Derek Wilson - A Brief History of the English Reformation - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781849018258
    • Publication date:21 Jun 2012
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A Brief History of the English Reformation

By Derek Wilson

  • Paperback
  • £9.99

Derek Wilson retells the story of how the Tudor monarchs transformed the English religion and why it still matters today

Religion, politics and fear: how England was transformed by the Tudors.

The English Reformation was a unique turning point in English history. Derek Wilson retells the story of how the Tudor monarchs transformed English religion and why it still matters today. Recent scholarly research has undermined the traditional view of the Reformation as an event that occurred solely amongst the elite. Wilson now shows that, although the transformation was political and had a huge impact on English identity, on England's relationships with its European neighbours and on the foundations of its empire, it was essentially a revolution from the ground up. By 1600, in just eighty years, England had become a radically different nation in which family, work and politics, as well as religion, were dramatically altered.

Praise for Derek Wilson:

'Stimulating and authoritative.' John Guy.

'Masterly. [Wilson] has a deep understanding of . . . characters, reaching out across the centuries.' Sunday Times.

Biographical Notes

Derek Wilson is a renowned Tudor historian. He is the author of over 30 books including BHO the Circumnavigators, The Uncrowned Kings of England for Constable as well as recent biographies of Charlemaigne and Holbein (Pimlico). He is the founder of the Cambridge History festival and we are publishing Francis Walsingham in 2007.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781845296469
  • Publication date: 21 Jun 2012
  • Page count: 464
  • Imprint: Robinson
Constable

The Fighting Irish

Tim Newark
Authors:
Tim Newark

For hundreds of years, Irish soldiers have sought their destiny abroad. Stepping aboard ships bound for England, America, or Europe, young Irishmen have been hungry for adventure, a self-made fortune or the means to carry on a cause back home. Wherever he has travelled, whichever side of the battlefield he has stood, the tales of his exploits have never been forgotten.The Irish soldier has always been in the thick of the fight. Leaving his birthplace, he travelled with hope, sometimes wanting to bring a liberating revolution to his fellow countrymen. Often seeking adventure, the Fighting Irish have been found in all corners of the British Empire, winning new territories, gaining a reputation as fearless soldiers. Some sailed to America and joined in frontier fighting or demonstrated their loyalty to their new homeland in the bloody combats of the American Civil War. Others took the opportunity to carry on their home-borne disputes with campaigns against the British Empire in Canada and South Africa.The Irish soldier has been in the thick of war during the twentieth century-facing slaughter at the Somme, surviving prison camps in Korea, desperate last-stands in the Congo-and continuing sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Fighting Irish, acclaimed historian Tim Newark tells their tales in the dramatic words of the soldiers themselves, gathered from diaries, letters and journals from archives-and interviews with veterans-in Ireland and across the world.Praise for Highlander:"Tim Newark is a remarkably gifted storyteller." The Scotsman"At last, the Highland soldier has the history he richly deserves. Tim Newark tells the dramatic tale with some startling new stories and superbly researched detail." Andrew Roberts."Highlanders have long been among the most feared soldiers in the world and Tim Newark's book admirably tells their stirring tale. A great read!" Bernard Cornwell.

