Social History Books

18 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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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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£7.00 Was £10.00 RRP £14.99 Save £7.99 (53% Off RRP)

Which were the most powerful African empires? Who were the pioneers of jazz? What sparked the Black Lives Matter movement? This book answers these questions and many more, exploring the rich history of the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora, and the struggles and triumphs of Black communities around the world. The Black History Book provides clear and concise explanations of important events and cultural milestones. It is packed with memorable quotations from Black figures, bold illustrations, and step-by-step diagrams that untangle complex concepts. From the earliest human migrations to modern Black communities, this thought-provoking book presents a vivid overview of Black history. It brings to life the stories of the early kingdoms of Ancient Egypt and Nubia; the powerful medieval and early modern empires; and the struggle against colonization. It also explores Black history beyond the African continent - including the Atlantic slave trade and slave resistance settlements; the Harlem Renaissance and Jazz Age; the Windrush migration; civil rights and Black feminist movements; and Black Lives Matter. Continuing the "Big Ideas" series' trademark combination of authoritative text and bold graphics, The Black History Book uses an innovative visual approach to make the subject accessible to everyone, whether you are eager to discover more about Black history, a history student looking to broaden your knowledge, or an armchair reader. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780241512982 • Author: DK, David Olusoga • Publisher: DK • Format: Hardcover • Pages: 336 • Dimensions: 24 x 20.1 x 2.4 cm

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£12.00 RRP £19.99 Save £7.99 (40% Off RRP)
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£6.00 RRP £8.00 Save £2.00 (25% Off RRP)

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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£25.00 Was £35.00 RRP £49.99 Save £24.99 (50% Off RRP)

In September 1941, a young American woman strides up the steps of a hotel in Lyon, Vichy France. Her papers say she is a journalist. Her wooden leg is disguised by a determined gait and a distracting beauty. She is there to spark the resistance. By 1942 Virginia Hall was the Gestapo's most urgent target, having infiltrated Vichy command, trained civilians in guerrilla warfare and sprung soldiers from Nazi prison camps. The first woman to go undercover for British SOE, her intelligence changed the course of the war - but her fight was still not over. This is a spy history like no other, telling the story of the hunting accident that disabled her, the discrimination she fought and the secret life that helped her triumph over shocking adversity. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780349010168 • Author: Sonia Purnell • Publisher: Virago • Format: Paperback • Pages: 416 • Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.6 x 3.4 cm

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£4.00 RRP £9.99 Save £5.99 (60% Off RRP)

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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£4.00 RRP £9.99 Save £5.99 (60% Off RRP)

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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£8.00 RRP £20.00 Save £12.00 (60% Off RRP)

Emerging from a collection of city states 150 years ago, no other country has had as turbulent a history as Germany or enjoyed so much prosperity in such a short time frame. Today, as much of the world succumbs to authoritarianism and democracy is undermined from its heart, Germany stands as a bulwark for decency and stability. Mixing personal journey and anecdote with compelling empirical evidence, this is a critical and entertaining exploration of the country many in the West still love to hate. Raising important questions for our post-Brexit landscape, Kampfner asks why, despite its faults, Germany has become a model for others to emulate, while Britain fails to tackle contemporary challenges. Part memoir, part history, part travelogue, Why the Germans Do It Better is a rich and witty portrait of an eternally fascinating country. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781786499783 • Author: John Kampfner • Publisher: Atlantic Books • Format: Paperback • Pages: 320 • Dimensions: 19.61 x 12.8 x 2.59 cm

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£8.00 RRP £9.99 Save £1.99 (20% Off RRP)

Celebrate the LGTBQ community with this small but perfectly formed guide to Pride. What began as a protest for gay rights following the Stonewall riots of 1969 in New York has grown to become a global celebration of LGBTQ culture. In the 50-odd years since the original protest, and what is now widely accepted to be the first Pride march – Christopher Street Liberation Day, 1970 – Pride events are now attended by millions each year, celebrating how far we’ve come, recognising where we have to go and highlighting important causes in the queer community. The Little Book of Pride is a concise look at everything you need to know about Pride, revealing the history, the key people involved, the best Pride events around the world, inspirational quotes from famous queers, Pride facts and a fun Pride survival guide. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781912983162 • Author: Lewis Laney • Publisher: Dog 'n' Bone • Format: Hardback • Pages: 144 • Dimensions: 15.24 x 11.56 x 1.52 cm

