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History

Innovation

Innovation

Ackroyd, Peter
$29.99

Innovation, the sixth and final volume in Peter Ackroyd's magnificent History of England series, takes readers from the Boer War to the Millennium Dome almost a hundred years later.

Innovation brings Peter Ackroyd's History of England to a triumphant close. Ackroyd takes readers from the end of the Boer War and the accession of Edward VII to the end of the twentieth century, when his great-granddaughter Elizabeth II had been on the throne for almost five decades.

It was a century of enormous change, encompassing two world wars, four monarchs (Edward VII, George V, George VI and the Queen), the decline of the aristocracy and the rise of the Labour Party, women's suffrage, the birth of the NHS, the march of suburbia and the clearance of the slums. It was a period that saw the work of the Bloomsbury Group and T.S. Eliot, of Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin, from the end of the post-war slump to the technicolor explosion of the 1960s, to free love and punk rock, and from Thatcher to Blair.

A vividly readable, richly peopled tour de force, Innovation is Peter Ackroyd writing at the height of his powers.

Love in the Blitz

Love in the Blitz

Alexander, Eileen
$17.99

On July 17th 1939, Eileen Alexander, a bright young woman recently graduated from Girton College, Cambridge, begins a brilliant correspondence with fellow Cambridge student Gershon Ellenbogen that lasts five years and spans many hundreds of letters.

But as Eileen and Gershon's relationship flourishes from friendship and admiration into passion and love, the tensions between Germany, Russia, and the rest of Europe reach a crescendo. When war is declared, Gershon heads for Cairo and Eileen forgoes her studies to work in the Air Ministry.

As cinematic as Atonement, written with the intimacy of the Neapolitan quartet, Love in the Blitz is an extraordinary glimpse of life in London during World War II and an illuminating portrait of an ordinary young woman trying to carve a place for herself in a time of uncertainty. As the Luftwaffe begins its bombardment of England, Eileen, like her fellow Britons, carries on while her loved ones are called up to fight, some never to return home.

Written over the course of the conflict, Eileen's letters provide a vivid and personal glimpse of this historic era. Yet throughout the turmoil and bloodshed, one thing remains constant: her beloved Gershon, who remains a source of strength and support, even after he, too, joins the fighting. Though his letters have been lost to time, the bolstering force of his love for Eileen is illuminated in her responses to him.

Equal parts heartrending and heartwarming, Love in the Blitz is a timeless romance and a deeply personal story of life and resilience amid the violence and terror of war.

Castle in Wartime

Castle in Wartime

Bailey, Catherine
$18.00
I was gripped by A Castle in Wartime--it contained more tension, more plot in fact--than any thriller.--Kate Atkinson, author of Big Sky and Case Histories

An enthralling story of one family's extraordinary courage and resistance amidst the horrors of war from the New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Rooms.

As war swept across Europe in 1940, the idyllic life of Fey von Hassell seemed a world away from the conflict. The daughter of Ulrich von Hassell, Hitler's Ambassador to Italy, her marriage to Italian aristocrat Detalmo Pirzio-Biroli brought with it a castle and an estate in the north of Italy. Beautiful and privileged, Fey and her two young sons lead a tranquil life undisturbed by the trauma and privations of war. But with Fascism approaching its zenith, Fey's peaceful existence is threatened when Ulrich and Detalmo take the brave and difficult decision to resist the Nazis.

When German soldiers pour over the Italian border, Fey is suddenly marooned in the Nazi-occupied north and unable to communicate with her husband, who has joined the underground anti-Fascist movement in Rome. Before long, SS soldiers have taken up occupancy in the castle. As Fey struggles to maintain an air of warm welcome to her unwanted guests, the clandestine activities of both her father and husband become increasingly brazen and openly rebellious. Darkness descends when Ulrich's foiled plot to kill the Fuhrer brings the Gestapo to Fey's doorstep. It would be months before Detalmo learns that his wife had been arrested and his two young boys seized by the SS.

Suffused with Catherine Bailey's signature atmospheric prose, A Castle in Wartime tells the unforgettable story of the extraordinary bravery and fortitude of one family who collectively and individually sacrificed everything to resist the Nazis from within. Bailey's unprecedented access to stunning first-hand family accounts, along with records from concentration camps and surviving SS files, make this a dazzling and compulsively readable book, opening a view on the cost and consequences of resistance.

Accidental President

Baime, A. J.
$17.99
History of the World in 100 Animals

History of the World in 100 Animals

Barnes, Simon
$39.95

Fully illustrated in color, a fascinating exploration of the one hundred animals that have had the most profound influence on humanity throughout the ages.

 

We are not alone. We are not alone on the planet. We are not alone in the countryside. We are not alone in cities. We are not alone in our homes. We are humans and we love the idea of our uniqueness. But the fact is that we humans are as much members of the animal kingdom as the cats and dogs we surround ourselves with, the cows and the fish we eat, and the bees who pollinate so many of our food-plants.

 

In The History of the World in 100 Animals, award-winning author Simon Barnes selects the one hundred animals who have had the greatest impact on humanity and on whom humanity has had the greatest effect. He shows how we have domesticated animals for food and for transport, and how animals powered agriculture, making civilisation possible. A species of flea came close to destroying human civilisation in Europe, while the slaughter of a species of bovines was used to create one civilisation and destroy another. He explains how pigeons made possible the biggest single breakthrough in the history of human thought. In short, he charts the close relationship between humans and animals, finding examples from around the planet that bring the story of life on earth vividly to life, with great insight and understanding.

