History Books

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Find the perfect book for the history buff in your life with our range of History Books. We've got everything from Military books and British History Books to books on ancient history to modern history like World War 2. Just use the filters below to browse our range of history books for adults.

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Satire, Scandal and Printmakers in Georgian London 1772... A young artist called Thomas Rowlandson is making his way through the grimy backstreets of the capital, on his way to begin his studies at the Royal Academy Schools. Within a few years, James Gillray and Isaac Cruikshank would join him in Piccadilly, turning satire into an artform, taking on the British establishment, and forever changing the way we view power. Set against a backdrop of royal madness, political intrigue, the birth of modern celebrity, French revolution, American independence and the Napoleonic Wars, UPROAR! follows the satirists as they lampoon those in power, from the Prince Regent to Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. Their prints and illustrations deconstruct the political and social landscape with surreal and razor-sharp wit, as the three men vie with each other to create the most iconic images of the day.  Product Information:  • ISBN:  9781785789540 • Author:  Alice Loxton • Publisher:  Icon Books • Format:  Hardback • Pages:  240 • Dimensions:  16 x 3.5 x 24.2 cm

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£12.50 RRP £25.00 Save £12.50 (50% Off RRP)

In the darkest moment of history, one child found the courage and strength to survive the unimaginable. This is Henry's true story. One hot, humid day in July, 1944, the Gestapo abducted fifteen-year-old Henry and his mother, forcing them onto cramped cattle cars in the Lódz Polish Ghetto. Like so many Jews before them, they had been selected to disappear - they were being sent to Auschwitz. Exhausted after hours of traveling, they finally emerged from the stifling, filth-ridden cattle car. Already devastated at having lost his father to starvation, Henry clutched his mother's frail hand, knowing she was all he had left in the world, and that he was the only one left to protect her. In a flash, he felt them being brutally torn apart. Crying out for her, his heart shuddered as he watched her disappear into a sea of other women. Henry knew that was the last time he would ever see her, and he felt like he had failed her. He was now completely alone in the world. Starving, and close to giving up all hope, Henry volunteered to work in the stables, responsible for breeding horses for the war effort. As he watched other prisoners leave and never return, Henry quickly realised these horses were his only lifeline - because every morning he was sent to the stables, was one more morning he escaped the gas chambers. Before long, caring for the horses became a passion, and their comfort and strength gave Henry a glimmer of life and hope in an ocean of death. Although with every second that passed, Henry knew if he became too weak or made one mistake, he would be mercilessly replaced... This is the heart-wrenching and inspirational true account of a courageous little German boy who, against all odds, after losing almost everything a human being can lose, survived to tell his story.  Product Information:  • ISBN:  9781804190869 • Author: Henry Oster and Dexter Ford  • Publisher: Thread • Format:  Paperback • Pages:  256 • Dimensions:  12.8 x 2.6 x 19.6 cm

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I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart. In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival - scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale - a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer - it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too. So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz. Product Information:• ISBN: 9781785763649• Author: Heather Morris• Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre• Format: Paperback• Pages: 275• Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 2.5cm

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£3.00 RRP £8.99 Save £5.99 (67% Off RRP)

The Boy Who Drew Auschwitz presents a rare living testimony through the eyes of a child who had the unique ability to observe and remember every detail around him and chose to document it all. Thomas Geve was just 15 years old when he was liberated from Buchenwald concentration camp on 11 April 1945. It was the third concentration camp he had survived. Upon arrival at Auschwitz- Birkenau, Thomas was separated from his mother and left to fend for himself in the men’s camp of Auschwitz I, at the age of 13. During the 22 months he was imprisoned, he was subjected to, and forced to observe first-hand, the inhumane world of Nazi concentration camps. On his eventual release Thomas felt compelled to capture daily life in the death camps in more than eighty profoundly moving drawings. Infamous scenarios synonymous with this dark period of history were portrayed in poignant but simplistic detail with extraordinary accuracy. Despite the unspeakable events he experienced, Thomas decided to become an active witness and tell the truth about life in the camps. He has spoken to audiences from around the world and continues to raise awareness about the Holocaust.  Product Information:  • ISBN:  9780008406394 • Author:  Thomas Geve • Publisher:  HarperCollins • Format:  Paperback • Pages:  352 • Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm

