Block of Books
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  • AUSTRALIANS ON THE WESTERN FRONT 1918 - Volume I : Resisting the Great German Offensive
    AUSTRALIANS ON THE WESTERN FRONT 1918 - Volume I : Resisting the Great German Offensive
    CAMERON DAVID W
    ISBN: 9780143788614
    Title: AUSTRALIANS ON THE WESTERN FRONT 1918 - Volume I : Resisting the Great German Offensive
    Author: CAMERON DAVID W
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    In Holding the Line, David Cameron tells the extraordinary story of Australian troops at Villers-Bretonneux in World War I. The Anzacs had one of their greatest victories at Villers-Bretonneux, defeating the Germans there in an attack later described by a British general as 'perhaps the greatest individual feat of the war'.

    As part of the German Spring Offensive on the Western Front, German forces captured the town of Villers-Bretonneux, near Amiens, from exhausted British defenders on 24 April 1918. The Australian 13th and 15th Brigades were brought forward and, in a model of a well-planned and co-ordinated night attack, successfully recaptured the town.

    It was a bloody victory - 1200 Australians lost their lives - but this battle marked the end of the German offensive on the Somme and contributed to the Allies' eventual victory. As with his previous books, Cameron places the reader right in the action by weaving vivid minute-by-minute descriptions drawn from the diaries and letters of soldiers who were there.

    Imprint: VIKING
    RRP: $34.99

    Price: $34.99
  • AUSTRALIAS FIRST SPIES : The remarkable story of Australian intelligence operations, 1901-45
    AUSTRALIAS FIRST SPIES : The remarkable story of Australian intelligence operations, 1901-45
    FAHEY JOHN
    ISBN: 9781760631208
    Title: AUSTRALIAS FIRST SPIES : The remarkable story of Australian intelligence operations, 1901-45
    Author: FAHEY JOHN
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Australia was born with its eyes wide open. Although politicians spoke publicly of loyalty to Britain and the empire, in secret they immediately set about protecting Australia's interests from the Germans, the Japanese - and from Britain itself.

    As an experienced intelligence officer, John Fahey knows how the security services disguise their activities within government files. He has combed the archives to compile the first account of Australia's intelligence operations in the years from Federation to the end of World War II.

    He tells the stories of dedicated patriots who undertook dangerous operations to protect their new nation, despite a lack of training and support. He shows how the early adoption of advanced radio technology by Australia contributed to the war effort in Europe. He also exposes the bureaucratic mismanagement in World War II that cost many lives, and the leaks that compromised Australia's standing with its wartime allies so badly that Australia was nearly expelled from the Anglo-Saxon intelligence network.

    Australia's First Spies shows Australia always has been a far savvier operator in international affairs than much of the historical record suggests, and it offers a glimpse into the secret history of the nation.

    Imprint: Allen and Unwin Publishers
    RRP: $34.99

    Price: $34.99
  • AUSTRALIAS VIETNAM : Myth vs history
    AUSTRALIAS VIETNAM : Myth vs history
    DAPIN MARK
    ISBN: 9781742236360
    Title: AUSTRALIAS VIETNAM : Myth vs history
    Author: DAPIN MARK
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Why everything you think you know about Australia’s Vietnam War is wrong

    When Mark Dapin first interviewed Vietnam veterans and wrote about the war, he swallowed (and regurgitated) every misconception. He wasn’t alone. In Australia's Vietnam, Dapin reveals that every stage of Australia’s commitment to the Vietnam War has been misunderstood, misinterpreted and shrouded in myth. From army claims that every national serviceman was a volunteer; and the level of atrocities committed by Australian troops; to the belief there were no welcome home parades until the late 1980s and returned soldiers were met by angry protesters. Australia's Vietnam is a major contribution to the understanding of Australia’s experience of the war and will change the way we think about memory and military history.

    Imprint: Newsouth Books
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
  • AWAKENING : The History Of The Western Mind AD500 - AD1700
    AWAKENING : The History Of The Western Mind AD500 - AD1700
    FREEMAN CHARLES
    ISBN: 9781789545623
    Title: AWAKENING : The History Of The Western Mind AD500 - AD1700
    Author: FREEMAN CHARLES
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A popular telling of the story of the revival of European intellectual life after the collapse of civilisation that followed the fall of the Roman empire in the West.

    A monumental and exhilarating history of European thought, from the fall of Rome in the fifth century AD to the Scientific Revolution thirteen centuries later.

