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Today, Alan Turing is a well-recognised name, but it was not always so. Until the last few years of the 20th century hardly anyone had heard of him or his achievements. All that changed when the British government permitted the story of Bletchley Park during the Second World War to emerge.We learnt that Alan Turing had had a pivotal role in breaking the Enigma cipher, used by German forces.This was so significant that it helped to shorten the length of the war. Alan Turing was an extraordinary man who crammed into a life of only 42 years other careers besides secret codebreaker: he was also a mathematician, computer scientist and biologist. For example, with Tommy Flowers he built the first computer. A man ahead of his time, many of his theories and calculations are still relevant today. In this guide to a truly remarkable life, recent research by Alan Turing's nephew, Dermot, has unearthed a fresh perspective and made entirely accessible this story to the modern reader.
`An exemplary work of investigative journalism that is also a wonderfully colourful book of history and travel' Observer, Book of the Year `A piece of postmodern historiography of quite extraordinary sophistication and ingenuity... [written with] exceptional delicacy and restraint' TLS The fabled city of Timbuktu has captured the Western imagination for centuries. The search for this `African El Dorado' cost the lives of many explorers but Timbuktu is rich beyond its legends. Home to many thousands of ancient manuscripts on poetry, history, religion, law, pharmacology and astronomy, the city has been a centre of learning since medieval times. When jihadists invaded Mali in 2012 threatening destruction to Timbuktu's libraries, a remarkable thing happened. A team of librarians and archivists joined forces to spirit the precious manuscripts into hiding. Based on new research and first-hand reporting, Charlie English expertly tells this story set in one of the world's most fascinating places, and the myths from which it has become inseparable.
"I have decided to prepare for, and if necessary to carry out, an
invasion against England."--Adolph Hitler, July 16, 1940
Guardian Book of the Day New Statesman Book of the Year History Today Book of the Year Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year BBC History Magazine Book of the Year 'Bustles impressively with detail and anecdote' -Sunday Times 'Consistently fascinating' -The Spectator 'Beautifully written and deeply researched' -The Observer 'Barr draws on a rich and varied trove of sources to knit a sequence of dramatic episodes into an elegant whole. Great events march through these pages' -Wall Street JournalUpon victory in 1945, Britain still dominated the Middle East. She directly ruled Palestine and Aden, was the kingmaker in Iran, the power behind the thrones of Egypt, Iraq and Jordan, and protected the sultan of Oman and the Gulf sheikhs. But her motives for wanting to dominate this crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa were changing. Where 'imperial security' - control of the route to India - had once been paramount, now oil was an increasingly important factor. So, too, was prestige. Ironically, the very end of empire made control of the Middle East precious in itself: on it hung Britain's claim to be a great power. Unable to withstand Arab and Jewish nationalism, within a generation the British were gone. But that is not the full story. What ultimately sped Britain on her way was the uncompromising attitude of the United States, which was determined to displace the British in the Middle East. The British did not give in gracefully to this onslaught. Using newly declassified records and long-forgotten memoirs, including the diaries of a key British spy, James Barr tears up the conventional interpretation of this era in the Middle East, vividly portraying the tensions between London and Washington, and shedding an uncompromising light on the murkier activities of a generation of American and British diehards in the region, from the battle of El Alamein in 1942 to Britain's abandonment of Aden in 1967. Reminding us that the Middle East has always served as the arena for great power conflict, this is the tale of an internecine struggle in which Britain would discover that her most formidable rival was the ally she had assumed would be her closest friend. Reviews for A Line In The Sand:- 'Masterful' -The Spectator 'With superb research and telling quotations, Barr has skewered the whole shabby story' -The Times 'Lively and entertaining. He has scoured the diplomatic archives of the two powers and has come up with a rich haul that brings his narrative to life' -Financial Times
**Explore the fascinating history of the real Downton Abbey as the Crawley family saga makes its way on to the big screen with Downton Abbey, the major motion picture** 'An excellent depiction of English aristocratic life ... a compelling portrait' Publisher's Weekly * * * * * * The follow-up to the international bestseller Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, this book moves the story into the 1920s, and focuses on the remarkable American heiress who came to reign at Highclere Castle. Sometimes the facts are even more extraordinary than the fiction ... This book tells the story of Lady Catherine, a beautiful American girl who became the chatelaine of Highclere Castle, the setting for Julian Fellowes' award-winning drama Downton Abbey. Charming and charismatic, Catherine caught the eye of Lord Porchester (or 'Porchey', as he was known) when she was just 20 years old, and wearing a pale yellow dress at a ball. She had already turned down 14 proposals before she eventually married Porchey in 1922. But less than a year later Porchey's father died suddenly, and he became the 6th Earl of Carnarvon, inheriting a title and a Castle that changed both their lives forever. Catherine found herself suddenly in charge of a small army of household staff, and hosting lavish banquets and weekend house parties. Although the couple were very much in love, considerable challenges lay ahead for Catherine. They were immediately faced with the task of saving Highclere when debts threatened to destroy the estate. As the 1920s moved to a close, Catherine's adored brother died and she began to lose her husband to the distractions London had to offer. When the Second World War broke out, life at the Castle would never be the same again. Drawing on rich material from the private archives at Highclere, including beautiful period photographs, the current Countess of Carnarvon transports us back to the thrilling and alluring world of the 'real Downton Abbey' and its inhabitants.
