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Learn more about the world we live in and the people who have shaped it in our extensive range of society, philosophy and politics books. From religion to conspiracies and biographies to political books, you're sure to find an interesting read!

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Society & Politics

Learn more about the world we live in and the people who have shaped it in our extensive range of society, philosophy and politics books. From religion to conspiracies and biographies to political books, you're sure to find an interesting read!

  • WHYB

    Why Do Buses Always Come in Threes? (Paperback)

    Hand-picked favourites
    Why does your toast always land butter-side down? How do you measure the speed of a tennis serve? And just how do you win big on the lottery?

    This book looks at the fascinating maths behind 60 different questions that cover a vast range of topics. It uses practical knowledge of numbers to answer all sorts of questions that will quench your curiosity.

    Other topics covered with application include the weather, the internet, DNA testing and romance. People who love to wow friends with facts and their intelligence will find so much joy in this jaw-dropping book.
    • £3.99
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  • PSCH

    Passchendaele (Hardback)

    Nick Lloyd

    (1) Hand-picked favourites
    The Battle of Passchendaele took place between July and November 1917 and is widely regarded as one of the worst battles of both World Wars.

    Fought by the Allies against the German Empire in a small corner of Belgium, it was a horrific event that ended with over 500,000 men killed, maimed, gassed or drowned - and many bodies were never found.

    This book marks the centenary of the event. Historian Nick Lloyd references previously unexamined German documents to explain how the offensive put the Allies nearer to a major turning point in the war than anyone has ever imagined...

    It's a fascinating and poignant read for anyone with an interest in military history, trench warfare or past wars.
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  • Clearance
    AWLH

    A Woman Lived Here (Hardback)

    Allison Vale

    (1) Hand-picked favourites
    Only 111 of the 903 Blue Plaques that honour Londoners belong to women. This, despite thousands of truly remarkable women making significant and lasting impacts on every aspect of modern life...

    From politics and social reform to arts, medicine, science, technology and sport, this book celebrates those women whose achievements have largely went unnoticed and explains how their actions, ideas and inventions helped make the world a richer place to live in.

    Some of these women went about their lives and worked quietly with courage, conviction, skill and compassion, while others were fearless trailblazers who shattered the status quo of a 'man's world'.
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  • LBBI

    The Little Book of Big Ideas (Hardback)

    Daniel Smith

    Hand-picked favourites
    Daniel Smith's The Little Book of Big Ideas provides accessible overviews of important human ideas including religion, science, philosophy, economics and art.

    From geometry and genetics to anarchism, art and architecture, this is a concise account of the most important principles of Western thought.

    This book explains where these ideologies have sprung from and how they have impacted civilisation in so many different ways.
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  • Clearance
    GLDN

    The Golden Thread (Hardback)

    Kassia St Clair

    (4) Hand-picked favourites
    From the author of The Secret Lives of Colour, this fascinating book explores the history of civilization and human creativity: from the mummies of Ancient Egypt and the silken dragon robes of Imperial China to the woollen sails of Viking longboats and the Indian calicoes.

    Kassia St Clair studied the history of women's dress and masquerade during the 18th century and uses her knowledge and wit to argue that fabrics have changed and shaped the world we live in today.

    Packed with compelling stories from around the world and spanning thousands of years of human ingenuity, this book is sure to change the way you see the world.
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  • Clearance
    SPIG

    Secret Pigeon Service (Hardback)

    Gordon Corera

    (1) Hand-picked favourites
    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.

    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.
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  • IWMH

    Imperial War Museum's History Collection - 3 Books (Collection)

    (1) Hand-picked favourites
    Published in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum, this three-book collection brings together a fascinating and authoritative social history of the Second World War.

    A Prayer for Gallipoli covers the Great War from the point of view of a chaplain. Kenneth Best had no military training, so to fulfil his pastoral role, he had to get close to the front line and work with troops as they were under fire. As his empathy for the troops grew larger, he became more and more disgusted with their leaders. These diaries provide an insight into the horrific realities of trench warfare.