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£5.00 RRP £8.99 Save £3.99 (44% Off RRP)

Follow the D-Day landings through a unique collection of historical maps, expert commentary and dramatic photographs.  The Allied landings in Normandy on 6 June 1944 were the greatest amphibious assault in history, requiring almost two years of meticulous planning and the largest co-ordinated mapping effort the world has ever seen. More than 200 illustrations demonstrate how the D-Day landings unfolded, along with detailed descriptions of what happened on that momentous day. This collection of incredible maps uncover the events that led up to D-Day, the planning for the assault and the progress of the liberating forces afterwards. Dramatic photographs help to illustrate the key historical events that took place during Operation Overlord. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780008358266 • Author: Richard Happer • Publisher: Times Books • Format: Paperback  • Pages: 208 • Dimensions:  19.5 x 2 x 25cm 

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£10.00 RRP £25.00 Save £15.00 (60% Off RRP)

Decode the secrets and uncover the origins and meanings of over 2,000 signs and symbols, from ancient hieroglyphs to modern-day logos. Why is a heart pierced by an arrow a classic symbol of love? What are the ancient roots of fertility symbols? Why are scales a symbol of justice? Delve into the meaning of each symbol and investigate how they have been interpreted in myth, religion, folklore, and art over time, with authoritative text from experts in the field and striking line drawings and photography that emphasize the visual strength and beauty of signs. Divided into six thematic sections - the cosmos, the natural world, human life, myths and religions, society and culture, and symbol systems - this guide to the secret language of signs and symbols is a must-have for those who want to understand the world around them.  Product Information:  • ISBN:  9780241387047 • Author: Miranda Bruce-Mitford • Publisher:  DK • Format:  Hardback • Pages:  352 • Dimensions:  19.8 x 2.8 x 23.3 cm

3.5 ({1})
£12.00 RRP £19.99 Save £7.99 (40% Off RRP)

In the bleak moments after defeat on mainland Europe in winter 1939, Winston Churchill knew that Britain had to strike back hard. So Britain's wartime leader called for the lightning development of a completely new kind of warfare, recruiting a band of eccentric free-thinking warriors to become the first 'deniable' secret operatives to strike behind enemy lines, offering these volunteers nothing but the potential for glory and all-but-certain death. Churchill's Secret Warriors tells the story of the daring victories for this small force of 'freelance pirates', undertaking devastatingly effective missions against the Nazis, often dressed in enemy uniforms and with enemy kit, breaking all previously held rules of warfare. Master storyteller Damien Lewis brings the adventures of the secret unit to life, weaving together the stories of the soldiers' brotherhood in this compelling narrative, from the unit's earliest missions to the death of their leader just weeks before the end of the war.  Product Information:  • ISBN:  9781529432336 • Author:  Damien Lewis  • Publisher:  Quercus • Format:  Paperback • Pages:  416 • Dimensions:  12.7 x 3.05 x 19.56 cm 

5 ({1})
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£2.50 Was £4.00

Damien Lewis's new bestseller tells the action-packed, riveting story of the band of mavericks and visionaries who made the SAS.  Using hitherto untold stories and new archival sources, Damien Lewis follows one close-knit band of warriors from the SAS foundation through to the Italian landings - chronicling the extraordinary part they played as the tide of the Second World War truly turned in the Allies' favour. This is a narrative of wall-to-wall do-or-die action and daring, chronicling the exploits of some of the most highly-decorated soldiers of the twentieth-century.  Product Information:  • ISBN:  9781529413779 • Author: Damien Lewis  • Publisher:  Quercus • Format:  Paperback • Pages:  416 • Dimensions:  12.6 x 3.4 x 19.6 cm

