The past is another country, the old saying goes. The same might be said of the future. But which country? For Europeans and Americans today, the answer is Russia.
Today's Russia is an oligarchy propped up by illusions and falsities. But it also represents the fulfilment of tendencies already present in the West. And if Moscow's drive to dissolve Western states and values succeeds, this could become our reality too.
In this visionary work of contemporary history, Timothy Snyder shows how Russia works within the West to destroy the West; by supporting the far right in Europe, invading Ukraine in 2014, and waging a cyberwar during the 2016 presidential campaign and the EU referendum. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the creation of Donald Trump, an American failure deployed as a Russian weapon.
But this threat presents an opportunity to better understand the pillars of our freedoms, confront our own complacency and seek renewal. History never ends, and this new challenge forces us to face the choices that will determine the future: equality or oligarchy, individualism or totalitarianism, truth or lies.
The Road to Unfreedom helps us to see our world as if for the first time. It is necessary reading for any citizen of a democracy.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE SELECTED AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017 BY THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, MAIL ON SUNDAY AND OBSERVER Belonging is a magnificent cultural history abundantly alive with energy, character and colour. From the Jews' expulsion from Spain in 1492 it tells the stories not just of rabbis and philosophers but of a poetess in the ghetto of Venice; a boxer in Georgian England; a general in Ming China; an opera composer in nineteenth-century Germany. The story unfolds in Kerala and Mantua, the starlit hills of Galilee, the rivers of Colombia, the kitchens of Istanbul, the taverns of Ukraine and the mining camps of California. It sails in caravels, rides the stage coaches and the railways; trudges the dawn streets of London, hobbles along with the remnant of Napoleon's ruined army.
The Jewish story is a history that is about, and for, all of us. And in our own time of anxious arrivals and enforced departures, the Jews' search for a home is more startlingly resonant than ever.
Spanning the millennia and the continents - from India to Andalusia and from the bazaars of Cairo to the streets of Oxford, this is a story of a Jewish world immersed in and imprinted by the peoples among whom they have dwelled, from the Egyptians to the Greeks, from the Arabs to the Christians.
In spite of the perpetrators' intentions, the Tokyo gas attack left only twelve people dead, but thousands were injured and many suffered serious after-effects. This title features the author's interviews with the victims to tried and established precisely what happened on the subway that day.
Of all the great novelists writing today, none shows the same gift as Martin Amis for writing non-fiction - his essays, literary criticism and journalism are justly acclaimed.
The Rub of Time comprises superb critical pieces on Amis's heroes Nabokov, Bellow and Larkin to brilliantly funny ruminations on sport, Las Vegas, John Travolta and the pornography industry. The collection includes his essay on Princess Diana and a tribute to his great friend Christopher Hitchens, but at the centre of the book, perhaps inevitably, are essays on politics, and in particular the American election campaigns of 2012 and 2016. One of the very few consolations of Donald Trump's rise to power is that Martin Amis is there to write about him.
In this age of emotional political conflict, there is less and less to agree upon. Experts are no longer respected as impartial; public debate is reduced to attack and counter-attack; the boundary between facts and propaganda seems to be dissolving. We live in a world not quite at war but nor exactly at peace.
How did things reach this point, and what can we do about it? In this enlightening, far-reaching and provocative book, William Davies explores how physical and emotional feeling came to reshape our world today, destabilising governments and placing us all on high-alert. Drawing on a 400-year history of scientific and political ideas, he shows how our sensations were once treated with suspicion, before being seized enthusiastically as a path to mass mobilisation in war.
As we enter a new technological and political era, this book reveals the origins of the nervous states in which we now live.
Tells the official story that has inspired the British film, The Imitation Game, a nail-biting race against time following Alan Turing the pioneer of modern-day computing and credited with cracking the German Enigma code and his brilliant team at Britain's top-secret code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II.
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A revelatory, behind-the-scenes account of the Obama presidency from perhaps his closest collaborator, and a political memoir about the power of words to change our world This is a book about two people making the most important decisions in the world. One is Barack Obama. The other is Ben Rhodes.
A young writer and Washington outsider, Rhodes was plucked from obscurity aged 29. For nearly ten years, he was at the centre of the Obama Administration - first as a speech-writer, then a policy maker, and finally a close collaborator.
Here, Rhodes tells the full story of his partnership - and, ultimately, friendship - with a historic president. From the early days of the Obama campaign to the final hours in the Oval Office, he puts us in the room at the most tense and poignant moments in recent history.
'Vivid, lucid, enjoyable... A compelling account of life in the Obama White House' Justin Webb, The Times 'One of the most compelling stories I've seen about what it's actually like to serve the American people' Barack Obama 'A stylish, beautifully written political memoir' Colum McCann
This work abandons the conventional distinctions between history and science. Diamond focuses on what ancient people were endowed with in the way of land, animals and plants, and on the confrontations between less and more advanced people to see how this led to today's inequalities.
Much of Peter Ackroyd's work has been concerned with the life and past of London but here, as a culmination, is his definitive account of the city. For him it is an organism with its own laws of growth and change, so he regards this as a "biography" rather than a history.
Umberto Eco was an international cultural superstar. A celebrated essayist as well as novelist, in this, his last collection, he explores many aspects of the modern world with irrepressible curiosity and wisdom written in his uniquely ironic voice.
