World History Books
Peter and Dan Snow, two of Britain's most popular historians, discuss the importance of 50 key documents in this incredibly informative hardback tome.
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Presented in eye-catching style, this book finds Peter and Dan offering an authoritative commentary explaining each document's criteria for selection and an examination of their pertinent details.
From the Magna Carta to Hitler's letter to Chamberlain agreeing he'd never go to war and the official design for the FA Cup, these documents have been researched from the collections of The National Archives, The British Museum, The British Library and the National Records of Scotland.
A must for all history enthusiasts!
With stunning visual timelines and special CGI reconstructions, this huge book from DK shows you history's greatest events in ways you have never seen before.
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Taking you from the formation of the universe right up to the present day, the brilliantly illustrated book looks at the major events that have changed the course of life on Earth. Bringing together a range of perspectives, it's a celebration of the human race's incredible journey.
Containing a foreword from Professor David Christian, whose Big History TED talk had over 5 million views, this huge book will help you not only understand how and why we got where we are today, but also how we should view our place in history. It's aligned with Bill Gates' online Big History Project.
Ian Crofton's The Little Book of Big History will take you all the way from the beginning of our planet through to what's in store for our future. It's a concise, accessible and authoritative account of humanity.
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It incorporates everything from the Big Bang to modern day theories and will help you understand the entire story of the cosmos in an accessible way.
Breaking down the main themes of the universe, this is an informative and essential guide for anyone interested in space and the universe. It includes a timeline that explains how we came to be.
This flexibound book contains a hand-picked selection of quotes, off-the-cuff remarks, retorts and announcements that have helped shape our history.
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From as early as 73 BC through to the modern day, these speeches from figures as diverse as Karl Marx, Gandhi and Barack Obama offer a wealth of opinions, statements and ideologies.
From lengthy and impassioned pleas to the shorter soundbites that make our world go round today, these speeches are all thought-provoking and tackle subjects ranging from history and love to science, sports and war.
A companion to the brilliant Channel 4 series of the same name, The Freedom Trails: Escaping Hitler tells the incredible story of some of the brave individuals who managed to escape Nazi Germany.
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Over 5,000 British, Commonwealth and American servicemen made the journey over the Pyrenees, the Slovenian mountains and the Italian alps and many died en route. However, the brave men and women of the resistance still managed to defy the odds and keep the routes open.
Among those you'll read about are Blondie Haslar, the leader of the Cockleshell Heroes, US airman Chuck Yaeger (whose story was retold in The Right Stuff) and Andree de Jongh, a young woman who risked her life to smuggle men through occupied France and survived being sent to two concentration camps.
Based on in-depth research and interviews with survivors as well as his own experiences walking the trails, broadcaster and former Royal Marine Monty Halls book is dramatic and gripping from first page to last.
All the way from Ancient Persian couriers to the invention of Concorde and journeys into space, this coffee table book provides an illustrated account of human's greatest journeys.
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With a foreword by Simon Reeve, it's a fantastic book for every armchair historian and reveals how journeys range from manners of impulse to migration and hunts for food. It even focuses on quests for adventure and pilgrimages made out of scientific curiosity.
Covering all of humanity's most famous, significant and thrilling journeys, this book has biographies of conquerers, explores and travellers.
These three books are full of true stories about the heroes who fought in the First World War.
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- Just £2.00 per book
David and Stuart Hadaway's The British Airman of the First World War covers the pilots, observers and gunners that played a vital part in the Allied war effort; Quintin Colville's The British Sailor of the First World War explores the everyday experiences of those who served in the navy between 1914 and 1918; and Peter Doyle's The British Solder of the First World War goes beyond the familiar picture of soldier in muddy trenches and reveals what it was like to be an average British 'Tommy' - both in battle and at rest.
All extensively researched, these are incredible books about the humans behind one of the world's most important battles.
Starring Claire Foy and Matt Smith, Netflix's The Crown is one of the streaming services most critically acclaimed and popular (not to mention, most expensive!) Originals and this companion hardback follows the journey of Britain's longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.
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Written by royal biographer Robert Lacey, this book looks back at the Queen's reign, explaining how, after the sudden death of her father, she had to learn her duties very quickly. She was already a wife and mother when she had her coronation and there were also wider issues throughout Britain as the country tried to lift itself after the end of the war.
Elizabeth also had various personal issues to deal with: her mother doubted her marriage; her husband resented the sacrifice of his career and family name; and her sister had an affair that threatened to destroy the close bond between the church and the crown. Despite all this, she always made sure she came out on top. Fully researched, this is an intimate and informative account of Elizabeth II ? both as a private person and as a public figure.
With his dark sense of humour and accessible writing style, Terry Deary is one of the nation's favourite children's authors but in this very adult collection he introduces adults to the most shocking secrets of the Roman Empire, Elizabethan England and the Victorian Railways.
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- Just £1.66 per book
From how the Romans (the first 'civilised' society, remember...) made human killing a sport to the lack of safety on the rails, there are so many shocking facts to absorb and gasp over...
