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From books about Napoleon to Cold War books, we have an extensive range of historical non-fiction about the world's most important conflicts.

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From books about Napoleon to Cold War books, we have an extensive range of historical non-fiction about the world's most important conflicts.

  • The Compact Guide: The Napoleonic Wars

    Richard Holmes

    Product Code: BYYUX
    Paperback
    This outstandingly vivid and accessible book, written by one of Britain's leading historians, provides the essential overview of Napoleon's career. Beginning in revolutionary France with a brilliant young Lieutenant who still styled himself Napoleone di Buonaparte, Holmes examines every facet of his subject's military career: his astonishing victories at the Battle of the Pyramids, Marengo, Jena and Austerlitz, through to defeat and exile under the immense weight of the great powers who were determined to stop the man who would be emperor of Europe.
    • £6.39
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  • Rebel Englishwoman

    Elsabe Brits

    Product Code: BYJEX
    Paperback
    Winner of the Mbokodo Award for Women in the Arts for Literature, the ATKV (Afrikaans Language and Culture Association) Award for non-fiction and the kykNet/Rapport Award for non-fiction. 'Here was Emily . . . in these diaries and scrapbooks. An unprecedented, intimate angle on the real Emily' Elsabe Brits has drawn on a treasure trove of previously private sources, including Emily Hobhouse's diaries, scrap-books and numerous letters that she discovered in Canada, to write a revealing new biography of this remarkable Englishwoman. Hobhouse has been little celebrated in her own country, but she is still revered in South Africa, where she worked so courageously, selflessly and tirelessly to save lives and ameliorate the suffering of thousands of women and children interned in camps set up by British forces during the Anglo-Boer War, in which it is estimated that over 27,000 Boer women and children died; and where her ashes are enshrined in the National Women's Monument in Bloemfontein. During the First World War, Hobhouse was an ardent pacifist. She organised the writing, signing and publishing in January 1915 of the 'Open Christmas Letter' addressed 'To the Women of Germany and Austria'. In an attempt to initiate a peace process, she also secretly metwith the German foreign minister Gottlieb von Jagow in Berlin, for which some branded her a traitor. In the war's immediate aftermath she worked for the Save the Children Fund in Leipzig and Vienna, feeding daily for over a year thousands of children, who would otherwise have starved. She later started her own feeding scheme to alleviate ongoing famine. Despite having been instrumental in saving thousands of lives during two wars, Hobhouse died alone - spurned by her country, her friends and even some of her relatives. Brits brings Emily's inspirational and often astonishing story, spanning three continents, back into the light.
    • £8.79
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  • How the French Won Waterloo - or Think They Did

    Stephen Clarke

    Product Code: AUFNS
    Paperback
    Published in the 200th Anniversary year of the Battle of Waterloo a witty look at how the French still think they won, by Stephen Clarke, author of 1000 Years of Annoying the French and A Year in the Merde. Two centuries after the Battle of Waterloo, the French are still in denial. If Napoleon lost on 18 June 1815 (and that's a big 'if'), then whoever rules the universe got it wrong. As soon as the cannons stopped firing, French historians began re-writing history. The Duke of Wellington was beaten, they say, and then the Prussians jumped into the boxing ring, breaking all the rules of battle. In essence, the French cannot bear the idea that Napoleon, their greatest-ever national hero, was in any way a loser. Especially not against the traditional enemy - les Anglais. Stephen Clarke has studied the French version of Waterloo, as told by battle veterans, novelists, historians - right up to today's politicians, and he has uncovered a story of pain, patriotism and sheer perversion...
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  • A Moment of War

    Laurie Lee

    Product Code: AJXHA
    Paperback
    'In December 1937 I crossed the Pyrenees from France - two days on foot through the snow.' Laurie Lee was still a young man when he decided to fight for the Republican cause in Spain's civil war. But though he braved icy, storm-swept mountains alone to contact Republican sympathisers, he was immediately suspected of being a Nationalist spy. Imprisoned and almost executed by his own side, he eventually joined the International Brigade. This is the story of his experiences as a Republican soldier, fighting for the losing side in a doomed war.
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  • The Grand Crimean Central Railway

