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"
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......"
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.
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!"
Wrapped in the Flag chronicles the radical right-wing world of the 1960s, when conspiracy ruled and the John Birch Society made national headlines. The daughter of a John Birch Society leader, Claire Connor introduces us to the extreme ideas of a powerful political fringe group dispensing radical solutions to America's problems. Following in the footsteps of its hero, Senator Joseph McCarthy, the John Birch Society believed that an international Communist conspiracy was on the verge of taking over the government of the United States.
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.
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.
Rendezvous at the Russian Tea Rooms provides the first comprehensive account of what was once hailed by a leading American newspaper as the greatest spy story of World War II. This dramatic yet little-known saga, replete with telephone taps, kidnappings, and police surveillance, centres on the furtive escapades of Tyler Kent, a handsome, womanising 28-year-old Ivy League graduate who doubles as a US Embassy code clerk and Soviet agent.
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.
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 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."
A court of law can be as political, prejudiced, and biased as any other arm of the State. The classic instance is the story of the trials of Alfred Dreyfus. In December 1894 a French military tribunal found Alfred Dreyfus guilty of high treason. Dreyfus was a Jew; the War Office was determined that at all costs the honour and good name of the Army must be upheld; and both left and right in the French Parliament used the convulsions of the case for what they believed to be their own advantage. Even now the case provokes arguments of fierce intensity.
President Theodore Roosevelt forever transformed America, ushering the country into the arena of world supremacy. His brand of leadership was entirely American: confident, compassionate, energetic, diverse, visionary. But Roosevelt was not a born leader; his ascent to the apex of power was not a foregone conclusion.
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.
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.
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....."
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.
The American Revolution was not simply a battle between independence-minded colonists and the oppressive British. As Thomas B. Allen reminds us, it was also a savage and often deeply personal civil war, in which conflicting visions of America pitted neighbor against neighbor and Patriot against Tory on the battlefield, the village green, and even in church.
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"
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.
Shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War, a country house called The Firs in Buckinghamshire was requisitioned by the War Office. Sentries were posted at the entrance gates, and barbed wire was strung around the perimeter fence. To local villagers it looked like a prison camp. But the truth was far more sinister. This rambling Edwardian mansion had become home to an eccentric band of scientists, inventors and bluestockings. Their task was to build devastating new weaponry that could be used against the Nazis.
"A truly incredible story."
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis - that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over 40 years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
The Tudor monarchs were constantly surrounded by an army of attendants, courtiers and ministers. Even in their most private moments, they were accompanied by a servant specifically appointed for the task. A groom of the stool would stand patiently by as Henry VIII performed his daily purges, and when Elizabeth I retired for the evening, one of her female servants would sleep at the end of her bed. These attendants knew the truth behind the glamorous exterior.
The first-hand account of the life, career, and the practices of horror at Auschwitz, written by Auschwitz Kommandant SS Rudolf Hoss as he awaited execution for his crimes. Including his psychological interviews at Nuremberg.
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.
"A fascinating, cold and brutal slice of history"
This explosive new audiobook challenges many of the long-held assumptions about blacks, about Jews, about Germans and Nazis, about slavery, and about education. Plainly written, powerfully reasoned, and backed with a startling array of documented facts, Black Rednecks and White Liberals takes on the trendy intellectuals of our times as well as historic interpreters of American life.
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.
"Engaging insight into 19th Century China"
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"
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"
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"
The theories and observations in this abridged version of Prussian soldier Carl von Clausewitz's magnum opus have been heeded by military strategists for nearly 200 years. Most have considered this to be the "Bible" of military strategy and tactics.
"Not a fan"
While the Nazi party was being condemned by much of the world for burning books, they were already hard at work perpetrating an even greater literary crime. Through extensive new research that included records saved by the Monuments Men themselves, Anders Rydell tells the untold story of Nazi book theft, as he himself joins the effort to return the stolen books. When the Nazi soldiers ransacked Europe's libraries and bookshops, large and small, the books they stole were not burned. Instead, the Nazis began to compile a library of their own.
In Israel and the West, it is called the Six Day War. In the Arab world, it is known as the June War or, simply, as "the Setback". Never has a conflict so short, unforeseen, and largely unwanted by both sides so transformed the world. The Yom Kippur War, the war in Lebanon, the Camp David accords, the controversy over Jerusalem and Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the intifada, and the rise of Palestinian terror are all part of the outcome of those six days.
"A fascinating acoount of the politics of a war"
He was a husband, a father, a preacher - and the preeminent leader of a movement that continues to transform America and the world.
In this enormously insightful book, correspondent Ahmed Rashid brings the shadowy world of the Taliban, the world's most extreme and radical Islamic organization, into sharp focus. He explains the Taliban's rise to power, its impact on Afghanistan and the region, its role in oil and gas company decisions, and the effects of changing American attitudes toward the Taliban. He also describes the new face of Islamic fundamentalism and explains why Afghanistan has become the world center for international terrorism.
"Shedding light on a complex and secretive sect."
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.
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.