 

The heresy of human uniqueness has led us across the millennia along the path of destruction. This book, beautifully illustrated throughout, helps us to understand our place in the world better, so that we might do a better job of looking after it. That might save the polar bears, the modern emblem of impending loss and destruction. It might even save ourselves.

Sound of the Sea

Sound of the Sea

Barnett, Cynthia
$27.95

Seashells have been the most coveted and collected of nature's creations since the dawn of humanity. They were money before coins, jewelry before gems, art before canvas.

In The Sound of the Sea, acclaimed environmental author Cynthia Barnett blends cultural history and science to trace our long love affair with seashells and the hidden lives of the mollusks that make them. Spiraling out from the great cities of shell that once rose in North America to the warming waters of the Maldives and the slave castles of Ghana, Barnett has created an unforgettable account of the world's most iconic seashells. She begins with their childhood wonder, unwinds surprising histories like the origin of Shell Oil as a family business importing exotic shells, and charts what shells and the soft animals that build them are telling scientists about our warming, acidifying seas.

From the eerie calls of early shell trumpets to the evolutionary miracle of spines and spires and the modern science of carbon capture inspired by shell, Barnett circles to her central point of listening to nature's wisdom--and acting on what seashells have to say about taking care of each other and our world.

Faster

Faster

Bascomb, Neal
$16.99

Winner of the Motor Press Guild Best Book of the Year Award & Dean Batchelor Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism

For fans of The Boys in the Boat and In the Garden of Beasts, a pulse-pounding tale of triumph by an improbable team of upstarts over Hitler's fearsome Silver Arrows during the golden age of auto racing

As Nazi Germany launched its campaign of racial terror and pushed the world toward war, three unlikely heroes--a driver banned from the best European teams because of his Jewish heritage, the owner of a faltering automaker company, and the adventurous daughter of an American multimillionaire--banded together to challenge Hitler's dominance at the Grand Prix, the apex of motorsport. Bringing to life this glamorous era and the sport that defined it, Faster chronicles one of the most inspiring, death-defying upsets of all time: a symbolic blow against the Nazis during history's darkest hour.

Light of Days

Batalion, Judy
$28.99
Traveling Black: A Story of Race and Resistance

Traveling Black: A Story of Race and Resistance

Bay, Mia
$35.00

Winner of the Bancroft Prize
Winner of the David J. Langum Prize
A New York Times Critics' Top Book of the Year

"This extraordinary book is a powerful addition to the history of travel segregation. Traveling Black reveals how travel discrimination transformed over time from segregated trains to buses and Uber rides. Mia Bay shows that Black mobility has always been a struggle."
--Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist

A riveting, character-rich account of racial segregation in America that reveals just how central travel restrictions were to the creation of Jim Crow laws--and why "traveling Black" has been at the heart of the quest for racial justice ever since.

From Plessy v. Ferguson to #DrivingWhileBlack, African Americans have fought for over a century to move freely around the United States. Curious as to why so many cases contesting the doctrine of "separate but equal" involved trains and buses, Mia Bay went back to the sources with some basic questions: How did travel segregation begin? Why were so many of those who challenged it in court women? How did it move from one form of transport to another, and what was it like to be caught up in this web of contradictory rules?

From stagecoaches and trains to buses, cars, and planes, Traveling Black explores when, how, and why racial restrictions took shape and brilliantly portrays what it was like to live with them. "There is not in the world a more disgraceful denial of human brotherhood than the 'Jim Crow' car of the southern United States," W. E. B. Du Bois famously declared. Bay unearths troves of supporting evidence, rescuing forgotten stories of undaunted passengers who made it back home despite being insulted, stranded, re-routed, or ignored.

Black travelers never stopped challenging these humiliations and insisting on justice in the courts. Traveling Black upends our understanding of Black resistance, documenting a sustained fight that falls outside the traditional boundaries of the civil rights movement. A masterpiece of scholarly and human insight, this book helps explain why the long, unfinished journey to racial equality so often takes place on the road.

Strongmen

Strongmen

Ben-Ghiat, Ruth
$17.95

Ruth Ben-Ghiat is the expert on the strongman playbook employed by authoritarian demagogues from Mussolini to Putin--enabling her to predict with uncanny accuracy the recent experience in America. In Strongmen, she lays bare the blueprint these leaders have followed over the past 100 years, and empowers us to recognize, resist, and prevent their disastrous rule in the future.

For ours is the age of authoritarian rulers: self-proclaimed saviors of the nation who evade accountability while robbing their people of truth, treasure, and the protections of democracy. They promise law and order, then legitimize lawbreaking by financial, sexual, and other predators.

They use masculinity as a symbol of strength and a political weapon. Taking what you want, and getting away with it, becomes proof of male authority. They use propaganda, corruption, and violence to stay in power.

Vladimir Putin and Mobutu Sese Seko's kleptocracies, Augusto Pinochet's torture sites, Benito Mussolini and Muammar Gaddafi's systems of sexual exploitation, and Silvio Berlusconi and Donald Trump's relentless misinformation: all show how authoritarian rule, far from ensuring stability, is marked by destructive chaos.

No other type of leader is so transparent about prioritizing self-interest over the public good. As one country after another has discovered, the strongman is at his worst when true guidance is most needed by his country.

Recounting the acts of solidarity and dignity that have undone strongmen over the past 100 years, Ben-Ghiat makes vividly clear that only by seeing the strongman for what he is--and by valuing one another as he is unable to do--can we stop him, now and in the future.