Related to: '1983'

Little, Brown

Breakdown

Taylor Downing
Authors:
Taylor Downing

Paralysis. Stuttering. The 'shakes'. Inability to stand or walk. Temporary blindness or deafness.When strange symptoms like these began appearing in men at Casualty Clearing Stations in 1915, a debate began in army and medical circles as to what it was, what had caused it and what could be done to cure it. But the numbers were never large.Then in July 1916 with the start of the Somme battle the incidence of shell shock rocketed. The high command of the British army began to panic. An increasingly large number of men seemed to have simply lost the will to fight. As entire battalions had to be withdrawn from the front, commanders and military doctors desperately tried to come up with explanations as to what was going wrong. 'Shell shock' - what we would now refer to as battle trauma - was sweeping the Western Front.By the beginning of August 1916, nearly 200,000 British soldiers had been killed or wounded during the first month of fighting along the Somme. Another 300,000 would be lost before the battle was over. But the army always said it could not calculate the exact number of those suffering from shell shock. Re-assessing the official casualty figures, Taylor Downing for the first time comes up with an accurate estimate of the total numbers who were taken out of action by psychological wounds. It is a shocking figure.Taylor Downing's revelatory new book follows units and individuals from signing up to the Pals Battalions of 1914, through to the horrors of their experiences on the Somme which led to the shell shock that, unrelated to weakness or cowardice, left the men unable to continue fighting. He shines a light on the official - and brutal - response to the epidemic, even against those officers and doctors who looked on it sympathetically. It was, they believed, a form of hysteria. It was contagious. And it had to be stopped.Breakdown brings an entirely new perspective to bear on one of the iconic battles of the First World War.

Little, Brown

Secret Warriors

Taylor Downing
Authors:
Taylor Downing

The First World War is often viewed as a war fought by armies of millions living and fighting in trenches, aided by brutal machinery that cost the lives of many. But behind all of this a scientific war was also being fought between engineers, chemists, physicists, doctors, mathematicians and intelligence gatherers. This hidden war was to make a positive and lasting contribution to how war was conducted on land, at sea and in the air, and most importantly life at home. Secret Warriors provides an invaluable and fresh history of the First World War, profiling a number of the key figures who made great leaps in science for the benefit of 20th Century Britain. Told in a lively, narrative style, Secret Warriors reveals the unknown side of the war.

Little, Brown

Night Raid

Taylor Downing
Authors:
Taylor Downing

The loss of British bombers over Occupied Europe began to reach alarming levels in 1941. Could it be that the Germans were using a sophisticated form of radar to direct their night fighters and anti-aircraft guns at the British bombers? British aerial reconnaissance discovered what seemed to be a rotating radar tower on a clifftop at Bruneval, near Le Havre. The truth must be revealed. The decision was taken to launch a daring raid on the Bruneval site to try and capture the technology for further examination. The planned airborne assault would be extremely risky. The parachute regiment had only been formed a year before on Churchill's insistence. This night raid would test the men to the extreme limits of their abilities. Night Raid tells the gripping tale of this mission from the planning stages, to the failed rehearsals when the odds seemed stacked against them, to the night of the raid itself, and the scientific secrets that were discovered thanks to the paras' precious cargo - the German radar. Its capture was of immense importance in the next stages of the war and the mission itself marked the birth of the legend of the 'Red Devils'.

Abacus

Churchill's War Lab

Taylor Downing
Authors:
Taylor Downing
Abacus

Spies In The Sky

Taylor Downing
Authors:
Taylor Downing

SPIES IN THE SKY is the thrilling, little-known story of the partner organisation to the famous code-breaking centre at Bletchley Park. It is the story of the daring reconnaissance pilots who took aerial photographs over Occupied Europe during the most dangerous days of the Second World War, and of the photo interpreters who invented a completely new science to analyse those pictures. They were inventive and ingenious; they pioneered the development of 3D photography and their work provided vital intelligence throughout the war.With a whole host of colourful characters at its heart, from the legendary pilot Adrian 'Warby' Warburton, who went missing while on a mission, to photo interpreters Glyn Daniel, later a famous television personality, and Winston Churchill's daughter, Sarah, SPIES IN THE SKY is compelling reading and the first full account of the story of aerial photography and the intelligence gleaned from it in nearly fifty years.

Abacus

Cold War

Jeremy Isaacs, Taylor Downing
Authors:
Jeremy Isaacs, Taylor Downing

Cold War is the story of the half-century since the end of the Second World War - the story of our lives. Its framework is the confrontation, military and ideological, between two great powers that dominated the world during these years. It is a story of crises and conflict on a global scale: from the Berlin Blockade and the Cuban Missile Crisis, to the tanks in the streets of Warsaw, Budapest and Prague, to spies, student riots and encounters in space.In Cold War, Jeremy Isaacs and Taylor Downing record epic history through the detail of individual human experience: the recollections not only of statesmen whose decisions led to these momentous events, but also of the ordinary men and women whose lives were bound up in these years of conflict. Cold War is the first comprehensive history for the general reader to benefit from the recent opening of Soviet, East European and Chinese archives as well as formerly classified American documents. In a driving narrative that it both gripping and informative, the true story of the Cold War can at last be told.

