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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.
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.
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.
This Pitkin Guide explores the reality, and unpacks the myths, of `Tommy', the British soldier on the Western Front in the First World War. It looks at every aspect of his personal experience - uniform, kit, trench cuisine, health and hygiene, pay, training and weaponry. It conveys the horrors of the early days of industrial warfare, from machine guns and artillery barrages to close-quarters combat within the enemy trenches and bunkers, and much much more. As well as the most visible aspects of the Tommy's experience, it also delves into more hidden worlds, and answers key questions. What did the Tommy do on his rest periods behind the frontlines? What caused him to suffer from shell shock, and how was he treated? How was he punished for disciplinary offences? These questions and many more are answered through a factual narrative.
The arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the head of the Yukos oil company, in October 2003, was a key turning point in modern Russian history. From being one of the world's richest and most powerful men, Khodorkovsky became Putin's prisoner. After two controversial trials, attracting widespread international condemnation (revealing accounts of which feature in the book) Khodorkovsky was sentenced to fourteen years in jail. In this book, Richard Sakwa examines the rise and fall of Yukos and considers the relationship between Putin's state and big business during Russia's traumatic shift from the Soviet planned economy to capitalism, as well as Russia's emergence as an energy superpower. The attack on Khodorkovsky had - and continues to have - far-reaching political and economic consequences but it also raises fundamental questions about the quality of freedom in Putin's Russia as well as in the world at large. In addition the author delves into the writings of Mr. Khodorkovsky in prison which show him to be a thoughtful critic of Russian reality.
Hailed as Newby's 'masterpiece', 'Love and War in the Apennines' is the gripping real-life story of Newby's imprisonment and escape from an Italian prison camp during World War II. After the Italian Armistice of 1943, Eric Newby escaped from the prison camp in which he'd been held for a year. He evaded the German army by hiding in the caves and forests of Fontanellato, in Italy's Po Valley. Against this picturesque backdrop, he was sheltered for three months by an informal network of Italian peasants, who fed, supported and nursed him, before his eventual recapture. 'Love and War in the Apennines' is Newby's tribute to the selfless and courageous people who were to be his saviours and companions during this troubled time and of their bleak and unchanging way of life. Of the cast of idiosyncratic characters, most notable was the beautiful local girl on a bike who would teach him the language, and eventually help him escape; two years later they were married and would spend the rest of their lives as co-adventurers. Part travelogue, part escape story and part romance, this is a mesmerising account of wisdom, courage, humour and adventure, and tells the story of the early life of a man who would become one of Britain's best-loved literary adventurers.
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.
The legions of Rome were among the greatest fighting forces in history. For almost half a millennium they secured the known world under the power of the Caesars. This pioneering account gathers together the stories of each and every imperial legion, telling the tales of their triumphs and defeats as they policed the empire and enlarged its borders. Focusing on the legions as the core of the Roman army, and chronicling their individual histories in detail, this volume builds on the thematic account of the Roman military force given by its companion The Complete Roman Army , and is vital reading for anyone who has enjoyed that book.
From late antiquity through to the early middle ages, people across north-western Europe were inscribing runes on a range of different objects. Once identified and interpreted by experts, runes provide us with invaluable evidence for the early Germanic languages including English, Dutch, German and the Scandinavian languages and reveal a wealth of information about our early civilisations. Runes employ many techniques from informal scratchings to sophisticated inlaid designs on weapons, or the exquisite relief carvings of the Franks Casket. The task of reading and understanding them involves a good deal of detective-work, calling on expertise from a number of academic disciplines: archaeology, art history, linguistics, and even forensic science. This book tells the story of runes from their mysterious origins, their development as a script, to their use and meaning in the modern world. Illustrated with a range of beautiful objects from jewellery to tools and weapons, Runes will reveal memorials for the dead, business messages, charms and curses, insults and prayers, giving us a glimpse into the languages and cultures of Europeans over a thousand years ago.
The authors discovered 150,000 pages of transcriptions of secretly recorded conversations among German prisoners of war, of which approximately one third were made in P.O.W. camps in Britain, another cache was made by bugging prisoners in the Mediterranean theatre of the war (North Africa, Malta, Italy) and the remainder comes from the bugging of prisoners of war in the USA. These transcriptions are thus unmediated, uncensored, and unselfconsciously candid and that is what gives this book its historical significance and extraordinary impact. What emerges from these transcriptions and within these pages is a shocking and profoundly illuminating portrait of the typical German soldier of the time: their thoughts, their feelings and their ideologies. SOLDATEN is a book that explodes many of the myths that we hold on to about Germany and its people during the War.
