Biographies & Autobiographies

Political, Military & Historical

  • RIGB
    Lyn Rigby
    • £4.99
    • RRP £16.99
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    The mother of soldier Lee Rigby, who was murdered in Woolwich in May 2013, tells a personal story of grief and love for the son she lost.

    Although she has questions for the government and military, this is a tribute to a young father whose future was so cruelly taken away.
  • SPEE
    • £5.99
    • RRP £15.00
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    Featuring over 100 of the most influential speeches of all time, this book - with a beautiful leatherette jacket - provides a chronicle of our history.

    Featuring full transcripts of speeches from the likes of Julius Caesar, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill, the themes range from sport, politics and war to love and religion.

    Whether you think it's the choice of words, the feelings they express or the ultimate lasting impression, the speeches here have all made a huge impact - for better or for worse...
  • LTPR
    Alison Weir
    • £6.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    One of the most popular and authoritative historians writing today, Alison Weir provides a captivating account of the life and times of Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox in this eye-opening biography.

    The niece of Henry VIII, Douglas had royal Tudor blood running through her veins. Her mother was a queen, her father an earl and many thought she should have been queen of England. Lady of honour to five of Henry's wives, the countess was beautiful and tempestuous and created scandal by falling in love with unsuitable men on two occasions... Fortunately, her arranged marriage turned out to be a love match.

    A brave survivor, her dynastic ties to two crowns proved hazardous. Imprisoned in the Tower of London on three separate occasions (once under sentence of death), she also helped bring about one of the most notorious royal marriages of the 16th century - but this, too, ended in tragedy.

    Instrumental in securing the Stuart succession to the throne of England for her grandson, this biography covers an extraordinary life that spanned five Tudor reigns.
  • URCH
    Max Arthur
    • £7.99
    • RRP £25.00
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    Commemorating 50 years since the death of Winston Churchil, this is a unique illustrated biography for anyone interested in the history of Britain.

    It includes rare and previously unpublished images from the vaults of the Churchill Archive Centre and family pictures from the Broadwater collection. Written by historian Max Arthur, the book covers everything from Churchill's youth and early military career through to the First and Second World Wars and his post-war life.

    Endlessly fascinating, it includes timelines, speech drafts, telegrams and insights into Churchill's key influences, acquaintances and family.
  • RDNO
    Bill Browder
    • £4.99
    • RRP £18.99
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    In November 2009, young lawyer Sergei Magnitsky is led to a freezing isolation cell in a Moscow prison, handcuffed to a bed rail and beaten to death by eight police officers. His crime? To testify against the Russian Interior Ministry officials who were involved in a conspiracy to steal millions of dollars in taxes. Magnitsky's killing has remained uninvestigated and unpunished to this day...

    Red Notice is a searing expose of how the Russian authorities swept Magnitsky's imprisonment and murder under the carpet, slicing deep into the sordid truths of the Kremlin. Bill Browder's graphic portrait of the Russian government as a criminal enterprise wielding all the power of a sovereign state illuminates his personal transformation from financier to human rights activist, campaigning for justice for his late lawyer and friend.

    With fraud, bribery, corruption and torture exposed at every turn, Red Notice by Bill Browder is a shocking but true political true story of the roller-coaster that plays out in the highest echelons of Western power.
  • CHUH
    Sir Winston S. Churchill
    • £6.99
    • RRP £25.00
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    Edited by his official biographer Martin Gilbert, Churchill: The Power of Words contains 200 extracts from Winston Churchill's personal books, articles and speeches that reflect his life story, career and philosophy.

    The hardback book features everything from intimate memories of Churchill's childhood through to his debates on social policy, war and political causes. Fascinating reading for anyone interested in politics, the book is an illuminating, fascinating and compelling portrait of both the public and the private life of Winston Churchill, told in the legendary prime minister's very own words.
  • APDPJ
    Emmeline Pankhurst
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
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    Don't miss Meryl Streep as Emmeline Pankhurst in the major motion picture Suffragette. Emmeline Pankhurst was raised in a world that valued men over women. At fourteen she attended her first suffrage meeting and returned home a confirmed suffragist. Throughout her career she endured humiliation, prison, hunger strikes and the repeated frustration of her aims by men in power but she rose to become the guiding light of the Suffragette movement. This is Pankhurst's story, in her own words, of her struggle for equality.
  • ALYWY
    Chris Kyle
    (2)
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
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    Highly detailed, frank and totally raw, Navy Seal Chris Kyle's autobiography American Sniper has been recently dramatised in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated film starring The Silver Linings Playbook's Bradley Cooper. If you've seen the film yet or not, the book is a must read!