Robinson

Nicholas II, The Last Tsar

Michael Paterson
Authors:
Michael Paterson

The character of the last Tsar, Nicholas II (1868-1918) is crucial to understanding the overthrow of tsarist Russia, the most significant event in Russian history. Nicholas became Tsar at the age of 26. Though a conscientious man who was passionate in his devotion to his country, he was weak, sentimental, dogmatic and indecisive. Ironically he could have made an effective constitutional monarch, but these flaws rendered him fatally unsuited to be the sole ruler of a nation that was in the throes of painful modernisation. That he failed is not surprising, for many abler monarchs could not have succeeded. Rather to be wondered at is that he managed, for 23 years, to hold on to power despite the overwhelming force of circumstances. Though Nicholas was exasperating, he had many endearing qualities. A modern audience, aware - as contemporaries were not - of the private pressures under which he lived, can empathise with him and forgive some of his errors of judgement. To some readers he seems a fool, to others a monster, but many are touched by the story of a well-meaning man doing his best under impossible conditions. He is, in other words, a biographical subject that engages readers whatever their viewpoint. His family was of great importance to Nicholas. He and his wife, Alexandra, married for love and retained this affection to the end of their lives. His four daughters, all different and intriguing personalities, were beautiful and charming. His son, the family's - and the nation's - hope for the future, was disabled by an illness that had to be concealed from Russia and from the world. It was this circumstance that made possible the nefarious influence of Rasputin, which in turn hastened the end of the dynasty.This story has everything: romance and tragedy, grandeur and misery, human frailty and an international catastrophe that would not only bring down the Tsar but put an end to the glittering era of European monarchies.

Little, Brown

The King's City

Don Jordan
Authors:
Don Jordan

'The cruelty and magnificence of Restoration London provides endless fascination . . . there's much to delight in this volume' The Times'Don Jordan's history captures the shifts [Charles II] engineered in trade and culture' NatureDuring the reign of Charles II, London was a city in flux. After years of civil war and political turmoil, England's capital became the centre for major advances in the sciences, the theatre, architecture, trade and ship-building that paved the way for the creation of the British Empire.At the heart of this activity was the King, whose return to power from exile in 1660 lit the fuse for an explosion in activity in all spheres of city life. London flourished, its wealth, vibrancy and success due to many figures famous today including Christopher Wren, Samuel Pepys and John Dryden - and others whom history has overlooked until now.Throughout the quarter-century Charles was on the throne, London suffered several serious reverses: the plague in 1665 and the Great Fire in 1666, and severe defeat in the Second Anglo-Dutch War, which brought about notable economic decline. But thanks to the genius and resilience of the people of London, and the occasionally wavering stewardship of the King, the city rose from the ashes to become the economic capital of Europe.The King's City tells the gripping story of a city that defined a nation and birthed modern Britain - and how the vision of great individuals helped to build the richly diverse place we know today.

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.

Basic Books

The Cause of All Nations

Don H. Doyle
Authors:
Don H. Doyle

When Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in 1863, he had broader aims than simply rallying a war-weary nation. Lincoln realized that the Civil War had taken on a wider significance,that all of Europe and Latin America was watching to see whether the United States, a beleaguered model of democracy, would indeed perish from the earth."In The Cause of All Nations , distinguished historian Don H. Doyle explains that the Civil War was viewed abroad as part of a much larger struggle for democracy that spanned the Atlantic Ocean, and had begun with the American and French Revolutions. While battles raged at Bull Run, Antietam, and Gettysburg, a parallel contest took place abroad, both in the marbled courts of power and in the public square. Foreign observers held widely divergent views on the war,from radicals such as Karl Marx and Giuseppe Garibaldi who called on the North to fight for liberty and equality, to aristocratic monarchists, who hoped that the collapse of the Union would strike a death blow against democratic movements on both sides of the Atlantic. Nowhere were these monarchist dreams more ominous than in Mexico, where Napoleon III sought to implement his Grand Design for a Latin Catholic empire that would thwart the spread of Anglo-Saxon democracy and use the Confederacy as a buffer state.Hoping to capitalize on public sympathies abroad, both the Union and the Confederacy sent diplomats and special agents overseas: the South to seek recognition and support, and the North to keep European powers from interfering. Confederate agents appealed to those conservative elements who wanted the South to serve as a bulwark against radical egalitarianism. Lincoln and his Union agents overseas learned to appeal to many foreigners by embracing emancipation and casting the Union as the embattled defender of universal republican ideals, the last best hope of earth."A bold account of the international dimensions of America's defining conflict, The Cause of All Nations frames the Civil War as a pivotal moment in a global struggle that would decide the survival of democracy.

