Social History Books

14 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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Descendant of a Peaky Blinder and the son of an illegal Birmingham bookmaker, historian Carl Chinn presents us with the real life Peaky Blinder story... Billy Kimber, Darby Sabini and Alfie Solomons are more than just fictional characters. The charismatic but deeply flawed Shelby family are the favourite relatives of the ITV series, prowling the dingy back streets of Brum and leaving murder and mayhem on every street corner. But who were the real peaky blinders? Join Carl Chinn as he presents unseen photographs, interviews and facts about the real-life gangs of Birmingham. Get to grips with everything you need to know on the infamous icons - by order of the Peaky Blinders. Product Information:• ISBN: 9781789461725• Author: Carl Chinn• Publisher: John Blake• Format: John Blake• Pages: 276• Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 2.5cm

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

A lavishly illustrated account of human travel with a foreword by Simon Reeve, from the voyages of the Vikings to the flight to the Moon. Journeys have arisen from all manner of impulse, from migration and the search for food, to pilgrimages, trade, scientific curiosity, or simply the quest for adventure. Journey is a stunning visual guide to the stories of human movement and endeavour, from The Silk Road to the epic Voyager missions. Discover ancient maps, biographies of conquerors, explorers, and travellers, stories of scientific discovery and technological innovation, stunning works of art, and catalogues of travel-related memorabilia. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780241289426 • Format: Hardback • Publisher: DK • Pages: 360 • Dimensions: 31 x 25.5 x 2.5cm.

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£8.00 RRP £25.00 Save £17.00 (68% Off RRP)

Soldiers is a very personal gathering of sparkling, gripping tales by many writers, about men and women who have borne arms. The nearly 350 stories illustrate what it is like to fight in wars, to live and die as a warrior, from Greek and Roman times through to recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here you will meet Jewish heroes of the Bible, Rome’s captain of the gate, Queen Boudicca, Joan of Arc, Cromwell, Wellington, Napoleon’s marshals and the modern SAS. There are tales of great writers who served in uniform including Cobbett and Tolstoy, Edward Gibbon and Siegfried Sassoon, Marcel Proust and Evelyn Waugh, George Orwell and George MacDonald Fraser. Here are also stories of the female ‘abosi’ fighters of Dahomey and heroic ambulance drivers of World War I, together with the new-age women soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a book to inspire in turn fascination, excitement, horror, amazement, occasionally laughter. Max Hastings mingles respect for the courage of those who fight with compassion for those who become their victims, above all civilians, and especially in the twenty-first century, which some are already calling ‘the Post-Heroic Age’. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780008454227 • Author: Max Hastings • Publisher: William Collins • Format: Hardback • Pages: 496 • Dimensions: 24 x 15.9 x 3.8 cm

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£12.00 Was £20.00 RRP £30.00 Save £18.00 (60% 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)

From the hit TV series come two true-crime stories where the bonds of matrimony and love can tear you brutally apart. TILL MURDER DO US PART (with Andrew Bourelle) Kathi Spiars can't believe she's found such a good man to marry as Steven Marcum. Twelve years later, she starts to suspect that he isn't who he says he is. As she digs into his past, she doesn't realise that learning the truth will lead to a lifetime of fear and hiding. RAMP UP TO MURDER (with Max DiLallo) Brandi McClain, a young, beautiful teenager, moves to California from Arizona, to model and live with her new boyfriend, a professional skateboarder. But her perfect life is about to turn on its head. In San Diego, investigators hunt for a missing girl. It's a case that seems to be plagued by dead ends. But once the truth emerges, it's more haunting than they could have imagined. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781787468740 • Author: James Patterson • Publisher: Arrow • Format: Paperback • Pages: 336 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.8 x 1.8cm 

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£3.00 RRP £7.99 Save £4.99 (62% 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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£6.00 Was £8.00 RRP £9.99 Save £3.99 (40% Off RRP)

September 1613. In Belvoir Castle, the heir of one of England’s great noble families falls suddenly and dangerously ill. His body is ‘tormented’ with violent convulsions. Within a few short weeks he will suffer an excruciating death. Soon the whole family will be stricken with the same terrifying symptoms. The second son, the last male of the line, will not survive. It is said witches are to blame. And so the Earl of Rutland’s sons will not be the last to die. Witches traces the dramatic events which unfolded at one of England’s oldest and most spectacular castles four hundred years ago. The case is among those which constitute the European witch craze of the 15th-18th centuries, when suspected witches were burned, hanged, or tortured by the thousand. But as Tracy Borman reveals here, it is not quite typical. The most powerful and Machiavellian figure of the Jacobean court had a vested interest in events at Belvoir.He would mastermind a conspiracy that has remained hidden for centuries. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781529195323 • Author: Tracy Borman • Publisher: Vintage • Format: Paperback • Pages: 320 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.1 cm

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£3.00 RRP £11.99 Save £8.99 (75% Off RRP)

From planning an assassination attempt on Hitler in Switzerland, to spying on the Japanese in Manchuria, to preventing nuclear war (or so she believed) by stealing the science of atomic weaponry from Britain to give to Moscow, Ursula Kuczynski Burton conducted some of the most dangerous espionage operations of the twentieth century. Born to a German Jewish family, as Ursula grew, so did the Nazis' power. A fanatical opponent of the fascism that ravaged her homeland, she was drawn to communism as a young woman, motivated by the promise of a fair and peaceful society. She eventually became a spymaster, saboteur, bomb-maker and secret agent. In Agent Sonya, Britain's most acclaimed historian vividly reveals the fascinating tale of a life that would change the course of history. Classic Ben Macintyre - a gripping ride, based on meticulous research, that reads like a novel - this is the greatest spy story never told.  Product Information: • ISBN: 9780241986950 • Author: Ben MacIntyre • Publisher: Penguin • Format: Paperback • Pages: 400 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.5cm

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£6.00 RRP £8.99 Save £2.99 (33% 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)

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)

Do you know your Aristotelianism or Asceticism from your Egalitarianism? No? Well this book will give you all the information you need to tell one from the other and impress your friends with the seeming depth of your knowledge. From happiness to politics and power, science, religion and love - this compact and accessible primer captures the diverse moral and ethical arguments - and major theories - of Western Philosophy. In his warm and concise narrative, the author brings the great ancient and modern 'thinkers' and their unique perspectives vividly to the page. This is a thought-provoking whistle-stop tour of established philosophical thinking and its continued relevance in our lives today. Jam packed with all the important ideas but at the same time highly accessible and informative, Philosophy for Busy People is perfect for those who enjoy thinking about the big questions in life. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781789294415 • Author: Alain Stephen • Publisher: Michael O'Mara • Format: Paperback • Pages: 192 • Dimensions: 19.69 x 12.7 x 2.03 cm

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£3.00 RRP £7.99 Save £4.99 (62% 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)

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)

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)