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In 1980, at the age of ten, Loung Ung escaped a devastated Cambodia and flew to the US as a refugee. She and her eldest brother, with whom she escaped, left behind their three surviving siblings, and her book is alternately heart-wrenching and heart-warming, as it follows the parallel lives of Loung and her closest sister, Chou, during the 15 years it took for them to be reunited. Their two worlds were very different, and Loung's depiction of the contrast between her life in the affluent West and that of her sister, who navigated her way through landmine-strewn fields and survived raids by the Khmer Rouge, is laced with the guilt she feels about being the lucky one. This powerful story helps us to understand what happens when a family is torn apart by politics, adversity and war. It is also the compelling and inspirational tale of a remarkable woman.  Product Information:  • ISBN:  9781845963088 • Author:  Loung Ung  • Publisher:  Mainstream Publishing • Format:  Paperback • Pages:  304 • Dimensions:  12.9 x 1.8 x 19.81 cm

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US President John F. Kennedy's killing in Dallas, Texas, in November 1963, sent a shockwave around the world. The charismatic young Democrat was seen as a beacon of hope in the West, but his liberal reforming policies had made him many powerful enemies at home. For sixty years, numerous theories have swirled around this key event in American - and world - history. Yet whatever the conclusions of the official Warren Report - that the President had been assassinated by a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald - many people doubt that to be true. Indeed, President Nixon later admitted on tape that the report was 'a hoax committed on the American people.' John Hughes-Wilson, a former colonel in British Intelligence, has sifted through the millions of words and thousands of pieces of evidence, to put together an intelligence assessment of what really happened that dreadful high noon in Dallas in 1963. Reading this astounding book, no one can be in any doubt that JFK's death was not at the hands of a lone deranged gunman, but a deadly plot to remove a President who threatened vested interests at home and abroad.  Product Information:  • ISBN:  9781789467376 • Author:  John Hughes-Wilson • Publisher:  John Blake • Format:  Paperback • Pages:  368 • Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm   

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It was to be the battle to end the air war once and for all... During the third week of February 1944, the combined Allied air forces based in Britain and Italy launched their first-ever round-the-clock bomber offensive against Germany. The aim was to smash the main factories and production centres of the Luftwaffe and at the same time draw the German fighter force up into the air and into battle. Officially called Operation ARGUMENT, this monumental air assault was very quickly became known simply as Big Week. In the six months up to its launch, for the Allies, the bomber war was not turning out as planned. Raids by the US Eighth Air Force and the RAF deep into Germany were being decimated and falling far short of its purpose. With D-Day drawing ever-closer, that was a massive problem. The Allies needed clear skies to invade. The clock was ticking inexorably. Yet the Luftwaffe was also in crisis. Short of resources, of fuel, and on properly trained pilots, the strain on those still flying was immense, their losses severe. And despite the chaos of their leadership, they were achieving far more than should have been reasonably expected against the superior numbers of the Allied planes. Big Week is the knife-edged story of bomber against flak gun and fighter, but also, crucially, fighter against fighter, as the stakes rose higher and higher. Following the fortunes of pilots, aircrew and civilians from both sides, this is a blistering narrative of one of the most critical periods of the entire war, one that culminated in the largest air battle ever witnessed. It is also one that has been largely forgotten, but which has been brilliantly brought back to life by award-winning historian, James Holland. Product Information:  • ISBN:  9780552179324 • Author: James Holland • Publisher:  Bantam Press • Format:  Paperback • Pages:  432 • Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.9 x 24 cm

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As a reporter, Jacques Peretti has spent his life investigating important stories. But there was one story, heard in scattered fragments throughout his childhood, that he never thought to investigate. The story of how his mother survived Auschwitz. In the few last months of the Second World War, thirteen-year-old Alina Peretti, along with her mother and sister, was one of thirteen thousand non-Jewish Poles sent to Auschwitz. Her experiences there cast a shadow over the rest of her life. Now ninety, Alina has been diagnosed with dementia. Together, mother and son begin a race against time to record her memories and preserve her family’s story. Along the way, Jacques learns long-hidden secrets about his mother’s family.  He gains an understanding of his mother through retracing her past, learning more about the woman who would never let him call her ‘Mum’. Product Information:  • ISBN:  9781473646445 • Author:  Alina & Jaques Peretti • Publisher:  Hodder Paperbacks • Format:  Paperback • Pages:  320 • Dimensions:  12 x 2.5 x 19.8cm 