Basic Books

Locked In

John Pfaff
Authors:
John Pfaff

A groundbreaking examination of our system of imprisonment, revealing the true causes of mass incarceration as well as the best path to reformIn the 1970s, the United States had an incarceration rate comparable to those of other liberal democracies-and that rate had held steady for over 100 years. Yet today, though the US is home to only about 5 percent of the world's population, we hold nearly one quarter of its prisoners. Mass incarceration is now widely considered one of the biggest social and political crises of our age. How did we get to this point?Locked In is a revelatory investigation into the root causes of mass incarceration by one of the most exciting scholars in the country. Having spent fifteen years studying the data on imprisonment, John Pfaff takes apart the reigning consensus created by Michelle Alexander and other reformers, revealing that the most widely accepted explanations-the failed War on Drugs, draconian sentencing laws, an increasing reliance on private prisons-tell us much less than we think. Pfaff urges us to look at other factors instead, including a major shift in prosecutor behavior that occurred in the mid-1990s, when prosecutors began bringing felony charges against arrestees about twice as often as they had before. He describes a fractured criminal justice system, in which counties don't pay for the people they send to state prisons, and in which white suburbs set law and order agendas for more-heavily minority cities. And he shows that if we hope to significantly reduce prison populations, we have no choice but to think differently about how to deal with people convicted of violent crimes-and why some people are violent in the first place.An authoritative, clear-eyed account of a national catastrophe, Locked In transforms our understanding of what ails the American system of punishment and ultimately forces us to reconsider how we can build a more equitable and humane society.

Basic Books

Europe's Last Chance

Guy Verhofstadt
Authors:
Guy Verhofstadt

Europe is caught in its greatest crisis since the Second World War. The catalogue of ills seems endless: an economic crisis spread through most of Europe's Mediterranean tier that has crippled Greece and driven a wedge between northern and southern Europe terrorist attacks in Paris, Cologne, Brussels, and Nice growing aggression from Russia in Ukraine and the Baltic states and refugees escaping war-torn neighbours. The European Union's inability to handle any of these disasters was a driving factor in Great Britain voting to leave, and others may soon follow. The result won't just be a continent in turmoil, but also a serious threat to American and British security,the Atlantic, let alone the Channel, simply isn't big enough to keep European troubles in Europe. For everyone's sake, Europe must survive.The question is how. In Europe's Last Chance , Guy Verhofstadt,former prime minister of Belgium and current leader of the liberal faction in the European Parliament,provides the essential framework for understanding Europe today, laying bare the absurdity of a system in which each member state can veto legislation, opt in or out of the Euro, or close borders on a whim. But Verhofstadt does not just indict the European Union, he also offers a powerful vision for how the continent can change for the better. The key, argues Verhofstadt, is to reform the European Union along the lines of America's federal government: a United States of Europe strong enough to stand with the United States of America in making a better, safer world.A visionary book from one of today's luminaries of European leadership, Europe's Last Chance is a clarion call to save the European Union, one of the world's greatest chances for peace and prosperity.

PublicAffairs

Suspected of Independence

David McKean
Authors:
David McKean
Constable

On Intelligence

John Hughes-Wilson
Authors:
John Hughes-Wilson

From the ancient Greek and Roman origins of human intelligence to its use in the Catholic church to Francis Walsingham's Elizabethan secret service to the birth of the surveillance state in today's digital hi-tech age, Colonel John Hughes-Wilson, professional military-intelligence officer and author of the bestselling Military Intelligence Blunders and Cover-Ups, gives an extraordinarily broad and wide-reaching perspective on intelligence, providing an up-to-date analysis of the importance of intelligence historically and in the recent past. Drawing upon a variety of sources, ranging from first-hand accounts to his own personal experience, Hughes-Wilson covers everything from undercover agent handling to photographic reconnaissance to today's much misunderstood cyber welfare. This book stands apart from the rest in that it tells the real inside story from a controversial insider's point of view, lifting the veil on what really happened behind the scenes in the intelligence world during some of the most well-known military events that have shaped our lives. On Intelligence is looking for hard answers - there are some tough lessons to be learned from both intelligence failures and successes - why is crucial intelligence so often ignored, misunderstood or spun by politicians and seasoned generals alike? One of the leading military experts of our time, Colonel John Hughes-Wilson skilfully weaves together an accessible and readable narrative on intelligence, accompanied by his unrivalled professional insight.

