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A landmark account of the fall of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Hitler, based on award-winning research, and recently discovered archival material.
In the 1930s, Germany was at a turning point, with many looking to the Nazi phenomenon as part of widespread resentment towards cosmopolitan liberal democracy and capitalism. This was a global situation that pushed Germany to embrace authoritarianism, nationalism and economic self-sufficiency, kick-starting a revolution founded on new media technologies, and the formidable political and self-promotional skills of its leader.
Based on award-winning research and recently discovered archival material, The Death Of Democracy is a panoramic new survey of one of the most important periods in modern history, and a book with a resounding message for the world today.
As a young boy growing up in Port Elizabeth in the 1960s and 1970s, Steven Robins was haunted by an old postcard-size photograph of three unknown women on a table in the dining room. Only later did he learn that the women were his father’s mother and sisters, photographed in Berlin in 1937, before they were killed in the Holocaust. Steven’s father, who had fled Nazi Germany before it was too late, never spoke about the fate of his family who remained there. Steven became obsessed with finding out what happened to the women, but had little to go on. In time he stumbled on bare facts in museums in Washington DC and Berlin, and later he discovered over a hundred letters sent to his father and uncle from the family in Berlin between 1936 and 1943. The women who before had been unnamed faces in a photograph could now tell their story to future generations.
Letters of Stone tracks Steven’s journey of discovery about the lives and fates of the Robinski family. It is also a book about geographical journeys: to the Karoo town of Williston, where his father’s uncle settled in the late nineteenth century and became mayor; to Berlin, where Steven laid ‘stumbling stones’ (Stolpersteine) in commemoration of his family and other Jewish victims of the Holocaust; to Auschwitz, where his father’s siblings perished.
Most of all, this book is a poignant reconstruction of a family trapped in an increasingly terrifying and deadly Nazi state, and of the immense pressure on Steven’s father in faraway South Africa, which forced him to retreat into silence.
The Europeans is richly enthralling, panoramic cultural history of nineteenth-century Europe, told through the intertwined lives of three remarkable people: a great singer, Pauline Viardot, a great writer, Ivan Turgenev, and a great connoisseur, Pauline's husband Louis. Their passionate, ambitious lives were bound up with an astonishing array of writers, composers and painters all trying to make their way through the exciting, prosperous and genuinely pan-European culture that came about as a result of huge economic and technological change. This culture - through trains, telegraphs and printing - allowed artists of all kinds to exchange ideas and make a living, shuttling back and forth across the whole continent from the British Isles to Imperial Russia, as they exploited a new cosmopolitan age. The Europeans is Orlando Figes' masterpiece. Surprising, beautifully written, it describes huge changes through intimate details, little-known stories and through the lens of Turgenev and the Viardots' touching, strange love triangle. Events which we now see as central to European high culture are made completely fresh, allowing the reader to revel in the sheer precariousness with which the great salons, premiers and bestsellers came into existence.
How an unknown German and an Englishman on opposite sides of WWI created a scientific revolution In 1916, Arthur Eddington, a war-weary British astronomer, opened a letter written by an obscure German professor named Einstein. The neatly printed equations on the scrap of paper outlined his world-changing theory of general relativity. Until then, Einstein's masterpiece of time and space had been trapped behind the physical and ideological lines of battle, unknown. Many Britons were rejecting anything German, but Eddington realized the importance of the letter: perhaps Einstein's esoteric theory could not only change the foundations of science but also lead to international co-operation in a time of brutal war. Few recognize how the Great War, the industrialized slaughter that bled Europe from 1914 to 1918, shaped Einstein's life and work. While Einstein never held a rifle, he formulated general relativity blockaded in Berlin, literally starving. His name is now synonymous with 'genius', but it was not an easy road. This was, after all, the first complete revision of our conception of the universe since Isaac Newton. Its victory was far from sure. Einstein spent a decade creating relativity and his ascent to global celebrity, which saw him on front pages around the world, also owed much to against-the-odds international collaboration, including Eddington's crucial, globe-spanning expedition of 1919 - which was still two years before they finally met - to catch a fleeting solar eclipse for a rare opportunity to confirm Einstein's bold prediction that light has weight. We usually think of scientific discovery as a flash of individual inspiration, but here we see it is the result of hard work, gambles and wrong turns. Einstein's War is a celebration of how bigotry and nationalism can be defeated and of what science can offer when they are. Using previously unknown sources and written like a thriller, it sheds light on science through history: we see relativity built brick-by-brick in front of us, as it happened 100 years ago.
