Social History Books

17 Products

Social history books allow you to delve into the past and bring history to life. Browse our selection of the best social and cultural history books and top authors of the genre. They're great for devouring by yourself or gifting to fellow history buffs.

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This luxurious 7-volume boxset contains the most famous military texts of Ancient China, bound in high-quality cloth and presented in a decorative slipcase! Written between 500 BCE and 700 CE, these texts have inspired generals for millennia, both in China and the wider world. Their understanding of warfare also has also shaped tactics beyond the military, shedding light on modern subjects such as leadership and corporate strategy. Includes: The Art of War Wuzi Wei Liaozi Taigong's Six Secret Teachings The Methods of the Sima Three Strategies of Huang Shigong Questions and Replies Between Emperor Taizong of Tang and General Li Jing Product Information: • ISBN: 9781838576813 • Author: Various • Publisher: Arcturus • Format: Book Collection • Dimensions: 13.9 x 19.7 x 13.1cm

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Step into Stephen Fry's bewitching retelling of the legend of Troy - a tale of love and war, passion and power. The story of Troy speaks to all of us - the kidnapping of Helen, a queen celebrated for her beauty, sees the Greeks launch a thousand ships against that great city, to which they will lay siege for ten whole and very bloody years. It is Zeus, the king of the gods, who triggers war when he asks the Trojan prince Paris to judge the fairest goddess of them all. Aphrodite bribes Paris with the heart of Helen, wife of King Menelaus of the Greeks, and naturally, nature takes its course. It is a terrible, brutal war with casualties on all sides. The Greeks cannot defeat the Trojans - since Achilles, the Greek's boldest warrior, is consumed with jealousy over an ally's choice of lover, the Trojan slave Briseis, and will not fight . . . The stage is set for the oldest and greatest story ever told, where monstrous passions meet the highest ideals and the lowest cunning. In Troy, you will find heroism and hatred, love and loss, revenge and regret, desire and despair. It is these human passions, written bloodily in the sands of a distant shore that still speak to us today. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781405944465 • Author: Stephen Fry • Publisher: Michael Joseph • Format: Hardback • Pages: 432 • Dimensions: 24 x 16.2 x 3.8 cm

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In the early years of Queen Victoria's reign, HMS Erebus undertook two of the most ambitious naval expeditions of all time. On the first, she ventured further south than any human had ever been. On the second, she vanished with her 129-strong crew in the wastes of the Canadian Arctic, along with the HMS Terror. Her fate remained a mystery for over 160 years. Then, in 2014, she was found. This is her story. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781787468047 • Author: Michael Palin • Publisher: Arrow • Format: Paperback • Pages: 352 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.6 cm

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This compelling story of exploration charts and celebrates humankind in space, from Sputnik's launch in 1957 through the Apollo Moon landings and the International Space Station to future missions to Mars and beyond. Spaceflight chronicles how, in the six decades that followed Sputnik, the world was revolutionized by space travel and exploration. The opening up of Earth's orbit to satellites led to a revolution in communications, monitoring of the environment, and materials science. For the human imagination, the impact has been even greater - the voyages of robotic space probes have transformed our view of the Solar System, while Earth-orbiting satellites and missions to the Moon have forever changed our view of ourselves. Product Information: ISBN: 9780241346792 Author: Giles Sparrow  Publisher: DK Format: Hardback Pages: 320 Dimensions: 28.8 x 24.3 x 2.6cm

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A true Cold War espionage thriller set around the ultra-secret Berlin Tunnel - where British officer George Blake must run a high-stakes double cross to maintain his cover. The ultra-secret "Berlin Tunnel" was dug in the mid-1950s from the American sector in southwest Berlin and ran nearly a quarter-mile into the Soviet sector, allowing the CIA and the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) to tap into critical KGB and Soviet military underground telecommunication lines. George Blake, a trusted officer working in a highly sensitive job with SIS, was privy to every aspect of the plan and provided seemingly invaluable intelligence about Soviet capabilities and intentions. But in 1961, a Polish defector shocked the CIA and SIS by revealing that Blake was a double agent who had disclosed plans for the tunnel to the KGB before it was even built. In a work of remarkable investigative reporting, Steve Vogel now reveals that the information picked up by the CIA and SIS was more valuable than even they believed. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781473647510 • Author: Steve Vogel • Publisher: John Murray • Format: Paperback • Pages: 544 • Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 3.8 cm

