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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A House in the Mountains
In the late summer of 1943, in the midst of German occupation, the Italian Resistance was born. Ada, Frida, Silvia and Bianca were four young women who signed up. Living in the mountains surrounding Turin their contribution was invaluable. They carried messages and weapons, provided safe houses and took prisoners. As thousands of Italians rose up, they fought to liberate their country.With its corruption, greed and anti-Semitism, the fall of Fascist Italy was unrelentingly violent, but for the partisan women it was also a time of camaraderie and equality, pride and optimism. Through the stories of these four exceptional women, the resolve, tenacity and, above all, courage of the Italian Resistance is laid bare.
In The Ratline Philippe Sands offers a unique account of the daily life of a senior Nazi and fugitive, and of his wife. Drawing on a remarkable archive of family letters and diaries, he unveils a fascinating insight into life before and during the war, on the run, in Rome, and into the Cold War. Eventually the door is unlocked to a mystery that haunts Wachter's youngest son, who continues to believe his father was a good man - what happened to Otto Wachter, and how did he die?
Burning the Books
Richard Ovenden, director of the world-famous Bodleian Library, explains how attacks on libraries and archives have been a feature of history since ancient times but have increased in frequency and intensity during the modern era. Burning the Books is a human story animated by an unlikely cast - self-taught archaeologists, poets, freedom-fighters – and, of course, librarians and the heroic lengths they will go to preserve and rescue knowledge, ensuring that civilisation survives.
Imperial Mud: The Fight for Fens
A population of proud indigenous people fight for generations to preserve their homelands against an expanding empire - an invasion justified as being necessary for 'progress'. After centuries of resistance, their culture and community are destroyed. All of this takes place in East Anglia, roughly between the English Civil Wars and the mid-Victorian period.
The final destruction of England's last lowland wilderness and the dispossession of its custodians was not an inevitable consequence of 'progress', but of the growing power of a centralised and militarised state. Imperial Mud reimagines not just the history of the Fens, but the history and identity of the English people.
The Golden Maze
Following the story of Prague from its origins in medieval darkness to its uncertain present, Fidler does what he does so well - curates an absolutely engaging and compelling history of a place. You will learn things you never knew, with a tour guide who is erudite, inquisitive, and the best storyteller you could have as your companion.
In his most ambitious and riveting book to date, William Dalrymple tells the story of the East India Company as it has never been told before, unfolding a timely cautionary tale of the first global corporate power.
Genghis Khan was by far the greatest conqueror the world has ever known, whose empire stretched from the Pacific Ocean to central Europe, including all of China, the Middle East and Russia. So how did an illiterate nomad rise to such colossal power, eclipsing Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Napoleon? Credited by some with paving the way for the Renaissance, condemned by others for being the most heinous murderer in history, who was Genghis Khan? His actual name was Temujin, and the story of his success is that of the Mongol people- a loose collection of fractious tribes who tended livestock, considered bathing taboo and possessed an unparalleled genius for horseback warfare. United under Genghis, a strategist of astonishing cunning and versatility, they could dominate any sedentary society they chose.
The Last Mughal: The Fall of Delhi, 1857
On a dark evening in November 1862, a cheap coffin is buried in eerie silence. There are no lamentations or panegyrics, for the British Commissioner in charge has insisted, 'No vesting will remain to distinguish where the last of the Great Mughal's rests.' This Mughal is Bahadur Shah Zafar II, one of the most tolerant and likeable of his remarkable dynasty who found himself leader of a violent and doomed uprising. The Siege of Delhi was the Raj's Stalingrad, the end of both Mughal power and a remarkable culture.
Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee
The American West, 1860-1890- years of broken promises, disillusionment, war and massacre. Beginning with the Long Walk of the Navajos and ending with the massacre of Sioux at Wounded Knee, this extraordinary book tells how the American Indians lost their land, lives and liberty to white settlers pushing westward. Woven into a an engrossing saga of cruelty, treachery and violence are the fascinating stories of such legendary figures as Sitting Bull, Cochise, Crazy Horse and Geronimo. First published in 1970, Dee Brown's brutal and compelling narrative changed the way people thought about the original inhabitants of America, and focused attention on a national disgrace.
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