The Sunday Times Number 1 Bestseller `A fabulous story, superbly told ... cannot be bettered' Max Hastings `Some battles change nothing. Waterloo changed almost everything.' On the 18th June 1815 the armies of France, Britain and Prussia descended upon a quiet valley south of Brussels. In the previous three days the French army had beaten the British at Quatre-Bras and the Prussians at Ligny. The Allies were in retreat. The blood-soaked battle of Waterloo would become a landmark in European history, to be examined over and again, not least because until the evening of the 18th, the French army was close to prevailing on the battlefield. Now, brought to life by the celebrated novelist Bernard Cornwell, this is the chronicle of the four days leading up to the actual battle and a thrilling hour-by-hour account of that fateful day. In his first work of non-fiction, Cornwell combines his storytelling skills with a meticulously researched history to give a riveting account of every dramatic moment, from Napoleon's escape from Elba to the smoke and gore of the battlefields. Through letters and diaries he also sheds new light on the private thoughts of Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington, as well as the ordinary officers and soldiers. Published to coincide with the bicentenary in 2015, Waterloo is a tense and gripping story of heroism and tragedy - and of the final battle that determined the fate of Europe.
Pre-order the inspiring true story of a father and son's fight to stay together and survive the Holocaust, for anyone captivated by The Choice and The Tattooist of Auschwitz. 'An emotionally devastating story of courage - and survival' i Paper 'Extraordinary' Observer _______ Where there is family, there is hope . . . Vienna, 1930s. The Kleinmann family live a simple, ordinary life. Gustav works as a furniture upholsterer while Tini keeps their modest apartment. Their greatest joy is their children: Fritz, Edith, Herta and Kurt. But after the Nazis annex Austria, the Kleinmanns' world rapidly shifts before their eyes. Neighbours turn on them, the business is seized, as the threat to the family becomes ever greater. Gustav and Fritz are among the first to be taken. Nazi police send the pair to Buchenwald in Germany, the beginning of an unimaginable ordeal. Over the months of suffering that follow, there is one constant that keeps them alive: the love between father and son. Then, they discover that Gustav will be transferred to Auschwitz, a certain death sentence, and Fritz is faced with a choice: let his father to die alone, or join him... Based on Gustav's secret diary and meticulous archival research, this book tells the Kleinemanns' story for the first time - a story of love and courage in the face of unparalleled horrors. The Boy Who Followed His Father Into Auschwitz is a reminder of the worst and the best of humanity, of the strength of family ties and the human spirit.
Introduction by Deborah Lipstadt, author of Denial July 15, 1942, Wednesday Remember this day; remember it well. You will tell generations to come. Since 8 o'clock today we have been shut away in the ghetto. I live here now. The world is separated from me and I'm separated from the world. Renia is a young girl who dreams of becoming a poet. But Renia is Jewish, she lives in Poland and the year is 1939. When Russia and Germany invade her country, Renia's world shatters. Separated from her mother, her life takes on a new urgency as she flees Przemysl to escape night bombing raids, observes the disappearances of other Jewish families and, finally, witnesses the creation of the ghetto. But alongside the terror of war, there is also great beauty, as she begins to find her voice as a writer and falls in love for the first time. She and the boy she falls in love with, Zygmunt, share their first kiss a few hours before the Nazis reach her hometown. And it is Zygmunt who writes the final, heartbreaking entry in Renia's diary. Recently rediscovered after seventy years, Renia's Diary is already being described as a classic of Holocaust literature. Written with a clarity and skill that is reminiscent of Anne Frank, it is an extraordinary testament to both the horrors of war, and to the life that can exist even in the darkest times.
