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The Making of a Secret Agent

By Roderick Bailey
Authors:
Roderick Bailey
How do you set about training a secret agent? What kind of people were recruited and trained to kill and sabotage so they could be dropped into Nazi occupied territory in World War Two? And what happened to them after their active service was over?The Special Operations Executive (SOE) was a clandestine Allied organisation set up by Winston Churchill in the Second World War to carry out sabotage and encourage resistance behind enemy lines in Europe, the Balkans and the Far East. Warfare of this type was unconventional, solitary and dangerous. By the end of the war, the SOE had recruited and trained more than 9,000 operatives - men and women of multiple nationalities - who were expected to endure, for prolonged periods, conditions of extreme physical and psychological difficulty and threat, where the consequences of failure could be catastrophic.Drawing on pioneering research, sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, among previously untapped sources, ranging from declassified SOE files to psychiatric records and interviews with survivors, The Making of a Secret Agent reveals how the SOE addressed the impact of the psychological stresses to which its operatives were exposed. It unearths the processes by which candidates were selected for clandestine operations, including the contributions of professional psychologists and psychiatrists and the application of pioneering methods of testing and assessment.Through vivid personal testimony of the agents and those who worked with them, this book illuminates the degree to which those processes were effective in identifying people capable of coping and working well in the field. And it reveals for the first time the support forthcoming for SOE operatives who returned from their harrowing missions in enemy territory.
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Deeds Not Words

By Helen Pankhurst
Authors:
Helen Pankhurst
'An incredible book . . . Informative, enlightening, and with the potential to change women's lives.' Sandi Toksvig'A valuable guide and reference to anyone who wants to understand the Women's Movement in more depth. I am deeply grateful to Helen for writing it!' Annie Lennox OBEWhy is it taking so long? Despite huge progress since the suffragette campaigns and wave after wave of feminism, women are still fighting for equality. Why, at the present rate will we have to wait in Britain until 2069 for the gender pay gap to disappear? Why, in 2015, did 11% of women lose their jobs due to pregnancy discrimination? Why, globally, has 1 in 3 women experienced physical or sexual violence?In 2018, on the centenary of one of the greatest steps forward for women - the Fourth Reform Act, which saw propertied women over 30 gain the vote for the first time - suffragette descendant and campaigner Helen Pankhurst charts how the lives of women in the UK have changed over the last 100 years. She celebrates landmark successes, little-known victories, where progress has stalled or reversed, looking at politics, money, identity, violence, culture and social norms. The voices of both pioneers and ordinary women - in all their diversity - are woven into the analysis which ends with suggestions about how to better understand and strengthen feminist campaigning and with aims for the future.Combining historical insight with inspiring argument, Deeds not Words reveals how far women have come since the suffragettes, how far we still have to go, and how we might get there. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to explore one of the most central and pressing conversations of our time.
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Operation Thunderbolt

By Saul David, Peter Ganim
Authors:
Saul David
Read by:
Peter Ganim
'The definitive work on the subject....This is the achievement of a masterly, first-rate historian' New York Times Book Review'It's a brilliantly orchestrated book, wonderfully rich in detail, but at the same time roaring along at a heart-thumping pace...' Mail on Sunday'A brilliant, breathless account that reads like the plot of an action movie.' Sunday TelegraphThis is the true story of the greatest special forces' operation of the 20th Century and the first shot in the West's long war against international terrorism. It is a tale of human drama and unbearable tension in which courage, comradeship, fanaticism, incompetence and luck all play their part.On 3 July 1976 Israeli Special Forces carried out a daring raid to free more than a hundred Israeli, French and US hostages held by German and Palestinian terrorists at Entebbe Airport, Uganda. The legacy of this mission is still felt today in the way Western governments respond to terrorist blackmail. Codenamed Thunderbolt, the operation carried huge risks. The flight was a challenge: 2,000 miles with total radio silence over hostile territory to land in darkness at Entebbe Airport in Idi Amin's Uganda. On the ground, the Israeli commandos had just three minutes to carry out their mission. They had to evade a cordon of élite Ugandan paratroopers, storm the terminal and free more than a hundred hostages. So much could have gone wrong: the death of the hostages if the terrorists got wind of the assault; or the capture of Israel's finest soldiers if their Hercules planes could not take off. Both would have been a human and a PR catastrophe. Now, with the mission largely forgotten or even unknown to many, Saul David gives the first comprehensive account of Operation Thunderbolt using classified documents from archives in four countries and interviews with key participants, including Israeli soldiers and politicians, hostages, a member of the Kenyan government and a former terrorist. Both a thrilling page-turner and a major piece of historical detective work, Operation Thunderbolt shows how the outcome of Israel's most famous military operation depended on secret diplomacy, courage and luck-and was in the balance right up to the very last moment.(P)2015 Hachette Audio
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2020