SILENT NIGHT brings to life one of the most unlikely and touching events in the annals of war. In the early months of WWI, on Christmas Eve, men on both sides left their trenches, laid down their arms, and joined in a spontaneous celebration with their new friends, the enemy. For a brief, blissful time, remembered since in song and story, a world war stopped. Even the participants found what they were doing incredible. Germans placed candle-lit Christmas trees on trench parapets and warring soldiers sang carols. In the spirit of the season they ventured out beyond their barbed wire to meet in No Man's Land, where they buried the dead in moving ceremonies, exchanged gifts, ate and drank together, and joyously played football, often with improvised balls. The truce spread as men defied orders and fired harmlessly into the air. But, reluctantly, they were forced to re-start history's most bloody war. SILENT NIGHT vividly recovers a dreamlike event, one of the most extraordinary of Christmas stories.
Winner of the US National Book Critics Circle Award
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER `His masterpiece' Antony Beevor, Spectator `A masterful performance' Sunday Times `By far the best book on the Vietnam War' Gerald Degroot, The Times, Book of the Year Vietnam became the Western world's most divisive modern conflict, precipitating a battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, then a vastly greater one for the United States in 1975. Max Hastings has spent the past three years interviewing scores of participants on both sides, as well as researching a multitude of American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs, to create an epic narrative of an epic struggle. He portrays the set pieces of Dienbienphu, the Tet offensive, the air blitz of North Vietnam, and less familiar battles such as the bloodbath at Daido, where a US Marine battalion was almost wiped out, together with extraordinary recollections of Ho Chi Minh's warriors. Here are the vivid realities of strife amid jungle and paddies that killed 2 million people. Many writers treat the war as a US tragedy, yet Hastings sees it as overwhelmingly that of the Vietnamese people, of whom forty died for every American. US blunders and atrocities were matched by those committed by their enemies. While all the world has seen the image of a screaming, naked girl seared by napalm, it forgets countless eviscerations, beheadings and murders carried out by the communists. The people of both former Vietnams paid a bitter price for the Northerners' victory in privation and oppression. Here is testimony from Vietcong guerrillas, Southern paratroopers, Saigon bargirls and Hanoi students alongside that of infantrymen from South Dakota, Marines from North Carolina, Huey pilots from Arkansas. No past volume has blended a political and military narrative of the entire conflict with heart-stopping personal experiences, in the fashion that Max Hastings' readers know so well. The author suggests that neither side deserved to win this struggle with so many lessons for the 21st century about the misuse of military might to confront intractable political and cultural challenges. He marshals testimony from warlords and peasants, statesmen and soldiers, to create an extraordinary record.
