Thomas Crump - A Brief History of Science - Little, Brown Book Group

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Books in this series

A Brief History of Science

through the development of scientific instruments

By Thomas Crump

  • Paperback
  • £9.99

A fascinating exploration of scientific advances

From earliest pre-history, with the dawning understanding of fire and its many uses, up to the astonishing advances of the twenty-first century, Thomas Crump traces the ever more sophisticated means employed in our attempts to understand the universe. The result is a vigorous and readable account of how our curious nature has continually pushed forward the frontiers of science and, as a consequence, human civilization.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781841195520
  • Publication date: 26 Sep 2002
  • Page count: 464
  • Imprint: Robinson
Fleet

The Burning Girl

Claire Messud
Authors:
Claire Messud
Little, Brown

1983

Taylor Downing
Authors:
Taylor Downing

In 1983 cinema audiences flocked to see the latest James Bond movie in which Roger Moore defeats a Soviet general who attempts to launch a nuclear first strike against the West. Like all Bond movies, audiences believed that the storyline was entirely fictional if not totally crazy. Little did they know that while they munched on their popcorn, the Soviets were indeed preparing to launch a real nuclear attack on the West. 1983 was a perilous year. In the United States, President Reagan increased defence spending and launched the 'Star Wars' Strategic Defence Initiative. When a Soviet plane shot down a Korean civilian jet, he described it as 'a crime against humanity'. Moscow was growing increasingly concerned about America's language and behaviour. Would they attack? The temperature was rising, fast. Then came the West's real-life wargame. Abel Archer. An East German spy convinced his masters that an authentic attack on the Soviet Union was being prepared. The world was truly at the brink.In 1983, Taylor Downing draws on previously unpublished interviews, and over a thousand pages of secret documents that have recently been released by Washington to tell the gripping, astonishing story that was almost the end of the world. Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.

Basic Books

The Heavens Might Crack

Jason Sokol
Authors:
Jason Sokol

Martin Luther King Jr today is an uncontroversial figure, and we tend to see him as a saint whose legacy is entirely uncomplicated. But in 1968, King was a polarizing figure, and his assassination was met with uncomfortably mixed reactions. At the time of his death, King was scorned by many white Americans, worshiped by a segment of African Americans and liberal whites, deemed irrelevant by the younger generation of African Americans, and beloved overseas. He was a hero to many. But to some, he was part of an old guard that was no longer relevant, and to others he was nothing more than a troublemaker and a threat to the Southern way of life. In The Heavens Might Crack, historian Jason Sokol traces the diverse range of reactions to King's death, exploring how Americans - as well as others across the globe--experienced King's assassination, in the days, weeks, and months afterward. He looks at everything from rioting in inner cities to turbulence in Germany, from celebrations in many parts of the South to the growing gun control movement. Across all these responses, we see one clear trend: with King gone and the cities exploding, it felt like a gear in the machinery of the universe had shifted. Just a few years prior, with the enactment of landmark civil rights laws, interracial harmony appeared conceivable; peaceful progress toward civil rights even seemed probable. In an instant, such optimism had vanished. For many, King's death extinguished that final flicker of hope for a multiracial America. With that hope gone, King's assassination would have an indelible impact on American sentiments about race, and the civil rights landscape.The Heavens Might Crack is a deeply empathetic portrait of country grappling with the death of a complicated man. By highlighting how this moment was perceived across the nation, Sokol reveals the enduring consequences King's assassination had for the shape of his own legacy, the course of the Civil Rights Movement, and race relations in America.

