The Colditz Conundrum
By Tom Shore
Colditz Castle is famous as the German prisoner of war camp, subject of a popular TV series in 1980s. It was supposed to impossible to escape from this castle set high on a rocky escarpment, and yet a series of daring, even foolhardy escape plans involving tunnels cut into solid rock and a glider led to several notable successes. In this new complete history of Colditz as a high security prisoner of war camp, housing in the end only British and American prisoners, including Douglas Bader and Airey Neave, author and researcher Tom Shore advances the theory that multiple coincidences point to there having been a hidden hand at work.
The Culture of God
By Nadim Nassar
'So much of the reporting of the Middle East at the moment reflects war and human misery; it's inspiring to find, in this thoughtful and engaging book, a message of hope from what Fr Nadim calls "that region of the world that God chose to live in when he took human form"' Edward Stourton'The ultimate question of this book is, why does it matter to me, a human being, to know the culture of God, and what impact should that have on my own life and existence? The culture of God is the antithesis of the culture of the Pharisees - yet again and again we fall into the trap of condemning or excluding others. Understanding the culture of God helps us to uncover God's image within us, a shining jewel buried deep under the dirt of our selfishness and greed, and helps us to shine as God intends us to, re-forming our relationships with God and with each other in our amazingly diverse world.'It is as we read the Bible, argues Father Nadim Nassar, that we are invited to discover what 'the culture of God' - the community of love that makes up the Trinity - looks like, and how it might transform our lives and our faith. But in order to do so we need to understand the culture of the Bible itself, as well as the particular culture that forms our own worldview. Ultimately it is Jesus who has direct access to the culture of God; and so we also need to understand Jesus within his first-century Levantine context.Father Nadim Nassar is the Church of England's only Syrian priest and an outspoken advocate for western Christians to recognise the Middle-Eastern roots of their faith. The fresh and provocative reflections in The Culture of God, his first book, are informed by his experience of growing up in Syria and living through the conflicts in the region, especially the civil wars in Lebanon and Syria. Taking us on a journey through the mystery of the incarnation, to Jesus' role as storyteller - Al-Hakawati - his relationship with a disparate cast of people as narrated by the gospels, and finally his death and resurrection, Father Nadim unfolds for us the culture of God and what it can mean for a world that so desperately needs both freedom and a way to embrace diversity. 'Fr Nadim's personal experience of the painful effects of war and conflict in the Middle East is an insightful lens into the brokenness of humanity that leads to the ongoing violation of the God-given sanctity and dignity of life. At the same time, the paradox of the Crucifixion and Christianity is presented as a key to understanding the restoration of that same humanity, and the possibility of reconciliation with God and one another if the life and teachings of Christ are truly lived.' Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London
Coretta: My Life, My Love, My Legacy
By Coretta Scott King, Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds
'Coretta is more relevant today than ever . . . a female who takes responsibility for creating something better in the time she has and the space she has to occupy: that is true greatness. And Coretta did that.' Maya AngelouBorn in 1927 in the Deep South, Coretta Scott always felt called to a special purpose. After an awakening to political and social activism at college, Coretta went on to study at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she met Martin Luther King Jr. - the man who would one day become her husband. The union thrust Coretta into a maelstrom of history, throughout which her tireless fight for political and social justice established her as a champion of American civil rights.Now, fifty years after her husband's death, the story of Coretta's life is told in full for the first time: a love story, a family saga, a record of the legacy left by this extraordinary woman.'Presents the reader with a different way of looking at the world' New York Times
Crash Bang Wallop
By Iain Martin
Published to mark the 30th anniversary of the financial revolution known as 'Big Bang', Crash Bang Wallop will tell the gripping story of how the changes introduced in the 1980s in the City of London transformed our world.Attitudes to money and the way we measure value and status were completely reshaped by Big Bang, and it had an extraordinary impact on politics, on style, on technology, on the class system, on questions of public ownership, and on the geography of London. Perhaps more than anything, Big Bang revolutionised the international markets, as the capital became a testing ground for financial globalisation, with huge repercussions for the global economy. The definitive insider's account of this critically important moment in modern history, Crash Bang Wallop will also explore what's next for global finance as it gets ready to undergo yet another revolution. 'Iain Martin tells it brilliantly, mixing fury-inducing narrative with an acute eye for the broader conclusion.' Observer
Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare
By 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.