    Anthony Dawson

    Product Code: CBGXT
    Paperback
    The Crimean War, fought by the alliance of Great Britain, France, and the tiny Italian Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia alongside Turkey against Tsarist Russia, was the first `modern' war, not only for its vast scale (France mobilised a million men) but also the technologies involved, from iron-clad battleships to rifled artillery, the electric telegraph and steam. Best known for the blunder of the Charge of the Light Brigade, the fearful conditions in the trenches at the front, and the quiet heroism of Florence Nightingale, the Crimean War saw the railway go to war for the first time. The Grand Crimean Central Railway was the brainchild of two Victorian railway magnates, Samuel Morton Peto and Thomas Brassey; in order to alleviate the suffering at the front, they volunteered to build at cost a steam railway linking the Allied camps at Sevastopol to their supply base at Balaclava. In the face of much official opposition, the railway was built and operational in a matter of months, supplying hundreds of tons of food, clothing and materiel to the starving and freezing men in their trenches. Largely worked by civilian auxiliaries, the Grand Crimean Central Railway saw the railway transformed into a war-winning weapon, saving countless thousands of lives as it did so.
    • £11.99
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  • The Second Founding

    Eric Foner (Columbia Universit

    Product Code: CAYXD
    Hardback
    The Declaration of Independence announced equality as an American ideal but it took the Civil War and the adoption of three constitutional amendments to establish that ideal as law. The Reconstruction amendments abolished slavery, guaranteed due process and the equal protection of the law, and equipped black men with the right to vote. By grafting the principle of equality onto the Constitution, the amendments marked the second founding of the United States. Eric Foner conveys the dramatic origins of these revolutionary amendments and explores the court decisions that then narrowed and nullified the rights guaranteed in these amendments. Today, issues of birthright citizenship, voting rights, due process and equal protection are still in dispute; the ideal of equality yet to be achieved.
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  • Napoleon

    Adam Zamoyski

    Product Code: BZOIN
    Paperback
    `Napoleon is an out-and-out masterpiece and a joy to read' Sir Antony Beevor, author of Stalingrad A landmark new biography that presents the man behind the many myths. The first writer in English to go back to the original European sources, Adam Zamoyski's portrait of Napoleon is historical biography at its finest. Napoleon inspires passionately held and often conflicting visions. Was he a god-like genius, Romantic avatar, megalomaniac monster, compulsive warmonger or just a nasty little dictator? While he displayed elements of these traits at certain times, Napoleon was none of these things. He was a man and, as Adam Zamoyski presents him in this landmark biography, a rather ordinary one at that. He exhibited some extraordinary qualities during some phases of his life but it is hard to credit genius to a general who presided over the worst (and self-inflicted) disaster in military history and who single-handedly destroyed the great enterprise he and others had toiled so hard to construct. A brilliant tactician, he was no strategist. But nor was Napoleon an evil monster. He could be selfish and violent but there is no evidence of him wishing to inflict suffering gratuitously. His motives were mostly praiseworthy and his ambition no greater than that of contemporaries such as Alexander I of Russia, Wellington, Nelson and many more. What made his ambition exceptional was the scope it was accorded by circumstance. Adam Zamoyski strips away the lacquer of prejudice and places Napoleon the man within the context of his times. In the 1790s, a young Napoleon entered a world at war, a bitter struggle for supremacy and survival with leaders motivated by a quest for power and by self-interest. He did not start this war but it dominated his life and continued, with one brief interruption, until his final defeat in 1815. Based on primary sources in many European languages, and beautifully illustrated with portraits done only from life, this magnificent book examines how Napoleone Buonaparte, the boy from Corsica, became `Napoleon'; how he achieved what he did, and how it came about that he undid it. It does not justify or condemn but seeks instead to understand Napoleon's extraordinary trajectory.
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  • The Field of Blood

    Joanne B. Freeman

    Product Code: BZKUK
    Paperback
    In The Field of Blood, Joanne B. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. Congress in the decades before the Civil War. Legislative sessions were often punctuated by mortal threats, canings, flipped desks, and all-out slugfests. When debate broke down, congressmen drew pistols and waved Bowie knives. One representative even killed another in a duel. Many were beaten and bullied in an attempt to intimidate them into compliance, particularly on the issue of slavery. These fights didn't happen in a vacuum. Freeman's dramatic accounts of brawls and thrashings tell a larger story of how fisticuffs and journalism, and the powerful emotions they elicited, raised tensions between North and South and led toward war. In the process, she brings the antebellum Congress to life, revealing its rough realities - the feel, sense, and sound of it - as well as its nation-shaping import. The result is riveting - and it reveals fresh understanding of the workings of American democracy and the bonds of Union on the eve of their greatest peril.
    • £12.79
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  • Wellington's History of the Peninsular War

