A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. He takes subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry, and particle physics, and aims to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. In the company of some extraordinary scientists, Bill Bryson reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.
"Not what I expected but brilliant!"
Girt. No word could better capture the essence of Australia.... In this hilarious history, David Hunt reveals the truth of Australia's past, from megafauna to Macquarie - the cock-ups and curiosities, the forgotten eccentrics and Eureka moments that have made us who we are. Girt introduces forgotten heroes like Mary McLoghlin, transported for the crime of "felony of sock", and Trim the cat, who beat a French monkey to become the first animal to circumnavigate Australia.
"True Blue History of Australia - Addicted"
First there was Girt. Now comes...True Girt. In this side-splitting sequel to his best-selling history, David Hunt takes us to the Australian frontier. This was the Wild South, home to hardy pioneers, gun-slinging bushrangers, directionally challenged explorers, nervous indigenous people, Caroline Chisholm and sheep. Lots of sheep.
"Such an interesting conversation with history"
Set amid the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA's African American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America's space program. Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as 'human computers', calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African American women.
"Amazing narration but weak story"
Having done field work in New Guinea for more than 30 years, Jared Diamond presents the geographical and ecological factors that have shaped the modern world. From the viewpoint of an evolutionary biologist, he highlights the broadest movements both literal and conceptual on every continent since the Ice Age, and examines societal advances such as writing, religion, government, and technology.
"A smart revisionist history of humankind"
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis - that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over 40 years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
The sun is setting on the Western world. Slowly but surely, the direction in which the world spins has reversed: where for the last five centuries the globe turned westward on its axis, it now turns to the east.... For centuries, fame and fortune were to be found in the West - in the New World of the Americas. Today it is the East that calls out to those in search of adventure and riches. The region stretching from Eastern Europe and sweeping right across Central Asia, deep into China and India, is taking center stage.
From the earliest civilizations to the 21st century: a global journey through human history, published alongside a landmark BBC One television series. Our understanding of world history is changing, as new discoveries are made on all the continents and old prejudices are being challenged. In this truly global journey, Andrew Marr revisits some of the traditional epic stories, from classical Greece and Rome to the rise of Napoleon, but surrounds them with less familiar material, from Peru to the Ukraine, China to the Caribbean.
"Enjoyed it, especially earlier on."
Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.
Ancient Rome matters. Its history of empire, conquest, cruelty and excess is something against which we still judge ourselves. Its myths and stories - from Romulus and Remus to the rape of Lucretia - still strike a chord with us. And its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own debates on civil liberty today. SPQR is a new look at Roman history from one of the world's foremost classicists.
The 13 chapters of The Art of War, each devoted to one aspect of warfare, were compiled by the high-ranking Chinese military general, strategist, and philosopher Sun-Tzu. In spite of its battlefield specificity, The Art of War has found new life in the modern age, with leaders in fields as wide and far-reaching as world politics, human psychology, and corporate strategy finding valuable insight in its timeworn words.
"An inspiring if somewhat dated read"
Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, considering how the ordinary things in life came to be.
"Best use of a credit"
'I need a wife'. It's a common joke among women juggling work and family, but it's no joke. Having a spouse who takes care of things at home is a godsend on the domestic front and an asset on the work front and is an advantage enjoyed by vastly more men than women. Full of candid and funny stories from politics and the media, The Wife Drought shares intriguing research about the attitudes pulsing beneath the surface of egalitarian Australia.
Fingerprints of the Gods is the revolutionary rewrite of history that has persuaded millions of listeners throughout the world to change their preconceptions about the history behind modern society. An intellectual detective story, this unique history audiobook directs probing questions at orthodox history, presenting disturbing new evidence that historians have tried - but failed - to explain.
His code name is Mr Clark. And his work for the CIA is brilliant, cold-blooded, and efficient...but who is he really? In a harrowing tour de force, Tom Clancy shows how an ordinary man named John Kelly crossed the lines of justice and morality - to become the CIA legend, Mr Clark.
This is an unforgettable journey into the heart of darkness. Without mercy. Without guilt. Without remorse.
13 Hours presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. A team of six American security operators fought to repel the attackers and protect the Americans stationed there. Those men went beyond the call of duty, performing extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, to avert tragedy on a much larger scale.
From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.
The narrative that emerges in an inclusive one about men and women, Maori and Pakeha. It shows that British motives in colonising New Zealand were essentially humane; and that Maori, far from being passive victims of a 'fatal impact', coped heroically with colonisation and survived by selectively accepting and adapting what Western technology and culture had to offer.
