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: $24.95

    Price: $24.95
  • 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
  • 1939 : A Peoples History
    1939 : A Peoples History
    TAYLOR FREDERICK
    ISBN: 9781509858743
    Title: 1939 : A Peoples History
    Author: TAYLOR FREDERICK
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: BACK IN STOCK SOON

    In the autumn of 1938, Europe believed in the promise of peace. Still reeling from the ravages of the Great War, its people were desperate to rebuild their lives in a newly safe and stable era. But only a year later, the fateful decisions of just a few men had again led Europe to war, a war that would have a profound and lasting impact on millions of innocent people.

    From the bestselling historian Frederick Taylor, 1939: A People's History draws on original British and German sources, including recorded interviews, as well as contemporary diaries, memoirs and newspapers. Its narrative focuses on the day-to-day experiences of the men and women in both countries trapped in this disastrous chain of events and not, as is so often the case, the elite. Their voices, concerns and experiences lend a uniquely intimate flavour to this often surprising account, revealing a marked disconnect between government and people; few ordinary citizens in either Britain or Germany wanted war.

    Precisely for that reason, 1939: A People's History is also an interrogation of our capacity to go to war again. In today’s Europe, an onset of uncertainty, a looming fear of radical populism and a revelatory schism are dangerously reminiscent of the perils of the autumn of 1938. It is both a vivid and richly peopled narrative of Europe’s slide into the horrors of war, a war that nobody wanted, and, in many ways, a warning; an opportunity for us to learn from our history and a reminder that we must never take peace for granted.

    Imprint: PICADOR
    RRP: $44.99

    Price: $44.99
  • 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
  • 1956 : The Year Australia Welcomed the World
    1956 : The Year Australia Welcomed the World
    RICHARDSON NICK
    ISBN: 9781925322910
    Title: 1956 : The Year Australia Welcomed the World
    Author: RICHARDSON NICK
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: November 2019 New Release

    An engrossing account of a pivotal year in Australia's history.

    This book debunks one of the hardiest cliches in Australian history- that the 1950s was a dull decade, when the nation seemed only interested in a quiet life, a cup of tea, and a weekend drive. The truth is that, by the time the '60s came around, Australia was already expanding its outlook - politically, economically, and culturally - and central to this were the events of 1956.

    This was the year when Melbourne hosted the Summer Olympics, the first edition of the Games to be held outside Europe and North America. It also heralded the arrival of television in Australia. In this year, Prime Minister Robert Menzies grappled with world politics, when he opened the country's doors to refugees from the Hungarian uprising, allowed British nuclear tests at Maralinga, and tried to resolve the greatest diplomatic episode of the decade- the Suez Crisis. In these ways and more, the world came to Australia's doorstep in 1956, challenging rusted-on habits and indelibly shifting the nation's perception of itself.

    Nick Richardson peels back the layers to reveal Australia at a critical moment in time. He brilliantly recreates the broader events surrounding the Melbourne Olympics at the end of 1956, as well as the dramas of the Games themselves. Throughout, he also follows a range of men and women who were touched by this transformation, to illuminate the personal consequences of being part of Australia's pivotal year.

    Imprint: SCRIBE
    RRP: $35.00
    Price: $35.00
  • 21 LESSONS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
    21 LESSONS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
    HARARI YUVAL NOAH
    ISBN: 9781784708283
    Title: 21 LESSONS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
    Author: HARARI YUVAL NOAH
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: August 2018 New Release

    Sapiens showed us where we came from. Homo Deus looked to the future. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century explores the present.

    How can we protect ourselves from nuclear war, ecological cataclysms and technological disruptions? What can we do about the epidemic of fake news or the threat of terrorism? What should we teach our children?

    Yuval Noah Harari takes us on a thrilling journey through today's most urgent issues. The golden thread running through his exhilarating new book is the challenge of maintaining our collective and individual focus in the face of constant and disorienting change. Are we still capable of understanding the world we have created?

    Imprint: VINTAGE
    RRP: $22.99
    Price: $22.99
  • AGE OF ANGER : A History of the Present
    AGE OF ANGER : A History of the Present
    MISHRA PANKAJ
    ISBN: 9780141984087
    Title: AGE OF ANGER : A History of the Present
    Author: MISHRA PANKAJ
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    How can we explain the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world - from American 'shooters' and ISIS to Trump, from a rise in vengeful nationalism across the world to racism and misogyny on social media? In Age of Anger, Pankaj Mishra answers our bewilderment by casting his gaze back to the eighteenth century, before leading us to the present.

    He shows that as the world became modern those who were unable to fulfil its promises - freedom, stability and prosperity - were increasingly susceptible to demagogues. It was from among the ranks of the disaffected that the militants of the 19th century arose - angry young men who became cultural nationalists in Germany, messianic revolutionaries in Russia, bellicose chauvinists in Italy, and anarchist terrorists internationally.

    Today, just as then, the wider embrace of mass politics, technology, and the pursuit of wealth and individualism has cast many more billions adrift in a literally demoralized world, uprooted from tradition but still far from modernity - with the same terrible results. Making startling connections and comparisons, Age of Anger is a book of immense urgency and profound argument. It is a history of our present predicament unlike any other.

