Michael Wood - The Great Turning Points of British History - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781472107787
    • Publication date:07 Feb 2013
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The Great Turning Points of British History

The 20 Events That Made the Nation

By Michael Wood

  • Paperback
  • £10.99

Leading historians select and describe the 20 most significant events in British History.

Twenty of the most crucial moments in Britain's history.

BBC History Magazine asked a selection of leading historians to choose and describe the twenty most important turning points in British history from AD 1000 to 2000. Collected together, their choices present a new way of looking at our nation's story.

From the Danish invasion of Britain in 1016, to the Suez crisis in 1956, the key moments include victories (or defeats) both at home and abroad, plague, reform and even revolutions that have reshaped the British way of life. Each contribution brings the past to life, offering new perspectives and food for debate: did the Battle of Agincourt change England's role in Europe? What was the impact of American independence on Britain? Was 1916 more important than 1939? Thought-provoking and inspiring accounts.

Biographical Notes

Michael Wood is a highly respected author and TV presenter. He has over 80 documentary films to his name, most recently the critically acclaimed The Story of India. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781845299279
  • Publication date: 23 Apr 2009
  • Page count: 224
  • Imprint: Constable
If the Turning Points series - first and foremost wonderful story telling - was taught as a school history course it would excite a new generation. — Christopher Lee
Much of interest and value in this short collection of essays. They provoke discussion; they invite us to ponder on our history and to consider what it means to be British. — Allan Massie, The Scotsman
Fascinating and thought-provoking — Suite101.com
Wonderful — Good Book Guide
Constable

Viceroys

Christopher Lee
Authors:
Christopher Lee

Between 1858 and 1947, twenty British men ruled millions of some of the most remarkable people of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.From the Indian Mutiny to the cruel religious partition of India and the newly formed and named Pakistan, the Viceroy had absolute power, more than the monarch who had sent him. Selected from that exclusive class of English, Scottish and Irish breeding, the aristocracy, the Viceroys were plumed, rode elephants, shot tigers. Even their wives stood when they entered the room. Nevertheless, many of them gave everything for India. The first Viceroy, Canning, exhausted by the Mutiny, buried his wife in Calcutta before he left the subcontinent to die shortly afterwards.The average Viceroy lasted five years and was granted an earldom but rarely a sense of triumph. Did these Viceroys behave as badly as twenty-first century moralists would have us believe? When the Raj was over, the legacy of Empire continued, as the new rulers slipped easily into the offices and styles of the British who had gone. Being 'British' was now a caste.Viceroys is the tale of the British Raj, the last fling of British aristocracy. It is the supreme view of the British in India, portraying the sort of people who went out and the sort of people they were on their return. It is the story of utter power and what men did with it. Moreover, it is also the story of how modern British identity was established and in part the answer to how it was that such a small offshore European island people believed themselves to have the right to sit at the highest institutional tables and judge what was right and unacceptable in other nations and institutions.

Constable

The Throne of Caesar

Steven Saylor
Authors:
Steven Saylor

In The Throne of Caesar, award-winning mystery author Steven Saylor turns to the most famous murder in history . . . It's Rome, 44 AD, and the Ides of March are approaching.Julius Caesar has been appointed Dictator for life by the Roman Senate. Having pardoned his remaining enemies and rewarded his friends, Caesar is now preparing to leave Rome with his army to fight the Parthian Empire.Gordianus the Finder, after decades of investigating crimes and murders involving the powerful, has finally retired. But on the morning of March 10th, he's summoned to meet with Cicero and Caesar himself. Both have the same request - keep your ear to the ground, ask around, and find out if there are any conspiracies against Caesar's life. Caesar, however, has one other important matter to discuss - he is going to make Gordianus a Senator when he attends the next session on the 15th of March.With only four days left before he's made a Senator, Gordianus must dust off his old skills and see what conspiracy against Julius Caesar, if any, he can uncover. Because the Ides of March are approaching...Praise for Steven Saylor'A compelling storyteller, with a striking talent for historical reconstruction' Mary Beard'Saylor's scholarship is breathtaking and his writing enthrals' Ruth Rendell'The most reliably entertaining and well-researched novels about the ancient world [are] Steven Saylor's tales of the Roman proto-detective Gordianus the Finder. The Throne of Caesar brings the series to a satisfying conclusion [and offers] a new, compelling perspective on familiar historic events' Sunday Times'Writing a detective story about one of the most famous murders in history is no easy feat, but Saylor carries it off with characteristic brilliance . . . he has made this era his own' Ian Ross