Piatkus

Living in a Mindful Universe

Eben Alexander, Karen Newell
Authors:
Eben Alexander, Karen Newell

What is the relationship between the mind and the brain?In Living in a Mindful Universe, Dr Eben Alexander, author of the international phenomenon Proof of Heaven, shares the next phase of his journey to understand the true nature of consciousness and how to cultivate a state of harmony with the universe and our higher purpose.'Dr Alexander's life-transforming NDE during a coma had shattered all of his former beliefs about the nature of consciousness, the roles of the mind and brain, and the meaning of life and death. Living in a Mindful Universe illuminates the many steps he took to expand his understanding of a much larger, richer, and deeper cosmos' Bill Guggenheim, coauthor of Hello from HeavenWhen eminent neurosurgeon Dr Eben Alexander experienced a startling near-death experience, he was plunged into the deepest realms of consciousness and woke a changed man, certain of the infinite reach of the soul and a life beyond death.In Living in a Mindful Universe, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Proof of Heaven and The Map of Heaven shares the next phase of his journey to understand the true origins of consciousness and uncover ways to cultivate a state of harmony with the universe and our higher purpose. Questioning, thoughtful but also practical, Living in a Mindful Universe demonstrates how we can tap into our greater mind and the power of the heart to enhance many facets of our lives, including healing, relationships and creativity.

Piatkus

Little Soldiers

Lenora Chu
Authors:
Lenora Chu

'I couldn't put this book down. Whip smart, hilariously funny and shocking. A must-read'Amy Chua, Yale Law Professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger MotherIn 2009, Lenora Chu, her husband Rob, and toddler Rainey, moved from LA to the Chinese megacity Shanghai. The US economy was spinning circles, while China seemed to be eating the planet's economic lunch. What's more, Shanghai teenagers were top in the world at maths, reading and science. China was not only muscling the rest of the world onto the sidelines, but it was also out-educating the West. So when Rainey was given the opportunity to enroll in Shanghai's most elite public kindergarten, Lenora and Rob grabbed it. Noticing her rambunctious son's rapid transformation - increasingly disciplined and obedient but more anxious and fearful - Lenora begins to question the system. What the teachers were accomplishing was indisputable, but what to make of their methods? Are Chinese children paying a price for their obedience and the promise of future academic prowess? How much discipline is too much? And is the Chinese education system really what the West should measure itself against? While Rainey was at school, Lenora embarked on a reporting mission to answer these questions in a larger context. Through a combination of the personal narratives and thoughts of teachers, parents, administrators and school children, Little Soldiers unpacks the story of education in China.

Little, Brown

Little Fires Everywhere

Celeste Ng
Authors:
Celeste Ng

'I am loving Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Maybe my favorite novel I've read this year' John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars'To say I love this book is an understatement. It's a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears' Reese WitherspoonThe brilliant new novel by the author of the New York Times bestseller, Everything I Never Told You. Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned - from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principal is playing by the rules.Enter Mia Warren - an enigmatic artist and single mother- who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.When the Richardsons' friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family - and Mia's. Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.

