and FBI hostility towards the AIM, which was set up to bring just such issues to light.
When this book was first published it was immediately the subject of two $25 million-dollar legal actions that attempted to suppress it permanently. After eight years of court battles, ending with a Supreme Court judgement, Mathiessen won the right to tell Peltier's and his people's story.
Samson Kambalu's father wore three-piece, London-made suits from the Sixties. He'd planned to be a doctor but settled for hospital administration and a peripatetic lifestyle with his ever expanding family in tow. He is 'the Jive Talker' of this extraordinary memoir - a man of thwarted ambition, boundless optimism and manic philosophising, he died of AIDS in 1995, bequeathing his son 'the Diptych' - an eclectic library of science, philosophy and English language classics A- a passion for words and a boundless imagination.
In this completely original, often subversive, book, Samson Kambalu writes of his childhood in Malawi, a country few are able to pinpoint on a map. As the family moves from feast to real poverty and deprivation, and back to plenty again, depending on their father's professional fortunes, we are introduced to life in a country in which no dissent is tolerated, where political opponents are 'disappeared' and a portrait of Life President Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda is always guaranteed to be watching. But this is also a country in which a little boy obsessed with books, girls, Nietzsche, fashion, football and Michael Jackson wins a free education at the Kamuzu Academy ('The Eton of Africa') and grows up to be one of England's most promising young conceptual artists. With dazzling prose, wicked humour and not a little bit of artistic licence, The Jive Talker opens the door to an Africa that is rarely written about.
When Spurs legend John White was killed by a bolt of lightning in 1964, the football world was rocked by the tragedy. He was just 27 years of age.
Nicknamed the 'Ghost' for the way that he could drift into space undetected, White played an inspirational role in the great double-winning Tottenham Hotspur side of the early 1960s. Every fan has a story about him.
When White died, his son, Rob, was only six months old and so never knew his father. The man who was revered by hundreds of thousands of football fans across the country was a stranger to him. Beyond the grainy Cup Final footage and yellowed newspaper articles, there was so much Rob didn't know, questions he had never had an opportunity to ask. To find answers he set out to speak to White's former teammates, his family and followers, and built up a touching portrait of a gifted young footballer and of a lost era.
'Had John lived, he could have been one of the greatest footballers of all time' Jimmy Greaves
With a new afterword for the paperback.
In Eminent Hipsters, musician and songwriter Donald Fagen, best known as the co-founder of the rock band Steely Dan, presents an autobiographical portrait that touches on everything from the cultural figures that mattered the most to him as a teenager, to his years in the late 1960s at Bard College, to a hilarious account of a recent tour he made with Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald.
Fagen begins by introducing the 'eminent hipsters' that spoke to him as he was growing up (and desperately yearning to be hip) in suburban New Jersey in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The figures who influenced him most were not the typical ones - Miles Davis, say, or Jack Kerouac - but rather people like Jean Shepherd, whose manic, acidic nightly radio broadcasts out of WOR-Radio had a tough realism about life and 'enthralled a generation of alienated young people'; Henry Mancini, whose chilled-out, nourish soundtracks, especially to films by Blake Edwards utilised the unconventional, spare instrumentation associated with the cool jazz school; and Mort Fega, the laid back, knowledgeable all night jazz man at WEVD, who was like 'the cool uncle you always wished you had'. He writes of how, growing up as a Cold War baby, one of his primary doors of escape became reading science fiction by such authors as Philip K. Dick, and of his regular trips into New York City to hear jazz. Other emblematic musical heroes Fagen writes about include Ray Charles, Ike Turner, and the Boswell Sisters, a trio from the 1920s and 30s whose subversive musical genius included trick phrasing and way out harmony.
'Class of '69' recounts Fagen's colourful tumultuous years at Bard College, the progressive university north of New York City that attracted a strange mix of applicants, including 'desperate suburban misfits with impressive verbal skills but appalling high school records' (like himself). It was at Bard that Fagen first met Walter Becker, with whom he would later form Steely Dan. The final section of the book, 'With the Dukes of September', offers a day-by-day account of a tour Fagen undertook last summer across America with Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald, performing a programme of old R&B and soul tunes as well as some of each of their own hits. Told in a weary, cranky, occasionally biting and always entertaining voice, Fagen brings to life the ups and downs and various indignities and anxieties of being on the road - The Dukes were an admittedly 'low-rent operation' compared to a Steely Dan tour - as well as communicating the challenges and joy of playing every night to a different crowd in a different city.
At last! The book that gives you all the facts about how to defy the signs of ageing.
Are you worried about the way a particular part of your body is ageing? Would you like to prevent the appearance of wrinkles? Get your flat, pre-kids tummy back? Have whiter teeth but are unsure about which procedure to choose? Presented by Anna Richardson, How Not to Get Old is the new Channel 4 programme that will tell you everything you need to know about, well, how not to get old.
This beautifully designed book will be published to coincide with the first series of the show and will look at all the anti-ageing treatments available, helping you to make an informed choice about how you might want to improve the appearance of a part of your body as it ages. For example, if you are unhappy with how your bust is looking, should you be considering bust-lifting creams or surgery - or would specific exercises be enough?
As well as taking a complete look at all of the procedures and treatments available, How Not to Get Old will be packed with vital information such as expert advice on what you should know before you go ahead with a procedure, pioneering techniques that are being developed around the world and whether the more expensive products on the market are actually any more effective than the high-street brands.
You won't want to grow old without it!
WEWELSBURG CASTLE, 1940.
The German war machine has woken an ancient threat - the alien Vril and their Ubermensch have returned. Ultimate Victory in the war for Europe is now within the Nazis' grasp.
Foreign Office trouble shooter Guy Pentecross has stumbled into a conspiracy beyond his imagining - a secret war being waged in the shadows against a terrible enemy.
The battle for Europe has just become the war for humanity.
This is The Thirty-Nine Steps crossed with Indiana Jones and Quatermass. Justin Richards has an extremely credible grasp of the period's history and has transformed it into a groundbreaking alternate reality thriller.