    Hunted by his enemies, praised by his military brothers, Chris Kyle's life as the United States' most deadly marksman saw him kill a reported (although the actual figure is considered to be much higher) 150 enemy combatants. In his gripping memoir, American Sniper, Kyle shares the true story of his extraordinary decade-long career, including his multiple combat tours in Iraq and elsewhere from 1999-2009, and the difficulties he and his family faced when he returned home...

    A riveting read detailing how a Texan cowboy can become an expert marksman and feared assassin, American Sniper by Chris Kyle is a perfect read for fans Marcus Luttrell's Lone Survivor and No Easy Day by Mark Owen.
  • AMCEN
    Mohamedou Ould Slahi
    • £16.49
    • RRP £20.00
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    Published for the very first time, Guantanamo Bay detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi's Guantanamo Diary is a terrifying, darkly humorous and surprisingly gracious record of his detention at the infamous US prison camp.

    Imprisoned since August 2002 for an as yet unknown reason, Mohamedou Ould Slahi was a prisoner at the United States' Guantanamo Bay military detention camp who was subjected to torture of unthinkable forms as part of the United States' War on Terror. Three years into his incarceration, Slahi began documenting his experiences, crafting this deeply personal and harrowing account of his detainment by the US government - including the their decision to block his release despite being ordered by a federal judge...

    In Guantanamo Diary, Mohamedou Ould Slahi details his life and treatment as a prisoner of the United States government and vividly presents not only a miscarriage of justice of true enormity, but a deeply personal and shocking memoir of a man who was both wrongly imprisoned and inhumanly treated.
  • ALRRP
    Andrew Hodges
    • £7.99
    • RRP £9.99
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    As portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in the film adaptation The Imitation Game, Alan Turing: The Enigma is a book that tells the true story of how Turing's contributions and genius significantly shortened the length of the Second World War.

    Written with great insight by Andrew Hodges, the book celebrates the achievements of a mysterious and highly intellectual individual. Alan Turing was a true pioneer, whose work can still be seen in the computers we use today and this book shows how Turing and his team managed to crack the German Enigma code while stationed at Bletchley Park.

    An extraordinary story, the book also looks at the appalling way Turing was treated by the British establishment following his achievements. A fascinating read about an - until recently - unsung British hero.
  • BITB
    Daniel James Brown
    (1)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £16.01
    A charismatic young man abandoned by his family at an early age, Joe Rantz dared to dream of escaping the challenges of the Great Depression and the painful memories of his early family life, finding solace in rowing. Heading on an extraordinary journey, Joe found himself lining up in a gold medal rowing race at the Berlin Olympics of 1936, in front of Adolf Hitler himself.

    Written by Daniel James Brown and full of lyricism and unexpected beauty, The Boys in the Boat is an inspirational true story.
  • AQQRT
    Mitchell Zuckoff
    • £8.79
    • RRP £8.99
    • Save £0.20
    13 HOURS is the true account of the events of 11 September 2012, when terrorists attacked a US State Compound and a nearby CIA station in Libya, one of the most dangerous corners of the globe. On that fateful day, a team of six American security operators stationed in Benghazi fought to repel mounting enemy forces and escalating firepower, to protect the Americans stationed there, including the US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. Going beyond the call of duty, the team ignored orders to stand down and instead choked back smoke, fought wave after wave of machine-gun fire and retook the Compound, averting tragedy on a much larger scale - although four Americans would not make it out alive. Recounting the 13 hours of the now infamous attack, this personal account is both blistering and compelling, and sets the story straight about what really happened on the ground, in the streets and on the rooftops.
  • APJNQ
    Charles Moore
    • £24.00
    • RRP £30.00
    • Save £6.00
    This is the sensational second volume of Charles Moore's bestselling authorized biography of the Iron Lady. In June 1983, Margaret Thatcher won the biggest increase in a government's Parliamentary majority in British electoral history. Over the next four years, as Charles Moore relates in this central volume of his uniquely authoritative biography, Britain's first woman prime minister changed the course of her country's history and that of the world, often by sheer force of will. The book reveals as never before how she faced down the Miners' Strike, transformed relations with Europe, privatized the commanding heights of British industry and continued the reinvigoration of the British economy. It describes her role on the world stage with dramatic immediacy, identifying Mikhail Gorbachev as 'a man to do business with' before he became leader of the Soviet Union, and then persistently pushing him and Ronald Reagan, her great ideological soul mate, to order world affairs according to her vision. For the only time since Churchill, she ensured that Britain had a central place in dealings between the superpowers. But even at her zenith she was beset by difficulties. The beloved Reagan two-timed her during the US invasion of Grenada. She lost the minister to whom she was personally closest to scandal and almost had to resign as a result of the Westland affair. She found herself isolated within her own government over Europe. She was at odds with the Queen over the Commonwealth and South Africa. She bullied senior colleagues and she set in motion the poll tax. Both these last would later return to wound her, fatally. In all this, Charles Moore has had unprecedented access to all Mrs Thatcher's private and government papers. The participants in the events described have been so frank in interview that we feel we are eavesdropping on their conversations as they pass. We look over Mrs Thatcher's shoulder as she vigorously annotates documents, so seeing her views on many particular issues in detail, and we understand for the first time how closely she relied on a handful of trusted advisors to help shape her views and carry out her will. We see her as a public performer, an often anxious mother, a workaholic and the first woman in western democratic history who truly came to dominate her country in her time. In the early hours of 12 October 1984, during the Conservative party conference in Brighton, the IRA attempted to assassinate her. She carried on within hours to give her leader's speech at the conference (and later went on to sign the Anglo-Irish agreement). One of her many left-wing critics, watching her that day, said 'I don't approve of her as Prime Minister, but by God she's a great tank commander.' This titanic figure, with all her capacities and all her flaws, storms from these pages as from no other book.
  • AOOBM
    John Pearson
    • £7.19
    • RRP £8.99
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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.
  • ALSKQ
    Laura Hillenbrand
    (1)
    • £8.89
    • RRP £8.99
    • Save £0.10
    Memorably brought to the big screen by director Angelina Jolie, Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken tells the story of Louis Zamperini (played in the film by Jack O'Connell) - an Olympic athlete who served as an airman during the Second World War and went through a number of torturous experiences...