Little, Brown

The Influential Mind

Tali Sharot
Authors:
Tali Sharot
Little, Brown

Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy

Tim Harford
Authors:
Tim Harford
New Harbinger

The Nature of Consciousness

Rupert Spira
Authors:
Rupert Spira
Robinson

Superstition and Science, 1450-1750

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson

'A dazzling chronicle, a bracing challenge to modernity's smug assumptions' - Bryce Christensen, Booklist'O what a world of profit and delightOf power, of honour and omnipotenceIs promised to the studious artisan.'Christopher Marlowe, Dr FaustusBetween the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, Europe changed out of all recognition and particularly transformative were the ardent quest for knowledge and the astounding discoveries and inventions which resulted from it. The movement of blood round the body; the movement of the earth round the sun; the velocity of falling objects (and, indeed, why objects fall) - these and numerous other mysteries had been solved by scholars in earnest pursuit of scientia. Several keys were on offer to thinkers seeking to unlock the portal of the unknown:Folk religion had roots deep in the pagan past. Its devotees sought the aid of spirits. They had stores of ancient wisdom, particularly relating to herbal remedies. Theirs was the world of wise women, witches, necromancers, potions and incantations.Catholicism had its own magic and its own wisdom. Dogma was enshrined in the collective wisdom of the doctors of the church and the rigid scholastic system of teaching. Magic resided in the ranks of departed saints and the priestly miracle of the mass.Alchemy was at root a desire to understand and to exploit the material world. Practitioners studied the properties of natural substances. A whole system of knowledge was built on the theory of the four humours.Astrology was based on the belief that human affairs were controlled by the movement of heavenly bodies. Belief in the casting of horoscopes was almost universal.Natural Philosophy really began with Francis Bacon and his empirical method. It was the beginning of science 'proper' because it was based on observation and not on predetermined theory.Classical Studies. University teaching was based on the quadrivium - which consisted largely of rote learning the philosophy and science current in the classical world (Plato, Aristotle, Galen, Ptolemy, etc.). Renaissance scholars reappraised these sources of knowledge.Islamic and Jewish Traditions. The twelfth-century polymath, Averroes, has been called 'the father of secular thought' because of his landmark treatises on astronomy, physics and medicine. Jewish scholars and mystics introduced the esoteric disciplines of the Kabbalah.New Discoveries. Exploration connected Europeans with other peoples and cultures hitherto unknown, changed concepts about the nature of the planet, and led to the development of navigational skills.These 'sciences' were not entirely self-contained. For example physicians and theologians both believed in the casting of horoscopes. Despite popular myth (which developed 200 years later), there was no perceived hostility between faith and reason. Virtually all scientists and philosophers before the Enlightenment worked, or tried to work, within the traditional religious framework. Paracelsus, Descartes, Newton, Boyle and their compeers proceeded on the a príori notion that the universe was governed by rational laws, laid down by a rational God.. This certainly did not mean that there were no conflicts between the upholders of different types of knowledge. Dr Dee's neighbours destroyed his laboratory because they believed he was in league with the devil. Galileo famously had his run-in with the Curia.By the mid-seventeenth century 'science mania' had set in; the quest for knowledge had become a pursuit of cultured gentlemen. In 1663 The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge received its charter. Three years later the French Academy of Sciences was founded. Most other European capitals were not slow to follow suit. In 1725 we encounter the first use of the word 'science' meaning 'a branch of study concerned either with a connected body of demonstrated truths or with observed facts systematically classified'. Yet, it was only nine years since the last witch had been executed in Britain - a reminder that, although the relationship of people to their environment was changing profoundly, deep-rooted fears and attitudes remained strong.

Sphere

The Aliens Are Coming!

Ben Miller
Authors:
Ben Miller

Discover the fascinating and cutting-edge science behind the greatest question of all: is there life beyond Earth? For millennia, we have looked up at the stars and wondered whether we are alone in the universe. In the last few years, scientists have made huge strides towards answering that question. In The Aliens are Coming!, comedian and bestselling science writer Ben Miller takes us on a fantastic voyage of discovery, from the beginnings of life on earth to the very latest search for alien intelligence. What soon becomes clear is that the hunt for extra-terrestrials is also an exploration of what we actually mean by life. What do you need to kickstart life? How did the teeming energy of the Big Bang end up as frogs, trees and quantity surveyors? How can evolution provide clues about alien life? What might it look like? (Probably not green and sexy, sadly.) As our probes and manned missions venture out into the solar system, and our telescopes image Earth-like planets with ever-increasing accuracy, our search for alien life has never been more exciting - or better funded. The Aliens are Coming! is a comprehensive, accessible and hugely entertaining guide to that search, and our quest to understand the very nature of life itself.