Written by Eco as articles for his regular column in l'Espresso magazine, he brings his dazzling erudition, incisiveness and keen sense of the everyday to bear on topics such as popular culture and politics, unbridled individualism, conspiracies, the old and the young, mobile phones, mass media, racism, good manners and the crisis in ideological values. It is a final gift to his readers - astute, witty and illuminating.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE 2017 'An eye-opening, well-written and very timely book' Yuval Noah Harari 'The best sort of book for our disordered days: timely, urgent and illuminating' Pankaj Mishra 'It strikes a blow...for common humanity' Sunday Times The Muslim world has often been accused of a failure to modernise and adapt. Yet in this sweeping narrative and provocative retelling of modern history, Christopher de Bellaigue charts the forgotten story of the Islamic Enlightenment - the social movements, reforms and revolutions that transfigured the Middle East from the early nineteenth century to the present day. Modern ideals and practices were embraced across the region, including the adoption of modern medicine, the emergence of women from purdah and the development of democracy.
The Islamic Enlightenment looks behind the sensationalist headlines in order to foster a genuine understanding of Islam and its relationship to the West. It is essential reading for anyone engaged in the state of the world today.
From the bestselling author of Wild Swans and Mao: The Unknown Story In this groundbreaking biography, Jung Chang vividly describes how Empress Dowager Cixi - the most important woman in Chinese history - brought a medieval empire into the modern age. Under her, the ancient country attained virtually all the attributes of a modern state and it was she who abolished gruesome punishments like 'death by a thousand cuts' and put an end to foot-binding. Jung Chang comprehensively overturns the conventional view of Cixi as a diehard conservative and cruel despot andalso takes the reader into the depths of her splendid Summer Palace and the harem of Beijing's Forbidden City, where she lived surrounded by eunuchs - with one of whom she fell in love, with tragic consequences.
Packed with drama, fast-paced and gripping, it is both a panoramic depiction of the birth of modern China and an intimate portrait of a woman: as the concubine to a monarch, as the absolute ruler of a third of the world's population, and as a unique stateswoman.
'Powerful' Simon Sebag Montefiore 'Truly authoritative' New York Times 'Wonderful' Sunday Times Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Biography Prize
Covers a range of topics on which the author has written and lectured over the years. This book explores lost islands, mythical realms, and the medieval world in the process - to a disquisition on the theme that runs through his novel, "The Prague Cemetery".
The ghost of the Yellow Peril has been resurrected, the nineteenth-century anti-Darwin debate has been reopened, and right-wing governments predominate. It almost seems like history, tired of the big steps forward it has taken in the past two millennia, has gone into reverse. This book proposes that we cease marching backwards.
A collection of essays on the key texts that have shaped the Eco, the novelist and critic. After the opening essay on the general significance of literature, this book examines a number of major authors from the Western canon, such as French writer Nerval's masterpiece, "Sylvie", as well as the works of Cervantes, Swift, and Piero Camporesi.
Draws connections between a range of subjects, from the history of the neglect and recovery of the Holocaust to the challenge of 'evil' in understanding the European past. This book shows how much of our history has been sacrificed in the triumph of myth-making over understanding and denial over memory.
Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. This title narrates the stories of Henry VIII's six wives: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleeves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr.
A magisterial new history book about the bloodlands - the lands that lie between Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany - where 14 million people were killed during the years 1933 - 1944 In the middle of Europe, in the middle of the twentieth century, the Nazi and Soviet regimes murdered fourteen million people in the bloodlands between Berlin and Moscow.In a twelve-year-period, in these killing fields - today's Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Western Russia and the eastern Baltic coast - an average of more than one million citizens were slaughtered every year, as a result of deliberate policies unrelated to combat.
In his revelatory book Timothy Snyder offers a ground-breaking investigation into the motives and methods of Stalin and Hitler and, using scholarly literature and primary sources, pays special attention to the testimony of the victims, including the letters home, the notes flung from trains, the diaries on corpses. The result is a brilliantly researched, profoundly humane, authoritative and original book that forces us to re-examine the greatest tragedy in European history and re-think our past.
The twentieth century comes to life as an age of ideas - a time when, for good and for ill, the thoughts of the few reigned over the lives of the many. This title presents the triumphs and the failures of prominent intellectuals, adeptly explains both their ideas and the risks of their political commitments.
No empire has been larger or more diverse than the British Empire. At its apogee in the 1930s, 42 million Britons governed 500 million foreign subjects. This book presents the story of the decline and eclipse of British might, the major historical event in the closing stages of the second millennium.
''A remarkable, authentic and chilling expose of a global conspiracy that reads like a first-rate conspiracy thriller: a book of gripping, compulsive and disturbing impact'' William Boyd Dark Mirror is the ultimate inside account of the vast, global surveillance network that now pervades all our lives. Barton Gellman''s informant called himself ''Verax'' - the truth-teller. It was only later that Verax unmasked himself as Edward Snowden. But Gellman''s primary role in bringing Snowden''s revelations to light, for which he shared the Pulitzer prize, is only the beginning of this gripping real-life spy story. Snowden unlocked the door: here Gellman describes what he found on the other side over the course of a years-long journey of investigation. It is also the story of his own escalating battle against unknown digital adversaries after he discovered his own name on a file in the leaked document trove and realised that he himself was under attack. Through a gripping narrative of paranoia, clandestine operations and jaw-dropping revelations, Dark Mirror delineates in full for the first time the hidden superstructure that connects government espionage with Silicon Valley. Who is spying on us and why? Here are the answers.
Our age is obsessed by the idea of conspiracy. We see it everywhere - from Pearl Harbour to 9/11, from the assassination of Kennedy to the death of Diana. This title intends to demolish the absurd and sinister conspiracy theories over the years. It reveals why people are so ready to believe in them and the dangers of this credulity.