Nuclear Folly: a new history of the Cuban Missile Crisis

A crisis over a small island south of the mainland United States in the autumn of 1962 was the closest the world ever came to a devastating nuclear war. Award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy, who recently chronicled the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, revisits this terrifying episode of Cold War drama, in which…

Facing the Mountain: the forgotten heroes of the Second World War

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor of 80 years ago not only brought the United States into a war, but provoked a wave of hostility to Japanese immigrants and their children across America. Daniel James Brown here explores the lives of four Japanese-American families and their sons, who became soldiers,…

Churchill and Son

What did the leaders of the ‘Big Three’ superpowers during the Second World War have in common? Well, Franklin Roosevelt’s five children went through 19 marriages between them. Meanwhile, Stalin laughed off his son’s suicide attempt and chronically neglected his daughter. But it is Winston Churchill who is the topic…

Stalin’s War

‘I trust no one, not even myself.’ So the merciless dictator of the Soviet Union reportedly once said. In this new book, Sean McMeekin explores the Second World War from Joseph Stalin’s perspective. From his complex relations with both Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, to his underhand territorial ambitions across…

The Reckoning: the defeat of Army Group South, 1944

The Eastern Front remains the forgotten child of Western histories of the Second World War. Even the phrase ‘Eastern Front’ is a reflection of a Western-centric view that sees the struggle between the USSR and Germany as an afterthought compared to exploits of Allied Forces for control of Western Europe.…

The Shortest History of War

From slings and arrows to cyberwarfare, conflict is innate to human nature despite the peace much of the modern world now enjoys. In the latest addition to the bestselling ‘shortest history’ series, historian Gwynne Dyer summarises the story of conflict from the dawn of man to today. He also asks…

Hadrian’s Wall: Creating Division

Symonds provides a particularly accessible and entertaining overview of this complex monument, including the history of its construction and the role of the Wall in later history.…

Managing Archaeology in Dynamic Urban Centres

This new publication, which draws on discussions at the 2017 European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) conference and the work of the EAA Urban Archaeology Community, explores the complexities of carrying out archaeology in urban spaces across Europe. Urban centres are often archaeologically dense, but the remains are frequently fragmented or…

Never Greater Slaughter: Brunanburh and the birth of England

Assembling an extensive patchwork of evidence, Livingston tries to recreate the ‘facts’ of the Battle of Brunanburh – the major battle between King Æthelstan’s English forces and an alliance of Vikings and Scots in AD 937. While he makes some potentially controversial assumptions, such as the idea that England would…

Thames Mudlarking: searching for London’s lost treasures

Searching the beaches of the River Thames for artefacts has grown enormously in popularity over the last decade or so, with hundreds of enthusiasts now engaged in this activity and a thriving online community using social media to share discoveries. At just under 100 pages – and beautifully illustrated with…

The Rood in Medieval Britain and Ireland, c.800-c.1500

The cross is ubiquitous in medieval Christian iconography. As it was on the cross that Jesus died, bringing believers salvation, it is a critical component of the religion. But, despite the ubiquity and apparent simplicity of the instantly recognisable form, it has lent itself to substantial variation throughout history. The…

Deciphering Aztec Hieroglyphs: A Guide to Nahuatl Writing

A leading handbook of scripts and writing that runs to almost a thousand pages, The World’s Writing Systems (1996), edited by Peter Daniels and William Bright, contains scarcely any reference to the Aztec writing system of Mesoamerica. Wikipedia’s entry on ‘Aztec writing’ is brief and refers to no book-length study.…

New Light on the Neolithic of Northern England

The Neolithic is that pivotal point in prehistory where community changes, from dependence on hunting, fishing, gathering strategies based on seasonal availability to seasonal harvesting, animal husbandry, food procurement, and storage. Until recently, archaeologists took a broad-brush approach, sometimes ignoring local and regional nuances, so is refreshing that Hey, Frodsham,…

Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries: kinship, community, and identity

It has been more than two decades since Sam Lucy’s seminal book The Anglo-Saxon Way of Death, and in the intervening years new cemeteries, methodologies, and mortuary archaeology theory have advanced to the point that we are due a sequel. This book, a decade in the making, is the sequel…

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