    The Awakening traces the recovery and refashioning of Europe's classical heritage from the ruins of the Roman Empire. The process of preservation of surviving texts, fragile at first, was strengthened under the Christian empire founded by Charlemagne in the eighth century; later, during the High Middle Ages, universities were founded and the study of philosophy was revived. Renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman thought provided the intellectual impetus for the Renaissance of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, whose ideas – aesthetic, political and scientific – were disseminated across Europe by the invention of the printing press. Equally momentous was Europe's encounter with the New World, and the resulting maritime supremacy which conferred global reach on Europe's merchants and colonists.

    Vivid in detail and informed by the latest scholarship, The Awakening is powered not by the fate of kings or the clash of arms but by deeper currents of thought, inquiry and discovery, which first recover and then surpass the achievements of classical antiquity, and lead the West to the threshold of the Age of Reason. Charles Freeman takes the reader on an enthralling journey, and provides us with a vital key to understanding the world we live in today.

    Imprint: Head of Zeus
    RRP: $59.99

    Price: $59.99
  • BABYLON : Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization
    BABYLON : Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization
    KRIWACZEK PAUL
    ISBN: 9781848871571
    Title: BABYLON : Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization
    Author: KRIWACZEK PAUL
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    In Babylon, Paul Kriwaczek tells the story of ancient Mesopotamia from the earliest settlements around 5400 BC, to the eclipse of Babylon by the Persians in the sixth century BC. He chronicles the rise and fall of dynastic power during this period; he examines its numerous material, social and cultural innovations and inventions: The wheel, civil, engineering, building bricks, the centralized state, the division of labour, organised religion, sculpture, education, mathematics, law and monumental building. At the heart of Kriwaczek's magisterial account, though, is the glory of Babylon - 'gateway to the gods' - which rose to glorious prominence under the Amorite king Hammurabi, who unified Babylonia between 1800 and 1750 BC. While Babylonian power would rise and fall over the ensuing centuries, it retained its importance as a cultural, religious and political centre until its fall to Cyrus the Great of Persia in 539 BC.

    Imprint: Atlantic Books
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • BAD TRIP : Dark Omens New Worlds and the End of the Sixties
    BAD TRIP : Dark Omens New Worlds and the End of the Sixties
    RILEY JAMES
    ISBN: 9781785785948
    Title: BAD TRIP : Dark Omens New Worlds and the End of the Sixties
    Author: RILEY JAMES
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: August 2020 New Release

    'A history that makes perfect sense when the sky is falling down.' - The Sunday Times

    The Sixties, for many, was a time of new ideas, freedom, and renewed hope - from the civil rights movement to Woodstock. But towards the end of 1969 and the start of the 1970s, everything seemed to implode. The Manson murders, the tragic events of the Rolling Stones concert at Altamont and the appearance of the Zodiac Killer all called a halt to the progress of a glorious decade. At the end of the Sixties, the hippie dream died - or so the story goes.

    In The Bad Trip, James Riley descends into the underworld of the Sixties to reveal the dark side of the counterculture. He explores the seam of apocalyptic thinking that had lain hidden beneath the decade's psychedelic utopianism all along. Moving between Britain and America, this is a magical mystery tour that shows just how different our concept of 'the Sixties' is from the reality of the period.

    A brilliant and trenchant cultural history published 50 years after the action - drawing on interviews with key figures from the music, art, and film scenes of the late 1960s and early 1970s in the US and UK.

    Imprint: ICON
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • BADLY BEHAVED WOMEN : The Story of Modern Feminism
    BADLY BEHAVED WOMEN : The Story of Modern Feminism
    CROWHURST ANNA-MARIE
    ISBN: 9780233006222
    Title: BADLY BEHAVED WOMEN : The Story of Modern Feminism
    Author: CROWHURST ANNA-MARIE
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Badly Behaved Women is the illustrated story of the past 100 years of the women's movement, from suffrage to alleged bra burning, the politics of hair, Beyonce, and body positivity, to an examination of the flaws and failures of the movement. Anna-Marie Crowhurst's authoritative, compelling and entertaining retelling of this multi-stranded, global and ongoing story is illustrated with stunning photographs and rare documents and archive material from sources around the world. Personal testimony essays from well-known contemporary figures bring the story right up to the present day.

    In the early twentieth century, through ceaseless dedication and fearless campaigning, the women's movement achieved what had previously been unimaginable: a woman's right to vote. 100 years and four waves of feminism on, the rich cultural history of this movement is truly worthy of celebration.

