Author: Stephen R. Platt
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize, 2018 'Excellent' Guardian 'A masterpiece' New York Times 'Superbly engaging' Daily Telegraph 'Masterly' Wall Street Journal 'Captivating' The Times When Britain launched its first war on China in 1839, pushed into hostilities by profiteering drug merchants and free-trade interests, it sealed the fate of what had long been seen as the most prosperous and powerful empire in Asia, if not the world. Corruption, popular unrest and dwindling finances had weakened China far more than was commonly understood, and the war would help set in motion the eventual fall of the Qing dynasty - which, in turn, would lead to the rise of nationalism and communism in the twentieth century. As one of the most potent turning points in the country's modern history, the Opium War has since come to stand for everything that today's China seeks to put behind it. By telling this epic story, award-winning historian Stephen Platt sheds new light on the early attempts by British traders and missionaries to 'open' China and paints an enduring portrait of an immensely profitable - and mostly peaceful - meeting of civilizations, which was destined to be shattered by one of the most shockingly unjust wars in the annals of imperial history. Brimming with a fascinating cast of British and Chinese characters, this riveting narrative of relations between China and the West has important implications for today's uncertain and ever-changing political climate.
Author: Bertita Harding
Publisher: Read Books Ltd
The start of World War I is seen as the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria but who came after him in the line of succession. This is fascinating historical love story of the couple thrust into the limelight of the most turbulent years in European history. Karl and Zita would become the rulers of the Austro-Hungarian empire but it was a royal family doomed to fail. An in-depth and gripping story that is often overlooked in the vast archive of work on the First World War.
Author: Stephen R. Platt
As China reclaims its position as a world power, Imperial Twilight looks back to tell the story of the country's last age of ascendance and how it came to an end in the nineteenth-century Opium War. "This thoroughly researched and delightful work is essential for anyone interested in Chinese or British imperial history." --Library Journal (Starred Review) When Britain launched its first war on China in 1839, pushed into hostilities by profiteering drug merchants and free-trade interests, it sealed the fate of what had long been seen as the most prosperous and powerful empire in Asia, if not the world. But internal problems of corruption, popular unrest, and dwindling finances had weakened China far more than was commonly understood, and the war would help set in motion the eventual fall of the Qing dynasty--which, in turn, would lead to the rise of nationalism and communism in the twentieth century. As one of the most potent turning points in the country's modern history, the Opium War has since come to stand for everything that today's China seeks to put behind it. In this dramatic, epic story, award-winning historian Stephen Platt sheds new light on the early attempts by Western traders and missionaries to "open" China--traveling mostly in secret beyond Canton, the single port where they were allowed--even as China's imperial rulers were struggling to manage their country's decline and Confucian scholars grappled with how to use foreign trade to China's advantage. The book paints an enduring portrait of an immensely profitable--and mostly peaceful--meeting of civilizations at Canton over the long term that was destined to be shattered by one of the most shockingly unjust wars in the annals of imperial history. Brimming with a fascinating cast of British, Chinese, and American individuals, this riveting narrative of relations between China and the West has important implications for today's uncertain and ever-changing political climate.
Author: Stephen R. Platt
Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Incorporated
Traces the revolution led by a failed civil servant, citing the roles played by the United States and Britain as well as the contributions of such figures as military strategist Zeng Guofan and Taiping leader Hong Rengan.
Author: Sidney Harcave
Sergei Witte served as finance minister and later prime minister of Russia during the reigns of Alexander III and Nicholas II, and was in large part responsible for the development policies which saw Russia transformed from a peasant economy into an industrial nation. This is the first biography of Witte in English.