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£3.00 RRP £6.99 Save £3.99 (57% Off RRP)

A natural subject for the UK's bestselling true-crime author: a study of people who randomly kill large numbers of others, or who set out to do so in specific places or situations! Because of the ease of obtaining firearms in the USA, many of these, inevitably, are American, but there have been other recent examples in New Zealand and Norway, while three major mass shootings took place in the UK at Hungerford in 1987 (17 dead, including the killer), Dunblane in 1996 (18, including the killer), and in Cumbria in 2010 (13, including the killer). As such killings become more frequent, it is easy to blame them on the ready availability of firearms and weak or non-existent background checks, even though many countries, including the UK, have extremely robust firearms legislation. Christopher Berry-Dee offers case studies in some of the most infamous mass killings of the past fifty years, from school massacres to workplace killings, hate crimes to familicides. Product Information: •    ISBN: 9781789464221 •    Author: Christopher Berry-Dee •    Publisher: John Blake Publishing •    Format: Paperback •    Pages: 304 •    Dimensions: 19.9 x 12.8 x 1.8cm

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

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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£10.00 RRP £35.00 Save £25.00 (71% Off RRP)

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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£10.00 RRP £11.99 Save £1.99 (17% Off RRP)

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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£6.00 RRP £20.00 Save £14.00 (70% Off RRP)

Avocado or beans on toast? Gin or claret? Nut roast or game pie? Milk in first or milk in last? And do you have tea, dinner or supper in the evening? In this fascinating social history of food in Britain, Pen Vogler examines the origins of our eating habits and reveals how they are loaded with centuries of class prejudice. Covering such topics as fish and chips, roast beef, avocados, tripe, fish knives and the surprising origins of breakfast, Scoff reveals how in Britain we have become experts at using eating habits to make judgements about social background. Bringing together evidence from cookbooks, literature, artworks and social records from 1066 to the present, Vogler traces the changing fortunes of the food we encounter today, and unpicks the aspirations and prejudices of the people who have shaped our cuisine for better or worse. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781786496492 • Author: Pen Vogler • Publisher: Atlantic Books • Format: Paperback • Pages: 480 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 3.3 cm

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£8.00 RRP £9.99 Save £1.99 (20% Off RRP)

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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£15.00 RRP £20.00 Save £5.00 (25% Off RRP)

In this vital re-examination of a shared history, historian and broadcaster David Olusoga tells the rich and revealing story of the long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa and the Caribbean. This edition, fully revised and updated, features a new chapter encompassing the Windrush scandal and the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, events which put black British history at the centre of urgent national debate. Drawing on new genealogical research, original records, and expert testimony, Black and British reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination, Elizabethan ‘blackamoors’ and the global slave-trading empire. It shows that the great industrial boom of the nineteenth century was built on American slavery, and that black Britons fought at Trafalgar and in the trenches of both World Wars. Black and British is vivid confirmation that black history can no longer be kept separate and marginalised. It is woven into the cultural and economic histories of the nation and it belongs to us all. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781529065602 • Author: David Olusoga • Publisher: Picador • Format: Paperback • Pages: 640 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.1 x 4.6 cm

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£10.00 RRP £12.99 Save £2.99 (23% Off RRP)

We need to talk about racial injustice in a different way: one that builds on the revolutionary ideas of the past and forges new connections. In this incisive, radical and practical essay, Emma Dabiri - acclaimed author of Don't Touch My Hair - draws on years of research and personal experience to challenge us to create meaningful, lasting change. 'An absolute blockbuster of clear thinking and new angles...the most clear, alliance building, shame removing look at race. Emma is once-in-a generation clever' – Caitlin Moran Product Information: • ISBN: 9780141996738 • Author: Emma Dabiri • Publisher: Penguin • Format: Paperback • Pages: 176 • Dimensions: 18.1 x 11.1 x 0.9 cm

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£6.00 RRP £7.99 Save £1.99 (25% Off RRP)