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.
Hailed as the most compelling biography of the German dictator yet written, Ian Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the heart of its subject's immense darkness. From his illegitimate birth in a small Austrian village to his fiery death in a bunker under the Reich chancellery in Berlin, Adolf Hitler left a murky trail, strewn with contradictory tales and overgrown with self-created myths. One truth prevails: the sheer scale of the evils that he unleashed on the world has made him a demonic figure without equal in the 20th century.
"Excellent, life saver"
The point of The Churchill Factor is that one man can make all the difference. On the eve of the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill's death, Boris Johnson explores what makes up the 'Churchill Factor' - the singular brilliance of one of the most important leaders of the 20th century.
"Amazingly well written"
The complete magisterial history of the greatest and most terrible event in history, from one of the finest historians of the Second World War. This shows the impact of war upon hundreds of millions of people around the world - soldiers, sailors and airmen; housewives, farm workers and children. Reflecting Max Hastings's 35 years of research on World War II, All Hell Let Loose describes the course of events, but focuses chiefly upon human experience.
"Phenomenal storytelling of our darkest days"
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. .."
Historian and broadcaster Tessa Dunlop tells the story of the women of Bletchley Park through exclusive and unprecedented access to the women themselves. The Bletchley Girls weaves together the lives of 15 women who were all selected to work in Britain's most secret organisation - Bletchley Park. It is their story, told in their voices; Tessa met and talked to 15 veterans, often visiting them several times. Firm friendships were made as their epic journey unfolded on paper.
"Brilliant. Thank you."
It is somewhere close to midnight on the clock when the men who fought the Second World War will still be with us. I have met just a few of them, sometimes goading them to reveal their experiences, at other times being simply a conduit to the river of their memories, sensing, on occasion, a kind of urgency to get it out there, just so these adventures and tragedies will not be lost to future enquiring minds. Michael Veitch has always been a keen historian and aeroplane fanatic.
"Excellent history and writing"
A magisterial, single volume history of the greatest conflict the world has ever known by our foremost military historian. The Second World War began in August 1939 on the edge of Manchuria and ended there exactly six years later with the Soviet invasion of northern China. The war in Europe appeared completely divorced from the war in the Pacific and China, and yet events on opposite sides of the world had profound effects.
"Both comprehensive and interesting"
Laurence Rees, in his magnum opus, combines largely unpublished testimony with the latest academic research to create the first accessible and authoritative account of the Holocaust in over three decades. Rees argues that whilst hatred of the Jews was always at the epicentre of Nazi thinking - and the Holocaust was the most appalling crime in history - what happened cannot be fully understood without considering the murder of the Jews alongside other Nazi plans to kill millions of non-Jews as well.
In Leningrad: Siege and Symphony, Brian Moynahan sets the composition of Shostakovich's most famous work against the tragic canvas of the siege itself and the years of repression and terror that preceded it. Drawing on extensive primary research in archives as well as personal letters and diaries, he vividly tells the story of the cruelties heaped by the twin monsters of the 20th century, Stalin and Hitler, on a city of exquisite beauty, and of its no less remarkable survival.
The last months of the Second World War were a nightmarish time to be alive. Unimaginable levels of violence destroyed entire cities. Millions died or were dispossessed. By all kinds of criteria it was the end: the end of the Third Reich and its terrible empire but also, increasingly, it seemed to be the end of European civilization itself. In his gripping, revelatory new book Ian Kershaw describes these final months, from the failed attempt to assassinate Hitler in July 1944 to the German surrender in May 1945.
The Nazis presented themselves as warriors against moral degeneracy. Yet, as Norman Ohler's gripping best seller reveals, the entire Third Reich was permeated with drugs: cocaine, heroin, morphine and, most of all, methamphetamines, or crystal meth, used by everyone from factory workers to housewives, and crucial to troops; resilience - even partly explaining German victory in 1940.
The incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, now a major motion picture directed by Angelina Jolie. Motion Picture Artwork © Universal Studios 2014. All Rights Reserved. In 1943 a bomber crashes into the Pacific Ocean. Against all odds, one young lieutenant survives. Louis Zamperini had already transformed himself from child delinquent to prodigious athlete, running in the Berlin Olympics. Now he must embark on one of the Second World War’s most extraordinary odysseys.
Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of The Battle of the Atlantic, written and read by Jonathan Dimbleby. The Battle of the Atlantic was - though often overlooked - crucial to victory in the Second World War. If the German U-boats had prevailed, the maritime artery across the Atlantic would have been severed. Mass hunger would have consumed Britain, and the Allied armies would have been prevented from joining in the invasion of Europe.
"A great account ruined by some bad editing"
In the upper reaches of the Loire lies the secluded village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon. The whole village was honoured not just by the French state but with the extremely rare distinction of being named Righteous Among Nations by the people of Israel. How they earned this is one of the great modern stories of heroism and courage. The community pulled off the astonishing feat of saving the lives of 5,000 men, women and children whose very existence was deemed unpalatable by the Nazi occupiers and their Vichy stooges.
Among millions of Holocaust victims sent to Auschwitz II-Birkenau in 1944, Priska, Rachel and Anka each passed through its infamous gates with a secret. Strangers to each other, they were newly pregnant and facing an uncertain fate without their husbands. Alone, scared and with so many loved ones already lost to the Nazis, these young women were privately determined to hold on to all they had left: their lives and those of their unborn babies.
June 1940: As Britain's soldiers limped home from Dunkirk, a maverick Army officer was already devising a bold plan to hit back at the enemy. His idea was to revolutionise military thinking and change the face of warfare forever. Relying as much on stealth and guile as on courage and stamina, the Commandos brought to the battlefield the skills of the guerrilla. Trained by an unconventional band of experts, and led by a big-game hunter, a film star, a Highland chief and an eccentric wielding a bow and arrow, they became the spearhead of the Allied drive for victory.
Churchill's history of the Second World War is, and will remain, the definitive work. Lucid, dramatic, remarkable for its breadth and sweep and for its sense of personal involvement, it is universally acknowledged as a magnificent reconstruction.
"One of the greatest book - a must read"
Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Ardennes 1944 by Antony Beever, read by Sean Barrett. On 16 December 1944, Hitler launched his last gamble in the snow-covered forests and gorges of the Ardennes on the Belgian/German border. Although Hitler's generals were doubtful of success, younger officers and NCOs were desperate to believe that their homes and families could be saved from the vengeful Red Army approaching from the east.
"Antony at his best"
One of the best selling History titles of 2009. Examining the Second World War on every front, Andrew Roberts asks whether, with a different decision-making process and a different strategy, Hitler’s Axis might even have won. Were those German generals who blamed everything on Hitler after the war correct, or were they merely scapegoating their former Führer once he was safely beyond defending himself?
"Best narration of a non-fiction ever!"