    The Secret History of the Blitz by Joshua Levine looks at the people that are not normally mentioned during accounts of the War - those spivs, outcasts and unsung heroes who were in the shadows; and D-Day to Victory features the diaries of a British tank commander as the war finally came to an end.

    All written using archive and primary sources, these are candid and compelling reads about the triumphs and tragedies of war.
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  • Clearance
    ETCW

    Events that Changed the World (Paperback)

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    This book looks at how the world has changed since the beginning of the 20th century and how various major events have shaped the way we live. It has sections dedicated to humanity and liberty, culture and society, technology, medicine, science, space and the environment and politics and war.

    From the optimistic excitement at the start of the century when extraordinary scientific breakthroughs and new inventions were promising so much to the tumultuous and violent battles that followed, it's a whirlwind read through modern history.

    Covering culture, humanity, war, science and space among many other elements, this book covers everything from the sinking of the Titanic and the assassination of JFK to the release of the first personal computer. Other events include The Beatles releasing 'Please Please Me', the moon landing and the Chernobyl Disaster.
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  • HTBH

    New Scientist- How to be Human (Hardback)

    New Scientist

    Hand-picked favourites
    This fascinating book from New Scientist provides a number of answers to one of the questions that everyone ponders from time to time - what is that makes us human? Is it our sense of morality or imagination? Or the fact that we talk? How about the facts we cook and wear shoes? Or perhaps we're all not quite as human as we think...

    From evolution to email, this book offers a tour around the human body and brain. It reveals how languages change the way our brains are wired; the evolutionary theory that tells us about the people we're attracted to; and why gossiping is the human equivalent of a gorilla picking fleas off its mate.

    Providing answers to all the tricky questions about life and death, this is a book for anyone who wonders what it means to be human.
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  • MPSH

    Mapping Shakespeare (Hardback)

    Jeremy Black

    Hand-picked favourites
    This visual exploration of the time in which William Shakespeare lived is filled with jaw-dropping facts and observations. It considers what The Bard was like as a man and covers the cultural changes that took place during his lifetime - 1564-1616.

    From the time of the Tudors to Elizabeth I's reign and the first of the Stuart kings, this book reflects the political changes that were reflected in his works and explains how he worked through maps and illustrations to look at how powerful people viewed their positions in the world.

    Author Jeremy Black also explores the locations of Shakespeare's plays and examines the reasons why he chose to set them in these locations.
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  • CHLL

    Churchill (Hardback)

    Christopher Catherwood

    Hand-picked favourites
    Leading Winston Churchill scholar Dr. Christopher Catherwood reveals what the former prime minister - a man often declared the greatest statesman to have ever lived - was like as a man in this painstakingly researched biography. It's packed with photographs and artefacts from the former PM's life.

    Drawing on archive interviews, artworks and personal notes for some of Churchill's most famous and inspiring wartime speeches, this book explores his hidden history in detail. From being homesick while at boarding school to his successes and failures (he disastrous Gallipoli campaign and his blind spot over India), it reveals him to be a powerful, colourful and remarkable character.

    This is a must-read for anyone who is fascinated in political history and those who have gained an interest in the politician after seeing John Lithgow in The Crown or Gary Oldman's Oscar-winning performance in The Darkest Hour.
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  • AJML

    In My Life - Alan Johnson (Hardback)

    Alan Johnson

    (1) Hand-picked favourites
    Former home secretary Alan Johnson celebrates his love of music in this marvellously entertaining memoir.

    He recalls first hearing Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly's True Love on the radio as a child in the 1950s and how this led to a lifelong passion. He fondly remembers humming Elvis Costello's Watching the Detectives while working as a postman and celebrates his love of artists ranging from Lonnie Donegan and The Beatles to David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen.

