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"
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"
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"
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.
American democracy is, in many people's minds, the model for the rest of the world. Fareed Zakaria points out that the American form of democracy is one of the least democratic in use today. Members of the Supreme Court and the Federal Reserve, institutions that fundamentally shape our lives, are appointed, not elected. The Bill of Rights enumerates a set of privileges to which citizens are entitled, no matter what the majority says. By restricting our democracy, we enhance our freedom.
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 good listen"
He was a husband, a father, a preacher - and the preeminent leader of a movement that continues to transform America and the world.
An Unfinished Life is the first authoritative single-volume life of John F. Kennedy to be written by a historian in nearly four decades. Drawing upon firsthand sources, freshly unearthed documents, and never-before-opened archives, prizewinning historian Robert Dallek reveals more than we ever knew about Jack Kennedy forever changing the way we think about his life, his presidency, and his legacy.
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.
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"
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"
These 12 moving speeches voiced by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are original recordings collected here for the first time ever.
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"
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.
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.
Consider the intense and rapid changes that transformed the political, social, and economic struggles of the world during the 20th century: the first flight and space flight, the Manhattan Project and the Welfare State, Nietzsche and Freud, the Great Depression and inflation, moving pictures and home computers, the Cold War and terrorism - and war and peace.
"Interpretting the 20th century"
Drawn from 3,000 years of the history of power, this is the definitive guide to help readers achieve for themselves what Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, Louis XIV, and Machiavelli learned the hard way. Law 1: Never outshine the master. Law 2: Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies. Law 3: Conceal your intentions. Law 4: Always say less than necessary.
A dramatic, sparkling tale of sex, glamour, intrigue, romance and heartbreak, England's Mistress traces the rise and rise of the gorgeous Emma Hamilton. Born into poverty, she clawed her way up through London's underworlds of sex for sale to become England's first media superstar. Nothing could stand in the way of her dreams- except her self-destructive desires.
"Interesting but not a novel!"
In the days between May 24th and 28th, 1940, the British War Cabinet held a historical debate over whether to negotiate with Hitler or to continue the war. In this magisterial work, John Lukacs demonstrates the decisive importance of those five days. Lukacs takes us hour by hour into the critical unfolding of events at 10 Downing Street, where Churchill, who had only been prime minister for a fortnight, painfully considered his war responsibilities.
In a sense, Cnut the Great was practically destined for greatness, if only because he came from a distinguished Danish royal family. Cnut's father was Sweyn Forkbeard, and his grandfather was Harald Bluetooth, both prominent and legendary kings of Denmark. Thanks to his background and his abilities, Cnut became the most prominent of the Danish kings of England, but he was also, at times, king of Denmark, Norway, and parts of Sweden.
In 1787, delegates from the recently independent 13 colonies met in Philadelphia to try to forge a new, stronger constitution. That summer, the representatives ironed out a document that had pluses and minuses for all involved, a point noted by Ben Franklin in explaining why he assented to it at the end of the process.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James M. McPherson considers why the Civil War remains so deeply embedded in our national psyche and identity. The drama and tragedy of the war help explain why the Civil War remains a topic of interest. But the legacy of the war extends far beyond historical interest or scholarly attention.
The most famous debates in American history were held over 150 years ago, and despite their fame, no official transcripts were ever taken. Throughout the fall of 1858, US Senate candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas participated in seven three-hour debates throughout Illinois. This unprecedented method of campaigning drew national attention, one that is still often idealized, even today, among those who feel politics is too bitterly partisan.
Revolutions come in waves and cycles. We are again riding the crest of a revolutionary epic, much like 1848 or 1917, from the Arab Spring to movements against austerity in Greece to the Occupy movement. In Wages of Rebellion, Chris Hedges - who has chronicled the malaise and sickness of a society in terminal moral decline in his books Empire of Illusion and Death of the Liberal Class - investigates what social and psychological factors cause revolution, rebellion, and resistance.
The secession of the South was one of the seminal events in American history, but it also remains one of the most controversial. The election of Abraham Lincoln was the impetus for secession, but that was merely one of many events that led up to the formation of the Confederacy and the start of the Civil War.
Jean-Paul Marat (1743-1793) gave the French Revolution a voice. One of the most memorable and notorious revolutionaries, Marat became one of the Revolution's best-known figures through his speeches, writings, and scathing attacks on everyone he perceived as, "[E]nemies of the revolution". No revolutionary was more passionate, determined, and willing to die for the cause.
In many ways it is fitting that Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794) is one of the best known figures of the French Revolution. 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. Few were as vocal in their support of Enlightenment ideals as Robespierre. But the Reign of Terror became the most memorable aspect of the Revolution, and Robespierre's position made him the Reign of Terror's instrumental figure.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, or Mahatma Gandhi as he is more popularly known, is widely considered the father of India, the preeminent leader of the Indian struggle against British imperialism, and one of the most influential minds of the 20th century, Gandhi emerged to become one of the greatest advocates of peace and nonviolent resistance that the world has known. Gandhi became one of those rare leaders who preached through his own practices, motivating millions of people to follow his principles of freedom and peace.
