Giles Milton - Fascinating Footnotes From History - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781473624993
    • Publication date:08 Sep 2016
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    • ISBN:9781473609068
    • Publication date:24 Sep 2015

Fascinating Footnotes From History

By Giles Milton

  • Hardback
  • £14.99

A collection of short, fascinating, true stories; the perfect commuter read.

'Giles Milton is a man who can take an event from history and make it come alive . . . an inspiration for those of us who believe that history can be exciting and entertaining' Matthew Redhead, The Times

Did you know that Hitler took cocaine? That Stalin robbed a bank? That Charlie Chaplin's corpse was filched and held to ransom?

Giles Milton is a master of historical narrative: in his characteristically engaging prose, Fascinating Footnotes From History details one hundred of the quirkiest historical nuggets; eye-stretching stories that read like fiction but are one hundred per cent fact.

There is Hiroo Onoda, the lone Japanese soldier still fighting the Second World War in 1974; Agatha Christie, who mysteriously disappeared for eleven days in 1926; and Werner Franz, a cabin boy on the Hindenburg who lived to tell the tale when it was engulfed in flames in 1937. Fascinating Footnotes From History also answers who ate the last dodo, who really killed Rasputin and why Sergeant Stubby had four legs.

Peopled with a gallery of spies, rogues, cannibals, adventurers and slaves, and spanning twenty centuries and six continents, Giles Milton's impeccably researched footnotes shed light on some of the most infamous stories and most flamboyant and colourful characters (and animals) from history.

(Previoulsy published in four individual epub volumes: When Hitler Took Cocaine, When Stalin Robbed a Bank, When Lenin Lost His Brain and When Churchill Slaughtered Sheep.)

Biographical Notes

Giles Milton is a writer and historian. He is the internationally bestselling author of Nathaniel's Nutmeg, Big Chief Elizabeth, The Riddle and the Knight, White Gold, Samurai William, Paradise Lost, Wolfram and Russian Roulette. He has also written three novels and three children's books. He lives in south London.

Find out more about Giles and his books on his website, www.gilesmilton.com, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/survivehistory and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/pages/Giles-Milton-Writer/121068034610842

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781473608924
  • Publication date: 24 Sep 2015
  • Page count: 400
  • Imprint: John Murray
Occasionally, a book comes along that needs remarkably little explanation. Fascinating Footnotes From History is, quite literally, a collection of fascinating footnotes from history. Giles Milton hit the bullseye the day he came up with that title. Milton is a popular historian, in the best sense of those words. He writes incredibly readable narrative histories that tell you stories you didn't know before with a quiet, dry wit that is never allowed to overwhelm the material . . . Milton's delicious book is full of such tasty morsels — Daily Mail
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Secrets of the Homefront Girls

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On This Day in History

Dan Snow
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The Reckoning

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham

'I couldn't help thinking of Harper Lee's great American novel To Kill a Mockingbird while reading The Reckoning . . . [Grisham] knows how to spin a yarn' - Chicago Sun-Times'May be his greatest work yet' - David Grann, New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower MoonIn his unforgettable new novel, John Grisham tells the story of an unthinkable murder, the bizarre trial that followed it, and its profound and lasting effect on the people of Ford County.Pete Banning was Clanton's favourite son, a returning war hero, the patriarch of a prominent family; a farmer, father, and a faithful member of the Methodist Church. Then one cool October morning in 1946, he rose early, drove into town, walked into the Church, and calmly shot and killed the Reverend Dexter Bell.As if the murder wasn't shocking enough, it was even more baffling that Pete's only statement about it - to the sheriff, to his defense attorney, to the judge, to his family and friends, and to the people of Clanton - was 'I have nothing to say'.What turned Pete from a pillar of the community into cold-hearted killer? And why won't he confide in anyone? All his closest family knows is that it must have been something devastating- and that the fallout will haunt them, and the town, for decades to come . . .Further praise for The Reckoning'Beautifully constructed . . . weaves a truly magical spell' - Daily Mail'In this saga of love and war, John Grisham has given us a sprawling and engrossing story about a southern family, a global conflict, and the kinds of secrets that can shape all of us. From the courtrooms and jails of rural Mississippi to the war-torn Pacific, Grisham spins a tale that is at once entertaining and illuminating' - Jon Meacham, New York Times bestselling author of The Soul of America'John Grisham is the master of legal fiction, and his latest starts with a literal bang - and then travels backward through the horrors of war to explore what makes a hero, what makes a villain, and how thin the line between the two might be' - Jodi Picoult, internationally bestselling author of A Spark of Light and Small Great Things'When a master of storytelling and suspense takes on one of the most wrenching stories in history, the result is a book that will break your heart, set your blood pumping and your mind racing, and leave you gasping for breath by the final page. I'm still trying to recover from The Reckoning' - Candice Millard, New York Times bestselling author of The River of Doubt and Destiny of the Republic************ THE INNOCENT MAN by John Grisham is now a major six-part documentary series on Netflix ************

