A Woman Lived Here
By 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.
Sword and Scimitar
By Raymond Ibrahim, Victor Davis Hanson
The West and Islam--the sword and the scimitar--have clashed since the mid-seventh century, when, according to Muslim tradition, the Byzantine emperor rejected Prophet Muhammad's order to abandon Christianity and convert to Islam, unleashing a centuries-long jihad on Christendom.Sword and Scimitar chronicles the significant battles that arose from this ages-old Islamic jihad, beginning with the first major Islamic attack on Christian land in 636, through the occupation of the Middle East that prompted the Crusades and the far-flung conquests of the Ottoman Turks, to the European colonization of the Muslim world in the 1800s, when Islam largely went on the retreat--until its reemergence in recent times. Using original sources in Arabic, Greek, Latin, and Turkish, preeminent historian Raymond Ibrahim describes each battle in vivid detail and explains the effect the outcome had on larger historical currents of the age and how the military lessons of the battle reflect the cultural faultlines between Islam and the West.The majority of these landmark battles are now forgotten or considered inconsequential. Yet today, as the West faces a resurgence of this enduring Islamic jihad, Sword and Scimitar provides the needed historical context to understand the current relationship between the West and the Islamic world, and why the Islamic State is merely the latest chapter of an old history.
By Srinath Raghavan
In Fierce Enigmas, prize-winning historian Srinath Raghavan argues that we cannot understand the US's entanglement in South Asia without first understanding the long sweep of American interaction with the nations and peoples who comprise it. Starting with the first attempts by Americans in the late eighteenth century to gain a foothold in the India trade, Raghavan narrates the forgotten role of American merchants, missionaries, and travelers in the history of region. For these early adventurers and exploiters, South Asia came to be seen not just as an arena of trade and commerce, but also as a site for American efforts-religious and secular-to remake the world in its own image. By the 1930s, American economic interests and ideals had converged in support for decolonization; not only should the peoples of the region be free to determine their own governments and futures, but they should be fully integrated into a liberal capitalist global order. These dreams were partially realized after the Second World War, with Indian Independence and Partition in 1947-and with Britain no longer in the picture, US involvement in the region steadily increased, in the form of short-sighted and ultimately counterproductive policies. In the 1950s, the Truman administration centered its approach to South Asia on the containment of communism, thereby helping split the region in two: while Pakistan was eager for American weapons and military support, India's Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru refused to align with either the US or the Soviet Union. In the 1970s, the US chose to support Islamists in Afghanistan, seeing them as a bulwark against communist advance. Yet Pakistan would become a formidable adversary for the US, while the militants in Afghanistan would eventually be using their arms against American troops. Time and time again, India, Pakistan, and to a lesser extent Afghanistan have each managed to extract commitments and concessions from the US that have served mostly to fuel the fires of nationalism and sectarianism, even as signs of liberalization have continued to entice American policymakers. Drawing on a vast and diverse array of official documents and private correspondence, Raghavan has written a sweeping, definitive history of the US in South Asia that at the same time suggests the many challenges ahead.
Mutiny on the Bounty
By Peter FitzSimons
The mutiny on HMS Bounty, in the South Pacific on 28 April 1789, is one of history's great epics - and in the hands of Peter FitzSimons it comes to life as never before.Commissioned by the Royal Navy to collect breadfruit plants from Tahiti and take them to the West Indies, the Bounty's crew found themselves in a tropical paradise. Five months later, they did not want to leave. Under the leadership of Fletcher Christian most of the crew mutinied soon after sailing from Tahiti, setting Captain William Bligh and 18 loyal crewmen adrift in a small open boat. In one of history's great feats of seamanship, Bligh navigated this tiny vessel for 3618 nautical miles to Timor.Fletcher Christian and the mutineers sailed back to Tahiti, where most remained and were later tried for mutiny. But Christian, along with eight fellow mutineers and some Tahitian men and women, sailed off into the unknown, eventually discovering the isolated Pitcairn Island - at the time not even marked on British maps - and settling there.This astonishing story is historical adventure at its very best, encompassing the mutiny, Bligh's monumental achievement in navigating to safety, and Fletcher Christian and the mutineers' own epic journey from the sensual paradise of Tahiti to the outpost of Pitcairn Island. The mutineers' descendants live on Pitcairn to this day, amid swirling stories and rumours of past sexual transgressions and present-day repercussions. Mutiny on the Bounty is a sprawling, dramatic tale of intrigue, bravery and sheer boldness, told with the accuracy of historical detail and total command of story that are Peter FitzSimons' trademarks.
Hunter of Stories
By Eduardo Galeano
'Not since Guy de Maupasant has the short literary form been imbued with such grace, elegance and poignancy . . . these quintessential and often poetic pearls astonish, inspire reflection and entertain' Morning StarThe internationally acclaimed last work by the bestselling Latin American writerMaster storyteller Eduardo Galeano was unique among his contemporaries (Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Mario Vargas Llosa among them) for his commitment to retelling our many histories, including the stories of those who were disenfranchised. A philosopher poet, his nonfiction is infused with such passion and imagination that it matches the intensity and the appeal of Latin America's very best fiction.Published here for the first time in an elegant English translation by long-time collaborator Mark Fried, Hunter of Stories is a deeply considered collection of Galeano's final musings on history, memory, humour, tragedy and loss.Written in his signature style - vignettes that fluidly combine dialogue, fables, and anecdotes - every page displays the original thinking and compassion that made Galeano one of the most original and beloved voices in world literature.