    A great read for music lovers and those who are interested in politics, this book lets you discover more about Alan Johnson the man while also transporting you back to a world of jukeboxes full of unashamedly romantic love songs and heartbreaking ballads.
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  • VRYB

    Very British Problems: Volume 3 (Hardback)

    Rob Temple

    Hand-picked favourites
    From the horrors of the daily commute to the messages hidden in your email exchanges (who knew dropping the 'kind' from 'kind regards' could be so effective?), this humour book covers some of the traits that define the British nation.

    It looks at the awkward moments, cultural peculiarities and odd fixations all Brits have and celebrates everything from the most bizarre British pub names to the history of tea. It even promises to answer the always contentious issue of whether you should put the milk in first...

    So funny and so relatable, the third volume in the bestselling series that inspired the Channel 4 TV series of the same name is one that every Briton needs to devour.
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  • BZASZ

    No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference (Paperback)

    Greta Thunberg

    The history-making, ground-breaking speeches of Greta Thunberg, the young activist who has become the voice of a generation 'Everything needs to change. And it has to start today' In August 2018 a fifteen-year-old Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, decided not to go to school one day. Her actions ended up sparking a global movement for action against the climate crisis, inspiring millions of pupils to go on strike for our planet, forcing governments to listen, and earning her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. This book brings you Greta in her own words, for the first time. Collecting her speeches that have made history across Europe, from the UN to mass street protests, No One Is Too Small to Make A Difference is a rallying cry for why we must all wake up and fight to protect the living planet, no matter how powerless we feel. Our future depends upon it.
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  • ABGTY

    The Chimp Paradox (Paperback)

    Dr Steve Peters

    Prof. Steve Peters, consultant psychiatrist to Liverpool FC, Sky ProCycling, Ronnie O'Sullivan and the England football team describes how he helps his clients manage their minds and fulfil their potential in his bestselling book The Chimp Paradox: The Acclaimed Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness.

    Dr. Peters knows how impulsive behaviour or nagging self-doubt can change people's lives in both a professional and personal capacity, and in this book he shares his mind-management programme that has helped everyone from the likes of Steven Gerrard to senior managers conquer their fears and grow in focus and confidence.

    Using real-life case studies and memorable analogies such as the 'chimp' - the seemingly irrational and impulsive being that inhabits our minds - to explain seemingly complex concepts, this book will help you understand your own behaviour and natural responses to people and situations, control your emotional impulses and help you live a happier life both at home and at work.
    • £8.99
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  • BUAYI

    The Salt Path (Paperback)

    Raynor Winn

    Raynor Winn's The Salt Path was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2018.

    It is Raynor's first book and it tells the true story of how she and her partner lost everything but went on to find hope and salvation when they decided to walk all the way across the coastline of the South West of England.

    It's an uplifting read for anyone who enjoys nature and motivational tales of the power of love.
    • £6.99
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  • BUMTW

    An American Marriage (Paperback)

    Tayari Jones

    Praised by Barack Obama, longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2019 and winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones finds an African-American couple learning that the American Dream can often be a nightmare...

    Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are all set to be a power couple. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. Until one day they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined...

    Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn't commit. Devastated and unmoored, Celestial finds herself struggling to hold on to the love that has been her centre, taking comfort in Andre, their closest friend. When Roy's conviction is suddenly overturned, he returns home ready to resume their life together...

    A masterpiece of storytelling, An American Marriage offers a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three unforgettable characters who are at once bound together and separated by forces beyond their control.
    • £6.99
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  • BXLIO

    12 Rules for Life (Paperback)

    Jordan B. Peterson

    Jordan B. Peterson's 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos is a book that focuses on the value of individual responsibility and what we can learn from ancient wisdom.