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D-Day

Giles Milton
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Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

Giles Milton
Authors:
Giles Milton

'A magnificent story, brilliantly told. Read it!' Anthony HorowitzSix gentlemen, one goal - the destruction of Hitler's war machineIn the spring of 1939, a top secret organisation was founded in London: its purpose was to plot the destruction of Hitler's war machine through spectacular acts of sabotage. The guerrilla campaign that followed was to prove every bit as extraordinary as the six gentlemen who directed it. Winston Churchill selected them because they were wildly creative and thoroughly ungentlemanly. One of them, Cecil Clarke, was a maverick engineer who had spent the 1930s inventing futuristic caravans. Now, his talents were put to more devious use: he built the dirty bomb used to assassinate Hitler's favourite, Reinhard Heydrich. Another member of the team, William Fairbairn, was a portly pensioner with an unusual passion: he was the world's leading expert in silent killing. He was hired to train the guerrillas being parachuted behind enemy lines.Led by dapper Scotsman Colin Gubbins, these men - along with three others - formed a secret inner circle that planned the most audacious sabotage attacks of the Second World War. Winston Churchill called it his Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. The six 'ministers', aided by a group of formidable ladies, were so effective that they single-handedly changed the course of the war.Told with Giles Milton's trademark verve and eye for detail, Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is thoroughly researched and based on hitherto unknown archival material. It is a gripping and vivid narrative of adventure and derring-do and is also, perhaps, the last great untold story of the Second World War.Previously published in hardback as The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.

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The Invention of Nature

Andrea Wulf
Authors:
Andrea Wulf

WINNER OF THE 2015 COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARDWINNER OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE 2016'A thrilling adventure story' Bill Bryson'Dazzling' Literary Review 'Brilliant' Sunday Express'Extraordinary and gripping' New Scientist'A superb biography' The Economist'An exhilarating armchair voyage' GILES MILTON, Mail on Sunday Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist - more things are named after him than anyone else. There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current that runs along the South American coast, there's a penguin, a giant squid - even the Mare Humboldtianum on the moon. His colourful adventures read like something out of a Boy's Own story: Humboldt explored deep into the rainforest, climbed the world's highest volcanoes and inspired princes and presidents, scientists and poets alike. Napoleon was jealous of him; Simon Bolívar's revolution was fuelled by his ideas; Darwin set sail on the Beagle because of Humboldt; and Jules Verne's Captain Nemo owned all his many books. He simply was, as one contemporary put it, 'the greatest man since the Deluge'.Taking us on a fantastic voyage in his footsteps - racing across anthrax-infected Russia or mapping tropical rivers alive with crocodiles - Andrea Wulf shows why his life and ideas remain so important today. Humboldt predicted human-induced climate change as early as 1800, and The Invention of Nature traces his ideas as they go on to revolutionize and shape science, conservation, nature writing, politics, art and the theory of evolution. He wanted to know and understand everything and his way of thinking was so far ahead of his time that it's only coming into its own now. Alexander von Humboldt really did invent the way we see nature.