Basic Books

Language at the Speed of Sight

Mark Seidenberg
Authors:
Mark Seidenberg

In 2011, when an international survey reported that students in Shanghai dramatically outperformed American students in reading, math, and science, President Obama declared it a Sputnik moment": a wake-up call about the dismal state of American education. Little has changed, however, since then: over half of our children still read at a basic level and few become highly proficient. Many American children and adults are not functionally literate, with serious consequences. Poor readers are more likely to drop out of the educational system and as adults are unable to fully participate in the workforce, adequately manage their own health care, or advance their children's education.In Language at the Speed of Sight , internationally renowned cognitive scientist Mark Seidenberg reveals the underexplored science of reading, which spans cognitive science, neurobiology, and linguistics. As Seidenberg shows, the disconnect between science and education is a major factor in America's chronic underachievement. How we teach reading places many children at risk of failure, discriminates against poorer kids, and discourages even those who could have become more successful readers. Children aren't taught basic print skills because educators cling to the disproved theory that good readers guess the words in texts, a strategy that encourages skimming instead of close reading. Interventions for children with reading disabilities are delayed because parents are mistakenly told their kids will catch up if they work harder. Learning to read is more difficult for children who speak a minority dialect in the home, but that is not reflected in classroom practices. By building on science's insights, we can improve how our children read, and take real steps toward solving the inequality that illiteracy breeds.Both an expert look at our relationship with the written word and a rousing call to action, Language at the Speed of Sight is essential for parents, educators, policy makers, and all others who want to understand why so many fail to read, and how to change that.

Basic Books

The Patient Will See You Now

Eric Topol
Authors:
Eric Topol

A trip to the doctor is almost a guarantee of misery. You'll make an appointment months in advance. You'll probably wait for several hours until you hear "the doctor will see you now",but only for fifteen minutes! Then you'll wait even longer for lab tests, the results of which you'll likely never see, unless they indicate further (and more invasive) tests, most of which will probably prove unnecessary (much like physicals themselves). And your bill will be astronomical.In The Patient Will See You Now , Eric Topol, one of the nation's top physicians, shows why medicine does not have to be that way. Instead, you could use your smartphone to get rapid test results from one drop of blood, monitor your vital signs both day and night, and use an artificially intelligent algorithm to receive a diagnosis without having to see a doctor, all at a small fraction of the cost imposed by our modern healthcare system. The change is powered by what Topol calls medicine's "Gutenberg moment." Much as the printing press took learning out of the hands of a priestly class, the mobile internet is doing the same for medicine, giving us unprecedented control over our healthcare. With smartphones in hand, we are no longer beholden to an impersonal and paternalistic system in which "doctor knows best." Medicine has been digitized, Topol argues now it will be democratized. Computers will replace physicians for many diagnostic tasks, citizen science will give rise to citizen medicine, and enormous data sets will give us new means to attack conditions that have long been incurable. Massive, open, online medicine, where diagnostics are done by Facebook-like comparisons of medical profiles, will enable real-time, real-world research on massive populations. There's no doubt the path forward will be complicated: the medical establishment will resist these changes, and digitized medicine inevitably raises serious issues surrounding privacy. Nevertheless, the result,better, cheaper, and more human health care,will be worth it.Provocative and engrossing, The Patient Will See You Now is essential reading for anyone who thinks they deserve better health care. That is, for all of us.

Hachette Audio

The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead
Authors:
Colson Whitehead

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2017NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER 2016AMAZON.COM #1 BOOK OF THE YEAR 2016#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR SHORTLISTED FOR THE ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD'Whitehead is on a roll: the reviews have been sublime' Guardian'Luminous, furious, wildly inventive' Observer'Hands down one of the best, if not the best, book I've read this year' Stylist 'Dazzling' New York Review of BooksPraised by Barack Obama and an Oprah Book Club Pick, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead won the National Book Award 2016. Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. All the slaves lead a hellish existence, but Cora has it worse than most; she is an outcast even among her fellow Africans and she is approaching womanhood, where it is clear even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a slave recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they take the perilous decision to escape to the North.In Whitehead's razor-sharp imagining of the antebellum South, the Underground Railroad has assumed a physical form: a dilapidated box car pulled along subterranean tracks by a steam locomotive, picking up fugitives wherever it can. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But its placid surface masks an infernal scheme designed for its unknowing black inhabitants. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher sent to find Cora, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.At each stop on her journey, Cora encounters a different world. As Whitehead brilliantly recreates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America, from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once the story of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shatteringly powerful meditation on history.