Author: Richard Charques
Publisher: Pickle Partners Publishing
The fateful twenty-three years following the accession of the last of the Romanov Tsars formed the prologue to the Russian Revolution, and foreshadowed the motives and mental attitudes of Russian policy today. Richard Charques’s detailed, vivid, and objective account of the reign of Nicholas II is based upon a wide study of Russian and other sources. It is given particular force and liveliness by the portrait gallery of the leading figures of the period; Nicholas II, the Tsaritsa Alexandra, Constantine Pobedonostsev, Sergius Witte, Lenin, Trotsky, Premier Stolypin, Miluikov, and Rasputin. “Striking phrases, fine judgments, flashes of deep perception, flicker through these pages, illuminating the sad, sombre story, which Mr. Charques is not afraid to extend, by implication, into the present.”—Observer (London) “Informative and well written, and the story of the last phase of the Romanovs is...movingly told.”—New Statesman (London) “Mr. Charques writes with great lucidity and elegance; he has also unusual discernment, a healthy sense of historical reality, and a penetrating mind...Scrupulously fair.”—Times Educational Supplement (London) “An uncommonly good book about the decline and fall of the Russian empire—lucid, incisive, well balanced, and extremely well written.”—Chicago Sunday Tribune
Author: Marnia Lazreg
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Torture and the Twilight of Empire looks at the intimate relationship between torture and colonial domination through a close examination of the French army's coercive tactics during the Algerian war from 1954 to 1962. By tracing the psychological, cultural, and political meanings of torture at the end of the French empire, Marnia Lazreg also sheds new light on the United States and its recourse to torture in Iraq and Afghanistan. This book is nothing less than an anatomy of torture--its methods, justifications, functions, and consequences. Drawing extensively from archives, confessions by former torturers, interviews with former soldiers, and war diaries, as well as writings by Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and others, Lazreg argues that occupying nations justify their systematic use of torture as a regrettable but necessary means of saving Western civilization from those who challenge their rule. She shows how torture was central to guerre révolutionnaire, a French theory of modern warfare that called for total war against the subject population and which informed a pacification strategy founded on brutal psychological techniques borrowed from totalitarian movements. Lazreg seeks to understand torture's impact on the Algerian population--especially women--and also on the French troops who became their torturers. She explores the roles Christianity and Islam played in rationalizing these acts, and the ways in which torture became not only routine but even acceptable. Written by a preeminent historical sociologist, Torture and the Twilight of Empire holds particularly disturbing lessons for us today as we carry out the War on Terror.
Author: Philipp Blom, Veronica Buckley
The lives of the tsars and their subjects from 1855 to 1918, told through rare archival photographs
Author: Morris Berman
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
An emerging cult classic about America's cultural meltdown—and a surprising solution. A prophetic examination of Western decline, The Twilight of American Culture provides one of the most caustic and surprising portraits of American society to date. Whether examining the corruption at the heart of modern politics, the "Rambification" of popular entertainment, or the collapse of our school systems, Morris Berman suspects that there is little we can do as a society to arrest the onset of corporate Mass Mind culture. Citing writers as diverse as de Toqueville and DeLillo, he cogently argues that cultural preservation is a matter of individual conscience, and discusses how classical learning might triumph over political correctness with the rise of a "a new monastic individual"—a person who, much like the medieval monk, is willing to retreat from conventional society in order to preserve its literary and historical treasures. "Brilliantly observant, deeply thoughtful ....lucidly argued."—Christian Science Monitor
Author: Alexander Freed
Publisher: Del Rey
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BUZZFEED • A companion novel inspired by the hotly anticipated videogame Star Wars: Battlefront, this action-packed adventure follows a squad of soldiers caught in the trenches of the ultimate galactic war between good and evil. The bravest soldiers. The toughest warriors. The ultimate survivors. Among the stars and across the vast expanses of space, the Galactic Civil War rages. On the battlefields of multiple worlds in the Mid Rim, legions of ruthless stormtroopers—bent on crushing resistance to the Empire wherever it arises—are waging close and brutal combat against an armada of freedom fighters. In the streets and alleys of ravaged cities, the front-line forces of the Rebel Alliance are taking the fight to the enemy, pushing deeper into Imperial territory and grappling with the savage flesh-and-blood realities of war on the ground. Leading the charge are the soldiers—men and women, human and nonhuman—of the Sixty-First Mobile Infantry, better