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£4.00 RRP £10.99 Save £6.99 (64% Off RRP)

A stunning and compelling story of human folly, duplicity and wishful thinking APRIL 1945: From the ruins of Berlin, a Luftwaffe transport plane takes off carrying secret papers belonging to Adolf Hitler. Half an hour later, it crashes in flames. APRIL 1983: In a bank vault in Switzerland, a German magazine offers to sell more than 50 volumes of Hitler's secret diaries. The asking price is $4 million. 40 years from the alleged discovery, Robert Harris chronicles the gripping tale of one of the biggest frauds in history.  Product Information:  • ISBN:  9781787469709 • Author:  Robert Harris • Publisher:  Penguin • Format:  Paperback • Pages:  368 • Dimensions:  12.9 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm

4.7 ({1})
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In 1930, at the age of twenty-seven, Liesl Herbst was the Austrian National Tennis Champion, a celebrity in Vienna. Liesl, her husband David and their daughter Dorli came to Britain after escaping the Nazis. In London, though initially stripped of their Austrian passports and rendered stateless aliens, both Liesl and her daughter Dorli competed at Wimbledon. They remain the only mother and daughter ever to have played doubles together at Wimbledon. This moving story of escape and survival is told by Liesl’s grand-daughter, Dorli’s daughter. Some of the story, the author heard first-hand from her grandmother; the rest, she has meticulously researched over many years in four countries.  It is as much a search for the author’s own identity as for her own children and grandchildren to ensure that their remarkable family history is never lost again.  Illustrated throughout with family photographs and original documents, this is a story of survival against terrible odds, an inspiring tale of resilience and hope.     Product Information:  • ISBN:  9781802471199 • Author:  Felice Hardy • Publisher:  Ad Lib Publishers • Format:  Paperback • Pages:  286 • Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.03 x 19.69 cm

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£2.50

A leading journalist's intense, riveting and personal investigation into the worlds and minds of cults. At a new age festival in Byron Bay, Australia, German journalist Anke Richter is finding her spiritual awakening when she meets a woman – a survivor of the Centrepoint cult – who will change the course of her life and career. Over the next ten years, Anke pursued a labyrinthine investigation into how and why cults attract, entrap and destroy otherwise ordinary people, asking what the line is between tribe and cult, participant and perpetrator, seduction and sexual abuse.  From the emotional and criminal carnage of Centrepoint in Auckland, New Zealand, to an anti-cult conference in Manchester, the infamous Osho’s ashram in India, the tantric Agama Yoga school in remote Thailand and culminating in a visit to Gloriavale on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Anke uncovers a disturbing pattern of violence and suffering.  Cult Trip is a powerful exploration of what really goes on inside the groups we call cults, and how to reckon with their aftermath. Product Information:  • ISBN:  9781802471762 • Author:  Anke Richter  • Publisher:  Ad Lib Publishers Ltd • Format:  Paperback • Pages:  352 • Dimensions: 20.5 x 2.5 x 12.8 cm

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£2.50

SAS Great Escapes Two recounts the hitherto untold stories of six of the most dramatic and daring escapes executed by the world's most famous fighting force during WWII. From the very earliest SAS missions to the push into Nazi-occupied Europe, they cover some of the key figures in the Regiment, including its founder, David Stirling, plus other lesser-known heroes. With each story comes an edge-of-the-seat, rollercoaster ride in classic Damien Lewis fashion, as readers are plunged into the escapees' experiences - sharing their most terrifying yet inspiring moments. These stunning accounts of survival beggar belief, revealing nerve-racking bluff and deception, knife-edge encounters with enemy hunter forces hellbent on wreaking vengeance and murder, but also incredible acts of mercy and kindness from those who risk all to help the escapees on their way. Each tale of breath-taking derring-do reveals how necessity really is the mother of all invention, as with every step and at every juncture these fugitives defied fate, snatching survival and freedom from the jaws of the enemy, and all the horrors that would have followed capture. Damien Lewis has worked closely with the families of those portrayed, accessing wartime diaries, letters, mission reports, interrogation transcripts and more, to relate how the men of the SAS crossed blazing deserts, evaded enemy hunter forces and escaped through hostile lands, battling against seemingly insurmountable odds. But most of all, these uplifting tales of endurance beyond measure showcase the triumph of the human spirit and the will to survive. Product Information:  • ISBN: 9781529429428 • Author: Damien Lewis • Publisher: Quercus Publishing • Format:  Paperback • Pages: 352 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.8 x 3.6 cm

