Related to: 'War Stories'

John Murray

When Britain Burned the White House

Peter Snow
Authors:
Peter Snow

As heard on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week. Shortlisted for the Paddy Power Political History Book of the Year Award 2014.In August 1814 the United States' army is defeated in battle by an invading force just outside Washington DC. The US president and his wife have just enough time to pack their belongings and escape from the White House before the enemy enters. The invaders tuck into the dinner they find still sitting on the dining-room table and then set fire to the place. 9/11 was not the first time the heartland of the United States was struck a devastating blow by outsiders. Two centuries earlier, Britain - now America's close friend, then its bitterest enemy - set Washington ablaze before turning its sights to Baltimore. In his compelling narrative style, Peter Snow recounts the fast-changing fortunes of both sides of this extraordinary confrontation, the outcome of which inspired the writing of the 'Star-Spangled Banner', America's national anthem. Using a wealth of material including eyewitness accounts, he also describes the colourful personalities on both sides of these spectacular events: Britain's fiery Admiral Cockburn, the cautious but immensely popular army commander Robert Ross, and sharp-eyed diarists James Scott and George Gleig. On the American side: beleaguered President James Madison, whose young nation is fighting the world's foremost military power, his wife Dolley, a model of courage and determination, military heroes such as Joshua Barney and Sam Smith, and flawed incompetents like Army Chief William Winder and War Secretary John Armstrong. When Britain Burned the White House highlights this unparalleled moment in American history, its far-reaching consequences for both sides and Britain's and America's decision never again to fight each other.

John Murray

To War with Wellington

Peter Snow
Authors:
Peter Snow

Andrea Wulf

Andrea Wulf was born in India, moved to Germany as a child, and now lives in England. She is the author of several acclaimed books. The Brother Gardeners won the American Horticultural Society Book Award and was long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize. Her book Founding Gardeners was on the New York Times bestseller list. Andrea has written for many newspapers including the Guardian, LA Times and New York Times. She was the Eccles British Library Writer in Residence 2013 and a three-time fellow of the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello. She appears regularly on TV and radio.

Ann MacMillan

Ann MacMillan was born in Wales, the great granddaughter of David Lloyd George, and grew up in Canada where she worked for CHIN Radio, Global TV News and CTV News. She moved to London in 1976 when she married Peter Snow and worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation until 2013. She was the CBC's managing editor in London for the last thirteen years of her career.

Arnold van de Laar

Arnold van de Laar is a surgeon in the Slotervaart Hospital in Amsterdam, specialising in laparoscopic surgery. Born in 1969 in the Dutch town of 's-Hertogenbosch, van de Laar became fascinated by how the human body works in school biology lessons and went on to study medicine at the Belgian University of Leuven. Having travelled the world - the Himalayas, Bhutan, Tibet, Nepal, Kashmir, and extensively in Africa - van de Laar took his first job as general surgeon on the Caribbean Island of Sint Maarten. He started writing pieces on surgical history in the Dutch medical journal Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Heelkunde in 2009. He now lives in Amsterdam with his wife and two children where, a true Dutchman, he cycles to work every day. This is his first book.

Charles Frazier

Charles Frazier grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. COLD MOUNTAIN, his highly acclaimed first novel, was an international bestseller, selling over one million copies and winning the National Book Award in 1997. It was the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film directed by Anthony Minghella and starring Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, and Renee Zellweger.A second novel, THIRTEEN MOONS, was published by Sceptre in 2007 and NIGHTWOODS, Charles' latest novel set in a lakeside town in 1960s North Carolina, was published in September 2011. To find out more, visit Charles' Facebook page www.facebook.com/CharlesFrazierAuthor or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Charles_Frazier.

Denis Avey

Denis Avey was born in Essex in 1919. He fought in the desert during the Second World War and was captured and held as a Prisoner of War in a camp near Auschwitz III. In 2010 he received a British Hero of the Holocaust award. Denis lives in Derbyshire.

General Sir Richard Shirreff

Born in Kenya in 1955 where he spent his early years, Richard Shirreff commissioned into the British Army as a cavalry officer after reading history at Oxford. In his 37 years of service he commanded soldiers on operations from the most junior to the most senior levels. He saw combat as a tank commander in the First Gulf War, experienced many of the complexities of Northern Ireland during his three tours there and learned first-hand the challenges of bringing peace to the Balkans in both Kosovo and Bosnia. He returned to Iraq as a multinational commander in 2006-7. When not in command he spent time either being educated in the art and science of war on a succession of different command and staff courses or in a range of posts as a formulator or executor of policy in the Ministry of Defence and Army Headquarters. His last seven years in uniform were spent in two senior NATO command posts: Commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps and Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe; the Alliance's deputy strategic commander and the most senior British general in the Alliance. Since leaving the Army he has set up Strategia Worldwide, a risk management consultancy.

Gerald Seymour

Gerald Seymour exploded onto the literary scene in 1975 with the massive bestseller HARRY'S GAME. The first major thriller to tackle the modern troubles in Northern Ireland, it was described by Frederick Forsyth as 'like nothing else I have ever read' and it changed the landscape of the British thriller forever.Gerald Seymour was a reporter at ITN for fifteen years. He covered events in Vietnam, Borneo, Aden, the Munich Olympics, Israel and Northern Ireland. He has been a full-time writer since 1978.Gerald was interviewed recently on Andrew Marr's Sleuths, Spies and Sorcerers on BBC TV.