In Amsterdam, in the summer of 1942, the Nazis forced teenager Anne Frank and her family into hiding. For over two years, they, another family and a German dentist lived in a 'secret annexe', fearing discovery. All that time, Anne kept a diary.An intimate record of tension and struggle, adolescence and confinement, anger and heartbreak, Anne Frank's diary is one of those unique documents, famed throughout the world.It portrays innocence and humanity, suffering and survival in the starkest and most moving terms.
Shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War, a country house called The Firs in Buckinghamshire was requisitioned by the War Office. Sentries were posted at the entrance gates, and barbed wire was strung around the perimeter fence. To local villagers it looked like a prison camp. But the truth was far more sinister. This rambling Edwardian mansion had become home to an eccentric band of scientists, inventors and bluestockings. Their task was to build devastating new weaponry that could be used against the Nazis.
"Boys Own stuff but I loved it. .."
One Summer: America, 1927, is the new book by Britain’s favourite writer of narrative nonfiction, Bill Bryson. Narrated by the man himself, One Summer takes you to the summer when America came of age, took centre stage, and changed the world forever. In the summer of 1927, America had a booming stock market, a president who worked just four hours a day, a semi-crazed sculptor with a plan to carve four giant heads into a mountain called Rushmore, a devastating flood of the Mississippi, a sensational murder trial, and a youthful aviator named Charles Lindbergh who started the summer wholly unknown, and finished it as the most famous man on Earth.
"A Summer more or less"
Australia has more things that can kill you than anywhere else. Nevertheless, Bill Bryson journeyed to the country and promptly fell in love with it. The people are cheerful, their cities are clean, the beer is cold, and the sun nearly always shines.
"It's OK but --------------------"
In Neither Here nor There Bill Bryson brings his unique brand of humour to bear on Europe as he shoulders his backpack, keeps a tight hold on his wallet, and journeys from Hammerfest, the northernmost town on the continent, to Istanbul on the cusp of Asia.
"If you are amused by sexually deviant things"
In Made in America, Bryson de-mythologizes his native land, explaining how a dusty hamlet with neither woods nor holly became Hollywood, how the Wild West wasn't won, why Americans say 'lootenant' and 'Toosday', how Americans were eating junk food long before the word itself was cooked up, as well as exposing the true origins of the G-string, the original $64,000 question, and Dr Kellogg of cornflakes fame.
"Very entertaining account of American vocabulary"
For more than 40 years, the US government has researched extrasensory perception, using it in attempts to locate hostages, fugitives, secret bases, and downed fighter jets, to divine other nations' secrets, and even to predict future threats to national security. The intelligence agencies and military services involved include CIA, DIA, NSA, DEA, the Navy, Air Force, and Army - and even the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Now, for the first time, New York Times best-selling author Annie Jacobsen tells the story of these radical, controversial programs.
From George Washington's reluctant oath-taking through George W. Bush's leadership challenges after September 11, 2001, we view ambitious and fallible men through the new lens of the 21st century. Where did they succeed? Where did they fail? And what do we know now that we could not have known at the time?
Following World War II, through the 1990s, there existed a sense of mutual distrust between the United States and the Soviet Union. The hostile environment included American fears of a Russian plan to control the world and the USSR's resentment over US intervention in foreign countries. The Cold War includes such speeches as JFK's address to the nation on the arms buildup in Cuba and commending West Berliners on their dedication to democracy.
David M. Potter's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Impending Crisis is the definitive history of antebellum America. Potter's sweeping epic masterfully charts the chaotic forces that climaxed with the outbreak of the Civil War: westward expansion, the divisive issue of slavery, the Dred Scott decision, John Brown's uprising, the ascension of Abraham Lincoln, and the drama of Southern secession.
Dereliction of Duty is a stunning analysis of how and why the United States became involved in an all-out and disastrous war in Southeast Asia. Fully and convincingly researched, based on transcripts and personal accounts of crucial meetings, confrontations and decisions, it is the only book that fully re-creates what happened and why.
After meeting for the first time on the front lines of World War I, two aspiring writers forge an intense 20-year friendship and write some of America's greatest novels, giving voice to a "lost generation" shaken by war.
Judith Flanders, one of Britain's foremost social historians, explores the world portrayed so vividly in Dickens' novels, showing life on the streets of London in colorful, fascinating detail. From the moment Charles Dickens, the century's best-loved English novelist and London's greatest observer, arrived in the city in 1822, he obsessively walked its streets, recording its pleasures, curiosities, and cruelties.