    After a troubled youth, Zamperini found solace in his running and took part in the Berlin Olympics, almost running a four-minute mile. During the war, the bomber Zamperini was flying in crashed into the Pacific Ocean - surviving this, Zamperini had to fend off everything from hunger and thirst to sharks and enemy aircraft attacks. But when saviour eventually came, Zamperini would be faced with his toughest experience yet...

    The extraordinary true story of a remarkable individual and a celebration of triumph against the most brutal of tribulations, this is a poignant read. You'll be inspired as you learn how Zamperini never gave up on hope and used his powers of endurance and resilience to survive every challenge that came his way...
  • AGWMO
    Mario Vargas Llosa
    • £8.89
    • RRP £8.99
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    As "The Dream of the Celt" opens, it is the summer of 1916 and Roger Casement awaits the hangman in London's Pentonville Prison. Dublin lies in ruins after the disastrous Easter Rising led by his comrades of the Irish Volunteers. He has been caught after landing from a German submarine. For the past year he has attempted to raise an Irish brigade from prisoners of war to fight alongside the Germans against the British Empire that awarded him a knighthood only a few years before. And now his petition for clemency is threatened by the leaking of his private diary and his secret life as a gay man...Vargas-Llosa, with his incomparable gift for powerful historical narrative, takes the reader on a journey back through a remarkable life dedicated to the exposure of barbaric treatment of indigenous peoples by European predators in the Congo and Amazonia. Casement was feted as one of the greatest humanitarians of the age. Now he is about to die ignominiously as a traitor.
  • ALJNL
    Malala Yousafzai
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
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    In 2009 Malala Yousafzai began writing a blog on BBC Urdu about life in the Swat Valley as the Taliban gained control, at times banning girls from attending school. When her identity was discovered, Malala began to appear in both Pakistani and international media, advocating the freedom to pursue education for all. In October 2011, gunmen boarded Malala's school bus and shot her in the face, a bullet passing through her head and into her shoulder. Remarkably, Malala survived the shooting. At a very young age, Malala Yousafzai has become a worldwide symbol of courage and hope. Her shooting has sparked a wave of solidarity across Pakistan, not to mention globally, for the right to education, freedom from terror and female emancipation.
  • AALWD
    Barack Obama
    • £7.99
    • RRP £9.99
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    The son of a black African father and a white American mother, Obama was only two years old when his father walked out on the family. Many years later, Obama receives a phone call from Nairobi: his father is dead. This sudden news inspires an emotional odyssey for Obama, determined to learn the truth of his father's life and reconcile his divided inheritance. Written at the age of thirty-three, "Dreams from my Father" is an unforgettable read. It illuminates not only Obama's journey, but also our universal desire to understand our history, and what makes us the people we are.
  • APHNU
    Yeonmi Park
    • £15.19
    • RRP £18.99
    • Save £3.80
    'I am most grateful for two things: that I was born in North Korea, and that I escaped from North Korea.' Yeonmi Park was not dreaming of freedom when she escaped from North Korea. She didn't even know what it meant to be free. All she knew was that she was running for her life, that if she and her family stayed behind they would die - from starvation, or disease, or even execution. This book is the story of Park's struggle to survive in the darkest, most repressive country on earth; her harrowing escape through China's underworld of smugglers and human traffickers; and then her escape from China across the Gobi desert to Mongolia, with only the stars to guide her way, and from there to South Korea and at last to freedom; and finally her emergence as a leading human rights activist - all before her 21st birthday.
  • AOMYE
    Mark Time
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
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    At 16, Mark Time wants to become either a geologist or a Royal Marines Commando. So which does he choose? Despite his love of basalt, he chooses the career that teaches him how to kill...and sh*t in plastic bags. Knowing his weak body will have to shape up to complete thirty weeks of commando training, Mark prepares for the Royal Marines by sleeping in his shed wearing only plastic bags. He braves pain by ordering his mate to attack him while trapped in a sleeping bag. He starves himself in a stupid urban survival exercise, turning down the offer of crispy pancakes from his bewildered mother. He is ready. Some might say for the nut house...Often hilarious and yet shockingly sobering, this is the true story of a boy who joins one of the world's most elite military units with only naivety and incompetence equalling his will to succeed.