Dred Scott was an unlikely candidate to become the impetus and rallying cry of a brand-new political party in the mid-19th century. He was sold to US Army doctor John Emerson in St. Louis, Missouri. Emerson's commission brought him to the Wisconsin Territory in 1836, which was free territory where slavery was illegal. By 1840, Dred Scott had married another slave of Emerson's, and the couple had a child. Desperate to shake off the yoke of slavery, Scott sued for his freedom in Missouri, arguing that once he had entered free territory he could no longer be a slave.
Centuries before the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, the leaders of Mecca established that their city was the pre-eminent holy site in western Arabia and established a truce for pilgrims to the city. One effect of this was that Mecca became a center for what might today be described as tourism. Of course, Mecca is now best known for being Islam's holiest city, revered as the birthplace of Muhammad and the site where Allah first revealed the Qu'ran to him. Within Mecca is the Ka'aba, a building housed within the Al-Masjid al-Haram (Great Mosque), considered the holiest site.
Given how bad some of Rome's emperors were, it's a testament to just how insane and reviled Caligula was that he is still remembered, nearly 2,000 years later, as the epitome of everything that could be wrong with a tyrant. The Romans had high hopes for him after he succeeded Tiberius in AD 37, and by all accounts he was a noble and just ruler during his first few months in power. But after that, he suffered a mysterious illness that apparently rendered him insane. Indeed, the list of Caligula's strange actions is long.
After the Lincoln-Douglas debates made Abraham Lincoln a nationally recognized politician, Illinois papers began to mention Lincoln as a Republican candidate for president in 1859. Lincoln was humbled, though a bit dumbfounded. Lacking any administrative experience, Lincoln wasn't sure he would enjoy being president, but even being considered was a great honor, and he quietly thought the idea over. In fact, Lincoln was still not considered a real option for the nomination until he delivered a speech at New York City's Cooper Union in February, 1860.
At the close of World War I, Hitler was an impoverished young artist who scrapped by through selling souvenir paintings, but within a few years, his powerful oratory brought him to the forefront of the Nazi party in Munich and helped make the party much more popular. A smattering of followers in the hundreds quickly became a party of thousands. At the head of it all was a man whose fiery orations denounced Jews, communists, and other "traitors" for bringing upon the German nation the Treaty of Versailles, which had led to hyperinflation and a wrecked economy.
Queen Mary I ruled England and its territories for only five years, from 1553 to 1558, yet she has been remembered for nearly 500 years as Bloody Mary, the Catholic oppressor of a Protestant country. The truth, as usual, is more complicated than the myth. Mary grew up in a era of religious and political turmoil. Mary's life was shaped by her experience of this, and by the twisted family politics of her father, Henry VIII.
The Civil War was the deadliest conflict in American history, and had the two sides realized it would last four years and inflict over a million casualties, it might not have been fought. Since it was, however, historians and history buffs alike have been studying and analyzing the biggest battles ever since. Americans have long been fascinated by the Civil War, marveling at the size of the battles, the leadership of the generals, and the courage of the soldiers.
Queen Elizabeth I was one of England's most influential rulers. Hers was an age when the arts, commerce, and trade flourished. It was the epoch of gallantry and great, enduring literature. It was also an age of wars and military conflicts. In the end, Queen Elizabeth I helped change the entire structure of female leadership and would go on to improve upon Henry VIII's successes.
More than eight centuries after his death, Saladin's life and reign represent the pinnacle of the Arab world's glory. Saladin is widely considered one of the greatest generals in history and one of the most famous leaders of the Middle Ages, but he remains a paradox, both in personal and in historical terms. A military genius, he first served other generals and was overshadowed later in life by his greatest rival, Richard I of England. He was far more admired by his Christian enemies, who extolled his chivalry, than some of his Muslim rivals.
This panoramic book tells the story of how revolutionary ideas from the Enlightenment about freedom, equality, evolution, and democracy have reverberated through modern history and shaped the world as we know it today.
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.
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 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......"
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.
"Mindblowing insight into Palestine/Israel conflict"
La otra historia de México: Hidalgo e Iturbide, es la otra historia de México, donde sus héroes y heroínas no son de bronce o mármol, sino hombres y mujeres sujetos a la grandeza y las miserias de la condición humana. Es aquella que nos permite replantearnos quien es el verdadero Padre de la Patria y cuestionar el papel de los llamados villanos y traidores que señalan los libros de texto.
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.
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 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!"
In Losing the News, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Alex S. Jones offers a probing look at the epochal changes sweeping the media, changes which are eroding the core news that has been the essential food supply of our democracy. Losing the News depicts an unsettling situation in which the American birthright of fact-based, reported news is in danger. But it is also a call to arms to fight to keep the core of news intact.
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....."
When Abraham Lincoln's election in 1860 prompted several Southern states to secede, the North was sharply divided over how to respond. In this groundbreaking audiobook, the first major study in over 50 years of how the North handled the secession crisis, McClintock follows the decision-making process from bitter partisan rancor to consensus. McClintock highlights individuals both powerful and obscure to demonstrate the ways citizens, activists, officials, and leaders interacted to influence the Northern response to what was essentially a political crisis.
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.
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 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."
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"
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"