A tour-de-force of historical imagination, this is the story of three young men at the dawn of the French Revolution. Georges-Jacques Danton: zealous, energetic, debt-ridden. Maximilien Robespierre: small, diligent, and terrified of violence. And Camille Desmoulins: a genius of rhetoric, charming, handsome, but erratic and untrustworthy. As these key figures of the French Revolution taste the addictive delights of power, they must also come to face the horror that follows.
Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their constituents. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today's developing countries-with often disastrous consequences for the rest of the world.
"Interesting political narative"
A fresh look at the endlessly fascinating Tudors - the dramatic and overlooked story of Henry VII and his founding of the Tudor Dynasty - filled with spies, plots, counter-plots, and an uneasy royal succession to Henry VIII. Near the turn of the sixteenth century, England had been ravaged for decades by conspiracy and civil war. Henry Tudor clambered to the top of the heap, a fugitive with a flimsy claim to England's crown who managed to win the throne and stay on it for 24 years.
"Classy reconstruction of the period"
At the age of 16, in a nationwide selection for royal consorts, Cixi was chosen as one of the emperor's numerous concubines. When he died, in 1861, their five-year-old son succeeded to the throne. Cixi at once launched a palace coup against the regents appointed by her husband and made herself the real ruler of China - behind the throne, literally, with a silk screen separating her from her officials who were all male.
With an introduction read by Max Hastings. An exhilarating and uplifting account of the lives of 16 'warriors' from the last three centuries, hand-picked for their bravery or extraordinary military experience by the eminent military historian, author and ex-editor of the Daily Telegraph, Sir Max Hastings. Over the course of 40 years of writing about war, Max Hastings has grown fascinated by outstanding deeds of derring-do on the battlefield (land, sea, or air) - and by their practitioners.
"A Tour De Force!"
He was a husband, a father, a preacher - and the preeminent leader of a movement that continues to transform America and the world.
Early in 1968, a nuclear-armed Soviet submarine sank in the waters off Hawaii, hundreds of miles closer to American shores than it should have been. Compelling evidence strongly suggests that the sub sank while attempting to fire a nuclear missile.
With a narrative that grips the reader like a detective story, Antonia Fraser brings the characters and events of the Gunpowder Plot to life. Dramatically recreating the conditions and motives that surrounded the fateful night of November 5, 1605, she unravels the tangled web of religion and politics that spawned the plot.
"detailed but never dull"
In January of 1973 Richard Nixon announced the end of the Vietnam War and prepared for a triumphant second term - until televised Watergate hearings revealed his White House as little better than a mafia den. The next president declared upon Nixon's resignation "our long national nightmare is over" - but then congressional investigators exposed the CIA for assassinating foreign leaders. The collapse of the South Vietnamese government rendered moot the sacrifice of some 58,000 American lives.
Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires, the site of Judgement Day, and the battlefield of today's clash of civilizations. From King David to Barack Obama, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is the epic history of 3,000 years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism, and coexistence. How did this small, remote town become the Holy City, the 'centre of the world' and now the key to peace in the Middle East?
"A Rolls Royce Production"
The breakdown of Europe's Eastern Bloc proves that the map of Europe cannot be redrawn merely to serve political ends. Perhaps no country illustrates this more clearly than Poland, whose borders often have been a negotiating tool of the Big Powers. These presentations enlighten our understanding of the current drama in Eastern Europe.
In this magisterial book, Roy Jenkins' unparalleled command of the political history of Britain and his own high-level government experience combine in a narrative account of Churchill's astounding career that is unmatched in its shrewd insights, its unforgettable anecdotes, the clarity of its overarching themes, and the author's nuanced appreciation of his extraordinary subject.
"A biography worthy of Churchill"
In October 1962, at the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union appeared to be sliding inexorably toward a nuclear conflict over the placement of missiles in Cuba. Veteran Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs has pored over previously untapped American, Soviet, and Cuban sources to produce the most authoritative book yet on the Cuban missile crisis.
"Everything an audiobook should be"
Christopher Lee's history of Britain provides the definitive radio account of the events and personalities that have shaped our nation. From foreign invasions and war to economic crises and social revolution, this is a compelling journey through centuries of dramatic change.Volume 8 covers the years 1792 to 1815, a time of war all over Europe, which created national heroes out of Nelson and Wellington as they battled against Napoleon.
The Middle East is notoriously complex and difficult. This compact book on the topic by the University of Oxford's leading expert does not shirk the challenge. Organised thematically, and dealing with all the pivotal issues in the region, from oil and religion to gender and conflict, this comprehensive primer is both easy-to-read and full of insight. Stuffed with historical background, real-life examples, profiles of key figures from Nasser to Gadaffi, and even popular jokes from the area, The Middle East: A Beginner's Guide will captivate tourists, students, and the interested general reader alike.
"Packed with in depth information"
In 1967, not long after the Six-Day War, three young Arab men ventured into the town of Ramle, in what is now Jewish Israel. They were cousins, on a pilgrimage to see their childhood homes; their families had been driven out of Palestine nearly 20 years earlier. One cousin had a door slammed in his face, and another found his old house had been converted into a school. But the third, Bashir Al-Khairi, was met at the door by a young woman called Dalia, who invited them in.