Robinson

The Impossible Zoo

Leo Ruickbie
Authors:
Leo Ruickbie

'Leo Ruickbie's impeccably-written The Impossible Zoo is a menagerie like no other, as its exotic inhabitants are fabulous in every sense of the word. So for anyone who has ever wished that dragons and unicorns were real, for anyone who believes that they are, and for anyone who peruses bestiaries with unbridled joy, this magical, mystical, and truly memorable book is definitely for you - and for me!'Dr Karl Shuker, author of A Manifestation of MonstersHERE BE DRAGONS!Here you will find the things that once made the woods wild and the nights to be feared; that made ancient map-makers write, 'Here be Dragons'.The Impossible Zoo is a biology of the supernatural - a study of the life of things that never lived. This world of mermaids and unicorns, now confined to fantasy, but once believed to exist, is a world of the imagination that still affects us today.Wonderfully illustrated throughout, it also provides sources as a guide to further study and exploration.'For anyone who has ever wished that dragons and unicorns were real, this magical, mystical and truly memorable book is definitely for you - and for me!'Dr Karl Shuker, author of A Manifestation of Monsters'Ruickbie's level of scholarship is impressive and he presents his conclusions with great literary skill in readable and attractive prose. The results are truly fascinating. Very highly recommended.'Revd Lionel Fanthorpe, FRSA, author and President of the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena

Corsair

The Goddess Pose

Michelle Goldberg
Authors:
Michelle Goldberg

When the woman who would become Indra Devi was born in Russia in 1899, yoga was virtually unknown outside of India. By the time of her death, in 2002, it was being practiced everywhere, from Brooklyn to Berlin to Ulaanbaatar. In The Goddess Pose, New York Times best-selling author Michelle Goldberg traces the life of the incredible woman who brought yoga to the West and in so doing paints a sweeping picture of the twentieth century.Born into the minor aristocracy (as Eugenia Peterson), Devi grew up in the midst of one of the most turbulent times in human history. Forced to flee the Russian Revolution as a teenager, she joined a famous Berlin cabaret troupe, dove into the vibrant prewar spiritualist movement, and, at a time when it was nearly unthinkable for a young European woman to travel alone, followed the charismatic Theosophical leader Jiddu Krishnamurti to India. Once on the subcontinent, she performed in Indian silent cinema and hobnobbed with the leaders of the independence movement. But her greatest coup was convincing a recalcitrant master yogi to train her in the secrets of his art. Devi would go on to share what she learned with people around the world, teaching in Shanghai during World War II, then in Hollywood, where her students included Gloria Swanson and Greta Garbo. She ran a yoga school in Mexico during the height of the counterculture, served as spiritual adviser to the colonel who tried to overthrow Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega, and, in her eighties, moved to Buenos Aires at the invitation of a besotted rock star. Everywhere she went, Indra Devi evangelized for yoga, ushering in a global craze that continues unabated. Written with vivid clarity, The Goddess Pose brings her remarkable story as an actress, yogi, and globetrotting adventuress to life.

Piatkus

Into the Heart of Mindfulness

Ed Halliwell
Authors:
Ed Halliwell
Abacus

The Dry

Jane Harper
Authors:
Jane Harper

'One of the most stunning debuts I've ever read...Read it!' David BaldacciWINNER OF THE CWA GOLD DAGGER AWARD 2017The Gold Australian Book Industry Award for Book of the Year Australian Book Industry Award for Fiction Book of the Year WATERSTONES THRILLER OF THE MONTHTHE SIMON MAYO RADIO 2 BOOK CLUB CHOICESUNDAY TIMES CRIME THRILLER OF THE MONTH'Packed with sneaky moves and teasing possibilities that keep the reader guessing...The Dry is a breathless page-turner' Janet Maslin, New York TimesWHO REALLY KILLED THE HADLER FAMILY?I just can't understand how someone like him could do something like that.Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, it hasn't rained in small country town Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are brutally murdered. Everyone thinks Luke Hadler, who committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son, is guilty.Policeman Aaron Falk returns to the town of his youth for the funeral of his childhood best friend, and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As questions mount and suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke's death threatens to unearth. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, secrets from his past and why he left home bubble to the surface as he questions the truth of his friend's crime.And if you loved The Dry, don't miss Jane Harper's second novel Force of Nature, now available for pre-order