Basic Books

Luther's Fortress

James Reston Jr.
Authors:
James Reston Jr.

In 1521, the Catholic Church declared war on Martin Luther. The German monk had already been excommunicated the year before, after nailing his Ninety-Five Theses,which accused the Church of rampant corruption,to the door of a Saxon church. Now, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V called for Luther to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic." The edict was akin to a death sentence: If Luther was caught, he would almost inevitably be burned at the stake, his fragile movement crushed, and the nascent Protestant Reformation strangled in its cradle.In Luther's Fortress , acclaimed historian James Reston, Jr. describes this crucial but little-known episode in Luther's life and reveals its pivotal role in Christian history. Realizing the danger to their leader, Luther's followers spirited him away to Wartburg Castle, deep in central Germany. There he hid for the next ten months, as his fate,and that of the Reformation,hung in the balance. Yet instead of cowering in fear, Luther spent his time at Wartburg strengthening his movement and refining his theology in ways that would guarantee the survival of Protestantism. He devoted himself to biblical study and spiritual contemplation he fought both his papist critics and his own inner demons (and, legend has it, the devil himself) and he held together his fractious and increasingly radicalized reform movement from afar. During this time Luther also crystallized some of his most significant ideas about Christianity and translated the New Testament into German,an accomplishment that, perhaps more than any other, solidified his legacy and spread his bold new religious philosophy across Europe.Drawing on Luther's correspondence, notes, and other writings, Luther's Fortress presents an earthy, gripping portrait of the Reformation's architect at this transformational moment, revealing him at his most productive, courageous, and profound.

Constable

Heaven's Bankers

Harris Irfan
Authors:
Harris Irfan

A trillion dollar financial industry is revolutionising the global economy. Governments and corporations across the Islamic world are increasingly turning to finance that complies with Sharia law in order to fund economic growth. Even in the West, Islamic finance is rapidly becoming an important alternative source of funding at a time when the conventional finance industry is reeling from the effects of the financial crisis.From its origins in the seventh century, Islamic finance has sought to develop core ethical principles that are based in the foundations of Islam and Shari'a. By engaging critically with the complexities of international finance, it has evolved and adapted into a world emerging from the economic and moral aftermath of a global financial crisis. But with an increasing Western interest, is it able to remain true to the principles of its faith? Can it maintain its ideals of social justice? Or is Islamic finance guilty of the very dangers it seeks to avoid?In Heaven's Bankers, Harris Irfan, one of the world's leading Islamic finance bankers, gives unparalleled insight into the heart of this secretive industry. From his personal experience of working with leading bankers, scholars and lawyers, he debunks the myths of Islamic banking, analyses its greatest deals and looks to the future of a system that has reprioritised the very nature of money itself.

Sphere

The Traitor's Mark

D. K. Wilson
Authors:
D. K. Wilson

Each novel in this thrilling series of historical mysteries is based on a real unsolved Tudor crime. This second instalment reunites readers with its star, London goldsmith Thomas Treviot.The Real CrimeHans Holbein, King Henry VIII's portrait painter, died in the autumn of 1543. A century later a chronicler reported that the artist had succumbed to plague, yet there is no contemporary evidence to support this. Suspicions have been raised over the centuries, but the mystery of what actually happened remains unsolved to this day.Our StoryYoung London goldsmith Thomas Treviot is awaiting a design for a very important jewellery commission from Hans Holbein. When the design fails to turn up, Thomas sends a servant to track Holbein down, only to discover that the painter has disappeared. In his hunt for Holbein and the lost design, Thomas is led into a morass of dangerous political intrigue, Spanish spies and courtiers that is more treacherous than he could ever have anticipated...