By Paul Cornish, Kingsley Donaldson
Authors:
Paul Cornish, Kingsley Donaldson
'A timely and cogent reminder that history never ends and is about to be made' - Tim Marshall, author of Prisoners of GeographyWith the world already struggling to contain conflicts on several continents, with security and defence expenditure under huge pressure, it's time to think the unthinkable and explore what might happen.As former soldiers now working in defence strategy and conflict resolution, Paul Cornish and Kingsley Donaldson are perfectly qualified to guide us through a credible and utterly convincing 20/20 vision of the year 2020, from cyber security to weapons technology, from geopolitics to undercover operations.This book is of global importance, offering both analysis and creative solutions - essential reading both for decision-makers and everyone who simply wants to understand our future.
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Under the Knife

By Arnold van de Laar
Authors:
Arnold van de Laar
'This is history with a surgeon's touch: deft, incisive and sometimes excruciatingly bloody' The Sunday Times'Utterly eccentric and riveting' Mail on Sunday 'Eye-opening and, frequently, eye-watering . . . a book that invites readers to peer up the bottoms of kings, into the souls of rock stars and down the ear canals of astronauts' The Daily TelegraphHow did a decision made in the operating theatre spark hundreds of conspiracy theories about JFK? How did a backstage joke prove fatal to world-famous escape artist Harry Houdini? How did Queen Victoria change the course of surgical history?Through dark centuries of bloodletting and of amputations without anaesthetic to today's sterile, high-tech operating theatres, surgeon Arnold van de Laar uses his experience and expertise to tell an incisive history of the past, present and future of surgery.
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1918: The Battle of Amiens and the Armistice

By Saul David
Authors:
Saul David
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100 Nasty Women of History

By Hannah Jewell
Authors:
Hannah Jewell
'Vital reading' STYLIST'Because 100 Nasty Women is so easy to read and witty, I didn't expect it to be the life changing, important book that I'm discovering it to be' PHILIPPA PERRY* * * * * *These are the women who were deemed too nasty for their times. When you learn about (the very few) women in history, it's hard not to wonder: why do they seem so prim and proper? The truth is, (mostly male) historians keep glossing over the real details, or leaving out the women who threatened their idea of what a woman should be like. Fake news!But fret not. Former Buzzfeed senior writer and Washington Post pop culture host Hannah Jewell has got you covered. In 100 Nasty Women of History, Hannah will spill the tea on such incredible women as:Aethelflaed, who fought off Vikings at her wedding;Ching Shih, a swashbuckling pirate known as 'The Terror of South China';Ida B. Wells-Barnett, who fought racism with the point of her pen;Lilian Bland, who built her own plane and flew it;Rani Chennamma, who was a (literal) queen and went to war with the British;Nell Gwynn, one of the greatest hos in English history;Coccinelle, the first known trans woman to be legally married in France;Noor Inayat Khan, who may have literally punched Nazis.And that's just eight of them. So if you think that Nasty Women are a new thing, think again. They've always been around - you just haven't always heard of them. It's time to get learning. These are the 100 Nasty Women of History who gave zero f*cks whatsoever. These are the 100 Nasty Women of History whom everyone needs to know about, right now.'A fun, hilarious read that will make a fantastic addition to your feminist library and historical knowledge' ANN SHEN, author of Bad Girls Throughout History
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Britain by the Book