    Imprint: PENGUIN BOOKS
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • AGE OF CONQUESTS : The Greek World from Alexander to Hadrian (336 BC - AD 138)
    AGE OF CONQUESTS : The Greek World from Alexander to Hadrian (336 BC - AD 138)
    CHANIOTIS ANGELOS
    ISBN: 9781846682971
    Title: AGE OF CONQUESTS : The Greek World from Alexander to Hadrian (336 BC - AD 138)
    Author: CHANIOTIS ANGELOS
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The ancient world that Alexander the Great transformed in his lifetime was transformed once more by his death. The imperial dynasties of his successors incorporated and reorganised the fallen Persian empire, creating a new land empire stretching from the shores of the Mediterranean to as far east as Bactria. In old Greece a fragile balance of power was continually disturbed by wars. Then, from the late third century, the military and diplomatic power of Rome successively defeated and dismantled every one of the post-Alexandrian political structures.

    The Hellenistic period (c. 323-30 BC) was then one of fragmentation, violent antagonism between large states, and struggles by small polities to retain an illusion of independence. Yet it was also a period of growth, prosperity, and intellectual achievement. A vast network spread of trade, influence and cultural contact, from Italy to Afghanistan and from Russia to Ethiopia, enriching and enlivening centres of wealth, power and intellectual ferment.

    From Alexander the Great's early days building an empire, via wars with Rome, rampaging pirates, Cleopatra's death and the Jewish diaspora, right up to the death of Hadrian, Chaniotis examines the social structures, economic trends, political upheaval and technological progress of an era that spans five centuries and where, perhaps, modernity began.

    Imprint: PROFILE BOOKS
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • AGE OF GENIUS : The Seventeenth Century and the Birth of the Modern Mind
    AGE OF GENIUS : The Seventeenth Century and the Birth of the Modern Mind
    GRAYLING A C
    ISBN: 9781408870020
    Title: AGE OF GENIUS : The Seventeenth Century and the Birth of the Modern Mind
    Author: GRAYLING A C
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Bestselling author A. C. Grayling explains how--fueled by original and unorthodox thinking, war, and technological invention--the seventeenth century became the crucible of modernity.

    What happened to the European mind between 1605, when an audience watching Macbeth at the Globe might believe that regicide was such an aberration of the natural order that ghosts could burst from the ground, and 1649, when a large crowd, perhaps including some who had seen Macbeth forty-four years earlier, could stand and watch the execution of a king? Or consider the difference between a magus casting a star chart and the day in 1639, when Jonathan Horrock and William Crabtree watched the transit of Venus across the face of the sun from their attic, successfully testing its course against Kepler's Tables of Planetary Motion, in a classic case of confirming a scientific theory by empirical testing.

    In this turbulent period, science moved from the alchemy and astrology of John Dee to the painstaking observation and astronomy of Galileo, from the classicism of Aristotle, still favoured by the Church, to the evidence-based, collegiate investigation of Francis Bacon. And if the old ways still lingered and affected the new mind set - Descartes's dualism an attempt to square the new philosophy with religious belief; Newton, the man who understood gravity and the laws of motion, still fascinated to the end of his life by alchemy - by the end of that tumultuous century 'the greatest ever change in the mental outlook of humanity' had irrevocably taken place.

    Imprint: BLOOMSBURY
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • AGENT JACK : The True Story of MI5's Secret Nazi Hunter
    AGENT JACK : The True Story of MI5's Secret Nazi Hunter
    HUTTON ROBERT
    ISBN: 9781474605137
    Title: AGENT JACK : The True Story of MI5's Secret Nazi Hunter
    Author: HUTTON ROBERT
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    June 1940. Britain is Europe's final bastion of freedom - and Hitler's next target. But not everyone fears a Nazi invasion. In factories, offices and suburban homes are men and women determined to do all they can to hasten it.

    Throughout the Second World War, Britain's defence against the enemy within was Eric Roberts, a former bank clerk from Epsom. Equipped with an extraordinary ability to make people trust him, he was recruited into the shadowy world of espionage by the great spymaster Maxwell Knight. Roberts penetrated first the Communist Party and then the British Union of Fascists, before playing his greatest role for MI5 - as Hitler's man in London.

    Codenamed Jack King, he single-handedly built a network of hundreds of British Nazi sympathisers, with many passing secrets to him in the mistaken belief that he was a Gestapo officer. Operation Fifth Column, run by a brilliant woman scientist and a Jewish aristocrat with a sideline in bomb disposal, was kept so secret it was omitted from the reports MI5 sent to Winston Churchill.

    In a narrative that grips like a thriller, Robert Hutton tells the fascinating story of an operation whose existence has only recently come to light. Drawing on newly declassified documents and private family archives, AGENT JACK shatters the comfortable notion that Britain could never have succumbed to fascism, and celebrates - at last - the courage of individuals who protected the country they loved at great personal risk.

    Imprint: WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON
    RRP: $22.99
    Price: $22.99
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