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An essential gift for every history buff, this boldly illustrated book maps out the events that have shaped our world - from the dawn of human civilization to the present day. A comprehensive and accessible guide to the history of human civilisation, World History profiles everything from the emergence of Homo Sapiens to the Greek and Roman empires, through Chinese dynasties, the rise of the Vikings, and the Renaissance, to the Industrial Revolution and World War I and II. Offering a concise and insightful overview of key historical milestones that have occurred over the course of the last century, the book also covers more recent events such as the rise of ISIS, the Arab Spring, and Brexit and populism in the Western world. Product Information: ISBN: 9780241457856 Author: DK Publisher: DK Format: Hardback Pages: 416 Dimensions: 20.3 x 24 x 3.2cm

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From the award-winning author of Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret comes a fascinating, hilarious, kaleidoscopic biography of the Fab Four. John Updike compared them to ‘the sun coming out on an Easter morning’. Bob Dylan introduced them to drugs. The Duchess of Windsor adored them. Noel Coward despised them. JRR Tolkien snubbed them. The Rolling Stones copied them. No one has remained unaffected by the music of The Beatles. As Queen Elizabeth II observed on her golden wedding anniversary, ‘Think what we would have missed if we had never heard The Beatles.’ With mixture of history, etymology, diaries, autobiography, fan letters, essays, parallel lives, party lists, charts, interviews, announcements and stories. One Two Three Four joyfully echoes the frenetic hurly-burly of an era. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780008340001 • Author: Craig Brown • Publisher: Fourth Estate • Format: Hardback • Pages: 656 • Dimensions: 24 x15.9 x 4.4 cm

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Henry VIII is Britain's most notorious monarch, remembered for his six wives and splitting the church in two for the sake of annulling his first marriage. But few know the full story of his tempestuous reign. This captivating biography chronicles Henry VIII's life and times, from his early childhood at Eltham to his dominant role as one of the leading players on the international stage. It includes his love affairs, military campaigns, the scheming and plotting of his courtiers and the way in which sex and politics were sometimes fatally intertwined with the Tudor Court. Including useful fact boxes and wonderful illustrations, this accessible book breaks down how Henry transformed the political, religious and social face of Britain. Product Information: ISBN: 9781838575854 Author: Kathy Elgin Publisher: Arcturus Format: Paperback Pages: 256 Dimensions: 15.4 x 23.3 x 2.1cm

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Nature holds the answers for Raynor and her husband Moth and after walking 630 miles homeless along The Salt Path, the windswept and wild English coastline now feels like their home. Despite Moth's terminal diagnosis, against all medical odds, he seems revitalized in nature - outside, they discover that anything is possible. Now, life beyond The Salt Path awaits.  As they return to four walls, the sense of home is illusive and returning to normality is proving difficult - until an incredible gesture by someone who reads their story changes everything: A chance to breathe life back into a beautiful but neglected farmhouse nestled deep in the Cornish hills; rewilding the land and returning nature to its hedgerows becomes their new path. Along the way, Raynor and Moth learn more about the land that envelopes them, find friends both new and old, and, of course, embark on another windswept adventure when the opportunity arises. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780241401460 • Author: Raynor Winn • Publisher: Michael Joseph • Format: Hardback • Pages: 288 • Dimensions: 22.2 x 14.4 x 2.8cm

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From Mozart's Murder to Cleopatra's Asp As Napoleon himself once said, 'History is a version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.' Noted down in historical documents, copied and widely repeated, it doesn't take long for a version of the truth to become accepted as fact. But who invents these false accounts in the first place, and why do they gain traction so quickly? Far from concerning the obscure and insignificant parts of our history, these fundamental inaccuracies and downright lies colour the depiction of many of those pivotal characters and events we learnt about at school. Cleopatra, Marco Polo, Captain Cook, Joan of Arc; most of us could reel off a fact or two about each. But as this intriguing book reveals, a closer examination of these core parts of our social and political history shows that often all was not as it seemed, and that the agendas of those responsible for recording these events had a huge impact on what was reported and what was covered up. line drawings throughout. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781789293623 • Author: Graeme Donald • Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books Ltd • Format: Paperback • Pages: 256 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 1.8 cm

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Delve into this eye-opening companion to Netflix's acclaimed series The Crown as renowned biographer and the show's historical consultant, Robert Lacey takes us through the real history that inspired the drama! Covering two tumultuous decades in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, Lacey looks at the key social, political and personal moments and their effects - not only on the royal family, but also on the world around them. From the Suez Canal Crisis and the US/Russia space race to the legacy of the Duke of Windsor's collaboration with Hitler, along with the rumoured issues with the royal marriage... The Crown provides a thought-provoking insight into the historic decades that the show covers, revealing the truth behind the on-screen drama. Extensively researched and complete with beautifully reproduced photographs, this is a unique look behind the history that inspired the show and the years that would prove to be the making of the Queen. This is the must-have read or gift for any fans who love Netflix's The Crown! Product Information: ISBN: 9781788701822 Author: Robert Lacey Publisher: Blink Publishing Format: Paperback Pages: 320 Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 1.9cm