By Kabir Sehgal
Money isn't just coins, bank notes or clamshells; it is more than a store of value or unit of payment. It's an idea, a transformative player in how we view, cope, and harmonise with the world. Money isn't just what makes the world go around; it is largely what makes each of us go around.In Coined, Kabir Sehgal travels the world while presenting a multidimensional portrait of currency through the ages. He explores the origin of exchange in the Galapagos Islands, searches for hoards of coins from an ancient civilization in Bangladesh, and learns about the art that appears on money from coin collectors in Vietnam. He takes you from the vaults beneath the Federal Reserve in New York to a beehive where pollen can be understood as a natural form of exchange. He details the birth of money, to its place in our culture, to how the obsession for it can lead to death and destruction, all the while mixing engaging and entertaining stories from the front lines of global currency exchange with extensive, thoughtful research. The story of money is rich and varied because it is our story.
Classical World: All That Matters
By Alastair J. L. Blanshard
Modern Western European culture would have been impossible without the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome. The disciplines of philosophy, drama, history, and science all owe an immense debt to these two Mediterranean cultures. At the same time, there are aspects of this legacy that are less worthy of celebration. Slavery went hand in hand with democracy. The pursuit of beauty coexisted with breathtaking acts of brutality. This book explores the world of the ancient Greeks and Romans and the distinctive cultures they produced. It charts the rise and fall of empires as well as examining the intricacies of domestic life. The opening sections of the book give a chronological overview of the ancient world. They orientate the reader to the key places, actors, and historical trends. The remaining chapters focus on some of the most important and influential aspects of Greco-Roman culture including ancient festivals, art, architecture, religion, and medicine.
The Churchill Factor
By Boris Johnson
**A refreshingly original biography for fans of The Darkest Hour**'The must-read biography of the year.' Evening Standard'He writes with gusto... the result is a book that is never boring, genuinely clever ... this book sizzles.' The TimesThe point of the Churchill Factor is that one man can make all the difference.On the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of Winston Churchill's death, and written in conjunction with the Churchill Estate, Boris Johnson explores what makes up the 'Churchill Factor' - the singular brilliance of one of the most important leaders of the twentieth century. Taking on the myths and misconceptions along with the outsized reality, he portrays - with characteristic wit and passion - a man of multiple contradictions, contagious bravery, breath-taking eloquence, matchless strategizing, and deep humanity.Fearless on the battlefield, Churchill had to be ordered by the King to stay out of action on D-Day; he embraced large-scale strategic bombing, yet hated the destruction of war and scorned politicians who had not experienced its horrors. He was a celebrated journalist, a great orator and won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was famous for his ability to combine wining and dining with many late nights of crucial wartime decision-making. His open-mindedness made him a pioneer in health care, education, and social welfare, though he remained incorrigibly politically incorrect. Most of all, as Boris Johnson says, 'Churchill is the resounding human rebuttal to all who think history is the story of vast and impersonal economic forces'. The Churchill Factor is a book to be enjoyed not only by anyone interested in history: it is essential reading for anyone who wants to know what makes a great leader.
Child At War
By Mark Bles
At the age of fifteen Hortense Daman embarked on a secret career. In her German-occupied hometown of Louvain, Belgium, she joined the resistance, first as a courier, then as a fighter. She ran terrifying risks, smuggling explosives in her bicycle pannier past German soldiers and helping allied airmen to safety. It couldn't last; and it didn't. She was later betrayed, imprisoned and condemned to death. Separated from her family, she - and later her mother - was sent to the 'women's inferno' - Ravensbruck concentration camp. Subjected to horrific medical experiments, she endured starvation, illness, freezing temperatures, and she watched helplessly as thousands died around her. Yet, against unimaginable odds, she survived. Child at War is the true, extraordinary and often shocking account of the years that saw Hortense change from the innocent schoolgirl to freedom fighter and ultimately to survivor of the most atrocious regime the world has ever seen.