4.5 ({1})
£2.50 RRP £9.99 Save £7.49 (75% Off RRP)

Throughout the occupied territories, Catholic Sisters were active in the resistance to the Nazis. Based on letters and documents written by Catholic Sisters during the Second World War, this book tells the remarkable story of these brave and faithful women. From running contraband to hiding Jews, from spying for the Allies to small acts of sabotage, these courageous women risked their lives to help defeat the Reich. This is a story that needs to be told.  Product Information:  • ISBN:  9781913543112 • Author: Dennis J. Turner  • Publisher:  Ad Lib Publishers Ltd • Format:  Paperback • Pages:  288 • Dimensions:  19.7 x 2.4 x 12.9 cm

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£4.00 RRP £8.99 Save £4.99 (56% Off RRP)

Insiders call it 'the Craft'. To the rest of us, Freemasonry is mysterious and suspect. Yet its story is peopled by some of the most distinguished men of the last three centuries: Winston Churchill and Walt Disney; Wolfgang Mozart and Shaquille O'Neal; Benjamin Franklin and Buzz Aldrin; Rudyard Kipling and 'Buffalo Bill' Cody; Duke Ellington and the Duke of Wellington. Founded in London in 1717 as a set of character-forming ideals and a way of binding men in fellowship, Freemasonry proved so addictive that within two decades it had spread across the globe. Masonic influence became pervasive. Under George Washington, the Craft became a creed for the new American nation. Masonic networks held the British empire together. Under Napoleon, the Craft became a tool of authoritarianism and then a cover for revolutionary conspiracy. Both the Mormon Church and the Sicilian mafia owe their origins to Freemasonry. The Masons were as feared as they were influential. In the eyes of the Catholic Church, Freemasonry has always been a den of devil-worshippers. For Hitler, Mussolini and Franco the Lodges spread the diseases of pacifism, socialism and Jewish influence, so had to be crushed. Professor Dickie's The Craft is a surprising and enthralling exploration of a movement that not only helped to forge modern society, but still has substantial contemporary influence. With 400,000 members in Britain, over a million in the USA, and around six million across the world, understanding the role of Freemasonry is as important now as it has ever been.  Product Information:  • ISBN:  9781473658226 • Author: John Dickie • Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton • Format:  Paperback • Pages:  496 • Dimensions:  12.8 x 4 x 19.6 cm

5 ({1})
£6.00 RRP £10.99 Save £4.99 (45% Off RRP)

Ever wondered how the Nazis lost the war?  1944 was a year of trial for the German Army. While the Allies were preparing to invade the Third Reich from the west, Stalin was set on a massive offensive to liberate the last remaining areas of Soviet territory still held by the Germans. Hitler was determined to hold fast. His muddled strategic thinking nullified the undoubted operational ability of his generals, and disaster was the inevitable result. This book is a gripping analysis of the Soviet campaign to capture Byelorussia, the German attempts to counter it, and the final, terrible collapse of Army Group Centre, inflicting even greater losses on the Germans than their earlier defeat at Stalingrad. It was a catastrophe of unbelievable proportions: 28 of 34 divisions, over 300,000 men, were lost. Hitler's war effort was doomed and broken.  Product Information:  • ISBN:  9781804361542 • Author:  Paul Adair • Publisher:  Canelo • Format:  Paperback • Pages:  288 • Dimensions:  13 x 19.8 x 2.1 cm

4.3 ({1})
£4.00 RRP £10.99 Save £6.99 (64% Off RRP)