Block of Books
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  • 1000 YEARS OF ANNOYING THE FRENCH
    1000 YEARS OF ANNOYING THE FRENCH
    CLARKE STEPHEN
    ISBN: 9780552779937
    Title: 1000 YEARS OF ANNOYING THE FRENCH
    Author: CLARKE STEPHEN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Ten centuries of French historical 'facts' bite the dust in Stephen Clarke's Sunday Times Top Five Bestseller.

    Was the Battle of Hastings a French victory? Non! William the Conqueror was Norman and hated the French. Were the Brits really responsible for the death of Joan of Arc? Non! The French sentenced her to death for wearing trousers. Was the guillotine a French invention? Non! It was invented in Yorkshire. Ten centuries' worth of French historical 'facts' bite the dust as Stephen Clarke looks at what has really been going on since 1066...

    Imprint: BLACK SWAN
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • 1492 : THE YEAR OUR WORLD BEGAN
    1492 : THE YEAR OUR WORLD BEGAN
    FERNANDEZ-ARMESTO FELIPE
    ISBN: 9781408809501
    Title: 1492 : THE YEAR OUR WORLD BEGAN
    Author: FERNANDEZ-ARMESTO FELIPE
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The world would end in 1492 - so the prophets, soothsayers and stargazers said. They were right. Their world did end. Ours began. Felipe Fernandez-Armesto traces key elements of the modern world back to that single, fateful year: the way power and wealth are distributed around the globe; the way major religions and civilisations divide the world. Events that began in 1492 even transformed the whole ecological system of the planet. Our individualism and the very sense we share of inhabiting one world, as partakers in a common humanity, took shape and became visible. In search of the origins of modernity, 1492 takes readers on a journey around the globe of the time, in the company of real-life travellers, drawing the together the threads that began to bind the planet. The tour starts in Granada, where the last Islamic kingdom in Europe collapsed, then moves to Timbuktoo, where a new Muslim empire triumphed.

    With Portuguese explorers, we visit the court of the first Christian king in the southern hemisphere. We join Jews expelled from Spain as they cross the Mediterranean to North Africa, Italy and Istanbul. We see the frozen frontiers of the dynamic, bloody Russia of Ivan the Great, and hear mystical poets sing on the shores of the Indian Ocean. We observe the Aztecs and Incas lay the foundations of a New World in the Americas. Wars and witchcraft, plagues and persecutions, poetry and prophecy, science and magic, art and faith - all the glories and follies of the time are in this book.

    Everywhere, new departures marked the start of a new configuration for humankind, revealing how and why the modern world is different from the worlds of antiquity and the middle ages. History seems a patternless labyrinth - but a good guide can trace our paths through it back to the moment when some of the most striking features of today's world began.

    Imprint: BLOOMSBURY
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • 1606 : WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE AND THE YEAR OF LEAR
    1606 : WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE AND THE YEAR OF LEAR
    SHAPIRO JAMES
    ISBN: 9780571235797
    Title: 1606 : WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE AND THE YEAR OF LEAR
    Author: SHAPIRO JAMES
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The sequel to James Shapiro's multi-award winning bestseller 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare.

    1606 traces Shakespeare's life and work from the autumn of 1605, when he came upon an old and anonymous play - The True Chronicle History of King Leir - in one of the bookstalls near his Silver Street lodgings. From there, he traces the story's shocking and brilliant transformation into King Lear as we know it - and then to Macbeth, written in a white heat in the tumultuous spring of 1606.

    For most authors, writing and revising Lear, then rapidly composing Macbeth, would have been a lifetime's accomplishment. But Shapiro's new book goes on to explore how, with the theatres closed indefinitely in autumn 1606 because of the plague, and with time on his hands, Shakespeare began a third great tragedy, Antony and Cleopatra.

    Never before, and never again, would Shakespeare's plays explore so relentlessly the problems of aging, of losing authority, and of mortality.

    Following the biographical style of 1599, a way of thinking and writing that Shapiro has made his own, 1606 promises to be one of the most significant and accessible new works on Shakespeare in the decade to come.