Cairo in the War
By Artemis Cooper
For troops in the desert, Cairo meant fleshpots or brass hats. For well-connected officers, it meant polo at the Gezira Club and drinks at Shepheard's. For the irregular warriors, Cairo was a city to throw legendary parties before the next mission behind enemy lines. For countless refugees, it was a stopping place in the long struggle home. The political scene was dominated by the British Ambassador Sir Miles Lampson. In February 1942 he surrounded the Abdin Palace with tanks and attempted to depose King Farouk. Five months later it looked as if the British would be thrown out of Egypt for good. Rommel's forces were only sixty miles from Alexandria - but the Germans were pushed back and Cairo life went on. Meanwhile, in the Egyptian Army, a handful of young officers were thinking dangerous thoughts.
A Century of Wisdom
By Caroline Stoessinger
Alice Herz-Sommer, 1903-2014The pianist Alice Herz-Sommer survived the Theresienstadt concentration camp, attended Eichmann's trial in Jerusalem, and along the way befriended some of the most fascinating historical figures of our time, from Franz Kafka to Gustav Mahler, Leonard Bernstein and Golda Meir. A Century of Wisdom is her story: a testament to the bonds of friendship, the power of music and the importance of leading a life of maternal simplicity, intellectual curiosity, and never-ending optimism.
Countdown to Victory
By Barry Turner
In standard histories of the Second World War, the last six months in the western European arena invariably make a short epilogue. After the German failure in the Battle of the Bulge, Hitler's bold counter attack across the Ardennes, the war is often assumed to have been all over bar sporadic shooting. This was far from the truth; it was certainly not how those soldiers and civilians at the front saw it. Drawing on American, British, Canadian, German, Dutch and Scandinavian sources, most of them previously unpublished, and starting with the Battle of the Bulge, COUNTDOWN TO VICTORY tells the little known story of those final months through the eyes of ordinary people who had to live the trauma.
The Cook's Tale
By Tom Quinn, Nancy Jackman
Nancy Jackman was born in 1907 in a remote Norfolk village. Her father was a ploughman, her mother a former servant who struggled to make ends meet in a cottage so small that access to the single upstairs room was via a ladder. The pace of life in that long-vanished world was dictated by the slow, heavy tread of the farm horse and though Nancy's earliest memories were of a green, sunny countryside still unspoiled by the motorcar, she also knew at first hand the harshness of a world where the elderly were forced to break stones on the roads and where school children were regularly beaten.Nancy left school at the age of twelve to work for a local farmer who forced her to stand in the rain when she made a mistake, physically abused her and eventually tried to rape her. Nancy continued to work as a cook until the 1950s, sustained by her determination to escape and find a life of her own. The Cook's Tale shows you life below stairs as it really was and is perfect for fans of Downton Abbey.Part of the Lives of Servants series. Other titles in the series are: The Maid's Tale, They Also Serve and Cocoa at Midnight.
By Joe Maiolo
The arms race, on the run up to the Second World War, followed the faultless logic of paranoia. Before the First World War, the Great Powers measured the strength of their rivals by comparing the size of armies and navies, and the money spent on them. Afterwards, having learned the lessons of 'total war', they looked at the capacity of nations to mobilise their economies and populations for war. Deep planning, they realised, was necessary to prepare for potential conflicts; but with this attitude came a sense that society might need to be in a state of perpetual readiness for conflict, and a potential openness to totalitarian levels of state control in ensuring that readiness. In Cry Havoc Joe Maiolo shows, in rich and fascinating detail, how the arms race between the Great Powers developed. Where previous histories have looked at how individual nations responded to the challenges of the time, Maiolo reveals the full complexity of the arms race by looking at competition between nations, at how nations reacted to the moves of their rivals. Maiolo provides a vivid portrait of the thinking of those making the key decisions - of the thinking of Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain, Stalin, Roosevelt - and reveals the full extent of the dilemmas confronted by the leaders of the western democracies, who seemed at times to be faced with a choice between defending their nations and preserving the essential democratic nature of the societies they sought to defend. Cry Havoc is an absorbing account of a time of extreme tensions, showing how the deadly game of the arms race led, ultimately, to an unleashing of the dogs of war.