    Imprint: Welbeck Publishing
    RRP: $49.99

    Price: $49.99
  • BALKANS 1804-2012 : Nationalism War and the Great Powers
    BALKANS 1804-2012 : Nationalism War and the Great Powers
    GLENNY MISHA
    ISBN: 9781783784523
    Title: BALKANS 1804-2012 : Nationalism War and the Great Powers
    Author: GLENNY MISHA
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    A refreshed edition of the landmark history of the Balkans.

    In this celebrated, landmark history of the Balkans, Misha Glenny investigates the roots of the bloodshed, invasions and nationalist fervour that have come to define our understanding of the south-eastern edge of Europe. In doing so, he reveals that groups we think of as implacable enemies have, over the centuries, formed unlikely alliances, thereby disputing the idea that conflict in the Balkans is the ineluctable product of ancient grudges. And he exposes the often-catastrophic relationship between the Balkans and the rest of Europe, raising profound questions about recent Western intervention.

    Updated to cover the last decade's brutal conflicts in Kosovo and Macedonia, the surge of organised crime in the region, the rise of Turkey and the rocky road to EU membership, The Balkans remains the essential and peerless study of Europe's most complex and least understood region.

    Imprint: GRANTA
    RRP: $39.99

    Price: $39.99
  • BARBARIANS : Rebellion and Resistance to the Roman Empire
    BARBARIANS : Rebellion and Resistance to the Roman Empire
    KERSHAW STEPHEN P
    ISBN: 9781472142139
    Title: BARBARIANS : Rebellion and Resistance to the Roman Empire
    Author: KERSHAW STEPHEN P
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    'And now what will become of us without barbarians?

    Those people were a sort of solution.'

    'Waiting for the Barbarians'

    C. P. Cavafy

    History is written by the victors, and Rome had some very eloquent historians. Those the Romans regarded as barbarians left few records of their own, but they had a tremendous impact on the Roman imagination. Resisting from outside Rome's borders or rebelling from within, they emerge vividly in Rome's historical tradition, and left a significant footprint in archaeology.

    Rome's history, as written by the Romans, follows a remarkable trajectory from its origins as a tiny village of refugees from a conflict zone to a dominant superpower, before being transformed into the medieval and Byzantine worlds. But throughout this history, Rome faced significant resistance and rebellion from peoples whom it regarded as barbarians.

    Gibbon saw the Roman Empire as one of the highest points of human achievement destroyed by barbarian invaders: Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Goths, Vandals, Huns, Picts and Scots. To others, as Rome was ravaged, new life was infused into an expiring Italy. Gibbon's 'decline and fall' has been reappraised as transformation, through religious and cultural revolution.

    Based both on ancient historical writings and modern archaeological research, this new history takes a fresh look at the Roman Empire, through the personalities and lives of key opponents of Rome's rise, dominance and fall - or transformation. These include: Brennus, the Gaul who sacked Rome; the Plebs, those barbarous insiders and internal resistors; Hannibal; Viriathus, the Iberian shepherd and skilled guerilla; Jugurtha and the struggle to free Africa; the Germanic threat from the Cimbri and the Teutones; Spartacus, the gladiator; Vercingetorix and rebellion in Gaul; Cleopatra; Boudicca, the Queen of the Iceni and the scourge of Rome; the Great Jewish Revolt; Alaric the Goth and the Sack of Rome; Attila the Hun, 'Born to Shake the Nations'; and the Vandals and the fall of Rome.

    Imprint: ROBINSON
    RRP: $22.99
    Price: $22.99
  • BARBARIANS AT THE WALL : The First Nomadic Empire and the Making of China
    BARBARIANS AT THE WALL : The First Nomadic Empire and the Making of China
    MAN JOHN
    ISBN: 9780552174916
    Title: BARBARIANS AT THE WALL : The First Nomadic Empire and the Making of China
    Author: MAN JOHN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    The people of the first nomadic empire left no written records, but from 200 BC they dominated the heart of Asia for 400 years. They changed the world. The Mongols, today's descendants of Genghis Khan, see them as ancestors. Their rise cemented Chinese unity and inspired the first Great Wall. Their heirs under Attila the Hun helped destroy the Roman Empire.

    We don't know what language they spoke, but they became known as Xiongnu, or Hunnu, a term passed down the centuries and across Eurasia, enduring today in shortened form as 'Hun'. Outside Asia precious little is known of their rich history, but new evidence reframes our understanding of the indelible mark they left on a vast region stretching from Europe and sweeping right across Central Asia deep into China.