Giles Milton

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. His books have been translated into twenty languages. He lives in south London.Find out more about Giles and his books on his website, www.gilesmilton.com, and Wikipedia page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giles_Milton, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/survivehistory and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/pages/Giles-Milton-Writer/121068034610842.

Graham Hancock

As East Africa correspondent of The Economist in the early eighties Graham Hancock began to write a series of highly acclaimed books on economics, politics and foreign aid. His life took a whole new turn when he became fascinated by rumours that the Ark of the Covenant is real artefact, hidden somewhere in northern Africa. The story of his detective work, tracking it down to its supposed final resting place became the international bestseller The Sign and the Seal (now in production as a feature film.) More bestsellers in the field of 'alternative history' followed, including Fingerprints of the Gods, Keeper of Genesis (the latter co-authored with Robert Bauval) and Heaven's Mirror. In Supernatural he described his experiences journeying to experiment with hallucinogenic drugs amongst tribes people for whom they represent a gateway into supernatural realms. His ideas on exploring new dimensions in consciousness became the subject of his controversial TED talks.Graham Hancock's books have been translated into twenty-seven languages and have sold over nine million copies worldwide. His public lectures and broadcasts, including two major TV series for Channel 4, Quest for the Lost Civilisation, and Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age, have further established his reputation as an unconventional thinker who raises controversial questions about humanity`s past.

Hannah Jewell

Hannah Jewell is a pop culture host and editor at The Washington Post, and a former senior writer at BuzzFeed UK, where she became known for her humour writing about gender, her satire of British and American politics. She presented BuzzFeed's live 2016 election night show, which was watched by nearly 7 million people. Born in the UK, she grew up in California and did her undergraduate study at UC Berkeley in Middle East Studies, then moved to the UK for an MPhil in International Relations and Politics at Cambridge. Now, she combines her background in history and politics with her love of the internet to write about remarkable women of the past with an accessible, hilarious, and sometimes sweary style.

Jocelyn Davis

Jocelyn Davis is an author and consultant with 25 years' experience in the corporate learning industry. Before founding her company, Seven Learning, she was head of R&D for The Forum Corporation, a global leadership development firm. She is co-author of Strategic Speed: Mobilize People, Accelerate Execution (Harvard Business Press) and has published widely on leadership, strategy execution, and workplace learning. Her clients have included companies such as Microsoft, Disney, and Unilever. Known as an exceptional leader herself, she is the recipient of awards for excellence in management and product innovation. She holds an M.A. in Philosophy. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband and daughter. JocelynRDavis.wordpress.com @JocelynRDavis

Juliet Nicolson

Juliet Nicolson is the author of two works of non fiction that bookend the First World War, The Perfect Summer and The Great Silence, as well as a novel, Abdication. She writes for the Daily Telegraph, the Mail on Sunday and the Evening Standard, among other publications. She read English at Oxford University and has worked in publishing in the UK and the US. She is married, has two daughters and lives in East Sussex.

Kenneth Clark

Kenneth Clark was born in 1903 and was educated at the University of Oxford. Aged 30, he was appointed Director of the National Gallery - he remained there until 1945. He has been Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford, Chairman of the Arts Council and Chairman of the Independent Television Authority. He was knighted in 1938 and made a Life Peer in 1969. In 1976 he was awarded the Order of Merit. He is widely known for his television programmes on art, as well as for his writing.

Kingsley Donaldson

KINGSLEY DONALDSON is a retired Army officer. He has served on operations in a number of European and Middle Eastern countries in various roles that span from countering weapons of mass destruction through to negotiating with armed groups in Iraq. His last appointments at the Ministry of Defence were concerned with national defence and security strategy. He now advises a number of governments in his role as Director of the Causeway Institute for Peace-building Conflict Resolution International.

Leo McKinstry

Leo McKinstry is a first-class historian of the Second World War and author of bestselling Spitfire and Hurricane. He writes regularly for the Daily Mail, Sunday Telegraph and Spectator. Born in Belfast he was educated in Ireland and at Cambridge University.

Max Arthur

Max Arthur is acclaimed for his speciality in sourcing first-hand recollections of the twentieth century, particularly the First and Second World War. He is the author of many bestsellers including 'Forgotten Voices of the Great War' and 'Forgotten Voices of the Second World War' which were both written in association with the Imperial War Museum. He has presented two television documentaries based on his books: The Brits Who Fought For Spain for the History Channel and 'Dambusters'. Arthur was recognised in the 2013 New Year Honours with an OBE for his services to military history.

Melvyn Bragg

Melvyn Bragg is a writer and broadcaster. His novels include The Hired Man, for which he won the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, Without a City Wall, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, The Soldier's Return, winner of the WHSmith Literary Award, A Son of War and Crossing the Lines, both of which were longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, A Place in England, which was longlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize, and most recently Grace and Mary. He has also written several works of non-fiction, the most recent being The Book of Books about the King James Bible. He lives in London and Cumbria.

Michael Jones

Michael Jones was awarded a history PhD by Bristol University, and subsequently taught at Glasgow University and Winchester College. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a member of the British Commission for Military History, and works now as a writer, media consultant and presenter. He has written books on the battles of Bosworth, Agincourt and Stalingrad, the siege of Leningrad and the battle for Moscow, as well as Total War: From Stalingrad to Berlin. Most recently he has co-authored The King's Grave: The Search for Richard III.