The revolutionary new understanding of how the gun trade facilitated the expansion of the British Empire and changed the course of world history. History teaches that from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century the industrial revolution transformed Britain from an agricultural and artisanal economy to one dominated by industry and machine, ushering in unprecedented growth in technology and trade and putting the country at the centre of the world. In Empire of Guns, prize-winning historian Priya Satia argues that - far from the bucolic image of cotton mills that define popular perception - the true root of economic and imperial expansion was the lucrative military contracting that enabled the country's near-constant state of war. Through in-depth research, Satia elucidates this story through the life of prominent British gun-maker and Quaker, Samuel Galton. Reconciling the pacifist tenet of his faith with the pragmatism of the times, he argued that the inescapable profitability of conflict meant all members of an industrialised economy were irrefutably complicit in war. Through his story, and a detailed study of the British gun trade, Satia illuminates the nation's emergence as a global superpower, the roots of the government's role in economic development, and the origins of our era's debates about gun control. Empire of Guns expertly brings to life a bustling industrial society with a human story at its heart to offer a radically new understanding of a critical historical moment and all that followed from it. Reviews of Empire of Guns: 'Sweeping and stimulating... An extensively researched and carefully crafted narrative... This important book helps us to look at British and United States history in an unconventional way and makes for great reading.' BookPage 'A strong narrative bolstered by excellent archival research... Tremendous scholarship... Satia's detailed and fresh look at the Industrial Revolution has appeal and relevance grounded in and reaching beyond history and social science to illuminate the complexity of present-day gun-control debates.' Booklist 'Empire of Guns boldly uncovers a history of modern violence and its central role in political, economic, and technological progress. As unsettling as it is bracing, it radically deepens our understanding of the 'iron cage' of modernity'. Pankaj Mishra, author of Age of Anger 'A solid contribution to the history of technology and commerce, with broad implications for the present.' Kirkus 'How 18th-century British arms sales, the slave trade, and the Revolutionary War contributed to the mess we have today... Satia takes a historical look at the role of guns in Britain's economic development, tracing how gunrunning became important to the British economy and how guns, in turn, ended up all around the world and played a crucial role in the perpetuation of slavery. Although this story is hundreds of years old, it has surprising and depressing relevance to [the] modern-day.' Slate
Follow the conflict of the Second World War from 1939 to 1945 in this unique volume, published in association with Imperial War Museums, London, featuring historical maps and photographs from their archives, and fascinating commentary from an expert historian. Over 150 maps tell the story of how this global war was fought. Types of maps featured: * Strategic maps showing theatres of war, frontiers and occupied territories * Maps covering key battles and offensives on major fronts * Planning and operations maps showing defences in detail * Propaganda and educational maps for the armed forces and general public * Maps showing dispositions of Allied and enemy forces * Bomber and V-weapon target maps Descriptions of key historical events accompany the maps, giving an illustrated history of the war from an expert historian. Key topics covered include * 1939: Invasion of Poland * 1940: German invasion of Low Countries & France * 1940: Battle of Britain & German invasion threat * Dec 1941: Pearl Harbor * 1942: Turning points: Midway, Alamein, Stalingrad * 1941-45: Barbarossa and the Eastern Front * The War at Sea * The advances to Jerusalem, Damascus and Baghdad * The War in the Air * 1944: Neptune & Overlord; D-Day & liberation of France
Days after the assassination of his prime minister in the middle of Rome in November 1848, Pope Pius IX found himself a virtual prisoner in his own palace. The wave of revolution that had swept through Europe now seemed poised to put an end to the popes' thousand-year reign over the Papal States, if not indeed to the papacy itself. Disguising himself as a simple parish priest, Pius escaped through a back door. Climbing inside the Bavarian ambassador's carriage, he embarked on a journey into a fateful exile. Only two years earlier Pius's election had triggered a wave of optimism across Italy. After the repressive reign of the dour Pope Gregory XVI, Italians saw the youthful, benevolent new pope as the man who would at last bring the Papal States into modern times and help create a new, unified Italian nation. But Pius found himself caught between a desire to please his subjects and a fear-stoked by the cardinals-that heeding the people's pleas would destroy the church. The resulting drama-with a colorful cast of characters, from Louis Napoleon and his rabble-rousing cousin Charles Bonaparte to Garibaldi, Tocqueville, and Metternich-was rife with treachery, tragedy, and international power politics. David Kertzer is one of the world's foremost experts on the history of Italy and the Vatican, and has a rare ability to bring history vividly to life. With a combination of gripping, cinematic storytelling, and keen historical analysis rooted in an unprecedented richness of archival sources, The Pope Who Would Be King sheds fascinating new light on the end of rule by divine right in the west and the emergence of modern Europe.