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Join the notorious Peaky Blinders as we know them, from their hit TV series, and enjoy following the lives infused with drama and dead... Charismatic and fashionably dressed, the deeply flawed Shelby family have become cult anti-heroes. Well-known social historian, broadcaster and author, Carl Chinn, revealed the true story of the notorious gang in his bestselling Peaky Blinders: The Real Story and now in this follow-up book, he explores the legacy they created in Birmingham and beyond. What happened to them and their gangland rivals? In Peaky Blinders: The Legacy we revisit the world of Billy Kimber's Peaky Blinders, exploring their legacy throughout the 1920s and 30s, and how their burgeoning empires spread across the UK. Delve into the street wars across the country, the impact of the declaration of War on Gangs by the Home Secretary after The Racecourse War in 1921, and how black-market bookmaking gave way to new and daring opportunities for the likes of Sabini, Alfie Solomon and some new faces in the murky gangland underworld. Drawing on Carl's inimitable research, interviews and original sources, find out just what happened to this incredible cast of characters, revealing the true legacy of the Peaky Blinders. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781789462937 • Author: Carl Chinn • Publisher: John Blake Publishing • Format: Paperback • Pages: 336 • Dimensions: 19.5 x 13.9 x 1.6cm

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True stories of love and loss during WWII, from the tough Northern women who kept the foundry fires burning. When war broke out, the young women of Sheffield had their carefree lives turned upside down. With their sweethearts being sent away to fight, they had no choice but to step into the men's shoes and become the backbone of the city's steel industry. Through hard toil and companionship, they vowed to keep the foundry fires burning and ensured that soldiers had the weapons, planes and ships needed to secure victory over Hitler. When the men returned from the front in 1945, many of these women tragically found themselves discarded 'like yesterday's fish and chip wrappers'. But decades later, a grassroots campaign spearheaded by the elderly Women of Steel finally brought their remarkable story to light. Product Information: ISBN: 9781472267368 Author: Michelle Rawlins Publisher: Headline  Format: Paperback Pages: 304 Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.6cm

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Nestled in a secluded Irish valley, Luggala is an exquisite eighteenth-century house at the centre of a 5,000-acre estate. In 1937 Ernest Guinness presented Luggala to his youngest daughter, Oonagh, who described Luggala as 'the most decorative honey pot in Ireland' and made it the centre of a dazzling social world that included painters, poets, scholars and socialites. In the late 1960s she passed the estate to her son, the Hon Garech Browne, who has not only maintained but surpassed his mother's gifts both for hospitality and for bringing together a wide range of creative talents. Robert O'Byrne recounts this fascinating story, which celebrates both the unique beauty of this place and the many celebrated names irresistibly drawn there, from writers like Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes, to actors such as John Hurt and Daniel Day-Lewis, and above all musicians, including Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, Bono and Michael Jackson. All of them have succumbed to the enchantment of days passed at Luggala. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781782496342 • Author: Robert O'Byrne • Publisher: Ryland Peters & Small • Format: Hardback • Pages: 255 • Dimensions: 30 x 25.5 x 3.4 cm

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Find out about the life of Martin Luther King Jr from how he fought racism and led the civil rights movement to his tragic death and how he is remembered now around the world. For children following Book Bands, it is suitable for children reading at band 9, gold. Product Information: ISBN: 9781445166469 Author: Izzi Howell Publisher: Franklin Watts Format: Hardback Pages: 24 Dimensions:  20 x 0.9 x 23.4 cm

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Who made modern Britain the country it is today? How do we sum up the kind of people we are? What does it mean to be the new Elizabethans? In this wonderfully told history, spanning back to when Queen Elizabeth became queen in 1953, Andrew Marr traces the people who have made Britain the country it is today. From the activists to the artists, the sports heroes to the innovators, these people pushed us forward, changed the conversation, encouraged us to eat better, to sing, think and to protest. They got things done. How will our generation be remembered in a hundred years’ time? And when you look back at Britain’s toughest moments in the past seventy years, what do you learn about its people and its values? In brilliantly entertaining style and with unexpected insights into some of our sung and unsung heroes, Andrew Marr offers up a first draft of the history we are all living. This is our story as the new Elizabethans – the story of how 1950s Britain evolved into the diverse country we live in today. In short, it is the history of modern Britain. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780008298401 • Author: Andrew Marr • Publisher: William Collins • Format: Hardback • Pages: 512 • Dimensions: 24 x 15.9 x 4.5 cm

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