Robinson

A Woman Lived Here

Allison Vale
Authors:
Allison Vale

'A pretty awesome present for the feminist in your life' - Caroline Criado Perez, OBE, author of Do It Like a WomanAt the last count, the Blue Plaque Guide honours 903 Londoners, and a walking tour of these sites brings to life the London of a bygone era. But only 111 of these blue plaques commemorate women.Over the centuries, London has been home to thousands of truly remarkable women who have made significant and lasting impacts on every aspect of modern life: from politics and social reform, to the Arts, medicine, science, technology and sport. Many of those women went largely unnoticed, even during their own lifetimes, going about their lives quietly but with courage, conviction, skill and compassion. Others were fearless, strident trail-blazers. Many lived in an era when their achievements were given a male name, clouding the capabilities of women in any field outside of the home or field. A Woman Lived Here shines a spotlight on some of these forgotten women to redress the balance. The stories on these pages commemorate some of the most remarkable of London's women, who set out to make their world a little richer, and in doing so, left an indelible mark on ours.

Little, Brown

Gibraltar

Lesley Adkins, Roy Adkins
Authors:
Lesley Adkins, Roy Adkins
Robinson

A Brief History of Florence Nightingale

Hugh Small
Authors:
Hugh Small
Basic Books

The Cause of All Nations

Don H. Doyle
Authors:
Don H. Doyle
Hachette Australia

Maralinga

Frank Walker
Authors:
Frank Walker

'Utterly gripping. It reads like a thriller.'JON FAINEThis edition contains a new author note with shocking new material that has come to light as a result of the groundbreaking original publication.Investigative journalist Frank Walker's MARALINGA is a must-read true story of the abuse of our servicemen, scientists treating the Australian population as lab rats, and politicians sacrificing their own people in the pursuit of power.During the Menzies era, with the blessing of the Prime Minister, the British government exploded twelve atomic bombs on Australian soil. RAAF pilots were ordered to fly into nuclear mushroom clouds, soldiers told to walk into radioactive ground zero, sailors retrieved highly contaminated debris - none of them aware of the dangers they faced.But the betrayal didn't end with these servicemen. Secret monitoring stations were set up around the country to measure radiation levels and a clandestine decades-long project stole bones from dead babies to see how much fallout had contaminated their bodies - their grieving parents were never told. This chilling expose drawn from extensive research and interviews with surviving veterans reveals the betrayal of our troops and our country.

