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.
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.
"Weighty, serious but at times tedious"
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"
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"
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.
"Excellent History lesson"
The Pax Britannica trilogy is Jan Morris's epic story of the British Empire from the accession of Queen Victoria to the death of Winston Churchill. It is a towering achievement: informative, accessible, entertaining and written with all her usual bravura. Heaven's Command, the first volume, takes us from the crowning of Queen Victoria in 1837 to the Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The story moves effortlessly across the world, from the English shores to Fiji, Zululand, the Canadian prairies and beyond. Totally gripping history!
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.
"Lots of content skillfully weaved together."
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.
When Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill met in Yalta in February 1945, Hitler's armies were on the run and victory was imminent. The Big Three wanted to draft a blueprint for a lasting peace - but instead set the stage for a 44-year division of Europe into Soviet and western spheres of influence. After fighting side by side for nearly four years, their political alliance was rapidly fracturing. By the time the leaders met again in Potsdam in July 1945, Russians and Americans were squabbling over the future of Germany and Churchill was warning about an "iron curtain" being drawn down over the Continent.
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"
Charlie Wilson's War is the untold story behind the last battle of the Cold War and how it fueled the rise of militant Islam. George Crile tells how Charlie Wilson, a maverick congressman from east Texas, conspired with a rogue CIA operative to launch the biggest, meanest, and most successful covert operation in the agency's history.
"An interesting book, very well narrated"
You've probably heard clips from Senator Clinton's interview with Barbara Walters. But now you can listen to her full account of her years in the White House. Hillary Clinton vividly describes her pain over her husband's betrayal with Monica Lewinky saying that former President Bill Clinton lied to her about the relationship until the weekend before he admitted the nature of it to a grand jury.
"A fascinating insight"
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.
An abused child, yet confident of her destiny to reign, a woman in a man's world, passionately sexual yet, she said, a virgin, Elizabeth I was to be famed as England's most successful ruler. This absorbing new book, by concentrating on the early years from her birth in 1533 to her accession in 1558, shows how her experiences of danger and adventure formed her remarkable character and shaped her opinions and beliefs.
"one strong woman"
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.
Called by New York Times columnist David Brooks the "smartest and most devastating" critic of President George W. Bush's Iraq policies, Peter W. Galbraith was the earliest expert to describe Iraq's breakup into religious and ethnic entities, a reality that is now commonly accepted.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." These stirring words from the Declaration of Independence are a powerful statement of the importance of human rights in Western civilization. But many of the freedoms we enjoy today were not so "self-evident" to lawmakers throughout much of our history.
In this long-awaited successor to his #1 best seller The Best and the Brightest, David Halberstam describes in fascinating human detail how the shadow of Cold War Vietnam still hangs over American foreign policy, and how domestic politics have determined our role as a world power.
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.
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 last days of the Korean War saw savage battles for control of important local terrain features, and in the trench warfare of the Chorwon Valley a young U.S. Army lieutenant was assigned to lead an infantry company charged with holding Outpost Harry against a determined Chinese assault. The battle devolved into hand-to-hand combat during a period of constant, intense fighting that lasted two days.
While asking that Congress work to establish better commercial relations with Mexico, Great Britain, and Austria-Hungary, Adams demonstrates how tariffs affect the commerce of the country.
On August 31, 1939, nearing the end of his second and presumably final term in office, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was working in the Oval Office and contemplating construction of his presidential library and planning retirement. The next day German tanks had crossed the Polish border; Britain and France had declared war. Overnight the world had changed, and FDR found himself being forced to consider a dramatically different set of circumstances.
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.
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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
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 idea of justice has been central to political philosophy since its origin. Indeed, the two towering book-ends to Western political thought - Plato's Republic and John Rawls' milestone 1971 publication, A Theory of Justice - are both essays on justice . Structured around the historical and conceptual relationship between distributive and corrective justice, A Brief History of Justice traces the development of this fundamental idea from antiquity to the present day.
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.
There is a great debate among historians about Franklin Delano Roosevelt's actions during the Holocaust. Was FDR the hero that defeated the Germans, or did he turn a blind eye to the plight of the Jews as long as he possibly could? In Roosevelt and the Holocaust, Robert Beir analyzes specific actions and legislation to get at the truth behind Roosevelt's role in the Holocaust. Beir has a unique perspective. He is a Jew who was raised during the extreme anti-Semitism of the Great Depression. Having witnessed the fruits of the New Deal firsthand, Beir became a Roosevelt scholar.
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.
Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969), the founder of the Vietminh and President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, was the archetypical Communist and anti-colonial revolutionary of the twentieth century. He played a key role in the formation of the French, Chinese, and Vietnamese Communist movements and fought successfully against Japanese, French and American imperialism, becoming a hate-figure of the American state during the Vietnam War