The fifth instalment in this popular and highly successful series, Viking follows on from Legionary, Gladiator, Knight and Samurai, your guide to the Norse world of the tenth century ad. Discover everything you will need to become a successful Viking warrior: how to join a war band; what to look for in a good leader; how to behave at a feast; what weapons and armour to choose; how to fight in a shield wall; where to go raiding; how to plunder a monastery and ransom a monk; how to navigate at sea; and what to expect if you die gloriously in battle. Modern reconstructions and ancient artefacts, including 16 pages of brilliant colour images, will immerse the reader visually in the Viking world. The humorous text peppered with quotes from sagas and chronicles will take you on an engrossing journey from joining a raiding party to how to die gloriously.
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.
With Britain's empire collapsing and Stalin's ascendant, U.S. officials under new Secretary of State George C. Marshall set out to reconstruct western Europe as a bulwark against communist authoritarianism. Their massive, costly, and ambitious undertaking would confront Europeans and Americans alike with a vision at odds with their history and self-conceptions. In the process, they would drive the creation of NATO, the European Union, and a Western identity that continues to shape world events. This is the story behind the birth of the Cold War, and the U.S.-led liberal global order, told with verve, insight, and resonance for today. Bringing to bear fascinating new material from American, Russian, German, and other European archives, Benn Steil's book will forever change how we see the Marshall Plan. Focusing on the critical years 1947 to 1949, Steil's gripping narrative takes us through the seminal episodes marking the collapse of postwar U.S.-Soviet relations: the Prague coup, the Berlin blockade, and the division of Germany. In each case, Stalin's determination to crush the Marshall Plan and undermine American power in Europe is vividly portrayed. And in a riveting epilogue, Steil shows how the forces which clove Europe in two after the Second World War have reasserted themselves since the collapse of the Soviet Union. A polished and masterly work of historical narrative, The Marshall Plan is an instant classic of Cold War literature.
A brilliant and penetrating new history of the First World War by one of the world's foremost experts on the conflict. Reissued with a new introduction from the author. Hew Strachan is one of the world's foremost experts on the Great War of 1914-18. His on-going three-volume history of the conflict, the first of which was published in 2001, is likely to become the standard academic reference work: Max Hastings called it 'one of the most impressive books of modern history in a generation', while Richard Holmes hailed it as a 'towering achievement'. Now, Hew Strachan brings his immense knowledge to a one-volume work aimed squarely at the general reader. The inspiration behind the major Channel 4 series of the same name, to which Hew was chief consultant, THE FIRST WORLD WAR is a significant addition to the literature on this subject, taking as it does a uniquely global view of what is often misconceived as a prolonged skirmish on the Western Front. Exploring such theatres as the Balkans, Africa and the Ottoman Empire, Strachan assesses Britain's participation in the light of what became a struggle for the defence of liberalism, and show how the war shaped the 'short' twentieth century that followed it. Accessible, compelling and utterly convincing, this is modern history writing at its finest.
The extraordinary drama of Malta's WWII victory against impossible odds told through the eyes of the people who were there. In March and April 1942, more explosives were dropped on the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta - smaller than the Isle of Wight - than on the whole of Britain during the first year of the Blitz. Malta had become one of the most strategically important places in the world. From there, the Allies could attack Axis supply lines to North Africa; without it, Rommel would be able to march unchecked into Egypt, Suez and the Middle East. For the Allies this would have been catastrophic. As Churchill said, Malta had to be held 'at all costs'. FORTRESS MALTA follows the story through the eyes of those who were there: young men such as twenty-year-old fighter pilot Raoul Daddo-Langlois, anti-aircraft gunner Ken Griffiths, American Art Roscoe and submariner Tubby Crawford - who served on the most successful Allied submarine of the Second World War; cabaret dancer-turned RAF plotter Christina Ratcliffe, and her lover, the brilliant and irrepressible reconnaissance pilot, Adrian Warburton. Their stories and others provide extraordinary first-hand accounts of heroism, resilience, love, and loss, highlighting one of the most remarkable stories of World War II.