PublicAffairs

The American Health Care Paradox

Elizabeth H. Bradley, Harvey V. Fineberg, Lauren A. Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth H. Bradley, Harvey V. Fineberg, Lauren A. Taylor

Foreword by Harvey V. Fineberg, President of the Institute of MedicineFor decades, experts have puzzled over why the US spends more on health care but suffers poorer outcomes than other industrialized nations. Now Elizabeth H. Bradley and Lauren A. Taylor marshal extensive research, including a comparative study of health care data from thirty countries, and get to the root of this paradox: We've left out of our tally the most impactful expenditures countries make to improve the health of their populations,investments in social services. In The American Health Care Paradox , Bradley and Taylor illuminate how narrow definitions of health care," archaic divisions in the distribution of health and social services, and our allergy to government programs combine to create needless suffering in individual lives, even as health care spending continues to soar. They show us how and why the US health care system" developed as it did examine the constraints on, and possibilities for, reform and profile inspiring new initiatives from around the world. Offering a unique and clarifying perspective on the problems the Affordable Care Act won't solve, this book also points a new way forward.

Robinson

A Brief Guide To British Battlefields

David Clark
Authors:
David Clark

A very readable work of reference offering a survey in chronological order, from AD 84 to 1746, of the major battles which have taken place on British soil, from the Roman occupation to Culloden, the last battle fought on British soil. In this way, the book can be read as a continuous narrative, while each entry also stands alone as a self-contained guide. The battles are grouped into relevant sections (such as the Wars of the Roses, the English Civil Wars and the Jacobite Rebellions), within broader historical periods. Each period is prefaced by a presentation of the nature of warfare and is enhanced by a feature article of specialist interest. Every entry includes a narrative of events leading up to the battle, a vivid description of the battle itself and an assessment of the long and short-term, consequences. In addition, there is useful information for visits, including precise identification of the location, details of access to and features of each site. The book is illustrated throughout with maps and a plate section.

Basic Books

The Cause of All Nations

Don H. Doyle
Authors:
Don H. Doyle

When Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in 1863, he had broader aims than simply rallying a war-weary nation. Lincoln realized that the Civil War had taken on a wider significance,that all of Europe and Latin America was watching to see whether the United States, a beleaguered model of democracy, would indeed perish from the earth."In The Cause of All Nations , distinguished historian Don H. Doyle explains that the Civil War was viewed abroad as part of a much larger struggle for democracy that spanned the Atlantic Ocean, and had begun with the American and French Revolutions. While battles raged at Bull Run, Antietam, and Gettysburg, a parallel contest took place abroad, both in the marbled courts of power and in the public square. Foreign observers held widely divergent views on the war,from radicals such as Karl Marx and Giuseppe Garibaldi who called on the North to fight for liberty and equality, to aristocratic monarchists, who hoped that the collapse of the Union would strike a death blow against democratic movements on both sides of the Atlantic. Nowhere were these monarchist dreams more ominous than in Mexico, where Napoleon III sought to implement his Grand Design for a Latin Catholic empire that would thwart the spread of Anglo-Saxon democracy and use the Confederacy as a buffer state.Hoping to capitalize on public sympathies abroad, both the Union and the Confederacy sent diplomats and special agents overseas: the South to seek recognition and support, and the North to keep European powers from interfering. Confederate agents appealed to those conservative elements who wanted the South to serve as a bulwark against radical egalitarianism. Lincoln and his Union agents overseas learned to appeal to many foreigners by embracing emancipation and casting the Union as the embattled defender of universal republican ideals, the last best hope of earth."A bold account of the international dimensions of America's defining conflict, The Cause of All Nations frames the Civil War as a pivotal moment in a global struggle that would decide the survival of democracy.