  • AOIER
    Boris Johnson
    • £7.99
    • RRP £9.99
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    'The must-read biography of the year.' Evening Standard 'He writes with gusto...the result is a book that is never boring, genuinely clever ...this book sizzles.' The Times 'The point of the Churchill Factor is that one man can make all the difference.' On the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of Winston Churchill's death, and written in conjunction with the Churchill Estate, Boris Johnson explores what makes up the 'Churchill Factor' - the singular brilliance of one of the most important leaders of the twentieth century. Taking on the myths and misconceptions along with the outsized reality, he portrays - with characteristic wit and passion - a man of multiple contradictions, contagious bravery, breath-taking eloquence, matchless strategizing, and deep humanity. Fearless on the battlefield, Churchill had to be ordered by the King to stay out of action on D-Day; he embraced large-scale strategic bombing, yet hated the destruction of war and scorned politicians who had not experienced its horrors. He was a celebrated journalist, a great orator and won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was famous for his ability to combine wining and dining with many late nights of crucial wartime decision-making. His open-mindedness made him a pioneer in health care, education, and social welfare, though he remained incorrigibly politically incorrect. Most of all, as Boris Johnson says, 'Churchill is the resounding human rebuttal to all who think history is the story of vast and impersonal economic forces'. The Churchill Factor is a book to be enjoyed not only by anyone interested in history: it is essential reading for anyone who wants to know what makes a great leader.
  • AELVP
    Anne Frank
    • £7.19
    • RRP £8.99
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    This is the 70th Anniversary Edition. In the summer of 1942, fleeing the horrors of the Nazi occupation, Anne Frank and her family were forced into hiding in the back of an Amsterdam warehouse. Aged thirteen when she went into the secret annexe, Anne kept a diary in which she confided her innermost thoughts and feelings, movingly revealing how the eight people living under these extraordinary conditions coped with the daily threat of discovery and death, being cut off from the outside world, petty misunderstandings and the unbearable strain of living like prisoners. An intimate record of tension and struggle, adolescence and confinement, anger and heartbreak, this is the definitive edition of the diary of Anne Frank.
  • ADBPP
    Mahatma Gandhi
    • £10.59
    • RRP £10.99
    • Save £0.40
    Gandhi's non-violent struggles against racism, violence, and colonialism in South Africa and India had brought him to such a level of notoriety, adulation that when asked to write an autobiography midway through his career, he took it as an opportunity to explain himself. He feared the enthusiasm for his ideas tended to exceed a deeper understanding of his quest for truth rooted in devotion to God. His attempts to get closer to this divine power led him to seek purity through simple living, dietary practices, celibacy, and a life without violence. This is not a straightforward narrative biography. In "The Story of My Experiments with Truth", Gandhi offers his life story as a reference for those who would follow in his footsteps.
  • ALKBE
    General Sir David Richards
    • £16.49
    • RRP £20.00
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    General Sir David Richards is one of the best known British generals of modern times. In 2013 he retired after over forty years of service in the British Army and a career that had seen him rise from junior officer with 20 Commando to Chief of the Defence Staff, the professional head of the British Armed Forces. He served in the Far East, Germany, Northern Ireland and East Timor. He was the last Governor of Berlin's Spandau Prison, when Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy, was its sole prisoner. In 2005 he was appointed Commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps in Afghanistan and as commander of NATO forces became the first British General to command US Forces in combat since the Second World War. In 2000, Richards won acclaim when he brought together a collation of forces in Sierra Leone to stop the ultra-violent Revolutionary United Front from attacking the capital, Freetown. In so doing he ended one of the bloodiest civil wars to bedevil the region. He did so without the official sanction of London, and failure could have cost him his career. As Chief of the Defence Staff he advised the government during the crises and interventions in Libya and Syria and oversaw the controversial Strategic Defence and Security Review. Taking Command is Richards' characteristically outspoken account of a career that took him into the highest echelons of military command and politics. Written with candour, and often humour, his story reflects the changing reality of life for the modern soldier over the last forty years and offers unprecedented insight into the readiness of our military to tackle the threats and challenges we face today.