Hodder & Stoughton

My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me

Jennifer Teege, Nikola Sellmair
Authors:
Jennifer Teege, Nikola Sellmair

'A powerful account of Teege's struggle for resolution and redemption.' IndependentAn international bestseller, this is the extraordinary and moving memoir of a woman who learns that her grandfather was Amon Goeth, the brutal Nazi commandant depicted in Schindler's List.When Jennifer Teege, a German-Nigerian woman, happened to pluck a library book from the shelf, she had no idea that her life would be irrevocably altered. Recognising photos of her mother and grandmother in the book, she discovers a horrifying fact: Her grandfather was Amon Goeth, the vicious Nazi commandant chillingly depicted by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler's List - a man known and reviled the world over.Although raised in an orphanage and eventually adopted, Teege had some contact with her biological mother and grandmother as a child. Yet neither revealed that Teege's grandfather was the Nazi "butcher of Plaszów," executed for crimes against humanity in 1946. The more Teege reads about Amon Goeth, the more certain she becomes: If her grandfather had met her-a black woman-he would have killed her.Teege's discovery sends her, at age 38, into a severe depression-and on a quest to unearth and fully comprehend her family's haunted history. Her research takes her to Krakow - to the sites of the Jewish ghetto her grandfather 'cleared' in 1943 and the Plaszów concentration camp he then commanded - and back to Israel, where she herself once attended college, learned fluent Hebrew, and formed lasting friendships. Teege struggles to reconnect with her estranged mother Monika, and to accept that her beloved grandmother once lived in luxury as Amon Goeth's mistress at Plaszów.Teege's story is co-written by award-winning journalist Nikola Sellmair, who also contributes a second, interwoven narrative that draws on original interviews with Teege's family and friends and adds historical context. Ultimately, Teege's resolute search for the truth leads her, step by step, to the possibility of her own liberation.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Suicide Club

Andrew Williams
Authors:
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For all readers of Robert Harris, William Boyd and John le Carre, The Suicide Club is a First World War spy thriller set in Occupied Belgium in 1917, and tells the dark, disturbing and untold story of the shadow espionage battle fought behind the lines. Andrew Williams is 'in the front rank of English thriller writers' (Daily Mail) and his novels possess 'a richness of characterisation and intelligence that few thrillers can match' (Sunday Times). August 1917. Britain is mired in bloody stalemate on the Western Front and questions are being asked in government about the leadership of the army. Soldier spy Sandy Innes is summoned from his undercover work in Belgium by the new Secret Service to investigate. Officially transferred to Field Marshal Haig's headquarters in France to prepare agents for the next big push, his secret mission is to spy on Haig's intelligence chiefs. At GHQ, no one is interested in Innes's inside knowledge. Instead, he is attached to an advance assault group dubbed 'The Suicide Club'. His fellow intelligence officers have little faith in the top secret information being fed to Haig by their superior, and as Innes digs deeper he begins to suspect treachery. The stakes could not be higher: the fate of hundreds of thousands of British soldiers.In a tense race against time, against the background of political machinations in government and at GHQ, Innes must survive membership of The Suicide Club, and then risk all by going back behind enemy lines to uncover the truth.

Hodder & Stoughton

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The Battle for Berlin was the final struggle of World War II in the European theatre, the last offensive against Hitler's Third Reich, which devastated one of Europe's historic capitals and brought an end to the Nazi regime. It lasted more than two weeks across April -- May 1945, and was one of the bloodiest and most pivotal episodes of the war, one which would play a part in determining the shape of international politics for decades to come. THE LAST BATTLE is a story of brutal extremes, of stunning military triumph alongside the stark conditions that the civilians of Berlin experienced in the face of the Allied assault. It is history at its best, a masterful illumination of the effects of war on the lives of individuals, and one of the enduring works on World War II.

