History

The history section contains general history reference; histories of obscure and unexpected things; European and world histories; and biographies of various historical figures.

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Bolshoi ConfidentialCover Image, Jellyfish

Simon Morrison
Fourth Estate
ISBN 9780007576616    
Trade Paperback 2016
Price $AU 35.00
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Renowned musicologist Simon Morrison gained exclusive access to Russian state archives and private resources to create this wonderfully conceived history of the Bolshoi Ballet.  Here, we find that the Bolshoi has transcended its own fraught history, surviving 250 years of artistic and political upheaval to define not only Russian culture but also ballet itself. 


Ghost EmpireCover Image, Art Making

Richard Fidler
ABC Books
ISBN 9780733335259      
Hardback 2016
Price $AU 39.99
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In 2014 Richard Fidler and his son Joe made a journey to Istanbul. Fired by Richard's passion for the rich history of the dazzling Byzantine Empire - centred around the legendary Constantinople - we are swept into some of the most extraordinary tales in history. The clash of civilizations, the fall of empires, the rise of Christianity, revenge, lust, and murder. Turbulent stories from the past are brought vividly to life at the same time as a father navigates the unfolding changes in his relationship with his son. Ghost Empire is a revelation: a beautifully written ode to a lost civilization, and a warmly observed father-son adventure far from home. 


In the Land of GiantsCover Image, Art Making

Max Adams
Head of Zeus
ISBN 9781784080334     
Paperback 2016
Price $AU 24.99
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Max Adams explores Britain's lost early medieval past by walking its paths and exploring its lasting imprint on valley, hill and field. From York to Whitby, from London to Sutton Hoo, from Edinburgh to Anglesey and from Hadrian's Wall to Loch Tay, each of his ten walk narratives form both free-standing chapters and parts of a wider portrait of a Britain of fort and fyrd, crypt and crannog, church and causeway, holy well and memorial stone. Part travelogue, part expert reconstruction, In the Land of Giants offers a beautifully written insight into the lives of peasants, drengs, ceorls, thanes, monks and kings during the enigmatic and richly exciting period of the Dark Ages.


PaperCover Image, Paper

Mark Kurlansky
Norton
ISBN 9780393239614
Hardback 2016
Price $AU 39.95
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Tracing paper's evolution, Mark Kurlansky challenges common assumptions about technology's influence, affirming that paper is here to stay.  Itis one of the simplest and most essential pieces of human technology and for the past two millennia, the ability to produce it in more efficient ways has supported the proliferation of literacy, media, religion, education, commerce and art.  It has created civilisations, fostering the fomenting of revolutions and the stabilising of regimes.  Now, on the cusp of "going paperless"- and amid speculation about the effects of a digitally dependent society - we've come to a world-historic juncture to examine what paper means to civilisation.


The Art of Time TravelCover Image, Art of Time Travel

Tom Griffiths
Black Inc.
ISBN 9781863958561
Trade Paperback 2016
Price $AU 34.99
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In this landmark book, eminent historian and award-winning author Tom Griffiths explores the craft of discipline and imagination that is history. Through portraits of fourteen historians, including Inga Clendinnen, Judith Wright, Geoffrey Blainey and Henry Reynolds, Griffiths traces how a body of work is formed out of a lifelong dialogue between past evidence and present experience. With meticulous research and glowing prose, he shows how our understanding of the past has evolved, and what this changing history reveals about us. Passionate and elegant, The Art of Time Travel conjures fresh insights into the history of Australia and renews our sense of the historian's craft.