known as Twilight Company. Hard-bitten, war-weary, and ferociously loyal to one another, the members of this renegade outfit doggedly survive where others perish, and defiance is their most powerful weapon against the deadliest odds. When orders come down for the rebels to fall back in the face of superior opposition numbers and firepower, Twilight reluctantly complies. Then an unlikely ally radically changes the strategic equation—and gives the Alliance’s hardest-fighting warriors a crucial chance to turn retreat into resurgence. Orders or not, alone and outgunned but unbowed, Twilight Company locks, loads, and prepares to make its boldest maneuver—trading down-and-dirty battle in the trenches for a game-changing strike at the ultimate target: the very heart of the Empire’s military machine. Praise for Battlefront: Twilight Company “A novel that ties in to a video game based on a sprawling sci-fi franchise shouldn’t be this good. . . . Battlefront: Twilight Company effortlessly thrusts readers onto the frontlines of the Galactic Civil War in a gripping tale.”—New York Daily News “Compelling . . . an entertaining journey through a galaxy in turmoil . . . Battlefront: Twilight Company explores what happens to the cannon fodder fighting and dying in the background of space opera’s cinematic action sequences. Focusing on the life of a few low-ranking Rebel grunts caught up in a vast interstellar conflict, the novel is an enjoyable tale of interstellar adventure and drama.”—IGN “Satisfyingly complex, immersive and moving . . . a war story unlike any Star Wars book that’s come before it.”—Roqoo Depot “A military thriller [with] some pretty impressive actions scenes [and] the lived-in, gritty feel of the original trilogy . . . [Alexander] Freed shows us the military side of the Star Wars universe in a way that we haven’t seen much before, while also giving readers new perspectives on classic characters and moments.”—Tech Times “Twilight Company is one of the greatest Star Wars stories ever about someone doggedly, cynically coming to understand why acting according to the light side is important.”—Den of Geek “The strongest canon piece of Star Wars literature thus far . . . sure to be a fan-pleasing favorite . . . Explosive action scenes and dark humor only punctuate this character-driven tale [with] heavy world-building and cameos from other characters throughout the Star Wars pantheon.”—Alternative Nation From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Frederic Morton
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Thunder at Twilight is a landmark historical vision, drawing on hitherto untapped sources to illuminate two crucial years in the life of the extraordinary city of Vienna-and in the life of the twentieth century. It was during the carnival of 1913 that a young Stalin arrived in Vienna on a mission that would launch him into the upper echelon of Russian revolutionaries, and it was here that he first collided with Trotsky. It was in Vienna that the failed artist Adolf Hitler kept daubing watercolors and spouting tirades at fellow drifters in a flophouse. Here Archduke Franz Ferdinand had a troubled audience with Emperor Franz Joseph-and soon the bullet that killed the Archduke would set off the Great War that would kill ten million more. With luminous prose that has twice made him a finalist for the National Book Award, Frederic Morton evokes the opulent, elegant, incomparable sunset metropolis-Vienna on the brink of cataclysm.
Author: Borislav Chernev
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Borislav Chernev, through an insightful and in-depth analysis of primary sources and archival material, argues that although its duration was short lived, the Brest-Litovsk settlement significantly affected the post-Imperial transformation of East Central Europe.
Author: Greg King, Penny Wilson
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
On a snowy January morning in 1889, a worried servant hacked open a locked door at the remote hunting lodge deep in the Vienna Woods. Inside, he found two bodies sprawled on an ornate bed, blood oozing from their mouths. Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria-Hungary appeared to have shot his seventeen-year-old mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera as she slept, sat with the corpse for hours and, when dawn broke, turned the pistol on himself. A century has transformed this bloody scene into romantic tragedy: star-crossed lovers who preferred death together than to be parted by a cold, unfeeling Viennese Court. But Mayerling is also the story of family secrets: incestuous relationships and mental instability; blackmail, venereal disease, and political treason; and a disillusioned, morphine-addicted Crown Prince and a naïve schoolgirl caught up in a dangerous and deadly waltz inside a decaying empire. What happened in that locked room remains one of history’s most evocative mysteries: What led Rudolf and mistress to this desperate act? Was it really a suicide pact? Or did something far more disturbing take place at that remote hunting lodge and result in murder? Drawing interviews with members of the Habsburg family and archival sources in Vienna, Greg King and Penny Wilson reconstruct this historical mystery, laying out evidence and information long ignored that conclusively refutes the romantic myth and the conspiracy stories.