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Peter Stanford
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In this fascinating historical and cultural biography, writer and broadcaster Peter Stanford deconstructs that most vilified of Bible characters: Judas Iscariot, who famously betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Beginning with the gospel accounts, Peter explores two thousand years of cultural and theological history to investigate how the very name Judas came to be synonymous with betrayal and, ultimately, human evil. But as Peter points out, there has long been a counter-current of thought that suggests that Judas might in fact have been victim of a terrible injustice: central to Jesus' mission was his death and resurrection, and for there to have been a death, there had to be a betrayal. This thankless role fell to Judas; should we in fact be grateful to him for his role in the divine drama of salvation? 'You'll have to decide,' as Bob Dylan sang in the sixties, 'Whether Judas Iscariot had God on his side'.An essential but doomed character in the Passion narrative, and thus the entire story of Christianity, Judas and the betrayal he symbolises continue to play out in much larger cultural histories, speaking as he does to our deepest fears about friendship, betrayal and the problem of evil. Judas: the ultimate traitor, or the ultimate scapegoat? This is a compelling portrait of Christianity's most troubling and mysterious character.

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Abducting a General

Patrick Leigh Fermor
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Critical Mass

Sara Paretsky
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Private Eye V.I. Warshawski is roused one morning by an SOS from a woman on a farm south of Chicago. When V.I. gets there, she finds no woman - but a dead man in a cornfield, his body savagely mutilated.V.I. is happy to leave the case to the local sheriff: it looks like a falling out among meth dealers. But back in Chicago, she learns that the missing woman is a protégée of her oldest friend and confidante, Dr Lotty Herschel, and is compelled to investigate. What V.I. uncovers pulls her into a world of nuclear secrets and high-stakes computing, with roots reaching back to the Second World War. The detective soon finds herself in a hall of mirrors where she can't tell reality from video games, and her life is on the line. For V.I., this is her most profound, and terrifying, adventure yet . . .

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Alphabetical

Michael Rosen
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From minding your Ps and Qs to wondering why X should mark the spot, Alphabetical is a book for everyone who loves words and language. Whether it's how letters are arranged on keyboards or Viking runes, textspeak or zip codes, this book will change the way you think about letters for ever. How on Earth did we fix upon our twenty-six letters, what do they really mean, and how did we come to write them down in the first place? Michael Rosen takes you on an unforgettable adventure through the history of the alphabet in twenty-six vivid chapters, fizzing with personal anecdotes and fascinating facts. Starting with the mysterious Phoenicians and how sounds first came to be written down, he races on to show how nonsense poems work, pins down the strange story of OK, traces our seven lost letters and tackles the tyranny of spelling, among many, many other things. His heroes of the alphabet range from Edward Lear to Phyllis Pearsall (the inventor of the A-Z), and from the two scribes of Beowulf to rappers. Each chapter takes on a different subject - codes, umlauts or the writing of dictionaries. Rosen's enthusiasm for letters positively leaps off the page, whether it's the story of his life told through the typewriters he's owned or a chapter on jokes written in a string of gags and word games. So if you ever wondered why Hawaiian only has a thirteen-letter alphabet or how exactly to write down the sound of a wild raspberry, read on . . .

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Artemis Cooper
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Russian Roulette