Basic Books

The Constitution Today

Akhil Reed Amar
Authors:
Akhil Reed Amar
Robinson

The Ludicrous Laws of Old London

Nigel Cawthorne
Authors:
Nigel Cawthorne

London abounds with all manner of ludicrous laws, and not all of these curious statutes have been relegated to the past. Despite the efforts of the Law Commission there are medieval laws that are still in force, and the City of London and its livery companies have their own legal oddities. Laws are made in the capital because parliament is here; so are the Old Bailey, the Law Courts, the House of Lords and, now, the Supreme Court. The privy council, which sometimes has to decide cases, also sits in London, and there were other courts that used to sit in London, from prize courts concerning war booty to ecclesiastical courts. Having maintained its 'ancient rights and freedoms' under Magna Carta, the City felt free to enact its own laws, many of which seem to have had to do with what people could wear. Until quite recently, for example, a man could be arrested for walking down the street wearing a wig, a robe and silk stockings - unless he was a judge. And all human folly has been paraded through the law courts of London, to the extent that it is difficult to know where the serious business of administering justice ends and where farce begins. As law is made in the courtroom as well as in parliament and elsewhere, judges like to keep a firm hand, but sometimes so-called jibbing juries will simply not do what they are told. All sorts of oddities get swept up into the law. Legislators particularly love to pass Acts about sex. If sexual services are being offered in a London massage parlour, for example, a police officer must then search the premises for school children. According to The Children and Young Persons Act of 1933 it is against the law for children and 'yowling persons' between the age of four and sixteen to frequent a brothel. A writ was introduced under both Edward III and Henry IV to ban lawyers from parliament as there were too many of them, the reason being that it was easier for a lawyer to spend his time in London attending parliament that it was for a knight of the shires. But because parliament was already packed with lawyers it was difficult to make any such rule stick. Then an effective way of excluding them was found. They were denied the wages paid to members in those days. Sadly, these days, parliament and the government are packed with lawyers once again. And they are being paid.A law passed in 1540 - and still in force today - makes it illegal for barbers in the City of London to practise surgery; with impeccable impartiality, the Act also forbids surgeons to cut hair. Finally, never forget that under the Vagrancy Act of 1824, you can be convicted of being 'an idle and disorderly person, or a rogue, vagabond, or incorrigible rogue'. The same act also outlaws people 'professing to tell fortunes', including 'palmistry'. Under the Act, it is an offence merely to be suspected.

Basic Books

Bind Us Apart

Nicholas Guyatt
Authors:
Nicholas Guyatt

Why did the Founding Fathers fail to include blacks and Indians in their cherished proposition that all men are created equal"? The usual answer is racism, but the reality is more complex and unsettling. In Bind Us Apart , historian Nicholas Guyatt argues that, from the Revolution through the Civil War, most white liberals believed in the unity of all human beings. But their philosophy faltered when it came to the practical work of forging a colour-blind society. Unable to convince others,and themselves,that racial mixing was viable, white reformers began instead to claim that people of colour could only thrive in separate republics: in Native states in the American West or in the West African colony of Liberia. Herein lie the origins of separate but equal." Decades before Reconstruction, America's liberal elite was unable to imagine how people of colour could become citizens of the United States. Throughout the nineteenth century, Native Americans were pushed farther and farther westward, while four million slaves freed after the Civil War found themselves among a white population that had spent decades imagining that they would live somewhere else. Essential reading for anyone disturbed by America's ongoing failure to achieve true racial integration, Bind Us Apart shows conclusively that separate but equal" represented far more than a southern backlash against emancipation,it was a founding principle of our nation.

Basic Books

The Way We Never Were

Stephanie Coontz
Authors:
Stephanie Coontz
Da Capo Press

Chasing Perfection

Andy Glockner
Authors:
Andy Glockner

Chasing Perfection goes behind the scenes of the multi-million dollar, high-stakes world of basketball player development, research and analysis, and the often secretive, cutting-edge methods that NBA franchises use to turn less-expensive, supporting players into vital parts of championship teams.NBA superstars push as close to perfection as we're likely to see, but they are few and far between. The farther you get from the league's top echelon of talent, the more it's up to the players,and their teams,to develop and utilize their strengths while diminishing and masking their weaknesses as much as possible. There are no perfect basketball players, but there are plenty of perfected ones , who start with a basis of skill and physical ability and then are refined further and further in order to move closer and closer to their absolute potential.In Chasing Perfection , national sportswriter Andy Glockner reveals that, though the concept of player improvement is as old as basketball itself, the current era of Big Data analytics in the NBA is transforming that process more quickly and aggressively than anything we have seen before. Players are learning more and more about themselves through video and data visualization, seeing how things like diet and sleep can impact their performance, and learning how having healthy joints and role-specific workout plans are lengthening and improving their careers. Teams are internalizing the same lessons, as well as figuring out how to better implement optimal on-court strategies, how to refine their approaches to player acquisition and how to gauge the varying values and success rates of different, crucial team-building strategies.It's an absolutely fascinating time to be a fan, as the marriage of basketball and technology is bringing two of our most popular and competitive worlds together in compelling fashion. Using the 2014-15 NBA season as a prism to explore this mesh of sport and science, Glockner offers detailed perspective from NBA players, coaches, team management, and media, offering a comprehensive insider's view of how analytics are shaping the basketball we watch, and how those who are lagging behind in the technology race already are feeling the competitive hit.