The Amazon History Book of the Year 2013 is a magisterial chronicle of the calamity that befell Europe in 1914 as the continent shifted from the glamour of the Edwardian era to the tragedy of total war. In 1914, Europe plunged into the 20th century's first terrible act of self-immolation - what was then called The Great War. On the eve of its centenary, Max Hastings seeks to explain both how the conflict came about and what befell millions of men and women during the first months of strife. He finds the evidence overwhelming, that Austria and Germany must accept principal blame for the outbreak. While what followed was a vast tragedy, he argues passionately against the `poets' view', that the war was not worth winning. It was vital to the freedom of Europe, he says, that the Kaiser's Germany should be defeated. His narrative of the early battles will astonish those whose images of the war are simply of mud, wire, trenches and steel helmets. Hastings describes how the French Army marched into action amid virgin rural landscapes, in uniforms of red and blue, led by mounted officers, with flags flying and bands playing. The bloodiest day of the entire Western war fell on 22 August 1914, when the French lost 27,000 dead. Four days later, at Le Cateau the British fought an extraordinary action against the oncoming Germans, one of the last of its kind in history. In October, at terrible cost they held the allied line against massive German assaults in the first battle of Ypres.The author also describes the brutal struggles in Serbia, East Prussia and Galicia, where by Christmas the Germans, Austrians, Russians and Serbs had inflicted on each other three million casualties. This book offers answers to the huge and fascinating question `what happened to Europe in 1914?', through Max Hastings's accustomed blend of top-down and bottom-up accounts from a multitude of statesmen and generals, peasants, housewives and private soldiers of seven nations. His narrative pricks myths and offers some striking and controversial judgements. For a host of readers gripped by the author's last international best-seller `All Hell Let Loose', this will seem a worthy successor.
During the Second World War two Jewish sisters - Janny and Lien Brilleslijper - run one of the largest hideaways in The Netherlands: The High Nest, a villa in The Gooi area. While the last remaining Jews are being hunted in The Netherlands, the lives of dozens of hideaways kept going for better or for worse, right under the noses of their National Socialist neighbours. Eventually, the nest is exposed and the Brilleslijper family put on one of the last transports to Auschwitz, along with the (Anne) Frank family. Roxane's novelistic eye combined with her rigorous research result in a hugely compelling portrayal of courage, treason and human resilience. THE HIGH NEST is a truly unforgettable book. After Roxane and her family moved into The High Nest in 2012 she spent six years writing and piecing together its story. Fundamental elements of Roxane's research into The High Nest are the personal, unpublished memoirs Janny Brilleslijper wrote for their close friends and family members. Roxane gained access to historic interviews with Janny, Lien, Eberhard and others, as well as many personal conversations with Janny and Lien's children. The book will contain many photographs from the Brilleslijper family archive.
A revelatory new biography of Adolf Hitler from the acclaimed historian Brendan Simms Adolf Hitler is one of the most studied men in history, and yet the most important things we think we know about him are wrong. As Brendan Simms's major new biography shows, Hitler's main preoccupation was not, as widely believed, the threat of Bolshevism, but that of international capitalism and Anglo-America. These two fears drove both his anti-semitism and his determination to secure the 'living space' necessary to survive in a world dominated by the British Empire and the United States. Drawing on new sources, Brendan Simms traces the way in which Hitler's ideology emerged after the First World War. The United States and the British Empire were, in his view, models for Germany's own empire, similarly founded on appropriation of land, racism and violence. Hitler's aim was to create a similarly global future for Germany - a country seemingly doomed otherwise not just to irrelevance, but, through emigration and foreign influence, to extinction. His principal concern during the resulting cataclysm was not just what he saw as the clash between German and Jews, or German and Slav, but above all that between Germans and what he called the 'Anglo-Saxons'. In the end only dominance of the world would have been enough to achieve Hitler's objectives, and it ultimately required a coalition of virtually the entire world to defeat him. Brendan Simms's new book is the first to explain Hitler's beliefs fully, demonstrating how, as ever, it is ideas that are the ultimate source of the most murderous behaviour.
