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 As entire battalions had to be withdrawn from the front, commanders and military doctors desperately tried to come up with explanations as to what was going wrong.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.

Abacus

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

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

Churchill's War Lab

Taylor Downing
Authors:
Taylor Downing

The man, and the only man we have for this hour.' Indefatigable patriot, seasoned soldier, incomparable orator and leader of men - Winston Churchill's greatness in leading Britain's coalition government to triumphant victory in the Second World War is undisputed. Yet Churchill's enduring legacy to the world is attributable at least in equal part to his unshakeable belief in the science of war.From the development of radar and the breakthroughs at Bletchley Park to the study of the D-Day beaches and the use of bouncing bombs, this brilliant and gripping narrative reveals the Second World War as an explosive phase of scientific history, an unprecedented crucible for change that involved a knife-edge race to the finish.

Abacus

Cold War

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

Brian Wallace

Brian Wallace served as a Massachusetts state representative from 2003 to 2011. He grew up in South Boston and as a child met Steve Ross when Ross was assigned to his school as a youth worker. He credits Ross with inspiring him to stay in school and pursue his dream of becoming a politician.

Charles Allen

Charles Allen is the author of a number of bestselling books about Indian and the colonial experience elsewhere. A traveller, historian and master storyteller he is one of the great chroniclers of India.

Desmond Seward

Desmond Seward was born in Paris and educated at St Catherine's College, Cambridge. He is the author of numerous studies and biographies.

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

Glenn Frank

Glenn Frank is a Boston-based real-estate attorney and the author of Abe Gilman's Ending.

Leo Ruickbie

Dr LEO RUICKBIE, PhD (Lond), MA, BA (Hons), Associate of King's College, is a professional writer, editor, social scientist and historian, specialising in controversial areas of human belief and experience. His PhD is from King's College, London, for his thesis on contemporary witchcraft and magic use, building on research on the theory of re-enchantment that won him an MA with distinction from Lancaster University. He is the author of several books - Witchcraft Out of the Shadows (2004 and 2011), Faustus: The Life and Times of a Renaissance Magician (2009), A Brief Guide to the Supernatural (2012), A Brief Guide to Ghost Hunting (2013) and The Impossible Zoo (2016) - as well as numerous publications in scholarly journals, magazines, such as Fortean Times, and newspapers, including the Daily Express. He is also the co-editor with Dr Simon Bacon of Little Horrors: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Anomalous Children and the Construction of Monstrosity (2016), and with Dr Antje Bosselmann-Ruickbie of The Material Culture of Magic (forthcoming).As well as writing, he is the editor of the Paranormal Review, the magazine of the Society for Psychical Research, established in 1882 for the scientific study of what we now call the 'paranormal', and has worked on several editorial projects for the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum (Romano-German Central Museum) in Mainz, Germany. In addition, he is an elected member of the Royal Historical Society, a council member of the Society for Psychical Research, a committee member of the Gesellschaft für Anomalistik (Society for Anomalistics), as well as a member of the Parapsychological Association and the Royal Anthropological Institute. He has appeared several times on the Travel Channel series Mysteries at the Castle and his work has been mentioned in the media from the Guardian to Radio Jamaica. Not only has his expertise been sought by film companies, museums and charities, but he is also cited in the current student book for A-Level Sociology in the UK. He can be found on the web at www.ruickbie.com.

Mike Duncan

Mike Duncan is one of the foremost history podcasters in the world. His award winning series The History of Rome chronologically narrated the entire history of the Roman Empire over 189 weekly episodes. Running from 2007-2012, The History of Rome has generated more than 56 million downloads and remains one of the most popular history podcasts on the internet.

Nigel Cawthorne

Nigel Cawthorne is the author of a number of successful true crime and popular history books. His writing has appeared in over 150 newspapers, magazines and partworks - from the Sun to the Financial Times, and from Flatbush Life to The New York Tribune. He lives in London.

Paul Collins

Paul Collins is a theologian with degrees from Harvard and the Australian National University and is now a fellow of Trinity College of Music, London. He has worked as a religious commentator for Australian Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, NPR, and more; as a teacher of theology and history; and as a Catholic priest. In March 2001, he resigned from active ministry due to a doctrinal dispute with the Vatican over his book, Papal Power. He is also the author of The Birth of the West, published by PublicAffairs in 2013.

Paul Starr

Paul Starr is a professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University and its Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs. He is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Social Transformation of American Medicine and The Creation of the Media and the co-founder and editor of The American Prospect. Starr lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Rick Wartzman

Rick Wartzman is a Senior Advisor at the Drucker Institute, where he was Executive Director until early 2016. His books include Obscene in the Extreme, The King of California, and What Would Drucker Do Now? A former writer and editor at the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, he currently comments on the future of work for Fortune online. He lives in Los Angeles.

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.

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 British International School in 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.

Steve Ross

Steve Ross, born Smulek Rozental, is the survivor of ten Nazi concentration camps--including Dachau, where he was tasked with transporting corpses to the crematorium. He was the Director of Education for the City of Boston, and he conceived of and founded the New England Holocaust Memorial, which was erected in 1995 and remains one of Boston's most visited landmarks.