Related to: '1983'

Abacus

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 As entire battalions had to be withdrawn from the front, commanders and military doctors desperately tried to come up with explanations as to what was going wrong.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

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

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.

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

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.

Brian Clegg

BRIAN CLEGG is a prize-winning science writer with a physics degree from Cambridge and a masters in the mathematical discipline operational research. He has written over 20 science books and articles for newspapers and magazines from The Observer and Wall Street Journal to BBC Focus and Playboy. He lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and two children.

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.

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.

Derek Wilson

DEREK WILSON is a renowned Tudor historian. A graduate of Peterhouse, Cambridge, he has written over 50 critically acclaimed books including A Brief History of the Circumnavigators, and The Uncrowned Kings of England, as well as recent biographies of Charlemagne and Holbein.He is a writer and presenter for radio and television and is also the founder of the Cambridge History festival. He lives in North Devon. Visit his website: www.derekwilson.com

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.

Frank Walker

Frank Walker has been an Australian journalist and foreign correspondent in Germany and the United States for forty years, covering wars and coups, floods and fires, terrorist attacks and political brawls, movie stars and street crime. His first two bestselling books - The Tiger Man of Vietnam and Ghost Platoon - revealed uncomfortable truths about Australia's actions in the Vietnam War. His third bestselling book, Maralinga, lifted the veil of secrecy thrown over the British atomic bomb tests in the outback and shocking human experiments in Australia in the 1950s and 1960s. His fourth book, Commandos, examined the most daring secret raids behind enemy lines by Australians and New Zealanders in World War II. In 2017 Frank wrote Traitors, an exposé on how Australia and its allies betrayed our Anzacs and let Nazi and Japanese war criminals go free. His most recent book is The Scandalous Life of Freddie McEvoy: The true story of the swashbuckling Australian rogue. He can be contacted via his website www.frankwalker.com.au

Geoff Tibballs

Geoff Tibballs is the author of numerous bestselling humour titles.

Glenn Frank

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

Harlow Giles Unger

Acclaimed historian Harlow Giles Unger is a former Distinguished Visiting Fellow at George Washington's Mount Vernon. He is the author of twenty-four books, including eleven biographies of America's Founding Fathers and three histories of the early republic. He lives in New York City.

James Le Fanu

James Le Fanu has combined a career as a General Practitioner in South London with writing about medicine and science for the Sunday and Daily Telegraph. He has also contributed articles and reviews to The Times, Spectator, New Statesman, Literary Review, British Medical Journal and Journal of The Royal Society of Medicine. His much acclaimed 'The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine' won the Los Angeles Times book prize in 2001. His most recent book, 'Why Us?', was published jointly by HarperCollins in the UK and Random House in the US in 2009. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 2014.

James Morton

James Morton is the author of the hugely successful Gangland series. He has long experience as a solicitor specialising in criminal work and was editor-in-chief of NEW LAW JOURNAL for many years.

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.

Jon E. Lewis

Jon E. Lewis is a historian and writer, whose books on history and military historyare sold worldwide. He is also editor of many The Mammoth Book of anthologies, including the bestselling On the Edge and Endurance and Adventure.He holds graduate and postgraduate degrees in history. His work has appeared in New Statesman, the Independent, Time Out and the Guardian. He lives in Herefordshire with his partner and children.Praise for his previous books:England: The Autobiography:'A triumph' Saul David, author of Victoria's ArmyThe British Soldier: The Autobiography:'this thoughtful compilation . . . almost unbearably moving.' Guardian'Compelling tommy's eye view of war.' Daily Telegraph'What a book. Five stars.' Daily Express

Lauren Wilkinson

Lauren Wilkinson grew up in New York City and lives in the Lower East Side. She earned her MFA in Fiction and Literary Translation from Columbia University and has taught writing at Columbia and the Fashion Institute of Technology. She has received writing fellowships from the Center for Fiction and the MacDowell Colony, and her fiction has appeared in Granta.