The Children who Fought Hitler
By Sue Elliott, James Fox
Few people know that Ypres, centre of First World War remembrance, was once home to a thriving British community that played a heroic role in the Second World War. This expatriate outpost grew around the British ex-servicemen who cared for the war memorials and cemeteries of 'Flanders Fields'. Many married local women and their children grew up multi-lingual, but attended their own school and were intensely proud to be British. When Germany invaded in 1940 the community was threatened: some children managed to escape, others were not so lucky. But, armed with their linguistic skills and local knowledge, pupils of the British Memorial School were uniquely prepared to fight Hitler in occupied territory and from Britain. Still in their teens, some risked capture, torture and death in intelligence and resistance operations in the field. An exceptional patriotism spurred them on to feats of bravery in this new conflict. Whilst their peers at home were being evacuated to the English countryside, these children were directly exposed to danger in one of the major theatres of war.James Fox was a pupil at the British Memorial School in 1940 and he has made it his mission to trace his former school friends. The Children Who Fought Hitler is their story: a war story about people from an unusual community, told from a fresh and human perspective.Gardens of Stone: My Boyhood in the French Resistance, published recently by Hodder & Stoughton, tells the story of one of James's former school friends, Stephen Grady, and his role in the French Resistance.
By Justin Pollard
War brings out the very best and worst in people although, frankly, its usually the latter. But for all our thousands of years of practice at this most dangerous art there is precious little evidence that we're either outgrowing it or getting any good at it. It is an occupation filled with heroism, genius, hubris, idiocy and blind panic all bought on at least in part by large measures of astonishingly good and bad luck - and they're all here in Charge! This is not a book filled with battle diagrams swarming with arrows or 100,000 word descriptions of the tactical basis for the Pastry War. It is a book about the smaller tragedies and triumphs that actually go to make up the big picture - toilets that sink U-boats, unsporting attacks on Christmas day, armies that stop for tea, bombs on renegade balloons, drunk generals, blind kings, blind drunk generals, circular warships, and all the joy and misery that such things bring with them. And an interesting bit about the Pastry War.
By Philip Mansel
Philip Mansel's highly acclaimed history of Constantinople (formerly known as Byzantium) absorbingly charts the interaction between the vibrantly cosmopolitan capital - the city of the world's desire - and its ruling family. In 1453, Mehmed the Conqueror entered Constantinople on a white horse, beginning an Ottoman love affair with the city that lasted until 1924, when the last Caliph hurriedly left on the Orient Express. For almost five centuries Constantinople, with its enormous racial and cultural diversity, was the centre of the dramatic and often depraved story of an extraordinary dynasty.
Chin Up, Girls!
By Katharine Ramsay, Georgia Powell
From the self-styled 'Queen of Soho' who sued BA, claiming to have been bitten on the bottom by a flea, to the butcher's daughter from Oldham who performed topless as 'the world's strongest woman' before becoming becoming the mistress of a peer whom she met while living in a Pyrennean mountain hut, this is a celebration of the women who refused to fulfil society's expectations. Their company includes the woman who survived four months adrift in a dinghy in the Pacific and the woman who played professional polo disguised as a man for fifteen years, as well as the inimitable Dame Barbara Cartland and Fanny Cradock. And there are over one hundred more.This is the first time that the Daily Telegraph has dedicated a book to women's stories; very few of the women featured were 'celebrities', yet their stories represent a century of progress and change, capturing the spirit of those who came of age between Emancipation and the Equal Opportunities Act, whether high life or low life, pioneers or bluestockings.Taking its title from the inspiring lines of a matron whose nurses faced a WWII firing squad, this is a fascinating portrayal of unforgettable and extraordinary characters united by their refusal to accept society's constraints.
By Antony Beevor
Acclaimed historian and best-selling author Antony Beevor vividly brings to life the epic struggles that took place in Second World War Crete - reissued with a new introduction.'The best book we have got on Crete' ObserverThe Germans expected their airborne attack on Crete in 1941 - a unique event in the history of warfare - to be a textbook victory based on tactical surprise. They had no idea that the British, using Ultra intercepts, knew their plans and had laid a carefully-planned trap. It should have been the first German defeat of the war, but a fatal misunderstanding turned the battle round. Nor did the conflict end there. Ferocious Cretan freedom fighters mounted a heroic resistance, aided by a dramatic cast of British officers from Special Operations Executive.
By Kenneth Clark