A tale of survival, love, hardship, family, heartbreak and triumph. This is the incredible story of 89-year-old Chelsea Pensioner Sergeant Major Colin Thackery who, in 2019, made history by becoming the oldest person to win Britain's Got Talent. The show gave a glimpse into Colin's history, but the truth of his unique and eventful life is far more gripping and surprising than viewers could have imagined. Enthralling, poignant and inspiring, this book tells Colin's story, from being a child helping Air Raid Wardens during The Blitz, through fighting in the Korean War, touring the world with the army, becoming a widower after 66 years of marriage, life as a Chelsea Pensioner and touching the nation's hearts with his show-winning singing in honour of his late wife, Joan. Ultimately, Colin's story is a tale of triumph: of resilience in the hardest of times; of hope in the face of despair; and of everlasting love.
The Republican Party appears to be divided between a tax-cutting old guard and a white-nationalist vanguard-and with Donald Trump's ascendance, the upstarts seem to be winning. Yet how are we to explain that, under Trump, the plutocrats have gotten almost everything they want, including a huge tax cut for corporations and the wealthy, regulation-killing executive actions, and a legion of business-friendly federal judges? Does the GOP represent "forgotten" Americans? Or does it represent the superrich? In Let Them Eat Tweets, best-selling political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson offer a definitive answer: the Republican Party serves its plutocratic masters to a degree without precedent in modern global history. Conservative parties, by their nature, almost always side with the rich. But when faced with popular resistance, they usually make concessions, allowing some policies that benefit the working and middle classes. After all, how can a political party maintain power in a democracy if it serves only the interests of a narrow and wealthy slice of society? Today's Republicans have shown the way, doubling down on a truly radical, elite-benefiting economic agenda while at the same time making increasingly incendiary racial and cultural appeals to their almost entirely white base. Telling a forty-year story, Hacker and Pierson demonstrate that since the early 1980s, when inequality started spiking, extreme tax cutting, union busting, and deregulation have gone hand in hand with extreme race-baiting, outrage stoking, and disinformation. Instead of responding to the real challenges facing voters, the Republican Party offers division and distraction-most prominently, in the racist, nativist bile of the president's Twitter feed. As Hacker and Pierson argue, Trump isn't a break with the GOP's recent past. On the contrary, he embodies its tightening embrace of plutocracy and right-wing extremism-a dynamic Hacker and Pierson call "plutocratic populism." As Trump and his far-right allies spew hatred and lies, Republicans in Congress and in statehouses attack social programs and funnel more and more money to the top 0.1 percent of Americans. Far from being at war with each other, reactionary plutocrats and right-wing populists have become the two faces of a party that now actively undermines democracy to achieve its goals against the will of the majority of Americans. Drawing on decades of research, Hacker and Pierson authoritatively explain the doom loop of tax cutting and fearmongering that characterizes our era-and reveal how we can fight back.
'A carefully researched and hugely readable account of the build-up to war, the momentum inexorably growing as he assembles each part of the jigsaw. Indeed, his narrative is so persuasive that by the time you are about two- thirds through, it takes some effort to remind yourself that the Third World War never happened' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times 1983 was a supremely dangerous year - even more dangerous than 1962, the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the US, President Reagan massively increased defence spending, described the Soviet Union as an 'evil empire' and announced his 'Star Wars' programme, calling for a shield in space to defend the US from incoming missiles. Yuri Andropov, the paranoid Soviet leader, saw all this as signs of American aggression and convinced himself that the US really meant to attack the Soviet Union. He put the KGB on alert to look for signs of an imminent nuclear attack. When a Soviet fighter jet shot down Korean Air Lines flight KAL 007 after straying off course over a sensitive Soviet military area, President Reagan described it as a 'terrorist act' and 'a crime against humanity'. The temperature was rising fast. Then at the height of the tension, NATO began a war game called Able Archer 83. In this exercise, NATO requested permission to use the codes to launch nuclear weapons. The nervous Soviets convinced themselves this was no exercise but the real thing. This is an extraordinary and largely unknown Cold War story of spies and double agents, of missiles being readied, of intelligence failures, misunderstandings and the panic of world leaders. With access to hundreds of extraordinary new documents just released in the US, Taylor Downing is able to tell for the first time the gripping but true story of how near the world came to the brink of nuclear war in 1983. 1983: The World at the Brink is a real-life thriller.