    Reid, Stuart

    Product Code: BYMEK
    Hardback
    Though pressed many times to write about his battles and campaigns, the Duke of Wellington always replied that people should refer to his published despatches, and he refused to add further to his official correspondence, famously remarking that: The history of a battle, is not unlike the history of a ball. Some individuals may recollect all the little events of which the great result is the battle won or lost, but no individual can recollect the order in which, or the exact moment at which, they occurred, which makes all the difference as to their value or importance.' Yet Wellington did, in effect, write a history of the Peninsular War in the form of four lengthy memoranda, summarising the conduct of the war in 1809, 1810 and 1811 respectively. These lengthy accounts demonstrate Wellington's unmatched appreciation of the nature of the war in Spain and Portugal, and relate to the operations of the French and Spanish forces as well as the Anglo-Portuguese army under his command. Unlike personal diaries or journals written by individual soldiers, with their inevitably limited knowledge, Wellington was in an unparalleled position to provide a comprehensive overview of the war. Equally, the memoranda were written as the war unfolded, not tainted with the knowledge of hindsight, providing a unique contemporaneous commentary. Brought together by renowned historian Stuart Reid with reports and key despatches from the other years of the campaign, the result is the story of the Peninsular War told through the writings of the man who knew and understood the conflict in Iberia better than any other. These memoranda and despatches have never been published before in a single connected narrative. Therefore, Wellington's History of the Peninsular War 1808-1814 offers a uniquely accessible perspective on the conflict in the own words of Britain's greatest general.
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  • So Bloody a Day

    David J. Blackmore

    Product Code: BYMAM
    Hardback
    Making extensive use of previously unpublished material this book gives an unprecedented view of the Waterloo Campaign from the viewpoint of a single regiment. It reveals the preparations that preceded the battle, the role of the regiment in the battle, and the long months spent in France after Paris fell, until the regiment finally returned home in December 1815. An Order Book for the year, and letters and diaries of several officers, shed light on the internal life of the regiment and their - occasionally humorous - social life.
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  • The Napoleonic Wars

    Richard Holmes

    Product Code: BYJCF
    Hardback
    Published to mark the 250th anniversary of Napoleon's birth. Holmes relives Napoleon's life and times in this extraordinary period by examining letters, military maps, reports, proclamations, ship's logs and coded messages, which were previously filed away or exhibited in archives in Europe. Napoleon was a charismatic and astute military leader who built an empire in a series of astounding campaigns from 1796 to 1812, in which he won many of the most famous battles of all time - the Pyramids, Marengo, Austerlitz, Jena, Wagram and Borodino. At the height of his powers he had transformed France's administrative, educational and legal systems, and most of the continent of Europe was under his control, from Portugal to Moscow. He was eventually brought down by the combined forces of many nations, but his influence on the times was so great that he has come to define a period in history.
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  • Washington Roebling's Civil War

    Diane Monroe Smith

    Product Code: BYHIP
    Hardback
    Washington Roebling is well known as the man who supervised construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. His path to overseeing that monumental task began during the Civil War. In addition to his brave, dramatic actions at Gettysburg, his Civil War service was remarkable: artilleryman, bridge builder, scout, balloonist, mapmaker, engineer, and staff officer. His story reveals much about Gettysburg but also about Civil War intelligence and engineering and the politics and infighting within the Army of the Potomac's high command. Roebling's service-leadership, engineering, decision-making, and managing personalities and politics-prepared him well for overseeing the Brooklyn Bridge.
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  • The Accident of Color