D.J. Taylor

D. J. Taylor is a writer and critic. His collection of short stories, After Bathing at Baxter's was published in 1997 and he is the author of six novels: Great Eastern Land (1986); Real Life (1992); English Settlement (1996); Trespass (1998), a satire of 1970s England; The Comedy Man (2001), the story of one half of a comedy duo; and Kept: A Victorian Mystery (2006). Several of his books are set in his home city of Norwich.His books of non-fiction include Afer the War: The Novel and England Since 1945 (1993); A Vain Conceit: British fiction in the 1980s (1989), a critical look at the quality of fiction-writing in Britain; and most recently, Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation 1918-1940. He is also well-known for his biographies: Thackeray (1999); and Orwell: The Life, published in 2003 to coincide with the centenary of Orwell's birth. This book won the 2003 Whitbread Biography Award.

Eric Hobsbawm

Eric Hobsbawm was a Fellow of the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Before retirement he taught at Birkbeck College, University of London, and after retirement at the New School for Social Research in New York. Previous books include AGE OF EXTREMES, THE AGE OF REVOLUTION and THE AGE OF EMPIRE. He died 1st October 2012

Jessica Weisberg

Jessica Weisberg is an award-winning writer and producer. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harper's, and the Atavist, among other publications, and been nominated for a National Magazine Award. She was a producer on the podcast Serial and runs the features unit at Vice News Tonight on HBO, for which she's been nominated for an Emmy. She lives in Brooklyn.

Julie Checkoway

Julie Checkoway is an author and documentary filmmaker. She graduated from Harvard College, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts individual artist grant and fellowships at writers' colonies, including Yaddo. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salt Lake Tribune and Huffington Post.

Lesley Adkins

Roy and Lesley Adkins are husband-and-wife historians and authors of widely acclaimed books on naval and social history, including Jack Tar, Trafalgar, The War for All the Oceans and Eavesdropping on Jane Austen's England, which have been translated into seventeen languages. They are Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Royal Historical Society, as well as Members of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. They live in Devon. See www.adkinshistory.com

Nicholas Morton

Nicholas Morton is a senior lecturer at Nottingham Trent University. The author or editor of three books, Morton lives in Nottinghamshire, UK.

Nina Willner

Nina Willner is a former US Army intelligence officer who served in Berlin during the Cold War. Following a career in intelligence, Nina worked in Moscow, Minsk and Prague promoting human rights, children's causes and the rule of law for the US Government, non-profit organizations and a variety of charities. She currently lives in Istanbul, Turkey. Forty Autumns is her first book.

Philip Dray

Philip Dray is a historian who has written or coauthored seven books on American history and culture, including At the Hands of Persons Unknown, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize and the Southern Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Dray lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Robert Winder

Robert Winder was literary editor of the INDEPENDENT for 5 years. He has written two novels.

Roger Hutchinson

Roger Hutchinson is a full-time writer living on the island of Raasay. Born in 1949 he launched and edited the radical magazine Styng in the north of England, before moving to London and becoming editor of both Oz and IT in the early seventies. In 1975 he became a freelance journalist and went on to author several books on subjects as diverse as the professional tennis circuit, the Royal Family, Bruce Lee and man-eating sharks. Two years later he moved to Skye and joined the West Highland Free Press. He is currently a feature journalist, columnist and reviewer for the WHFP, Scotsman, Herald, Guardian and the Press & Journal. He has won several awards, including North of Scotland Feature Writer of the Year and UK Weekly Sports Writer of the Year. His last book,The Soap Man, was short-listed for The Saltire Book of the Year Award.

Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay is the author of An Untamed State, Bad Feminist and the story collection Ayiti. Her work has also appeared in Glamour, Best American Short Stories, and the New York Times Book Review. She is the co-editor of PANK.

Roy Adkins

Roy and Lesley Adkins are husband-and-wife historians and authors of widely acclaimed books on naval and social history, including Jack Tar, Trafalgar, The War for All the Oceans and Eavesdropping on Jane Austen's England, which have been translated into seventeen languages. They are Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Royal Historical Society, as well as Members of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. They live in Devon. See www.adkinshistory.com

Simon Mawer

Simon Mawer was born in 1948 in England, and spent his childhood there, in Cyprus and in Malta. He then moved to Italy, where he and his family lived for more than thirty years, and taught at the University of Rome. He and his wife currently live in Hastings. Simon Mawer is the author of several novels including the Man Booker shortlisted The Glass Room, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky and Tightrope.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the author of dozens of books and the recipient of various awards, including the National Humanities Medal, Presented by the President of the United States in 2003.