Aviator Lincoln Beachey broke countless records: He looped-the-loop, flew upside down and in corkscrews, and was the first to pull his aircraft out of what was a typically fatal tailspin. As Beachey and other aviators took to the skies in death-defying acts in the early 20th century, these innovative daredevils not only wowed crowds but also redefined the frontiers of powered flight.
In A Vast Conspiracy, the best-selling author of The Run of His Life casts an insightful, unbiased eye over the most extraordinary public saga of our time - the Clinton sex scandals. A superlative journalist known for the skillfulness of his investigating and the power of his writing, Jeffrey Toobin tells the unlikely story of the events that began over doughnuts in a Little Rock hotel and ended on the floor of the United States Senate, with only the second vote on presidential removal in American history.
Obama's presidency has suffered the fiercest opposition any administration has had and yet Mr. Obama has managed to lead the country to financial recovery, end the senseless war in Iraq, implement universal healthcare, put an end to Iran's nuclear ambitions and re-open diplomatic relations with Cuba all the while remaking US standing in the world. But Republicans believe he is the worst president the country has had.
The United States has never had a shortage of cults based on religious teachings and charismatic leaders, but perhaps none are as infamous as Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple, which remain notorious for the mass murder-suicide event in Jonestown, Guyana, on November 18, 1978, during which nearly 900 people drank cyanide-laced Flavor Aid, including nearly 300 children.
On Tuesday, May 9, 1893, seven-year-old Emma Werner was the victim of a brutal and lethal attack in Chicago, Illinois. The dreadful murder came at the start of the city's much ballyhooed 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, also known as the Chicago World's Fair. It coincided with the heinous crimes of ruthless serial killer Herman Webster Mudgett, who went by the name H.H. Holmes and built a hotel called the World's Fair Hotel to house and profit from the Fair visitors needing a place to stay.
The struggles and victories of the UAW form an important chapter in the story of American democracy. American Vanguard is the first and only history of the union available for both general and academic audiences.
Discover captivating beliefs of the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Vikings in this book on mythology that contains three manuscripts. The first manuscript in this bundle is the best-seller called Greek Mythology: A Captivating Guide to the Ancient Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, and Monsters.
On Christmas Day 1914, amid the bloodily stalemated trenches of Flanders just five months into World War I, a memorable event dubbed the Christmas Truce occurred. In place of the rattle of gunfire and the crash of bursting artillery shells, familiar German and English Christmas carols floated through the frosty air. Officers and men on both sides emerged from their trenches to mingle, exchange Yuletide greetings, give one another small gifts and mementos, and discuss the fighting as language allowed.
And what of Francis Scott Key, this brilliant lawyer who was born into slave-holding Maryland and himself held slaves even as he wrote of "the land of the free"? He was, to say the least, complex, as he at times fought in court both for and against slaves seeking their freedom. He was a founding member of an organization seeking to return captured slaves to their homelands, yet he also fought abolition tooth and claw. He seems to have been, like many men of his age, torn nearly to pieces by these contradictions.
In 1898, one of Spain's last possessions in the New World, Cuba, was waging a war for independence, and many Americans believed that the United States should side with Cuba against Spain. Initially, Republican President William McKinley wanted to avoid any wars, and for its part, Spain also wanted to avoid any conflict with United States and its powerful navy. However, Spain also wanted to keep Cuba. All the while, American economic interests were being harmed by the ongoing conflict between Cuban nationalists and Spain.
The policy of manifest destiny increased tensions with Mexico in the 1840s. Mexico's northern half formed the western border of the territory bought in the Louisiana Purchase. Naturally, notions of the United States expanding to the Pacific Ocean alarmed Mexico, which held what is today the west coast of the United States. However, Mexico first came to regard American expansion as a serious problem with the immigration of Americans into its northeastern territory.
For much of the 20th century, South American governments in large part lived under a system of military junta governments. The mixture of indigenous peoples, foreign settlers and European colonial superpowers produced cultural and social imbalances into which military forces intervened as a stabilizing influence. The proactive personalities of military heads and the rigid structures of such a hierarchy guaranteed the "strong man" commanding officer an abiding presence in the form of executive dictator.
From royalty to suffragettes and from campaigners to contemporary rebels, Sky News Presenter Sophy Ridge explains the ways that women have changed the face of politics. Sophy Ridge has uncovered the extraordinary stories of the women who have shaped British politics. Never has the role of women in the political world ever been more on the news agenda, and Sophy has interviewed current and former MPs to gain exclusive insight into the role women play in politics at the highest level.