    He offers 12 profound and practical principles that will help you keep your life in order - from getting your own house in order before criticising others and comparing yourself to who you were yesterday.
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  • BIBFR

    Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World (Hardback)

    Kate Pankhurst

    (1)
    Kate Pankhurst, descendent of Emmeline Pankhurst, has created this wildly wonderful and accessible book about women who really changed the world. Discover fascinating facts about some of the most amazing women who changed the world we live in. Fly through the sky with the incredible explorer Amelia Earhart, and read all about the Wonderful Adventures of Mary Seacole with this fantastic full colour book. Bursting full of beautiful illustrations and astounding facts, Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is the perfect introduction to just a few of the most incredible women who helped shaped the world we live in. List of women featured: Jane Austen, Gertrude Ederle, Coco Chanel, Frida Kahlo, Marie Curie, Mary Anning, Mary Seacole, Amelia Earhart, Agent Fifi, Sacagawa, Emmeline Pankhurst, Rosa Parks, Anne Frank
    • £6.39
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  • BUKIX

    First Man In (Paperback)

    Ant Middleton

    Former Special Boat Service (SBS) sniper Ant Middleton tells his incredible life story in this exhilarating and jaw-dropping autobiography.

    He offers an insight into Special Forces training and how you're programmed to understand failure is not an option. He also talks about the lessons he's learned and the personal tragedies he's suffered along the way.
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  • BTXIO

    Chernobyl (Paperback)

    Serhii Plokhy

    Award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy's Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy is the winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2018. It's a must-read for anyone with an interest in modern history and those who have been compelled - and shocked - by the stunning Sky Atlantic TV series Chernobyl starring Jared Harris.

    On 26 April 1986 at 1.23am, a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine exploded. While the authorities scrambled to understand what was occurring, workers, engineers, firefighters and those living in the area were abandoned to their fate - and the blast put the world on the brink of nuclear annihilation.

    This book draws on recently opened archives to recreate events in all their drama, providing a moment-by-moment account of the heroes, perpetrators and victims of the Cold War tragedy.
    • £7.99
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  • BYICR

    Shoot for the Moon (Paperback)

    Richard Wiseman

    'Fascinating new book examines the history of Nasa's Apollo space missions' Daily Mail _______ Eight key lessons to revolutionise your life with the mindset that got man to the moon. 20th July 1969: Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to walk on the Moon. We all recognize this to be one of mankind's greatest achievements. Yet what did it take to make John F. Kennedy's dream a reality? In this remarkable book, Professor Richard Wiseman presents a pioneering study of the mindset that took humanity to the Moon, and shows how you can harness and use it to achieve the extraordinary in your everyday life. Combining personal interviews, mission archives and cutting-edge psychology, Wiseman embarks on the ultimate voyage through inner space. Along the way he identifies eight key principles that make up the Apollo Mindset, including how pessimism is crucial to success, and how fear and tragedy can be transformed into hope and optimism. You will discover a series of practical techniques that you can use to incorporate these winning principles into both your professional and personal life. Whether you want to start a business venture, change careers, find your perfect partner, raise a loving family, get promoted, gain a new qualification, escape the rat race, or pursue a lifelong passion, these techniques will help you to reach your own Moon.
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  • BXIOU

    The Spy and the Traitor (Paperback)

    Ben MacIntyre

    *Shortlisted for the 2018 Ballie Gifford Prize* 'THE BEST TRUE SPY STORY I HAVE EVER READ' JOHN LE CARRE A thrilling Cold War story about a KGB double agent, by one of Britain's greatest historians On a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket. The man was a spy. A senior KGB officer, for more than a decade he had supplied his British spymasters with a stream of priceless secrets from deep within the Soviet intelligence machine. No spy had done more to damage the KGB. The Safeway bag was a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia. So began one of the boldest and most extraordinary episodes in the history of spying. Ben Macintyre reveals a tale of espionage, betrayal and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever...
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  • AXDIA 7 years +

    Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls (Hardback)

    Elena Favilli

    (4)
    What if a princess didn't marry went on to become an astronaut? And what if the queen was the one really in charge of the kingdom?

    Illustrated by 60 female artists from every corner of the globe, this essential book introduces children to 100 remarkable women including Ada Lovelace to Malala, Elizabeth I to Serena Williams.

    A truly empowering, moving and inspirational read.

    This title has been shortlisted for 2018's British Book Award Children's Book of the Year.
    • £16.00
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