    Imprint: FABER AND FABER
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • 1666 : Plague War and Hellfire
    1666 : Plague War and Hellfire
    RIDEAL REBECCA
    ISBN: 9781473623545
    Title: 1666 : Plague War and Hellfire
    Author: RIDEAL REBECCA
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    1666 was a watershed year for England. It was the year of the Great Plague; the eruption of the second Dutch War, the clash between two great powers which ultimately ended in one of the English military's most humiliating defeats; and the Great Fire. It is a year in which no single event existed alone and which, in many ways, gave shape to the country we know today.

    1666: PLAGUE, WAR AND HELLFIRE shines a light on these dramatic events to reveal an unprecedented period of terror and triumph, in a book full of extraordinary characters and teeming life.

    Imprint: JOHN MURRAY
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • 1787 : THE LOST CHAPTERS OF AUSTRALIAS BEGINNINGS
    1787 : THE LOST CHAPTERS OF AUSTRALIAS BEGINNINGS
    BRODIE NICK
    ISBN: 9781743791608
    Title: 1787 : THE LOST CHAPTERS OF AUSTRALIAS BEGINNINGS
    Author: BRODIE NICK
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    For over 200 years Australia’s official history has focused on English colonisation and ‘discovery’, with tales of British explorers and first generation white Australians navigating the vast and unfriendly land. But what of the millennia before the English claimed Australia as their own and wrote the history books. 1787 traces the journey of Australia before the infamous 1788 date, to explore just how ‘discovered’ the southern continent was by not only the Indigenous Australians who had lived and prospered for thousands of years, but also the sailors, traders, fishermen and many others who had visited our shores.

    This is not about voyages of ‘discovery’, cartography, geography, or hero-captains and their sailing ship adventures. This is a bigger history—of the rise and fall of empires, the shifts in global economies, and their impact on Australia. By charting the encounters with Australia and its original people by several major groups of visitors, primarily the Portuguese, Dutch, Malay, French, and British from the late Middle Ages, 1787 reveals the stories of first encounters between Indigenous Australians and foreigners, placing Indigenous Australians back into our known history rather than a timeless pre-historical one. It’s a fascinating story that shifts focus away from post-colonial history and engages the reader in the eventful and lively stories of Australia as a vast and active land participating in a global history.

    Imprint: HARDIE GRANT BOOKS
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • 1812 : NAPOLEONS FATAL MARCH ON MOSCOW
    1812 : NAPOLEONS FATAL MARCH ON MOSCOW
    ZAMOYSKI ADAM
    ISBN: 9780007123742
    Title: 1812 : NAPOLEONS FATAL MARCH ON MOSCOW
    Author: ZAMOYSKI ADAM
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The Sunday Times bestselling account of Napoleon's invasion of Russia and eventual retreat from Moscow, events that had a profound effect on the subsequent course of Russian and European history.

    The saga of Napoleon's invasion of Russia and catastrophic retreat from Moscow has both fascinated military historians and captured the imagination of millions on an emotional and human level.

    1812 tells the story of how the most powerful man on earth met his doom, and how the greatest fighting force ever assembled was wiped out. Over 400,000 French and Allied troops died on the disastrous Russian campaign, with the vast majority of the casualties occuring during the frigid winter retreat. Adam Zamoyski tells their story with incredible detail and sympathy, drawing on a wealth of first-hand accounts of the tragedy to create a vivid portrait of an unimaginable catastrophe. By 1810 Napoleon was master of Europe, defied only by Britain and its naval power. His intention was to destroy Britain through a total blockade, the Continental System. But Tsar Alexander of Russia refused to apply the blockade, and Napoleon decided to bring him to heel. The brutality of the following military campaign and the importance of its ramifications on Russian, French, German and, indeed, European history and culture cannot be understated.

    Adam Zamoyski's epic, enthralling narrative is the definitive account of the events of that dramatic year.