A Brief History of Khubilai Khan
By Jonathan Clements
His grandfather was the bloodthirsty Mongol leader Genghis Khan, his mother a Christian princess. Groomed from childhood for a position of authority, Khubilai snatched the position of Great Khan, becoming the overlord of a Mongol federation that stretched from the Balkans to the Korean coast. His armies conquered the Asian kingdom of Dali and brought down the last defenders of imperial China.Khubilai Khan presided over a glorious Asian renaissance, attracting emissaries from all across the continent, and opening his civil service to 'men with coloured eyes' - administrators from the far west. His reign began the glorious Yuan dynasty that ruled over China for only ninety years, but had a profound impact on Asian history, from international trade to cultural revolution. Jonathan Clements's insightful biography into the life and times of one of China's greatest leaders is a fascinating introduction to an important era, uncovering the man behind Marco Polo's mythic portrait.
How Sugar Corrupted the World
By James Walvin
An 'entertaining, informative and utterly depressing global history of an important commodity . . . By alerting readers to the ways that modernity's very origins are entangled with a seemingly benign and delicious substance, How Sugar Corrupted the World raises fundamental questions about our world.'Sven Beckert, the Laird Bell professor of American history at Harvard University and the author of Empire of Cotton: A Global History, in the New York Times'A brilliant and thought-provoking history of sugar and its ironies'Bee Wilson, Wall Street Journal'Shocking and revelatory . . . no other product has so changed the world, and no other book reveals the scale of its impact.' David Olusoga'This study could not be more timely.' Laura Sandy, Lecturer in the History of Slavery, University of LiverpoolThe story of sugar, and of mankind's desire for sweetness in food and drink is a compelling, though confusing story. It is also an historical story.The story of mankind's love of sweetness - the need to consume honey, cane sugar, beet sugar and chemical sweeteners - has important historical origins. To take a simple example, two centuries ago, cane sugar was vital to the burgeoning European domestic and colonial economies. For all its recent origins, today's obesity epidemic - if that is what it is - did not emerge overnight, but instead evolved from a complexity of historical forces which stretch back centuries. We can only fully understand this modern problem, by coming to terms with its genesis and history: and we need to consider the historical relationship between society and sweetness over a long historical span. This book seeks to do just that: to tell the story of how the consumption of sugar - the addition of sugar to food and drink - became a fundamental and increasingly troublesome feature of modern life.Walvin's book is the heir to Sidney Mintz's Sweetness and Power, a brilliant sociological account, but now thirty years old. In addition, the problem of sugar, and the consequent intellectual and political debate about the role of sugar, has been totally transformed in the years since that book's publication.
Voices from the Blue
By Jennifer Rees, Robert J. Strange
In February 1919, London's first women police officers took to the streets of the city. They battled entrenched gender stereotypes, institutional inequality, sexual harassment and assaults disturbingly familiar to those affecting today's #MeToo generation of modern women. Female officers, facing resentment from male colleagues, were expected to do little more than 'Make the tea, luv . . .' and were charged with the sole task of looking after women and children who fell into police hands.Yet, in the course of a century, policewomen have won the equality they demanded, overcome sexism and prejudice, rejected harassment and sexual assaults and smashed through the glass ceiling to lead, rather than follow, their male colleagues. One hundred years on from those first Women Police Constables, a woman, Cressida Dick, holds the most powerful position in British policing, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner. Voices from the Blue tells the story of the hundred years of service of female police officers within the Metropolitan Police through the voices of the women who fought their way towards equality and won the respect of both their colleagues and the public. The authors have interviewed hundreds of former and serving policewomen and with the co-operation of the Metropolitan Police and the Women's Police Association now have access to the files and stories of thousands of former officers who served over the past hundred years. Those police archives, together with material held by the National Archives and private libraries, provide a detailed and fascinating oral history of the challenges women police officers faced down the years.
By Charles Allen
COROMANDEL. A name which has been long applied by Europeans to the Northern Tamil Country, or (more comprehensively) to the eastern coast of the Peninsula of India.This is the India highly acclaimed historian Charles Allen visits in this fascinating book. Coromandel journeys south, exploring the less well known, often neglected and very different history and identity of the pre-Aryan Dravidian south. During Allen's exploration of the Indian south he meets local historians, gurus and politicians and with their help uncovers some extraordinary stories about the past. His sweeping narrative takes in the archaeology, religion, linguistics and anthropology of the region - and how these have influenced contemporary politics. Known for his vivid storytelling, for decades Allen has travelled the length and breadth of India, revealing the spirit of the sub-continent through its history and people. In Coromandel, he moves through modern-day India, discovering as much about the present as he does about the past.