In a museum in the small town of Bayeux in Normandy, specially devised to hold this single object, is a strip of linen nearly one thousand years old. It is 230 feet long and about 20 inches high. On it, embroidered in brightly colored wool, are figures of men, animals, buildings, and ships. In a series of vivid scenes, with a running explanatory text in Latin, it relates the invasion of England by William of Normandy and his victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Nothing remotely like the Bayeux Tapestry exists anywhere in the world, yet comparatively few people have been to Bayeux to see it and appreciate how totally absorbing it is. This book, first published in 1985, reproduces the Tapestry in full color and makes it accessible as never before. The story told in the Tapestry has all the ingredients of an epic poem, and a cast of characters that includes King Edward the Confessor; his liegeman, Duke Harold; and William, Duke of Normandy. When Edward dies, Harold succeeds him as king. William, who has a better dynastic claim, invades England, and at the Battle of Hastings Harold is defeated and killed. Here the Tapestry breaks off, but it probably originally concluded with William's coronation--the beginning of a sequence of monarchs that has continued virtually unbroken until today, and of the English nation as we know it. The Tapestry is reproduced in full color over 146 pages, with captions on a fold-out page for easy reference. A second reproduction of the Tapestry in black and white has a detailed accompanying commentary. Sir David Wilson, former Director of the British Museum, provides an up-to-date summary of the historical evidence, explaining each episode and coveringrelated topics such as the costumes, armor, ships, buildings, and customs. One of the primary sources for the history of the period, the Tapestry is a social document of incalculable value. It is the sole survivor of an art form that may once have been widespread, the wall-hanging commemorating the deeds of a great man.
The Vikings maintain their grip on our imagination, but their image is too often distorted by medieval and modern myth. It is true that they pillaged, looted, and enslaved. But they also settled peacefully and developed a vast trading network. They traveled far from their homelands in swift and sturdy ships, not only to raid, but also to explore. Despite their fearsome reputation, the Vikings didn't wear horned helmets, and even the infamous berserkers were far from invincible.
By dismantling the myths, "The Age of the Vikings" allows the full story of this period in medieval history to be told. By exploring every major facet of this exciting age, Anders Winroth captures the innovation and pure daring of the Vikings without glossing over their destructive heritage.
He not only explains the Viking attacks, but also looks at Viking endeavors in commerce, politics, discovery, and colonization, and reveals how Viking arts, literature, and religious thought evolved in ways unequaled in the rest of Europe. He shows how the Vikings seized on the boundless opportunities made possible by the invention of the longship, using it to venture to Europe for plunder, to open new trade routes, and to settle in lands as distant as Russia, Greenland, and the Byzantine Empire. Challenging the image of the Vikings that comes so easily to mind, Winroth argues that Viking chieftains were no more violent than men like Charlemagne, who committed atrocities on a far greater scale than the northern raiders.
Drawing on a wealth of written, visual, and archaeological evidence, "The Age of the Vikings" sheds new light on the complex society and culture of these legendary seafarers.
'Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!' This declamation by president Ronald Reagan when visiting Berlin in 1987 is widely cited as the clarion call that brought the Cold War to an end. The West had won, so this version of events goes, because the West had stood firm. American and Western European resoluteness had brought an evil empire to its knees. Michael Meyer, in this extraordinarily compelling account of the revolutions that roiled Eastern Europe in 1989, begs to differ. Drawing together breathtakingly vivid, on-the-ground accounts of the rise of Solidarity in Poland, the stealth opening of the Hungarian border, the Velvet Revolution in Prague, and the collapse of the infamous wall in Berlin, Meyer shows that western intransigence was only one of the many factors that provoked such world-shaking change. More important, Meyer contends, were the stands taken by individuals in the thick of the struggle, leaders such as poet and playwright Vaclav Havel in Prague; Lech Walesa; the quiet and determined reform prime minister in Budapest, Miklos Nemeth; and the man who realized his empire was already lost and decided, with courage and intelligence, to let it go in peace, Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev. Michael Meyer captures these heady days in all their rich drama and unpredictability, providing a thrilling chronicle of perhaps the most important year of the 20th century.
Lovers of gold, wine and war, the Celts have no voice because they have left no written records. Much of what we know of them comes from their enemies the Romans, who finally crushed them, and from the weapons and ornaments they buried with their dead. From these traces we can now resurrect a sophisticated people who dominated Europe for 500 years. These highly cultured barbarians, with their exquisite jewellery and metalwork, were eventually driven to the edges of the known world - yet were destined to shine out once more in the art of Celtic Christianity.
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