The story of poison is the story of power... For centuries, royal families have feared the gut-roiling, vomit-inducing agony of a little something added to their food or wine by an enemy. To avoid poison, they depended on tasters, unicorn horns and antidotes tested on condemned prisoners. Servants licked the royal family's spoons, tried on their underpants and tested their chamber pots. Ironically, royals terrified of poison were unknowingly poisoning themselves daily with their cosmetics, medications and filthy living conditions. Women wore makeup made with lead. Men rubbed feces on their bald spots. Physicians prescribed mercury enemas, arsenic skin cream, drinks of lead filings and potions of human fat and skull, fresh from the executioner. Gazing at gorgeous portraits of centuries past, we don't see what lies beneath the royal robes and the stench of unwashed bodies; the lice feasting on private parts; and worms nesting in the intestines. The Royal Art of Poison is a hugely entertaining work of popular history that traces the use of poison as a political - and cosmetic - tool in the royal courts of Western Europe from the Middle Ages to the Kremlin today.
The Second World War almost destroyed Stalin's Soviet Union. But victory over Nazi Germany provided the dictator with his great opportunity: to expand Soviet power way beyond the borders of the Soviet state. Well before the shooting stopped in 1945, the Soviet leader methodically set about the unprecedented task of creating a Red Empire that would soon stretch into the heart of Europe and Asia, displaying a supreme realism and ruthlessness that Machiavelli would surely have envied. By the time of his death in 1953, his new imperium was firmly in place, defining the contours of a Cold War world that was seemingly permanent and indestructible - and would last until the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. But what were Stalin's motives in this spectacular power grab? Was he no more than a latter-day Russian tsar, for whom Communist ideology was little more than a smoke-screen? Or was he simply a psychopathic killer? In Stalin's Curse, best-selling historian Robert Gellately firmly rejects both these simplifications of the man and his motives. Using a wealth of previously unavailable documentation, Gellately shows instead how Stalin's crimes are more accurately understood as the deeds of a ruthless and life-long Leninist revolutionary. Far from being a latter day 'Red Tsar' intent simply upon imperial expansion for its own sake, Stalin was in fact deeply inspired by the rhetoric of the Russian revolution and what Lenin had accomplished during the Great War. As Gellately convincingly shows, Stalin remained throughout these years steadfastly committed to a 'boundless faith' in Communism - and saw the Second World War as his chance to take up once again the old revolutionary mission to carry the Red Flag to the world.
A powerful, fascinating, and groundbreaking history of Checkpoint Charlie, the famous military gate on the border of East and West Berlin. East Germany committed a billion dollars to the creation of the Berlin Wall in the early 1960s, an eleven-foot-high barrier that consisted of seventy-nine miles of fencing, 300 watchtowers, 250 guard dog runs, twenty bunkers, and was operated around the clock by guards who shot to kill. Over the next twenty-eight years, at least five thousand people attempted to smash through it, swim across it, tunnel under it, or fly over it. In November 1989, the East German leadership buckled in the face of a civil revolt that culminated in half a million East Berliners demanding an end to the ban on free movement. The world's media flocked to capture the moment which, perhaps more than any other, signaled the end of the Cold War. Checkpoint Charlie had been the epicenter of global conflict for nearly three decades. As the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Wall approaches in 2019, Iain MacGregor captures the essence of the mistrust, oppression, paranoia, and fear that gripped the world throughout this period. Checkpoint Charlie is about the nerve-wracking confrontation between the West and USSR, highlighting such important global figures as Eisenhower, Stalin, JFK, Nikita Khrushchev, Mao Zedung, Nixon, Reagan, and other politicians of the period. He also includes never-before-heard interviews with the men who built and dismantled the Wall; children who crossed it; relatives and friends who lost loved ones trying to escape over it; military policemen and soldiers who guarded the checkpoints; CIA, MI6, and Stasi operatives who oversaw operations across its borders; politicians whose ambitions shaped it; journalists who recorded its story; and many more whose living memories contributed to the full story of Checkpoint Charlie.