    Daniel Brook

    Product Code: BYGOQ
    Hardback
    In The Accident of Color, Daniel Brook journeys to nineteenth-century New Orleans and Charleston and introduces us to cosmopolitan residents who elude the racial categories the rest of America takes for granted. Before the Civil War, these free, openly mixed-race urbanites enjoyed some rights of citizenship and the privileges of wealth and social status. But after Emancipation, as former slaves move to assert their rights, the black-white binary that rules the rest of the nation begins to intrude. During Reconstruction, a movement arises as mixed-race elites make common cause with the formerly enslaved and allies at the fringes of whiteness in a bid to achieve political and social equality for all. In some areas, this coalition proved remarkably successful. Activists peacefully integrated the streetcars of Charleston and New Orleans for decades and, for a time, even the New Orleans public schools and the University of South Carolina were educating students of all backgrounds side by side. Tragically, the achievements of this movement were ultimately swept away by a violent political backlash and expunged from the history books, culminating in the Jim Crow laws that would legalize segregation for a half century and usher in the binary racial regime that rules us to this day. The Accident of Color revisits a crucial inflection point in American history. By returning to the birth of our nation's singularly narrow racial system, which was forged in the crucible of opposition to civil rights, Brook illuminates the origins of the racial lies we live by.
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  • La Guerre De SeCession

    Jouineau Andre

    Product Code: BXXHR
    Hardback
    If there's one conflict that was remarkable from a lot of points of view, it was the American Civil War, better known in France as the War of Secession. In this war the armies of the South opposed those of the North - the Union - of the almost hundred-years old republic of the United States of (North) America; it remains in the annals as the last classic war - in certain aspects the heir to the Napoleonic wars - and the first real modern war of the 20th Century in which "state of the art" technologies were used for the first time on a massive and intensive scale. This bloody conflict was the result of a long chain of political, economic and ideological compromises between two civilisations which barely concealed the differences opposing them. The ferocious appetites of the North against the principles of independence of the Southern States could only lead to an explosion. Four years of relentless, bloody and total war during which Johnny Reb gave no quarter to his brother Billy Yank. Everything has been said and written about this war: the joie de vivre of the South, its elegance, its chivalrous spirit, its attachment to secular traditions including slavery, facing the North's industrial war machine, its humanist values, its small-minded courage, but also its avidity and its implacable spirit of organisation. From Gone with the Wind to Birth of a Nation, all the cliches have been used. This book gives you as large a panorama as possible of the uniforms worn by the belligerents during this conflict. The most characteristic silhouettes and the principles of basic organisation, as circumstances dictated, are shown in the now celebrated form of Heimdal's books.
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  • A Peer among Princes

    Philip Grant

    Product Code: BXKDG
    Hardback
    Sir Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch, is best known for his exceptional military career. He was one of the Duke of Wellington's ablest lieutenants during the Peninsular War - he won a great victory against the French at the Battle of Barrosa, conducted the siege of San Sebastian and acted as the duke's second in command. But he was much more than a soldier - he had broad interests as a wealthy and innovative Scottish landowner, politician, sportsman and traveller. He was a remarkable man of his age, and Philip Grant's biography, the first to be published in recent times, does justice to his remarkable life and reputation. Graham only took up his military career in 1792 when he was outraged by the violation of his wife's coffin by French revolutionaries. He determined to fight them and he raised his own regiment to do so, soon establishing himself as an outstanding leader and field commander. He saw action at Toulon, made a daring escape from the siege of Mantua, served in Malta and Egypt and with Sir John Moore during the Corunna campaign. He eventually rose to the highest rank. Philip Grant describes Graham's long and varied life in absorbing detail, often quoting from his vivid letters and diaries.
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  • Waterloo

    Field, Andrew W

    Product Code: BXIPS
    Paperback
    The story of the Battle of Waterloo - of the ultimate defeat of Napoleon and the French, the triumph of Wellington, Bl cher and their allied armies - is most often told from the viewpoint of the victors, not the vanquished. Even after 200 years of intensive research and the publication of hundreds of books and articles on the battle, the French perspective and many of the primary French sources are under-represented in the written record. So it is high time this weakness in the literature - and in our understanding of the battle - was addressed, and that is the purpose of Andrew Field's thought-provoking new study. He has tracked down over ninety first-hand French accounts, many of which have never been previously published in English, and he has combined them with accounts from the other participants in order to create a graphic new narrative of one of the world's decisive battles. Virtually all of the hitherto unpublished testimony provides fascinating new detail on the battle and many of the accounts are vivid, revealing and exciting. .
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  • Call out the Cadets