The 25 years between the onset of the French Revolution in 1789 and the Bourbon Restoration after Napoleon in 1814 is an astonishing period in world history. This era shook the foundations of the old world and marked a permanent shift for politics, religion, and society - not just for France, but for all of Europe. An account of the events alone reads like something out of a thrilling novel.
Democracy, free thought and expression, religious tolerance, individual liberty, political self-determination of peoples, sexual and racial equality - these values have firmly entered the mainstream in the decades since they were enshrined in the 1948 U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. But if these ideals no longer seem radical today, their origin was very radical indeed - far more so than most historians have been willing to recognize.
Since Fidel Castro staged a coup and assumed power of Cuba in 1959, the United States has been obsessed with this small island nation, only 90 miles south of the Florida Keys. But because of the country's isolation, the island and its people have remained a mystery. This revised edition of Cuba takes listeners through the country's storied history, its people, and what the future holds for this island nation.
It can be argued that one simple idea-the concept of freedom-has been the driving force of Western civilization and may be the most influential intellectual force the world has ever known. But what is freedom, exactly? These 36 engaging lectures tell the dramatic story of freedom from ancient Greece to our own day, exploring a concept so close to us we may never have considered it with the thoroughness it deserves.
As one of the seminal social revolutions in human history, the French Revolution holds a unique legacy, especially in the West. The early years of the Revolution were fueled by Enlightenment ideals, seeking the social overthrow of the caste system that gave the royalty and aristocracy decisive advantages over the lower classes. But history remembers the French Revolution in a starkly different way, as the same leaders who sought a more democratic system while out of power devolved into establishing an incredibly repressive tyranny of their own.
On the night of November 9, 1938, an organized show of force against Jewish businesses and private homes occurred throughout German cities and recently annexed territories in Austria and the Sudetenland. This night would mark a turning point in the lives of not only Jews but all people of the time, marking a clear new path of violence, destruction, and persecution for Jews throughout Europe in the years to follow.
With Germany resurgent and rearmed after the disasters inflicted on it by the Treaty of Versailles following World War I, the Munich Agreement held out hope of a quick end to German ambitions and the return of stable, normal international relations across Europe. Of course, the Munich agreement is now notorious because its promise proved barren within a very short period of time. Chamberlain's actions either failed to avert, or actually hastened, the very cataclysm he wished to avoid at all costs.
Until April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth was one of the most famous actors of his time. That night, Booth became one of history's most infamous assassins when he assassinated President Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC. By the 1860s, Booth was a well-known actor, but he was also a confederate sympathizer who dabbled in espionage. He and his group of conspirators plotted to kill Lincoln and other top officials in a bid to decapitate the federal government and help the South.
The European continent was devastated in the wake of World War II, and the conflict left the Soviet Union and the United States as uncontested superpowers. This ushered in over 45 years of the Cold War, and a political alignment of Western democracies against the Communist Soviet bloc that produced conflicts pitting allies on each sides fighting, even as the American and Soviet militaries never engaged each other.
Nobody spent more time in the thick of early American political debates than Thomas Jefferson, one of the most famous and revered Americans. Jefferson was instrumental in all of the aforementioned debates, authoring the Declaration of Independence, laying out the ideological groundwork of the notion of states' rights, leading one of the first political parties, and overseeing the expansion of the United States during his presidency.
Read by award-winning narrator Mike Vendetti, Common Sense is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775-76 that inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. The pamphlet explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence in clear, simple language. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation.
And on its surface, the Chappaquiddick Incident (as it has infamously become known) was a simple but tragic traffic accident. However, its political fallout caused it to become the most speculated-upon car accident until Princess Diana's fatal ride, some 28 years later: Was Kennedy drunk? Was he trying to conceal an affair by deliberately killing Kopechne? Why did he wait for so long before reporting the accident? And who else was involved?
Since the end of the Cold War so-called experts have been predicting the eclipse of America's "special relationship" with Britain. But as events have shown, especially in the wake of 9/11, the political and cultural ties between America and Britain have grown stronger. Blood, Class, and Empire examines the dynamics of this relationship, its many cultural manifestations - the James Bond series, PBS "Brit Kitsch", Rudyard Kipling - and explains why it still persists.
In the three decades since April 4, 1968, when Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot to death in Memphis, scores of books and articles have questioned whether James Earl Ray, King's killer, acted alone or was part of a larger conspiracy. Now, based on explosive new interviews, confidential files, and previously undisclosed evidence, best-selling author Gerald Posner finally resolves the simple truth of the last great political murder mystery of the 1960s, definitively proving that Ray acted alone.
The appearance of a hastily constructed barbed wire entanglement through the heart of Berlin during the night of 12-13 August 1961 was both dramatic and unexpected. Within days, it had started to metamorphose into a structure that would come to symbolise the brutal insanity of the Cold War: the Berlin Wall. A city of almost four million was cut ruthlessly in two, unleashing a potentially catastrophic East-West crisis and plunging the entire world for the first time into the fear of imminent missile-borne apocalypse.
"Ultimately a little disapointing......"