    Based on meticulous research and new archaeological evidence, Emperors and Barbarians traces their epic story, and shows how the nomadic cultures of the steppes gave birth to a 'barbarian empire' with the wealth and power to threaten the civilised order of the ancient world.

    Imprint: CORGI
    RRP: $19.99
    Price: $19.99
  • BATTLE FOR LONE PINE : FOUR DAYS OF HELL AT THE HEART OF GALLIPOLI
    BATTLE FOR LONE PINE : FOUR DAYS OF HELL AT THE HEART OF GALLIPOLI
    CAMERON DAVID W
    ISBN: 9780143572114
    Title: BATTLE FOR LONE PINE : FOUR DAYS OF HELL AT THE HEART OF GALLIPOLI
    Author: CAMERON DAVID W
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Surprisingly, as we near the 100th anniversary of the legendary Gallipoli campaign, this is the first book solely dedicated to one of its key battles -- that at Lone Pine, where Australian and Turkish soldiers fought an ultimately futile battle that claimed thousands of lives in incredibly close quarters. Seven Victoria Crosses were earned by Australia's Anzacs in the intense four days of fighting, in pursuit of a flawed strategy to distract Turkish forces from larger incursions, which themselves failed.

    David W. Cameron has pulled together first-hand accounts from the men and women involved (including from the Turkish army) to detail what transpired and to follow some of their personal stories throughout the ordeal. By including the stories of non-combatants, such as engineers, nurses, sappers, commanders and more, he not only gives due credit to those who laboured in support of the troops, but provides a wider understanding of the mammoth undertaking of such warfare.

    Many Australians travel to the Lone Pine Memorial and Cemetery each year to commemorate Anzac Day and remember the fallen -- this work of popular history highlights the fate of those who fought

    Imprint: PENGUIN BOOKS
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • BATTLE FOR SPAIN : The Spanish Civil War 1939-1939
    BATTLE FOR SPAIN : The Spanish Civil War 1939-1939
    BEEVOR ANTONY
    ISBN: 9780753821657
    Title: BATTLE FOR SPAIN : The Spanish Civil War 1939-1939
    Author: BEEVOR ANTONY
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The civil war that tore Spain apart between 1936 and 1939 and attracted liberals and socialists from across the world to support the cause against Franco was one of the most hard-fought and bitterest conflicts of the 20th century: a war of atrocities and political genocide and a military testing ground before WWII for the Russians, Italians and Germans, whose Condor Legion so notoriously destroyed Guernica. Antony Beevor's account narrates the origins of the Civil War and its violent and dramatic course from the coup d'etat in July 1936 through the savage fighting of the next three years which ended in catastrophic defeat for the Republicans in 1939. And he succeeds especially well in unravelling the complex political and regional forces that played such an important part in the origins and history of the war.

    Imprint: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • BATTLE OF BRITAIN
    BATTLE OF BRITAIN
    HOLLAND JAMES
    ISBN: 9780552156103
    Title: BATTLE OF BRITAIN
    Author: HOLLAND JAMES
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The ground-breaking and definitive account of the Battle of Britain from one of this country's most acclaimed young historians

    ‘If Hitler fails to invade or destroy Britain, he has lost the war,’ Churchill said in the summer of 1940.He was right.The Battle of Britain was a crucial turning point in the history of the Second World War. Had Britain’s defences collapsed, Hitler would have dominated all of Europe and been able to turn his full attention east to the Soviet Union.

    The German invasion of France and the Low Countries in May 1940 was unlike any the world had ever seen. It hit with a force and aggression that no-one could counter and in just a few short weeks, all in their way crumbled under the force of the Nazi hammer blow. With France facing defeat and with British forces pressed back to the Channel, there were few who believed Britain could possibly survive.Soon, it seemed, Hitler would have all of Europe at his feet.

    Yet Hitler’s forces were not quite the Goliath they at first seemed, while her leadership lacked the single-minded purpose, vision and direction that had led to such success on land.Nor was Britain any David.Thanks to a sophisticated defensive system and the combined efforts of the RAF, Royal Navy as well as the mounting sense of collective defiance led by a new Prime Minister, Britain was not ready to roll over just yet.