A magnificently researched, dramatically told work of narrative nonfiction about the history, evolution, impact, and ultimate demise of what was known in the 1930s and 1940s as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Black Cabinet. In 1932 in the midst of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt won the presidency with the help of key African American defectors from the Republican Party. At the time, most African Americans lived in poverty, denied citizenship rights and terrorized by white violence. As the New Deal began, a "black Brain Trust" joined the administration and began documenting and addressing the economic hardship and systemic inequalities African Americans faced. They became known as the Black Cabinet, but the environment they faced was reluctant, often hostile, to change. "Will the New Deal be a square deal for the Negro?" The black press wondered. The Black Cabinet set out to devise solutions to the widespread exclusion of black people from its programs, whether by inventing tools to measure discrimination or by calling attention to the administration's failures. Led by Mary McLeod Bethune, an educator and friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, they were instrumental to Roosevelt's continued success with black voters. Operating mostly behind the scenes, they helped push Roosevelt to sign an executive order that outlawed discrimination in the defense industry. They saw victories--jobs and collective agriculture programs that lifted many from poverty--and defeats--the bulldozing of black neighborhoods to build public housing reserved only for whites; Roosevelt's refusal to get behind federal anti-lynching legislation. The Black Cabinet never won official recognition from the president, and with his death, it disappeared from view. But it had changed history. Eventually, one of its members would go on to be the first African American Cabinet secretary; another, the first African American federal judge and mentor to Thurgood Marshall. Masterfully researched and dramatically told, The Black Cabinet brings to life a forgotten generation of leaders who fought post-Reconstruction racial apartheid and whose work served as a bridge that Civil Rights activists traveled to achieve the victories of the 1950s and '60s.
NOW WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY W. STANLEY MOSS'S DAUGHTER GABRIELLA BULLOCK AND AN AFTERWORD BY PATRICK LEIGH FERMOR Ill Met By Moonlight is the true story of one of the most hazardous missions of the Second World War. W. Stanley Moss is a young British officer who, along with Major Patrick Leigh Fermor, sets out in Nazi-occupied Crete to kidnap General Kreipe, Commander of the Sevastopool Division, and narrowly escaping the German manhunt, bring him off the island - a vital prisoner for British intelligence. As an account of derring-do and wartime adventure, made into a classic film starring Dirk Bogarde, Ill Met By Moonlight is one of the most brilliantly written, exciting and compelling stories to come out of the Second World War.
W. Heath Robinson is best known for his hilarious drawings of zany contraptions, though his work ranged across a wide variety of topics covering many aspects of British life in the decades following the First World War. Starting out as a watercolour artist, he quickly turned to the more lucrative field of book illustration and developed his forte in satirical drawings and cartoons. He was regularly commissioned by the editors of Tatler and The Sketch and in great demand from advertising companies. Collections of his drawings were subsequently published in many different editions and became so successful as to transform Heath Robinson into a household name, celebrated for his eccentric brand of British humour. Heath Robinson drew many cartoons lampooning the excesses of the First World War and poking fun at the German army, bringing welcome comic relief to British soldiers and civilians. This book presents his complete First World War satire, from ridiculous weapons such as 'Button Magnets' to aeronautical antics and a demonstration of how to have a 'Quiet Cup of Tea at the Front.'
In 1945, Germany experienced the greatest outburst of deadly violence that the world has ever seen. Germany 1945 examines the country's emergence from the most terrible catastrophe in modern history. When the Second World War ended, millions had been murdered; survivors had lost their families; cities and towns had been reduced to rubble and were littered with corpses. Yet people lived on, and began rebuilding their lives in the most inauspicious of circumstances. Bombing, military casualties, territorial loss, economic collapse and the processes of denazification gave Germans a deep sense of their own victimhood, which would become central to how they emerged from the trauma of total defeat, turned their backs on the Third Reich and its crimes, and focused on a transition to relative peace. Germany's return to humanity and prosperity is the hinge on which Europe's twentieth century turned. For years we have concentrated on how Europe slid into tyranny, violence, war and genocide; this book describes how humanity began to get back out.