    Imprint: COLLINS
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • 1861 : THE CIVIL WAR AWAKENING
    1861 : THE CIVIL WAR AWAKENING
    GOODHEART ADAM
    ISBN: 9781400032198
    Title: 1861 : THE CIVIL WAR AWAKENING
    Author: GOODHEART ADAM
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    An epic of courage and heroism beyond the battlefields, " 1861" is Adam Goodheart's account of how the Civil War began and a second American revolution unfolded, setting Abraham Lincoln on the path to greatness and millions of slaves on the road to freedom. In this gripping and original book, Goodheart introduces us to a heretofore little-known cast of Civil War heroes--among them an acrobatic militia colonel, an explorer's wife, an idealistic band of German immigrants, a regiment of New York City firemen, a community of Virginia slaves, and a young college professor who would one day become president. Their stories take us from the corridors of the White House to the slums of Manhattan, from the waters of the Chesapeake to the deserts of Nevada, from Boston Common to Alcatraz Island, vividly evoking the Union at its moment of ultimate crisis and decision.


    Imprint: VINTAGE U.S.A.
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • 1914 : THE YEAR THE WORLD ENDED
    1914 : THE YEAR THE WORLD ENDED
    HAM PAUL
    ISBN: 9781864711431
    Title: 1914 : THE YEAR THE WORLD ENDED
    Author: HAM PAUL
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Few years can justly be said to have transformed the earth: 1914 did.

    In July that year, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Britain and France were poised to plunge the world into a war that would kill or wound 37 million people, tear down the fabric of society, uproot ancient political systems and set the course for the bloodiest century in human history. In the longer run, the events of 1914 set the world on the path toward the Russian Revolution, the Treaty of Versailles, the rise of Nazism and the Cold War. In 1914: The Year the World Ended, award-winning historian Paul Ham tells the story of the outbreak of the Great War from German, British, French, Austria-Hungarian, Russian and Serbian perspectives.Along the way, he debunks several stubborn myths. European leaders, for example, did not stumble or 'sleepwalk' into war, as many suppose. They fully understood that a small conflict in the Balkans - the tinderbox at the heart of the continent - could spark a European war. They well knew what their weapons could do. Yet they carried on. They accepted - and, in some cases, even seemed to relish - what they saw as an inevitable clash of arms. They planned and mapped every station on the path to oblivion. These pied pipers of the apocalypse chose war in the full knowledge that millions would follow, and die, on their orders.

    1914: The Year the World Ended seeks to answer the most vexing question of the 20th century: Why did European governments decide to condemn the best part of a generation of young men to the trenches and four years of slaughter, during which 8.5 million would die?

    Imprint: WILLIAM HEINEMAN
    RRP: $34.99

    Price: $34.99
  • 1917 : Lenin Wilson and the Birth of the New World Disorder
    1917 : Lenin Wilson and the Birth of the New World Disorder
    HERMAN ARTHUR
    ISBN: 9780062570895
    Title: 1917 : Lenin Wilson and the Birth of the New World Disorder
    Author: HERMAN ARTHUR
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: December 2018 New Release

    This is the story of two men, and the two decisions, that transformed world history in a single tumultuous year, 1917: Wilson's entry into World War One and Lenin's Bolshevik Revolution.

    Imprint: PERENNIAL
    RRP: $32.99
    Price: $32.99
  • 1918 : How the First World War Was Won
    1918 : How the First World War Was Won
    THOMPSON JULIAN
    ISBN: 9781743794890
    Title: 1918 : How the First World War Was Won
    Author: THOMPSON JULIAN
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The war in 1918 changed character radically, and nowhere more so than on the Western Front. Over three years of stalemate, what had effectively become siege warfare conducted along a line of trenches from Switzerland to the sea was ‘unlocked’ by the German March 1918 offensive. Suddenly it was a war of movement again for the first time since November 1914. After some desperate fighting the Allies stemmed the tide of the German advance, and began the counter-offensive.

    1918: How the First World War Was Won gives the detailed account of the final year of the First World War. Every battle is examined and retold from a new, refreshing perspective – it wasn’t just the British forces on the final push – they were accompanied by new American troops, Canadian reinforcements, and masterminded by the tactical command of French General Ferdinand Foch. This new, incredibly illustrated book tells the story of those final violent pushes to the end of the war in 1918, and is a must for any interested in the subject.