Corsair

The Genius of Birds

Jennifer Ackerman
Authors:
Jennifer Ackerman

Birds are astonishingly intelligent creatures. In fact, according to revolutionary new research, some birds rival primates and even humans in their remarkable forms of intelligence. Like humans, many birds have enormous brains relative to their size. Although small, bird brains are packed with neurons that allow them to punch well above their weight.In The Genius of Birds, acclaimed author Jennifer Ackerman explores the newly discovered brilliance of birds and how it came about. As she travels around the world to the most cutting-edge frontiers of research - the distant laboratories of Barbados and New Caledonia, the great tit communities of the United Kingdom and the bowerbird habitats of Australia, the ravaged mid-Atlantic coast after Hurricane Sandy and the warming mountains of central Virginia and the western states - Ackerman not only tells the story of the recently uncovered genius of birds but also delves deeply into the latest findings about the bird brain itself that are revolutionizing our view of what it means to be intelligent.Consider, as Ackerman does, the Clark's nutcracker, a bird that can hide as many as 30,000 seeds over dozens of square miles and remember where it put them several months later; the mockingbirds and thrashers, species that can store 200 to 2,000 different songs in a brain a thousand times smaller than ours; the well-known pigeon, which knows where it's going, even thousands of miles from familiar territory; and the New Caledonian crow, an impressive bird that makes its own tools.But beyond highlighting how birds use their unique genius in technical ways, Ackerman points out the impressive social smarts of birds. They deceive and manipulate. They eavesdrop. They display a strong sense of fairness. They give gifts. They play keep-away and tug-of-war. They tease. They share. They cultivate social networks. They vie for status. They kiss to console one another. They teach their young. They blackmail their parents. They alert one another to danger. They summon witnesses to the death of a peer. They may even grieve.This elegant scientific investigation and travelogue weaves personal anecdotes with fascinating science. Ackerman delivers an extraordinary story that will both give readers a new appreciation for the exceptional talents of birds and let them discover what birds can reveal about our changing world.

Little, Brown

Dynasty

Tom Holland
Authors:
Tom Holland

Rome was first ruled by kings, then became a republic. But in the end, after conquering the world, the Republic collapsed. Rome was drowned in blood. So terrible were the civil wars that the Roman people finally came to welcome the rule of an autocrat who could give them peace. 'Augustus', their new master called himself: 'The Divinely Favoured One'.The lurid glamour of the dynasty founded by Augustus has never faded. No other family can compare for sheer unsettling fascination with its gallery of leading characters. Tiberius, the great general who ended up a bitter recluse, notorious for his perversions; Caligula, the master of cruelty and humiliation who rode his chariot across the sea; Agrippina, the mother of Nero, manoeuvering to bring to power the son who would end up having her murdered; Nero himself, racing in the Olympics, marrying a eunuch, and building a pleasure palace over the fire-gutted centre of his capital.Now, in the sequel to Rubicon, Tom Holland gives a dazzling portrait of Rome's first imperial dynasty. Dynasty traces the full astonishing story of its rule of the world: both the brilliance of its allure, and the blood-steeped shadows cast by its crimes. Ranging from the great capital rebuilt in marble by Augustus to the dank and barbarian-haunted forests of Germany, it is populated by a spectacular cast: murderers and metrosexuals, adulterers and druids, scheming grandmothers and reluctant gladiators. Dynasty is the portrait of a family that transformed and stupefied Rome.