The never-before-told full story of the history-changing break-in at the FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, by a group of unlikely activists - quiet, ordinary, hardworking Americans - that made clear the shocking truth and confirmed what some had long suspected, that J. Edgar Hoover had created and was operating, in violation of the U.S. Constitution, his own shadow Bureau of Investigation.
"A true story that will get you mad."
The Berlin Wall was erected in 1961 to end all traffic between the city's two halves: the democratic west and the communist east. The iconic symbol of a divided Europe, the Wall became a focus of western political pressure on East Germany; as Ronald Reagan's famously said in a 1987 speech in Berlin, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
The product of painstaking research and countless interviews, A High Price offers a nuanced, definitive historical account of Israel's bold but often failed efforts to fight terrorist groups. Israel's debacles in Lebanon against groups like the Lebanese Hizballah are examined in-depth, as is the country's problematic response to Jewish terrorist groups that have struck at Arabs and Israelis seeking peace.
"Very poor narration"
While Vladimir Putin has been president and prime minister of Russia, the Kremlin has deployed the security services to intimidate the political opposition, reassert the power of the state, and carry out assassinations overseas. At the same time, its agents and spies were put beyond public accountability and blessed with the prestige, benefits, and legitimacy lost since the Soviet collapse.
In 1943 Winston Churchill and the British Empire needed millions of Indian troops, all of India's industrial output, and tons of Indian grain to support the Allied war effort. Such massive contributions were certain to trigger famine in India. Because Churchill believed that the fate of the British Empire hung in the balance, he proceeded, sacrificing millions of Indian lives in order to preserve what he held most dear. The result: the Bengal Famine of 1943-44, in which millions of villagers starved to death.
"Interesting reading, marred by pronunciation"
Groundbreaking scientific analysis that breaks the JFK assassination wide open! Did a shot from the "grassy knoll" kill President Kennedy? If so, was Oswald part of a conspiracy or an innocent patsy? Why have scientific experts who examined the evidence failed to put such questions to rest? In 2001, scientist Dr. Donald Byron Thomas published a peer-reviewed article that revived the debate over the finding by the House Select Committee on Assassinations that there had indeed been a shot from the grassy knoll, caught on a police dictabelt recording.
"Excellent science, but not Oswald....."
In April 2014, Viktor Orbn, the youngest elected Prime Minister in Hungarian history, became Prime Minister of Hungary for the third time, for the second time with a supermajority, making him the most significant Hungarian politician since the 19th century. Beat that. He changed Eastern Europe, and may well do the same for Western Europe. The Hungarian Tiger is everything you wanted to know about Hungarian politics, but were afraid to ask.
Marcus Cicero, Rome's greatest statesman and orator, was elected to the Roman Republic's highest office at a time when his beloved country was threatened by power-hungry politicians, dire economic troubles, foreign turmoil, and political parties that refused to work together. Sound familiar? Cicero's letters, speeches, and other writings are filled with timeless wisdom and practical insight about how to solve these and other problems of leadership and politics. How to Run a Country collects the best of these writings to provide an entertaining, common-sense guide for modern leaders and citizens
The Venezuelan revolutionary Simón Bolívar, also known as El Libertador, sought to lead Latin America to independence from the Spanish in the early nineteenth century. Ever since he has been held as a model for subsequent Latin American radicals; Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela, has dubbed his own programmes of social reform the Bolívarian Revolution . In his introduction to this collection of Bolívar s writings, Chávez explains why Bolívar continues to inspire.
Political philosophy has become an increasingly active area of research over the past four decades. In response to the growing interest in the field, this new edition of A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy has been extended significantly to include 55 chapters across two volumes written by some of today's most distinguished scholars. Straddling analytic and continental philosophy, the first part of the Companion considers the contributions of economics, history, law, political science, international relations...
"The robots are taking over"
These early philosophical writings underpinned the Chinese revolutions and their clarion calls to insurrection remain some of the most stirring of all time. Drawing on a dizzying array of references from contemporary culture and politics, Zizek's firecracker commentary reaches unsettling conclusions about the place of Mao's thought in the revolutionary canon.
A fly-on-the-wall narrative of the Oval Office in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis, using JFK's secret White House tapes. On October 28, 1962, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev agreed to remove nuclear missiles from Cuba. Popular history has marked that day as the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a seminal moment in American history. As President Kennedy's secretly recorded White House tapes now reveal, the reality was not so simple.
Published to commemorate the bicentennial of Thomas Paine's death, these texts have remained two of the most influential arguments for liberty in political thought. Common Sense is a pamphlet that Paine wrote in support of American independence. Thanks to its original and simple style, it spread like wildfire through the colonies, helping to inspire the American Revolution. Rights of Man is Paine's passionate defence of the French Revolution that led to his trial for sedition and libel.
The politics of the 1950s revolved around two primary leaders, one Republican and one Democrat both moderate, and both willing to compromise to move the nation forward. The Republican leader was President Dwight Eisenhower. His two administrations changed American politics. Ike's desire to be president of all the people, to run his administration down the middle of the road, to be a modern" Republican, set the stage for what the Republican Party would be for decades to come.