    Sarah Kay Bierle

    Product Code: BXIHZ
    Paperback
    "May God forgive me for the order," Confederate Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge remarked as he ordered young cadets from Virginia Military Institute into the battle lines at New Market, just days after calling them from their academic studies to assist in a crucial defense. Virginia's Shenandoah Valley had seen years of fighting. In the spring of 1864, Union Maj. Gen. Franz Sigel prepared to lead a new invasion force into the Valley, operating on the far right flank of Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaign. Breckinridge scrambled to organize the Confederate defense. When the opposing divisions clashed near the small crossroads town of New Market on May 15, 1864, new legends of courage were born. Local civilians witnessed the combat unfold in their streets, churchyards, and fields and aided the fallen. The young cadets rushed into the battle when ordered-an opportunity for an hour of glory and tragedy. A Union soldier saved the national colors and a comrade, later receiving a Medal of Honor. The battle of New Market, though a smaller conflict in the grand scheme of that blood-soaked summer, came at a crucial moment in the Union's offensive movements that spring and also became the last major Confederate victory in the Shenandoah Valley. The results in the muddy fields reverberated across the North and South, altering campaign plans-as well as the lives of those who witnessed or fought. Some never left the fields alive; others retreated with excuses or shame. Some survived, haunted or glorified by their deeds. In Call Out the Cadets, Sarah Kay Bierle traces the history of this important, yet smaller battle. While covering the military aspects of the battle, the book also follows the history of individuals whose lives or military careers were changed because of the fight. New Market shined for its accounts of youth in battle, immigrant generals, and a desperate, muddy fight. Youth and veterans, generals and privates, farmers and teachers-all were called into the conflict or its aftermath of the battle, an event that changed a community, a military institute, and the very fate of the Shenandoah Valley.
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  • "Lee is Trapped, and Must be Taken"

    Thomas J. Ryan

    Product Code: BXHMN
    Hardback
    Countless books have examined the battle of Gettysburg, but the retreat of the armies to the Potomac River and beyond has not been as thoroughly covered. "Lee is Trapped, and Must be Taken": Eleven Fateful Days after Gettysburg: July 4 to July 14, 1863, by Thomas J. Ryan and Richard R. Schaus goes a long way toward rectifying this oversight. This comprehensive study focuses on the immediate aftermath of the battle and addresses how Maj. Gen. George G. Meade organized and motivated his Army of the Potomac in response to President Abraham Lincoln's mandate to bring about the "literal or substantial destruction" of Gen. Robert E. Lee's retreating Army of Northern Virginia. As far as the president was concerned, if Meade aggressively pursued and confronted Lee before he could escape across the flooded Potomac River, "the rebellion would be over." The long and bloody three-day battle exhausted both armies. Their respective commanders faced difficult tasks, including the rallying of their troops for more marching and fighting. Lee had to keep his army organized and motivated enough to conduct an orderly withdrawal away from the field. Meade faced the same organizational and motivational challenges, while assessing the condition of his victorious but heavily damaged army, to determine if it had sufficient strength to pursue and crush a still-dangerous enemy. Central to the respective commanders' decisions was the information they received from their intelligence-gathering resources about the movements, intentions, and capability of the enemy. The eleven-day period after Gettysburg was a battle of wits to determine which commander better understood the information he received, and directed the movements of his army accordingly. Prepare for some surprising revelations. Woven into this account is the fate of thousands of Union prisoners who envisioned rescue to avoid incarceration in wretched Confederate prisons, and a characterization of how the Union and Confederate media portrayed the ongoing conflict for consumption on the home front. The authors utilized a host of primary sources to craft their study, including letters, memoirs, diaries, official reports, newspapers, and telegrams, and have threaded these intelligence gems in an exciting and fast-paced narrative that includes a significant amount of new information. "Lee is Trapped, and Must be Taken" is a sequel to Thomas Ryan's Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign, the recipient of the Bachelder-Coddington Literary Award and Gettysburg Civil War Round Table Distinguished Book Award.
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  • The War Criminal's Son