By Oliver Tearle
Authors:
Oliver Tearle
What caused Dickens to leap out of bed one night and walk 30 miles from London to Kent?How did a small town on the Welsh borders become the second-hand bookshop capital of the world?Why did a jellyfish persuade Evelyn Waugh to abandon his suicide attempt in North Wales? A multitude of curious questions are answered in Britain by the Book, a fascinating travelogue with a literary theme, taking in unusual writers' haunts and the surprising places that inspired some of our favourite fictional locations. We'll learn why Thomas Hardy was buried twice, how a librarian in Manchester invented the thesaurus as a means of coping with depression, and why Agatha Christie was investigated by MI5 during the Second World War. The map of Britain that emerges is one dotted with interesting literary stories and bookish curiosities.
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The Paras

By Max Arthur
Authors:
Max Arthur
'It should be read by anyone interested not just in military history, but in the history of people, and what they can achieve.' Dan Jarvis Tough, highly adaptable and efficient, the Parachute Regiment has established itself as one of the finest fighting forces in the world. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of its founding, renowned historian Max Arthur has compiled this enthralling oral history of the modern Parachute Regiment.This unique chronicle is told through the voices of more than a hundred of the soldiers themselves, and of those involved closely with them. Whether in the Falklands, Kosovo, Iraq, Sierra Leone or Afghanistan, the Paras have maintained their reputation for being where the fighting is fiercest and where the odds of survival are often stacked heavily against them.The gripping, visceral first-person narrative makes The Paras stand apart from conventional regimental histories as one of the most remarkable accounts of conflict ever published.
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The Universe Next Door

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Martin Luther

By Peter Stanford
Authors:
Peter Stanford
'A compelling biography of one of the greatest men of the modern age. Stanford is particularly brilliant on the tensions inside Luther's private and spiritual life. This is a very fine book, written with a flourish.' Melvyn BraggThe 31st of October 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther pinning his 95 'Theses' - or reform proposals - to the door of his local university church in Wittenberg. Most scholars now agree that the details of this eye-catching gesture are more legend than hammer and nails, but what is certainly true is that on this day (probably in a letter to his local Archbishop in Mainz), the Augustinian Friar and theologian issued an outspokenly blunt challenge to his own Catholic Church to reform itself from within - especially over the sale of 'indulgences' - which ultimately precipitated a huge religious and political upheaval right across Europe and divided mainstream Christianity ever after.A new, popular biography from journalist Peter Stanford, looking at Martin Luther from within his Catholic context, examining his actual aims for Catholicism as well as his enduring legacy - and where he might fit within the church today. 'Peter Stanford makes the life of Luther into a thrilling narrative, told from a modern Catholic perspective' Antonia Fraser
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50 Speeches That Made the Modern World

Throughout history, great speeches have produced great change. From inciting violence and asserting control to restoring peace and securing freedom, nothing has the raw emotional power of a speech delivered at the right moment, in the right place, with the right content, and the right delivery. 50 Speeches That Made The Modern World is a celebration of the most influential and thought-provoking speeches that have shaped the world we live in. With comprehensive, chronological coverage of speeches from the 20th and 21st centuries, taken from all corners of the globe, it covers Emmeline Pankhurst's patiently reasoned condemnation of men's failure to improve ordinary women's lives in 1908 through speeches by Vladimir Lenin, Mahatma Gandhi, David Ben-Gurion, Albert Einstein, Fidel Castro, Nikita Khrushchev, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, Benazir Bhutto, Osama Bin Laden and Aung San Suu Kyi, right up to the most compelling oratory surrounding the 2016 US Presidential elections.Through the rallying propaganda speeches during World War II to the cautious rhetoric of the Cold War period, through challenging the status quo on issues of race, gender and politics to public addresses to the masses on the issues of AIDS and terrorism, through apologies, complaints, warmongering, scaremongering and passionate pleas, this book delivers the most important speeches of the modern era and why they still remain so significant.Each speech has an introduction explaining its setting, importance and impact as well as marginal notes filling in any background information.
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The Invisible Hand

By Amitav Ghosh
Authors:
Amitav Ghosh
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