    From clashes between coastal convoys and Schnellboote in the Channel to astonishing last stands in Flanders, and from the slaughter by the U-boats in the icy Atlantic to the dramatic aerial battles over England, The Battle of Britain tells this most epic of stories from all sides, drawing on extensive new research from around the world. In so doing, it paints a complete picture of that extraordinary summer - a time in which the fate of the world truly hung by a thread.

    Imprint: CORGI
    RRP: $27.99

    Price: $27.99
  • BATTLE OF BRITAIN : The Pilots and Planes the made History
    BATTLE OF BRITAIN : The Pilots and Planes the made History
    PEARSON SIMON / GORMAN ED
    ISBN: 9781529378078
    Title: BATTLE OF BRITAIN : The Pilots and Planes the made History
    Author: PEARSON SIMON / GORMAN ED
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    While the Battle of Britain and the iconic Spitfire remain a source of great pride to the average Briton, it is remarkable how little is known and understood about this episode in our history.

    In THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN Ed Gorman and Simon Pearson paint a vivid picture of the men and their machines as the battle for air superiority over Britain is played out across the skies of Europe from western Ireland to the German capital.

    They tell remarkable stories involving hitherto unknown airmen from across the world who flew aircraft that will be new to many readers: the New Zealander who "borrowed" a seaplane from the Royal Navy to set up a freelance air-sea rescue service that saved the lives of dozens of British and German pilots; the Swiss baron who destroyed nine British fighters in a day; the vainglorious Dane whose RAF squadron was wiped out trying to disrupt Nazi invasion plans; and the German bomber pilot who fought the last battle involving foreign troops on British soil since Culloden - before repairing to a pub in Kent for a pint in with soldiers from the Irish Rifle, who had taken him prisoner.

    Illustrated with contemporary photographs of the pilots and their aircraft, and in-depth technical drawings, these are stories from both sides of a conflict that shaped the outcome of the Second World War and which continue to fascinate people in Britain and all over the world. They are full of courage, endeavour and above all, humanity.

    Imprint: Hodder and Stoughton
    RRP: $32.99
    Price: $32.99
  • BATTLES FOR KOKODA PLATEAU
    BATTLES FOR KOKODA PLATEAU
    CAMERON DAVID W
    ISBN: 9781760529550
    Title: BATTLES FOR KOKODA PLATEAU
    Author: CAMERON DAVID W
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    'The Japanese attacked us, they mortared us, they shelled us...they did everything.'

    On 21 July 1942, a large Japanese reconnaissance mission landed along the north-eastern coastline of Papua, it would soon turn into an all-out attempt to capture Port Morseby. This is the powerful story of the three weeks of battle by a small Australian militia force, the 39th Battalion, supported by the 1st Papua Infantry Battalion and the Royal Papuan Constabulary, to keep the Japanese at bay. Outnumbered by at least three to one, they fought courageously to hold the Kokoda Plateau - the gateway to the Owen Stanleys. Desperately short of ammunition and food and stranded in the fetid swamps and lowland jungles, they did everything they could to keep the Kokoda airstrip out of Japanese hands.

    Not far away, and desperately trying to reach the Australians, were two groups of Anglican missionaries trapped behind enemy lines. With each passing day the parties grew, joined by lost Australian soldiers and downed American airmen. Theirs is a story of tragedy and betrayal.

    Using letters, diaries and other first-hand accounts, from friend and foe alike, leading military historian David W Cameron, has for the first time written a detailed, compelling and provocative account of what occurred at the northern foot of the Owen Stanleys in late July and early August 1942. These are stories that deserve to be firmly embedded into the Kokoda legend.

    Imprint: Allen and Unwin Publishers
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
  • BEAUTIFUL OBSCURE
    BEAUTIFUL OBSCURE
    STEGEMANN LUKE
    ISBN: 9780648037439
    Title: BEAUTIFUL OBSCURE
    Author: STEGEMANN LUKE
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The Beautiful Obscure by Luke Stegemann is a powerful work that introduces the reader to an extraordinary array of characters and events. Drawing on his more than 30 years living between Australia and Spain, Stegemann combines documentary research with art history, political analysis, memoir, travelogue and family anecdote to essay a largely unconsidered cultural history.


    'This book spoke to my heart. An outsider's love letter to a people and their way of life... a rich palimpsest of ideas and episodes and tumbling phrases. A country, a culture, a life, all intertwined - who could ask for more?' - Nicolas Rothwell

    Imprint: TRANSMISSION PRESS
    RRP: $29.95

    Price: $29.95
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