Please note these books contain strong language.
A very poignant and powerful book, Maps of War is a visual survey of how conflict was recorded and planned. It uses archive maps to reveal how warfare and documentation has changed through the centuries.
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Covering the history of military mapping, the book looks at beginning and what impact the invention of printing and introduction of gunpowder had. In the 17th century, military commanders and strategists started to document wars by way of illustration.
In the 18th century, they started to use maps to chart progress. This chapter reflects the spread of European power and transoceanic conflict and focuses on the American war of Independence. The book then moves on to the 19th and 20th centuries, covering everything from the American Civil War to the World War, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars.
Peter Ackroyd presents the latest instalment in his History of England with Revolution, a book covering the years between 1688 and 1815.
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From William of Orange's accession following the Revolution to the Regency when England once again found itself at war with France (a war that ended with the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo), this looks at life during the late Stuart and Georgian eras.
During this time, the Bank of England and stock exchange were founded and the Church of England was fully established as the guardian of the spiritual life of the nation. Newspapers also first flourished during this era and the English novel was born. It was also a time when coffee houses, playhouses and shops began to pop up in towns and villages all across the nation.
The industrial revolution also occurred in this period and this was a time when England transformed from a country of blue skies and farmland to one of soot and steel and coal.
The most comprehensive, authoritative and accessible work on history available, this bestselling book takes readers from the origins of mankind right through to the technological advancements of the modern day.
- RRP £70.00
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The book with all the answers, it is very visually enticing and covers everything from the cavemen to the Cold War and Alexander the Great to global warming.
The ultimate work of historical reference, it also contains short biographies of 100 of the world's key figures from history.
A stunning book that comes in a protective slipcase, this fully revised and updated edition of The Times: Concise Atlas of the World provides beautiful and comprehensive reference mapping for countries across the world.
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The atlas covers all the most important geographical issues we face and the populations of the major cities are also included. Historical maps show the political make-up of the world over the past 150 years and there are also plans for 41 of the world's major cities.
The expanded satellite imagery section contains overview images of each continent, and they're all complemented by further detailed images. A wonderful addition to any household, the reference book helps you explore the world without even having to leave your armchair.
The story of The Making of India begins in the seventeenth century, when a small seafaring island, one tenth the size of the Indian subcontinent, despatched sailing ships over 11,000 miles on a five-month trading journey in search of new opportunities. In the end they helped build a new nation. The sheer audacity and scale of such an endeavour, the courage and enterprise, have no parallel in world history. This book is the first to assess in a single volume almost all aspects of Britain's remarkable contribution in providing India with its lasting institutional and physical infrastructure, which continues to underpin the world's largest democracy in the twenty-first century.
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Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires, the site of Judgement Day and the battlefield of today's clash of civilizations. From King David to Barack Obama, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is the epic history of 3,000 years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism and coexistence. How did this small, remote town become the Holy City, the 'centre of the world' and now the key to peace in the Middle East? In a gripping narrative, Simon Sebag Montefiore reveals this ever-changing city in its many incarnations, bringing every epoch and character blazingly to life. Jerusalem's biography is told through the wars, love affairs and revelations of the men and women - kings, empresses, prophets, poets, saints, conquerors and whores - who created, destroyed, chronicled and believed in Jerusalem. Drawing on new archives, current scholarship, his own family papers and a lifetime's study, Montefiore illuminates the essence of sanctity and mysticism, identity and empire in a unique chronicle of the city that many believe will be the setting for the Apocalypse. This is how Jerusalem became Jerusalem, and the only city that exists twice - in heaven and on earth.
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This book takes a dramatically original approach to the history of humanity, using objects which previous civilisations have left behind them, often accidentally, as prisms through which we can explore past worlds and the lives of the men and women who lived in them. The book's range is enormous. It begins with one of the earliest surviving objects made by human hands, a chopping tool from the Olduvai gorge in Africa, and ends with an object from the 21st century which represents the world we live in today. Neil MacGregor's aim is not simply to describe these remarkable things, but to show us their significance - how a stone pillar tells us about a great Indian emperor preaching tolerance to his people, how Spanish pieces of eight tell us about the beginning of a global currency or how an early Victorian tea-set tells us about the impact of empire. Each chapter immerses the reader in a past civilisation accompanied by an exceptionally well-informed guide. Seen through this lens, history is a kaleidoscope - shifting, interconnected, constantly surprising, and shaping our world today in ways that most of us have never imagined. An intellectual and visual feast, it is one of the most engrossing and unusual history books published in years.
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The classic, bestselling account of the infamous Kray twins, now a major film, starring Tom Hardy. Reggie and Ronnie Kray ruled London's gangland during the 60s with a ruthlessness and viciousness that shocks even now. Building an empire of organised crime that has never been matched, the brothers swindled, extorted and terrorised - while enjoying a glittering celebrity status at the heart of the swinging 60s scene, until their downfall and imprisonment for life.