Giles Milton
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'It reads like fiction, but it is, astonishingly, history' The TimesRussian Roulette tells the story of the first global plot and the British spies who were sent to thwart it. The Soviet plot was breathtaking in scale: its aim was to destroy British rule in India, as a precursor to toppling the democracies of the West. It was to bring together two deadly forces - Soviet revolutionaries and Islamic jihadis - to form a highly toxic threat.Unbeknownst to Moscow, a small band of British spies had been secretly smuggled into Russia in the aftermath of the 1917 revolution. They were an unlikely group of men: self taught and highly educated. Their boss was endearingly eccentric. Mansfield Cumming was a monocled, one-legged sea captain with a passion for secret inks and homemade explosives. Cumming gave his agents free range to do whatever they wanted once they were inside Soviet Russia: 'Just don't get yourself killed,' was his only injunction. Over the course of the next three years, his spies would be involved in murder, deception and duplicity on a grand scale. Living in disguise - and constantly switching identities - they would infiltrate Soviet commissariats, the Red Army and Cheka (secret police), and would come within a whisker of assassinating Lenin. The pinnacle of their achievement was to unmask Lenin's plan for global revolution. It would reach its denouement in the Central Asian city of Tashkent. Lenin's global plot would be spectacularly unravelled. Britain's spies proved brilliantly successful in saving the Western world from catastrophe. They found a wholly new way in which to deal with enemies, one that relied on espionage and dirty tricks rather than warfare. As such, they were the unsung founders of today's modern, highly professional secret services and, in their way, inspiration for fictional heroes to follow, from James Bond to Jason Bourne.Russian Roulette draws on little known records from India Political Intelligence that have only recently been released into the public domain, including rare duplicated copies of reports from MI6's closed archives.

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Stuart Tootal
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Stuart Tootal

In June 1944, an elite unit of British paratroopers was sent on a daring and highly risky behind-the-lines mission, which was deemed vital to the success of D-Day. Dropping ahead of the main Allied invasion, 9 PARA were tasked with destroying an impregnable German gun battery. If they failed, thousands of British troops landing on the beaches were expected to die. But their mission was flawed and started to go wrong from the moment they jumped from their aircraft above Normandy. Only twenty per cent of the unit made it to the objective and half of them were killed or wounded during the attack. Undermanned and lacking equipment and ammunition, the survivors then held a critical part of the invasion beachhead. For six bloody days, they defended the Breville Ridge against vastly superior German forces and bore the brunt of Rommel's attempt to turn the left flank of the Allied invasion.The Manner of Men is an epic account of courage beyond the limits of human endurance, where paratroopers prevailed despite intelligence failures and higher command blunders, in what has been described as one of the most remarkable feat of arms of the British Army and the Parachute Regiment during the Second World War.

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Chris Bellamy
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The Gurkhas have fought on behalf of Britain and India for nearly two hundred years. As brave as they are resilient, resourceful and cunning, they have earned a reputation as devastating fighters, and their unswerving loyalty to the Crown has always inspired affection in the British people. There are also now up to 40,000 Gurkhas in the million-strong army of modern India.But who are the Gurkhas? How much of the myth that surrounds them is true? Award-winning historian Chris Bellamy uncovers the Gurkhas' origins in the Hills of Nepal, the extraordinary circumstances in which the British decided to recruit them and their rapid emergence as elite troops of the East India Company, the British Raj and the British Empire. Their special aptitude meant they were used as the first British 'Special Forces'. Bellamy looks at the wars the Gurkhas have fought this century, from the two world wars through the Falklands to Iraq and Afghanistan and examines their remarkable status now, when each year 11,000 hopefuls apply for just over 170 places in the British Army Gurkhas.Extraordinarily compelling, this book brings the history of the Gurkhas, and the battles they have fought, right up to date, and explores their future.

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Nathaniel's Nutmeg

Giles Milton
Authors:
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In 1616, an English adventurer, Nathaniel Courthope, stepped ashore on a remote island in the East Indies on a secret mission - to persuade the islanders of Run to grant a monopoly to England over their nutmeg, a fabulously valuable spice in Europe. This infuriated the Dutch, who were determined to control the world's nutmeg supply. For five years Courthope and his band of thirty men were besieged by a force one hundred times greater - and his heroism set in motion the events that led to the founding of the greatest city on earth.A beautifully told adventure story and a fascinating depiction of exploration in the seventeenth century, NATHANIEL'S NUTMEG sheds a remarkable light on history.