Robinson

Elizabethan Society

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson

The reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) marked a golden age in English history. There was a musical and literary renaissance, most famously and enduringly in the form of the plays of Shakespeare (2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death), and it was a period of international expansion and naval triumph over the Spanish. It was also a period of internal peace following the violent upheaval of the Protestant reformation. Wilson skilfully interweaves the personal histories of a representative selection of twenty or so figures - including Nicholas Bacon, the Statesman; Bess of Hardwick, the Landowner; Thomas Gresham, 'the Financier'; John Caius, 'the Doctor'; John Norreys, 'the Soldier'; and Nicholas Jennings, 'the Professional Criminal' - with the major themes of the period to create a vivid and compelling account of life in England in the late sixteenth century. This is emphatically not yet another book about what everyday life was like during the Elizabethan Age. There are already plenty of studies about what the Elizabethans wore, what they ate, what houses they lived in, and so on. This is a book about Elizabethan society - people, rather than things. How did the subjects of Queen Elizabeth I cope with the world in which they had been placed? What did they believe? What did they think? What did they feel? How did they react towards one another? What, indeed, did they understand by the word 'society'? What did they expect from it? What were they prepared to contribute towards it? Some were intent on preserving it as it was; others were eager to change it. For the majority, life was a daily struggle for survival against poverty, hunger, disease and injustice. Patronage was the glue that held a strictly hierarchical society together. Parliament represented only the interests of the landed class and the urban rich, which was why the government's greatest fear was a popular rebellion. Laws were harsh, largely to deter people getting together to discuss their grievances. Laws kept people in one place, and enforced attendance in parish churches. In getting to grips with this strange world - simultaneously drab and colourful, static and expansive, traditionalist and 'modern' - Wilson explores the lives of individual men and women from all levels of sixteenth-century life to give us a vivid feel for what Elizabethan society really was.Praise for the author:Masterly. [Wilson] has a deep understanding of characters reaching out across the centuries. Sunday Times Scores highly in thoroughness, clarity and human sympathy. Sunday TelegraphThis masterly biography breaks new ground. Choice MagazineHis book is stimulating and authoritative. Sunday TimesBrilliant, endlessly readable ... vivid, immediate history, accurate, complex and tinged with personality. Sunday Herald

Robinson

Elizabethan Society

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson
Basic Books

The Last Empire

Serhii Plokhy
Authors:
Serhii Plokhy

On Christmas Day, 1991, President George H. W. Bush addressed the nation to declare an American victory in the Cold War: earlier that day Mikhail Gorbachev had resigned as the first and last Soviet president. The enshrining of that narrative, one in which the end of the Cold War was linked to the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the triumph of democratic values over communism, took centre stage in American public discourse immediately after Bush's speech and has persisted for decades,with disastrous consequences for American standing in the world.As Prize-winning historian Serhii Plokhy reveals in The Last Empire , the collapse of the Soviet Union was anything but the handiwork of the United States. On the contrary, American leaders dreaded the possibility that the Soviet Union,weakened by infighting and economic turmoil,might suddenly crumble, throwing all of Eurasia into chaos. Bush was firmly committed to supporting his ally and personal friend Gorbachev, and remained wary of nationalist or radical leaders such as recently elected Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Fearing what might happen to the large Soviet nuclear arsenal in the event of the union's collapse, Bush stood by Gorbachev as he resisted the growing independence movements in Ukraine, mouldova, and the Caucasus. Plokhy's detailed, authoritative account shows that it was only after the movement for independence of the republics had gained undeniable momentum on the eve of the Ukrainian vote for independence that fall that Bush finally abandoned Gorbachev to his fate.Drawing on recently declassified documents and original interviews with key participants, Plokhy presents a bold new interpretation of the Soviet Union's final months and argues that the key to the Soviet collapse was the inability of the two largest Soviet republics, Russia and Ukraine, to agree on the continuing existence of a unified state. By attributing the Soviet collapse to the impact of American actions, US policy makers overrated their own capacities in toppling and rebuilding foreign regimes. Not only was the key American role in the demise of the Soviet Union a myth, but this misplaced belief has guided,and haunted,American foreign policy ever since.

Constable

The Battlefields of the First World War

Peter Barton
Authors:
Peter Barton
Robinson

A Brief History of British Kings & Queens

Mike Ashley
Authors:
Mike Ashley