    Jane Singer

    Product Code: BXGDR
    Hardback
    Set against the backdrop of the Civil War and its aftermath, War Criminals's Son by Civil War scholar Jane Singer brings to life hidden aspects of the conflict through the sweeping sage of the infamous Confederate Winder family and it's first born son, who shattered family ties to stand with the Union. General John H. Winder was the hard-handed provost martial of Richmond and subsequent commander of all prisons in the Confederate capital --including the prisoner of war death camp, Andersonville Prison--who had a reputation of being a cruel tyrant who brutalized his prisoners, even his own people. When he gives his son, William Andrew Winder, the order to come south and fight, or desert or commit suicide rather than ally with the Union, William goes to the White House, swearing his alligiance to President Lincoln, and is sent to command Alcatraz, a fortess-turned-Civil War prison. As the war dragged on and men were dying daily in his father's keep, William treated his prisoners humanely in spite of being repeatedly accused of disloyalty and treason. Though General John Winder died before he could be brought to justice, his subordinate, Henry Wirz, was charged with war crimes and executed after his trial, the first war crime trial by military commission in American history. Haunted by his father's villainy, William is sent into a lifelong exile, on a mission to do good at all costs. We meet the politicians, pioneers, traitors, and generals who blazed through William's life until he stops at the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, where alone, old, and ailing, he vowed to better the lot of the Native Americans. In War Criminal's Son, Jane Singer reexamines the horrors of Andersonville Prison and the command of Alcatraz with new, unpublished research and family materials, bringing to life a family and a country at war, with the universal themes of loyalty, family shame, and reclamation of lost honor in the face of unspeakable cruelty.
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  • Gernika

    Xabier Irujo

    Product Code: BWVAZ
    Paperback
    On 26 April 1937, a weekly market day, nearly sixty bombers and fighters attacked Gernika. They dropped between 31 and 46 tons of explosive and incendiary bombs on the city center. The desolation was absolute: 85 percent of the buildings in the town were totally destroyed; over 2,000 people died in an urban area of less than one square kilometer. Lying is inherent to crime. The bombing of Gernika is associated to one of the most outstanding lies of twentieth-century history. Just hours after the destruction of the Basque town, General Franco ordered to attribute authorship of the atrocity to the Reds and that remained the official truth until his death in 1975. Today no one denies that Gernika was bombed. However, the initial regime denial gave way to reductionism, namely, the attempt to minimize the scope of what took place, calling into question that it was an episode of terror bombing, questioning Francos and his generals responsibility, diminishing the magnitude of the means employed to destroy Gernika and lessening the death toll. Even today, in the view of several authors the tragedy of Gernika is little less than an overstated myth broadcasted by Picasso. This vision of the facts feeds on the dense network of falsehoods woven for forty years of dictatorship and the one only truth of El Caudillo. Xabier Irujo exposes this labyrinth of falsehoods and leads us through a genealogy of lies to their origin, metamorphosis and current expressions. Gernika was a key event of contemporary European history; its alternative facts historiography an exemplar for commentators and historians faced with disentangling contested viewpoints on current military and political conflicts, and too often war crimes and genocide that result. Published in association with the Canada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies
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  • Soldiers of Salamis

    Javier Cercas (Author)

    Product Code: BWLSX
    Paperback
    The International Bestseller of the Spanish Civil War - Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize In the final moments of the Spanish Civil War, fifty prominent Nationalist prisoners are executed by firing squad. Among them is the writer and fascist Rafael Sanchez Mazas. As the guns fire, he escapes into the forest, and can hear a search party and their dogs hunting him down. The branches move and he finds himself looking into the eyes of a militiaman, and faces death for the second time that day. But the unknown soldier simply turns and walks away. Sanchez Mazas becomes a national hero and the soldier disappears into history. As Cercas sifts the evidence to establish what happened, he realises that the true hero may not be Sanchez Mazas at all, but the soldier who chose not to shoot him. Who was he? Why did he spare him? And might he still be alive?
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  • Targeted Tracks