    Imprint: HARDIE GRANT BOOKS
    RRP: $35.00

    Price: $35.00
  • 1939 : THE LAST SEASON
    1939 : THE LAST SEASON
    DE COURCY ANNE
    ISBN: 9780753816721
    Title: 1939 : THE LAST SEASON
    Author: DE COURCY ANNE
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    The Season of 1939 brought all those 'in Society' to London. The young debutante daughters of the upper classes were presented to the King and Queen to mark their acceptance into the new adult world of their parents. They sparkled their way through a succession of balls and parties and sporting events. The Season brought together influential people not only from Society but also from Government at the various events of the social calendar. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain chaperoned his debutante niece to weekend house parties; Lord Halifax, the Foreign Secretary, lunched with the Headmaster of Eton; Cabinet Ministers encountered foreign Ambassadors at balls in the houses of the great hostesses. As the hot summer drew on, the newspapers filled with ever more ominous reports of the relentless progress towards war. There was nothing to do but wait - and dance. The last seaon of peace was nearly over.

    Imprint: PHOENIX
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • 1946
    1946
    SEBESTYEN VICTOR
    ISBN: 9780330544856
    Title: 1946
    Author: SEBESTYEN VICTOR
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    With the end of the Second World War, a new world was born. The peace agreements that brought the conflict to an end implemented decisions that not only shaped the second half of the twentieth century, but continue to affect our world today and impact on its future. In 1946 the Cold War began, the state of Israel was conceived, the independence of India was all but confirmed and Chinese Communists gained a decisive upper hand in their fight for power. It was a pivotal year in modern history in which countries were reborn and created, national and ideological boundaries were redrawn and people across the globe began to rebuild their lives.

    In this remarkable history, the foreign correspondent and historian Victor Sebestyen draws on contemporary documents from around the world - including Stalin's personal notes from the Potsdam peace conference - to examine what lay behind the political decision-making. Sebestyen uses a vast array of archival material and personal testimonies to explore how the lives of generations of people across continents were shaped by the events of 1946. Taking readers from Berlin to London, from Paris to Moscow, from Washington to Jerusalem and from Delhi to Shanghai, this is a vivid and wide-ranging account of both powerbrokers and ordinary men and women from an acclaimed author.

    Imprint: PAN
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • 1947 : WHERE NOW BEGINS
    1947 : WHERE NOW BEGINS
    ASBRINK ELISABETH
    ISBN: 9781925322439
    Title: 1947 : WHERE NOW BEGINS
    Author: ASBRINK ELISABETH
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Somewhere on the timeline, the war ends, while somewhere else, a new age begins - the one we call now. The shift does not happen overnight, from one day to the next; instead, the world vibrates for a number of years. People try to find their way to homes that are no longer there. People run from their deeds, and most of them get away. Among the millions in flight across Europe looking for a new home in 1947 are Elizabeth Asbrink's parents. In 1947, production begins of the Kalashnikov, Christian Dior creates the New Look, Simone de Beauvoir writes The Second Sex, the first computer bug is discovered, the CIA is set up, Hassan Al-Banna draws up the plan that remains the goal of jihadists to this day, and a UN committee is given four months to find a solution to the problem of Palestine. In 1947, Asbrink chronicles the creation of the world we now inhabit, as the forces that will go on to govern all our lives during the next 70 years first make themselves known.

    Imprint: SCRIBE
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • 1983 : The World at the Brink
    1983 : The World at the Brink
    DOWNING TAYLOR
    ISBN: 9781408710531
    Title: 1983 : The World at the Brink
    Author: DOWNING TAYLOR
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A tense, thrilling account of how, in 1983, tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union nearly caused global Armageddon.

    1983 was a supremely dangerous year - even more dangerous than 1962, the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the US, President Reagan massively increased defence spending, described the Soviet Union as an 'evil empire' and announced his 'Star Wars' programme, calling for a shield in space to defend the US from incoming missiles.