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The first major book on ISIS to be published since the group exploded on the international stage in summer 2014. Drawing on their unusual access to intelligence sources and material, law enforcement, and groundbreaking research into open source intelligence, Stern and Berger outline the origins of ISIS as the formidable terrorist group it has quickly become. 'State of Terror' delves into the 'ghoulish pornography' of pro-jihadi videos, the seductive appeal of 'jihadi chic' and the startling effectiveness of the Islamic State's use of social media as a means of luring and recruiting citizens from countries such as the United States, Great Britain, and France-using recent examples such as Douglas McCain, the American citizen from Minnesota who joined ISIS and died in combat fighting on the side of the Islamic State. Although the picture Stern and Berger paint is bleak, 'State of Terror' also offers well-informed thoughts on potential government responses to ISIS - most importantly, emphasizing that we must alter our present conceptions of terrorism and react to the rapidly changing jihadi landscape, both online and off, as quickly as the terrorists do. 'State of Terror: Jihad in the 21st Century' is not only a compelling account of the evolution of a terrorist organization, but also a necessary book that attempts to answer the question of what our next move - as a country, as a government, as the world - should be.
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This evocative book is written by one of television's best-loved archaeologists and presenters, Neil Oliver. Neil beautifully writes a personal account of what makes the British Isles so special and why he believes it is the best place in the world.
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Told through the places that have witnessed the unfolding of British history, this book begins with the footprints of humankind's earliest ancestors and continues through to the development of religion, the transition of the industrial revolution and the outbreak of two World Wars.
Stunningly written, Neil's book features majestic recounts of history, spanning from windswept headlands and battlefields to ancient trees and magnificent cathedrals.
This brilliant hardback book provides a heartfelt tribute to one of the most magnificent flying machines of all time - the iconic Spitfire.
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Written by bestselling author and former Royal Air Force pilot John Nichol, it looks over the history of the vehicle and its various innovations and updates and contains stories and first-hand accounts from those who flew them.
From the Spitfire's deployment during World War II to its role on the D-Day beaches, this is an accessible and high-flying account of battling pilots who had to bail out over occupied territory, aristocratic female flyers and mechanics who braved the Nazi onslaught to keep the crafts in battle-ready condition.
BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera reveals the story of MI14 and the Secret Pigeon Service during the Second World War for the first time in this compelling read.
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Using extensive original research and declassified documents, he reveals the inner workings of 'Columba' - an operation that saw 16,000 plucky homing pigeons dropped in an arc from Bourdeaux to Copenhagen in an effort to bring back intelligence from those living under Nazi occupation.
The messages came flooding back from France, the Netherlands and Belgium - all written on tiny pieces of rice paper that has been tucked into canisters and tied to the legs of the birds - and these authentic missives ranged from the comic to the tragic and occasionally invaluable, giving the British Intelligence advance notice of German troop movements, weapons and more.
Corera also looks at the people behind this mission, not many of whom were trained agents or experienced in spying. He focuses in particular on the Leopold Vindictive network, a small group of Belgian villagers - led by priest Joseph Raskin - who were always prepared to risk everything. This is a powerful and tragic tale of wartime espionage that looks at a quirky and quarrelsome band of spy masters and their unique operations.
Covering the Victorian and Elizabethan eras alongside Dr. Johnson's time, these three books from Liza Picard provide a vivid social history of London through the ages.
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Victorian London covers everything from rag-gatherers to royalty and fish knives to freemasons as it explains how ordinary people lived in this important time; Elizabeth's London starts by focusing on the River Thames and its role in the city's history. It then moves on to describe the streets, houses and gardens that were popular during this time.
Dr. Johnson's London focuses on the years between 1740 and 1770, when the gin craze was just starting to gain ground. She also looks back at the clothes, hobbies, houses and etiquette of the era.
Tiny Histories is the perfect book for anyone with an interest in history. Wittily told, it reveals the seemingly insignificant coincidences, decisions and acts that have helped to shape British history.
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Fun and informative, it reveals how the world we live in is often shaped by trivial events rather than the actions of world leaders and looks at the enormous repercussions that mistakes like a wrong turn and an act of chivalry can have.
Looking behind the scenes of wars, politics, the arts, food, science and health and safety, this is a great book for history buffs and pub quiz trivia fans.
Social historian Julie Summers looks over the period during the Second World War when thousands of families had to make the heartbreaking decision to leave everything they knew and start a new life in a location where Hitler's Luftwaffe could not reach them - and the role Britain's country houses had to play in this.
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Based on extensive research and interviews, Julie conveys the problems these families faced during the early years of the conflict and examines the locations that they were sent to. She also looks at the problems and social stigmas they had to face and overcome in each different area.
This hardback shines a light on a previously untold story from the Second World War. It looks at how people from all walks of life found themselves in these most esteemed surroundings and how the juxtaposition of splendour and opulence was at odds with their temporary residents' needs.