    Sr. Mingus

    Product Code: BWLAS
    Hardback
    The Civil War was the first conflict in which railroads played a major role. Although much has been written about their role in general, little has been written about specific lines. The Cumberland Valley Railroad, for example, played an important strategic role by connecting Hagerstown, Maryland to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Its location enhanced its importance during some of the Civil War's most critical campaigns. Despite the line's significance to the Union war effort, its remarkable story remains little known. The publication of Targeted Tracks: The Cumberland Valley Railroad in the Civil War, 1861-1865, by Scott L. Mingus Sr. and Cooper H. Wingert, rectifies that oversight. Because of its proximity to major cities in the Eastern Theater, the Cumberland Valley Railroad was an enticing target for Confederate leaders. As invading armies jostled for position, the CVRR's valuable rolling stock was never far from their minds. Northern military and railway officials, who knew the line was a prized target, coordinated-and just as often butted heads-in a series of efforts to ensure the railroad's prized resources remained out of enemy hands. When they failed to protect the line, as they sometimes did, Southern horsemen wrought havoc on the Northern war effort by tearing up its tracks, seizing or torching Union supplies, and laying waste to warehouses, engine houses, and passenger depots. In October 1859, Abolitionist John Brown used the CVRR in his fateful Harpers Ferry raid. The line was under direct threat by invading Confederates during the Antietam Campaign, and the following summer suffered serious damage during the Gettysburg Campaign. In 1864, Rebel raiders burned much of its headquarters town, Chambersburg, including the homes of many CVRR employees. The railroad was as vital to residents of the bustling and fertile Cumberland Valley as it was to the Union war effort. Targeted Tracks is grounded on the railway's voluminous reports, the letters and diaries of local residents and Union and Confederate soldiers, official reports, and newspaper accounts. The primary sources, combined with the expertise of the authors, bring this largely untold story to life.
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  • Victory Over Disease

    Michael Hinton

    Product Code: BWLAQ
    Paperback
    This book presents fresh analyses of unpublished, published and significant primary source material relevant to the medical aspects on the Eastern campaign of 1854-1856 - commonly called the Crimean War. The aim has been to produce an account based on robust evidence. The project began with no preconceptions but came to seriously question the contributions made by the talented and well-connected Florence Nightingale and the suitably-qualified Sanitary Commissioners. The latter had been sent by the government to investigate matters on the spot. This may prove an unexpected and possibly unsympathetic conclusion for some of Nightingale's many admirers. Rigorously weighing the evidence, it is unmistakeably clear that there is very little proof that Nightingale and the Sanitary Commissioners significantly influenced the improvement in the health of the main Army in the Crimea. The principal problems were at the front, not in Turkey, and it was there that matters were gradually rectified, with the health of the troops beginning to improve during the early weeks of 1855. The historiography of the campaign has tended to concentrate on the catastrophic deterioration in the health of the Army during the first winter and the perceived incompetence of the heads of department. The contributions made by Nightingale and the Sanitary Commissioners have been greatly over-emphasised. As a consequence, the medical aspects of the war have been inaccurately portrayed in both academic works and popular culture. The author's analyses should alter existing preconceptions or prejudices about what happened in Crimea and Turkey during those fateful war years. The `Victory over Disease' took place in the Crimea, and not at Scutari - and this was not due to the contributions of any one person, or even a group of individuals. Rather it represented the involvement of many people in many walks of life who worked, possibly unwittingly, for a common purpose, and with such a gratifying result.
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  • The Long Shadow of Waterloo

    Timothy Fitzpatrick

    Product Code: BWJOQ
    Hardback
    The Long Shadow of Waterloo explores how Waterloo was remembered by the various nations involved, including the French, British, Germans, the influence it had on these nations (and others, including the USA) and how this changed over the 100 years following the battle. The Battle of Waterloo ended a century of war between France and Great Britain and became a key part of their national identity, serving their political needs as the battle was refought throughout the 19th century in politics, books and art to create the myth of Waterloo. For Great Britain, Waterloo became a symbol of British hegemony while the multinational contribution to the battle was downplayed and for France it was remembered as a military disaster. Through looking at the history of the battle over the battle's significance in history, an insight is gained into how cultural myths and legends about a battle are made. Wellington and Napoleon both tried to shape the memory of the battle to their advantage. Wellington propogated the myth that the British won despite being outnumbered by a huge French army, while Napoleon chose to blame his subordinates for the loss, in particular Emmanuel de Grouchy. Grouchy spent the next 60 years struggling to defend his honour, claiming that Napoleon's account of the battle written during his exile at Saint Helena was imaginary and intended to cover Napoleon's own mistakes during the campaign. This book covers the battle's influence on figures such as Jomini and Clausewitz, military theorists who wanted to find the objective truth of Waterloo and use it as a guide for future wars, as well as Victor Hugo (and Les Miserables) who challenged the myths of battle to transform it into a win for France from which the Republic would emerge. The way Waterloo was used for entertainment is also explored, as battlefield tourists came from all over the world to vicariously experience the legendary battle through visualisations such as the travelling panoramas in England and poetry of Sir Walter Scott.
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