    Yuri Andropov, the paranoid Soviet leader, saw all this as signs of American aggression and convinced himself that the US really meant to attack the Soviet Union. He put the KGB on alert to look for signs of an imminent nuclear attack. When a Soviet fighter jet shot down Korean Air Lines flight KAL 007 after straying off course over a sensitive Soviet military area, President Reagan described it as a 'terrorist act' and 'a crime against humanity'. The temperature was rising fast.

    Then at the height of the tension, NATO began a war game called Able Archer 83. In this exercise, NATO requested permission to use the codes to launch nuclear weapons. The nervous Soviets convinced themselves this was no exercise but the real thing.

    This is an extraordinary and largely unknown Cold War story of spies and double agents, of missiles being readied, of intelligence failures, misunderstandings and the panic of world leaders. With access to hundreds of extraordinary new documents just released in the US, Taylor Downing is able to tell for the first time the gripping but true story of how near the world came to the brink of nuclear war in 1983.

    1983: The World at the Brink is a real-life thriller.

    Imprint: LITTLE BROWN
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
  • ABSOLUTE POWER : How the Pope Became the Most Influential Man in the World
    ABSOLUTE POWER : How the Pope Became the Most Influential Man in the World
    COLLINS PAUL
    ISBN: 9781610398602
    Title: ABSOLUTE POWER : How the Pope Became the Most Influential Man in the World
    Author: COLLINS PAUL
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The fascinating and sensational story of the last two centuries of the papacy and a vital call for the reevaluation and reimagination of papal power by one of today's preeminent theologians

    In 1799, the papacy was at rock bottom: The Papal States had been swept away and Rome seized by the revolutionary French armies. The cardinals were scattered across Europe, and Catholics feared they would be unable to elect the next pope. Even if Catholicism survived, it seemed the papacy was finished. And yet, just over two hundred years later, the pope still stands "at the very center of the central conversations of our time" (Time). His influence reaches across the world--from Cuban politics to gender equality to the refugee crisis--and the strength of his "soft power" is incomparable.

    In this gripping narrative of religious and political history, Paul Collins tells the improbable success story of the last 220 years of the papacy, from the unexalted death of Pope Pius VI in 1799 to the celebrity of Pope Francis today. As a historian, journalist, and theologian, Collins also poses pressing, critical questions to the Catholic Church: Does today's church governance stray from the teachings of the gospel? Is the papacy's internal power so great that it might be considered heretical? If so, what can be done to ensure a credible--and Christ-like--path forward?

    ABSOLUTE POWER is required reading for anyone interested in the history of today's complex power structures--as well as anyone invested in religious, political, and social progress in the West.

    Imprint: PUBLIC AFFAIRS
    RRP: $39.99

    Price: $39.99
  • AELFREDS BRITAIN : War and Peace in the Viking Age
    AELFREDS BRITAIN : War and Peace in the Viking Age
    ADAMS MAX
    ISBN: 9781784080310
    Title: AELFREDS BRITAIN : War and Peace in the Viking Age
    Author: ADAMS MAX
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A history of the peoples of Britain, in the century and a half between the first Viking raids and the expulsion of the Vikings from York in 954.

    In 865, a great Viking army landed in East Anglia, precipitating a series of wars that would last until the middle of the following century. It was in this time of crisis that the modern kingdoms of Britain were born. In their responses to the Viking threat, these kingdoms forged their identities as hybrid cultures: vibrant and entrepreneurial peoples adapting to instability and opportunity. Traditionally, alfred the Great is cast as the central player in the story of Viking Age Britain. But Max Adams, while stressing the genius of alfred as war leader, law-giver, and forger of the English nation, has a more nuanced and variegated narrative to relate. The Britain encountered by the Scandinavians of the ninth and tenth centuries was one of regional diversity and self-conscious cultural identities: of Picts, Dal Riatans and Strathclyde Britons; of Bernicians and Deirans, East Anglians, Mercians and West Saxons.

    Imprint: HEAD OF ZEUS
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
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