`The last great, untold story of WWII... highly compelling' Daily Mail Fleeing Nazi persecution for America in the 1930s, the young German-born Jews who would come to be known as The Ritchie Boys were labelled `enemy aliens' when war broke out. Although of the age to be inducted into the U.S. military, their German accents made them distrusted. Until one day in 1942, when the Pentagon woke up to the incredible asset they had in their ranks, and sent these young recruits to a secret military intelligence training centre at Camp Ritchie, Maryland. These men knew the language, culture and psychology of the enemy better than anyone, and had the greatest motivation to fight Hitler's anti-Semitic regime. And so they were trained and sent back into the belly of the beast, Jews returning to the frontlines of battlefields across Nazi-occupied Europe to defeat the enemy that persecuted them and their families. In an epic story of heroism, courage, and patriotism, bestselling author Bruce Henderson draws on personal interviews with many surviving veterans and extensive archival research to finally bring this never-before-told chapter of the Second World War to light. Previously published as Sons and Soldiers
Drawing for the first time on Polish, German and Soviet sources, First to Fight is the definitive history of the German invasion of Poland, which opened the war in September 1939. Roger Moorhouse provides a dramatic narrative of military events, brought to life by a select cast of generals and politicians, soldiers and civilians from all sides. In the process, First to Fight explodes many of the myths that still surround the campaign and challenge our understanding of how Britain and France entered the war. Did Britain and France assist their Polish ally to the best of their abilities when the German armies crossed the border on 1 September 1939? While they went to war with Germany, why did they not declare war on the Soviet Union when its troops invaded Poland from the east later in the month? And if the violation of Poland had been the reason to go to war in 1939, how could the Western Allies justify handing the country over on a plate to Stalin in 1945? Published to tie in with the eightieth anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, First to Fight explodes many of the myths around what is a shameful chapter in both British and French history, and forensically examines a pivotal moment in the war's history.
Tyrant, psychopath, and implementer of a ruthless programme of racial extermination, Adolf Hitler was also the charismatic Fuhrer of millions of dedicated followers. In this major new biography, internationally acclaimed German historian Peter Longerich brings Hitler back to centre-stage in the history of Nazism, revealing a far more active and interventionist dictator than we are familiar with from recent accounts, with a flexibility of approach that often surprises. Whether it was foreign policy, war-making, terror, mass murder, cultural and religious affairs, or even mundane everyday matters, Longerich reveals how decisive a force Hitler was in the formulation of policy, sometimes right down to the smallest details, in a way which until now has not been fully appreciated. Consistently and ruthlessly destroying both the people and the power structures that stood in his way, Longerich shows how over time Hitler succeeded in forging his 'Fuhrer dictatorship' - with terrifying and almost limitless power over the German people.
After the overwhelming horrors of the first half of the 20th century, described by Ian Kershaw in his previous book as having gone 'to Hell and back', the years from 1950 to 2017 brought peace and relative prosperity to most of Europe. Enormous economic improvements transformed the continent. The catastrophic era of the world wars receded into an ever more distant past, though its long shadow continued to shape mentalities. Europe was now a divided continent, living under the nuclear threat in a period intermittently fraught with anxiety. Europeans experienced a 'roller-coaster ride', both in the sense that they were flung through a series of events which threatened disaster, but also in that they were no longer in charge of their own destinies: for much of the period the USA and USSR effectively reduced Europeans to helpless figures whose fates were dictated to them depending on the vagaries of the Cold War. There were, by most definitions, striking successes - the Soviet bloc melted away, dictatorships vanished and Germany was successfully reunited. But accelerating globalization brought new fragilities. The impact of interlocking crises after 2008 was the clearest warning to Europeans that there was no guarantee of peace and stability. In this remarkable book, Ian Kershaw has created a grand panorama of the world we live in and where it came from. Drawing on examples from all across Europe, Roller-Coaster will make us all rethink Europe and what it means to be European.