Messages from a Lost World: Europe on the BrinkCover Image, Messages from a Lost World

Stefan Zweig
Pushkin Press
ISBN 9780809054381
Hardback 2016
Price $AU 34.99
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As Europe faced its darkest days, Stefan Zweig was a passionate voice for tolerance, peace and a world without borders. In these moving, ardent essays, speeches and articles, composed before and during the Second World War, one of the twentieth century's greatest writers mounts a defence of European unity against terror and brutality. Zweig envisages a Europe free of nationalism and pledged to pluralism, culture and brotherhood. These haunting lost messages, all appearing in English for the first time and some newly discovered, distil Zweig's courage, belief and richness of learning to give the essence of a writer. Brief and yet intense, they are a tragic reminder of a world lost to the 'bloody vortex of history', but also a powerful statement of one man's belief in the creative imagination and the potential of humanity, with a resounding relevance today. Translated by Will Stone, with an introduction by philosopher and historian of ideas John Gray.


Here Lies Hugh GlassCover Image, Hugh Glass

Jon T. Coleman
Hill and Wang
ISBN 9780809054381
Paperback 2013
Price $AU 24.99
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The true story behind the Oscar winning movie 'The Revenant'. In the summer of 1823, a grizzly bear mauled Hugh Glass. The animal ripped the trapper up, carving huge hunks from his body. Glass' companions slew the bear, but his injuries mocked their first aid. Two men would stay behind to bury the corpse when he finally died but alone in Indian country, the caretakers quickly lost their nerve. They fled, taking Glass' gun, knife, and ammunition with them. But Glass wouldn't die. He began crawling toward Fort Kiowa, hundreds of miles to the east, and as his speed picked up, so did his ire. The bastards who took his gear and left him to rot were going to pay. Here Lies Hugh Glass springs from this legend. The acclaimed historian Jon T. Coleman delves into the accounts left by Glass' contemporaries and the mythologizers who used his story to advance their literary and filmmaking careers.


The Men Who United the StatesCover image, The Men Who United

Simon Winchester
HarperCollins
ISBN 9780007532407
Paperback 2014
Price $AU 24.99
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For more than two centuries, E pluribus unum - out of many, one - has been featured on America's official government seals and stamped on its currency. But how did America become 'one nation, indivisible'? What unified a growing number of disparate states into the modern country we recognise today? In this monumental history, Simon Winchester addresses these questions, bringing together the breathtaking achievements that helped forge and unify America and the pioneers who have toiled fearlessly to discover, connect, and bond the citizens and geography of the USA from its beginnings.

Winchester follows in the footsteps of America's most essential explorers, thinkers, and innovators, including Lewis and Clark and their Corps of Discovery Expedition to the Pacific Coast, the builders of the first transcontinental telegraph, and the powerful civil engineer behind the Interstate Highway System. He treks vast swaths of territory, from Pittsburgh to Portland; Rochester to San Francisco; Truckee to Laramie; Seattle to Anchorage, introducing these fascinating men and others - some familiar, some forgotten, some hardly known - who played a pivotal role in creating today's United States. Throughout, he ponders whether the historic work of uniting the States has succeeded, and to what degree.

The Men Who United The States is a fresh, lively, and erudite look at the way in which the most powerful nation on earth came together, from one of our most entertaining, probing, and insightful observers.


At Home: A Short History of Private LifeCover image, At home

Bill Bryson
Doubleday UK
ISBN 9780552772556
Paperback 2011
Price $AU 19.99
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In At Home, Bill Bryson applies the same irrepressible curiosity, irresistible wit, stylish prose and masterful storytelling that made A Short History of Nearly Everything one of the most lauded books of the last decade, and delivers an entertaining and illuminating book about the history of the way we live.

Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote a lot more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business - eating, sleeping and merely endeavouring to get more comfortable. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, wandering from room to room considering how the ordinary things in life came to be. Along the way he researched the history of anything and everything, from architecture to electricity, from food preservation to epidemics, from the spice trade to the Eiffel Tower, from crinolines to toilets; and on the brilliant, creative and often eccentric minds behind them. Bryson discovered that, although there may seem to be nothing as unremarkable as our domestic lives, there is a huge amount of history, interest and excitement - and even a little danger - lurking in the corners of every home.


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