In 1944 the British War Office distributed a handbook to British soldiers informing them what to expect and how to behave in a newly-liberated France. Containing candid descriptions of this war-ravaged society (widespread malnourishment, rampant tuberculosis) as well as useful phrases and a pronunciation guide (Bonjewer, commont-allay-voo), it was an indispensable guide to everyday life. This small, unassuming publication had a deeper purpose: to bring together two allies who did not enjoy ideal relations in 1944. The book attempts to reconcile differences by stressing a shared history and the common aim - defeating Hitler. It also tried to dispel misapprehensions: 'There is a fairly widespread belief among people in Britain that the French are a particularly gay, frivolous people with no morals and few convictions.' Often unintentionally hilarious in its expression of these false impressions, the book is also a guide for avoiding social embarrassment: 'If you should happen to imagine that the first pretty French girl who smiles at you intends to dance the can-can or take you to bed, you will risk stirring up a lot of trouble for yourself - and for our relations with the French.' Many of its observations still ring true today. For example, 'The French are more polite than most of us. Remember to call them "Monsieur, Madame, Mademoiselle," not just "Oy!"' Others remind us of how we recently we have adopted French customs: 'Don't drink yourself silly. If you get the chance to drink wine, learn to "'take it".' Anyone with an interest in Britain, France or World War II will find this an irresistible insight into British attitudes towards the French and an interesting, timeless commentary on Anglo-French relations.
"Don't be too ready to listen to stories told by attractive women.
They may be acting under orders." This was only one of the many
warnings given to the 30,000 British troops preparing to land in
the enemy territory of Nazi Germany nine-and-a-half months after
D-Day. The newest addition to the Bodleian Library's bestselling
series of wartime pamphlets, "Instructions for British Servicemen
in Germany, 1944" opens an intriguing window into the politics and
military stratagems that brought about the end of World War
"Mastering Modern German History 1864-1990" addresses the key political, social and economic developments in German history from 1864, to unification, through to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and re-unification. In recent years, significant aspects of German history have been the subject of new interpretations and areas such as Bismarck, William II, the origins of the First World War, Hitler, the Holocaust and the Second World War will be fully explored in the light of new research. Completely accessible and written in an engaging and lucid style, this text provides students with an in-depth look at Germany and its complex past.
A New York Times Book of the Year, 2018 A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK A dazzling love letter to a beloved institution - our libraries. After moving to Los Angeles, Susan Orlean became fascinated by a mysterious local crime that has gone unsolved since it was carried out on the morning of 29 April 1986: who set fire to the Los Angeles Public Library, ultimately destroying more than 400,000 books, and perhaps even more perplexing, why? With her characteristic humour, insight and compassion, Orlean uses this terrible event as a lens through which to tell the story of all libraries - their history, their meaning and their uncertain future as they adapt and redefine themselves in a digital world. Filled with heart, passion and extraordinary characters, The Library Book discusses the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives.
THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER-ONE BESTSELLER.
A reissue of this classic title brought up to date with never-before-published material from the original taped interviews and a new introduction by Andrew Morton.
This edition reflects on the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the original publication, and on the long-term legacy of Diana, the woman who helped reinvigorate the royal family, giving it a more emotional, human face, and thus helping it move forward into the 21st century.
5th July 1943: the greatest land battle of all time began around the town of Kursk in Russia. This epic confrontation between German and Soviet forces was one of the most important military engagements in history and epitomised 'total war'.It was also one of the most bloody, characterised by hideous excess and outrageous atrocities. The battle concluded with Germany having incurred nearly three million dead and the Soviet Union a staggering ten million. It was a monumental and decisive encounter of breathtaking intensity which became a turning point, not only on the Eastern Front, but in the Second World War as a whole. Using the very latest available archival material including the testimonies of veterans and providing strategic perspective alongside personal stories of front line fighting, Lloyd Clark has written a lucid, enthralling and heart-stopping account of this incredible battle.
The mass murder of 22,000 Poles by the Soviet NKVD at Katyn is one of the most shocking events of the Second World War and its political implications are still being felt today. Information surrounding Katyn came to light with Russian perestroika, which made it possible to disclose a key document indicating the circumstances of the massacre. The 'suspension of judgement' policy of the British Government hid for more than half a century a deceitful diplomacy of Machiavellian proportions. Katyn 1940 draws on intelligence reports, previously unpublished documents, witness statements, memoranda and briefing papers of diplomats, MPs and civil servants of various echelons, who dealt with the Katyn massacre up to the present day to expose the true hypocrisy of the British and American attitude to the massacre.
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