A Nation Forged by Crisis
By Jay Sexton
Americans have long understood their history as a story of inevitable progress, of a steadily rising standard of living and of the gradual extension of rights and freedoms to previously disenfranchised groups. Thus recent developments-9/11, the 2008 financial crash, the election of Donald Trump-have arrived as great shocks, each seemingly a wrench in the gears of history. How are we to understand our nation's past from the perspective of our volatile present?With A Nation Forged by Crisis, Jay Sexton has written a concise history of America for our time. He contends that from the start our national narrative has been punctuated by underappreciated moments of disruption, and that the roots of these disruptions can be traced to shifts in the international system. Sexton shows that the Revolution was not the inevitable result of American exceptionalism, but a consequence of Atlantic integration. By the 1760s, immigration to the colonies had spiked, and among the new arrivals were people like Thomas Paine who brought radical ideas to the continent. While Sexton does not dispute that the Civil War was caused by slavery, he argues that a necessary precondition for the conflict was the absence, for the first time in decades, of foreign threats. Both North and South were emboldened-with horrific results. In a similar way, it is impossible to understand the emergence of the New Deal without examining the role of "white ethnics"-first and second generation Germans, Poles, and Irish-in transforming and overseeing the mid-century Democratic Party. Sexton closes by pointing out that if recent developments are any indication, the politics of the future appear set to look less like those of the twentieth century than those of the nineteenth century, which was dominated by questions of labor and race, markets and tariffs, immigration and citizenship, international rivalry and geopolitical instability.A razor-sharp and necessary revision of American history, A Nation Forged by Crisis forces us to reckon with the reality that the United States has been and will always be entwined with the world beyond its borders
The Bulldog Track
By Peter Phelps
This is the story of Tom Phelps and the 'other Kokoda Track'. Seventy-five years later, Tom's grandson, award-winning actor and writer Peter Phelps, is sharing this inspiring tale of resilience and survival.March 1942: The world is at war. Too old to fight and with jobs scarce at home, Tom Phelps found work as a carpenter in the goldfields of the New Guinea Highlands. No one expected the Japanese to attack in the Pacific. But they did.Tom and his mates weren't going to hang around and wait to be killed. With escape routes bombed by the Japanese, their only option was to try to reach safety by foot, through some of the most rugged terrain on Earth - the Bulldog Track.Back home in Sydney, Rose Phelps, their son, George, and three daughters, Joy, Shirley and Ann, waited for news of Tom's fate. George watched the horrors of war unfold on newsreels knowing his dad was 'over there'.Travelling by foot, raft, canoe, schooner, train, luck and courage, Tom Phelps, half-starved and suffering malaria, would eventually make it home. His stories of New Guinea would lead his son and grandson to their own experiences with the country. The Bulldog Track is a grandson's story of an ordinary man's war. It is an incredible tale of survival and the indomitable Aussie spirit.
Travellers in the Third Reich
By Julia Boyd, Stephanie Racine
THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP THREE BESTSELLEROne of the Daily Telegraph's Best Books of 2017A Guardian 'Readers' Choice' Best Book of 2017The events that took place in Germany between 1919 and 1945 were dramatic and terrible but there were also moments of confusion, of doubt - of hope. How easy was it to know what was actually going on, to grasp the essence of National Socialism, to remain untouched by the propaganda or predict the Holocaust?Travellers in the Third Reich is an extraordinary history of the rise of the Nazis based on fascinating first-hand accounts, drawing together a multitude of voices and stories, including students, politicians, musicians, diplomats, schoolchildren, communists, scholars, athletes, poets, journalists, fascists, artists, tourists, even celebrities like Charles Lindbergh and Samuel Beckett. Their experiences create a remarkable three-dimensional picture of Germany under Hitler - one so palpable that the reader will feel, hear, even breathe the atmosphere.These are the accidental eyewitnesses to history. Disturbing, absurd, moving, and ranging from the deeply trivial to the deeply tragic, their tales give a fresh insight into the complexities of the Third Reich, its paradoxes and its ultimate destruction.
Fire and Fury
By Michael Wolff
SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLERNEW YORK TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLERWith extraordinary access to the Trump White House, Michael Wolff tells the inside story of the most controversial presidency of our time.The first nine months of Donald Trump's term were stormy, outrageous - and absolutely mesmerising. Now, thanks to his deep access to the West Wing, bestselling author Michael Wolff tells the riveting story of how Trump launched a tenure as volatile and fiery as the man himself.In this explosive book, Wolff provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office. Among the revelations: - What President Trump's staff really thinks of him- What inspired Trump to claim he was wire-tapped by President Obama - Why FBI director James Comey was really fired- Why chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner couldn't be in the same room - Who is really directing the Trump administration's strategy in the wake of Bannon's firing- What the secret to communicating with Trump is- What the Trump administration has in common with the movie The ProducersNever before has a presidency so divided the American people. Brilliantly reported and astoundingly fresh, Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury shows us how and why Donald Trump has become the king of discord and disunion.