One of the most dramatic chapters in the history of nineteenth-century Europe, the Commune of 1871 was an eclectic revolutionary government that held power in Paris across eight weeks between 18 March and 28 May. Its brief rule ended in `Bloody Week' - the brutal massacre of as many as 15,000 Parisians, and perhaps even more, who perished at the hands of the provisional government's forces. By then, the city's boulevards had been torched and its monuments toppled. More than 40,000 Parisians were investigated, imprisoned or forced into exile - a purging of Parisian society by a conservative national government whose supporters were considerably more horrified by a pile of rubble than the many deaths of the resisters. In this gripping narrative, John Merriman explores the radical and revolutionary roots of the Commune, painting vivid portraits of the Communards - the ordinary workers, famous artists and extraordinary fire-starting women - and their daily lives behind the barricades, and examining the ramifications of the Commune on the role of the state and sovereignty in France and modern Europe. Enthralling, evocative and deeply moving, this narrative account offers a full picture of a defining moment in the evolution of state terror and popular resistance.
'A truly wonderful writer.' Peter James The stunning new novel from bestselling Elizabeth Buchan. The Museum of Broken Promises is a beautiful, evocative love story and heart-breaking journey in to a long-buried past. Paris, today. The Museum of Broken Promises is a place of wonder and sadness, hope and loss. Every object in the museum has been donated - a cake tin, a wedding veil, a baby's shoe. And each represent a moment of grief or terrible betrayal. The museum is a place where people come to speak to the ghosts of the past and, sometimes, to lay them to rest. Laure, the owner and curator, has also hidden artefacts from her own painful youth amongst the objects on display. Prague, 1985. Recovering from the sudden death of her father, Laure flees to Prague. But life behind the Iron Curtain is a complex thing: drab and grey yet charged with danger. Laure cannot begin to comprehend the dark, political currents that run beneath the surface of this communist city. Until, that is, she meets a young dissident musician. Her love for him will have terrible and unforeseen consequences. It is only years later, having created the museum, that Laure can make finally face up to her past and celebrate the passionate love which has directed her life.
Introduction by Deborah Lipstadt, author of Denial
July 15, 1942, Wednesday
Remember this day; remember it well. You will tell generations to come. Since 8 o’clock today we have been shut away in the ghetto. I live here now. The world is separated from me and I’m separated from the world.
Renia is a young girl who dreams of becoming a poet. But Renia is Jewish, she lives in Poland and the year is 1939. When Russia and Germany invade her country, Renia's world shatters. Separated from her mother, her life takes on a new urgency as she flees Przemysl to escape night bombing raids, observes the disappearances of other Jewish families and, finally, witnesses the creation of the ghetto.
But alongside the terror of war, there is also great beauty, as she begins to find her voice as a writer and falls in love for the first time. She and the boy she falls in love with, Zygmunt, share their first kiss a few hours before the Nazis reach her hometown. And it is Zygmunt who writes the final, heartbreaking entry in Renia’s diary.
Recently rediscovered after seventy years, Renia’s Diary is already being described as a classic of Holocaust literature. Written with a clarity and skill that is reminiscent of Anne Frank, it is an extraordinary testament to both the horrors of war, and to the life that can exist even in the darkest times.
The leader of the only successful slave revolt in history, Toussaint Louverture is seen by many to be one of the greatest anti-imperialist fighters who ever lived. Born into slavery on a Caribbean plantation, he was able to break from his bondage to lead an army of freed African slaves to victory against the professional armies of France, Spain and Britain in the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804. In this biography, Louverture's fascinating life is explored through the prism of his radical politics. It champions this `black Robespierre' whose revolutionary legacy had inspired people and movements in the two centuries since his death. For anyone interested in the roots of modern-day resistance movements and black political radicalism, Louverture's extraordinary life provides the perfect starting point.
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