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.

Robinson

A Brief History of the Battle of Agincourt

Christopher Hibbert
Authors:
Christopher Hibbert

There can be few military victories so complete, or achieved against such heavy odds, as that won by Henry V on 25 October 1415 against Charles VI's army at Agincourt. In the words of one contemporary French chronicler, it was the 'most disgraceful event that had ever happened to the Kingdom of France'.Christopher Hibbert's wonderfully concise account draws on the unusual number of contemporary sources available to historians to describe in lucid detail not only what happened, but how it happened. His classic account of the crushing defeat of the French at Agincourt combines historical rigour with a vigorous and very readable narrative style.

New Harbinger

The Nurture Effect

Anthony Biglan
Authors:
Anthony Biglan

What if there were a way to prevent criminal behavior, mental illness, drug abuse, poverty, and violence? Written by behavioral scientist Tony Biglan, and based on his ongoing research at the Oregon Research Institute, The Nurture Effect offers evidence-based interventions that can prevent many of the psychological and behavioral problems that plague our society.For decades, behavioral scientists have investigated the role our environment plays in shaping who we are, and their research shows that we now have the power within our own hands to reduce violence, improve cognitive development in our children, increase levels of education and income, and even prevent future criminal behaviors. By cultivating a positive environment in all aspects of society-from the home, to the classroom, and beyond-we can ensure that young people arrive at adulthood with the skills, interests, assets, and habits needed to live healthy, happy, and productive lives.The Nurture Effect details over 40 years of research in the behavioral sciences, as well as the author's own research. Biglan illustrates how his findings lay the framework for a model of societal change that has the potential to reverberate through all environments within society.

Basic Books

The Fall of the Ottomans

Eugene Rogan
Authors:
Eugene Rogan
Robinson

A Brief Guide To British Battlefields

David Clark
Authors:
David Clark
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.

Little, Brown

England, Arise

Juliet Barker
Authors:
Juliet Barker

The dramatic and shocking events of the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 are to be the backdrop to Juliet Barker's latest book: a snapshot of what everyday life was like for ordinary people living in the middle ages. The same highly successful techniques she deployed in Agincourt and Conquest will this time be brought to bear on civilian society, from the humblest serf forced to provide slave-labour for his master in the fields to the prosperous country goodwife brewing, cooking and spinning her distaff and the ambitious burgess expanding his business and his mental horizons in the town.The book will explore how and why such a diverse and unlikely group of ordinary men and women from every corner of England united in armed rebellion against church and state to demand a radical political agenda which, had it been implemented, would have fundamentally transformed English society and anticipated the French Revolution by four hundred years. The book will not only provide an important reassessment of the revolt itself but will also be an illuminating and original study of English medieval life at the time.

Robinson

A Brief History of the Private Life of Elizabeth II

Michael Paterson
Authors:
Michael Paterson

Elizabeth II is within a few years of becoming the longest-reigning British monarch. A personally quiet, modest and dutiful person, she is far better-informed about the lives of her subjects than they often realize. She has known every Prime Minister since Winston Churchill and every American President since Eisenhower.Yet what of the woman behind the crown?The book seeks to take a new look at this exhaustively-documented life and show how Queen Elizabeth became the person she is. Who, and what, have been the greatest influences upon her? What are her likes and dislikes? What are her hobbies? Who are her friends? What does she feel about the demands of duty and protocol? Is she really enjoying herself when she smiles during official events? How differently does she behave when out of the public eye? Examining the places in which she grew up or has lived, the training she received and her attitudes to significant events in national life, it presents a fresh view of one of recent history's most important figures.