Fiction

The War of the Worlds | ,

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When a meteorite lands in Surrey, the locals don't know what to make of it. But as Martians emerge and begin killing bystanders, it quickly becomes clear—England is under attack. Armed soldiers converge on the scene to ward off the invaders, but meanwhile, more Martian cylinders land on Earth, bringing reinforcements. As war breaks out across England, the locals must fight for their lives, but life on Earth will never be the same. This is an unabridged version of one of the first fictional accounts of extraterrestrial invasion. H. G. Wells's military science fiction novel was first published in book form in 1898, and is considered a classic of English literature..

History

British Battlecruisers, 1905–1920 | John Roberts

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The brainchild of Admiral Sir John Fisher, battlecruisers combined heavy guns and high speed in the largest hulls of their era. Conceived as super-cruisers to hunt down and destroy commerce raiders, their size and gun-power led to their inclusion in the battlefleet as a fast squadron of capital ships. This book traces in detail the development of Fishers original idea into first battlecruiser Invincible of 1908, through to the Splendid Cats of the Lion class, and culminating in HMS Hood in 1920, the largest warship in the world for the next twenty years. The origins of the unusual light battlecruisers of the Courageous type are also covered..

Biography & Autobiography

Dreadnought | Robert K. Massie

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A gripping chronicle of the personal and national rivalries that led to the twentieth century’s first great arms race, from Pulitzer Prize winner Robert K. Massie With the biographer’s rare genius for expressing the essence of extraordinary lives, Massie brings to life a crowd of glittery figures: the single-minded Admiral von Tirpitz; the young, ambitious Winston Churchill; the ruthless, sycophantic Chancellor Bernhard von Bülow; Britain’s greatest twentieth-century foreign secretary, Sir Edward Grey; and Jacky Fisher, the eccentric admiral who revolutionized the British navy and brought forth the first true battleship, the H.M.S. Dreadnought. Their story, and the story of the era, filled with misunderstandings, missed opportunities, and events leading to unintended conclusions, unfolds like a Greek tragedy in this powerful narrative. Intimately human and dramatic, Dreadnought is history at its most riveting. Praise for Dreadnought “Dreadnought is history in the grand manner, as most people prefer it: how people shaped, or were shaped by, events.”—Time “A classic [that] covers superbly a whole era . . . engrossing in its glittering gallery of characters.”—Chicago Sun-Times “[Told] on a grand scale . . . Massie [is] a master of historical portraiture and anecdotage.”—The Wall Street Journal “Brilliant on everything he writes about ships and the sea. It is Massie’s eye for detail that makes his nautical set pieces so marvelously evocative.”—Los Angeles Times.

History

Britain's Historic Ships | Paul Brown

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The British Isles have a long, rich and celebrated seafaring history stretching from the earliest times through the victories of Drake and Nelson, the voyages of discovery of Cabot and Cook and the defence of the realm by vessels of all types in the present century. Much of this history is recorded in literature and in museums but reaches its most tangible form in the large number of historical ships that have been preserved and are continually restored as monuments to a proud past. This lavish book explores 20 of the most celebrated and accessible ships and offers a comprehensive history of each vessel's design, construction, active service and subsequent restoration and preservation. Presented in order of each ship's launch date, each entry is written by the acknowledged expert on a particular vessel, gives full specification details and is sumptuously illustrated with contemporary photographs, historical illustrations and a full set of scale plans. In addition to the featured entries, an appendix presents all of the necessary contact details and opening times where applicable. The appendix also lists (and provides details for) other vessels of historical importance including a small number of working replicas such as the Matthew and the recently commissioned eighteenth-century frigate The Grand Turk, featured in the recent Hornblower television series. Principal vessels include: Mary Rose, HMS Victory, HMS Trincomalee, SS Great Britain, Cutty Sark, RRS Discovery, HMS Warrior, HMS Belfast, HMY Britannia, HMS Alliance, HMS Cavalier, Gypsy Moth IV and HMS Plymouth..

History

Faking, Forging, Counterfeiting | Daniel Becker,Annalisa Fischer,Yola Schmitz

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Forgeries are an omnipresent part of our culture and closely related to traditional ideas of authenticity, legality, authorship, creativity, and innovation. Based on the concept of mimesis, this volume illustrates how forgeries must be understood as autonomous aesthetic practices - creative acts in themselves - rather than as mere rip-offs of an original work of art. The proceedings bring together research from different scholarly fields. They focus on various mimetic practices such as pseudo-translations, imposters, identity theft, and hoaxes in different artistic and historic contexts. By opening up the scope of the aesthetic implications of fakes, this anthology aims to consolidate forging as an autonomous method of creation..

History

First Light | Geoffrey Wellum

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Two months before the outbreak of the Second World War, eighteen-year-old Geoffrey Wellum becomes a fighter pilot with the RAF . . . Desperate to get in the air, he makes it through basic training to become the youngest Spitfire pilot in the prestigious 92 Squadron. Thrust into combat almost immediately, Wellum finds himself flying several sorties a day, caught up in terrifying dogfights with German Me 109s. Over the coming months he and his fellow pilots play a crucial role in the Battle of Britain. But of the friends that take to the air alongside Wellum many never return..

History

The Phoney Victory | Peter Hitchens

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Was World War II really the `Good War'? In the years since the declaration of peace in 1945 many myths have sprung up around the conflict in the victorious nations. In this book, Peter Hitchens deconstructs the many fables which have become associated with the narrative of the `Good War'. Whilst not criticising or doubting the need for war against Nazi Germany at some stage, Hitchens does query whether September 1939 was the right moment, or the independence of Poland the right issue. He points out that in the summer of 1939 Britain and France were wholly unprepared for a major European war and that this quickly became apparent in the conflict that ensued. He also rejects the retroactive claim that Britain went to war in 1939 to save the Jewish population of Europe. On the contrary, the beginning and intensification of war made it easier for Germany to begin the policy of mass murder in secret as well as closing most escape routes. In a provocative, but deeply-researched book, Hitchens questions the most common assumptions surrounding World War II, turning on its head the myth of Britain's role in a `Good War'..

History

The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen | Howard Carter,A. C. Mace

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This book captures the painstaking, step-by-step process of excavation, and the wonders of the treasure-filled inner chamber. 106 on-the-spot photographs depict the phases of the discovery and the scrupulous cataloging of the treasures..

History

Warships of the World to 1900 | Lincoln P. Paine

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Lincoln P. Paine's SHIPS OF THE WORLD: AN HISTORICAL HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA was honored as one of the best reference books of the year by the New York Public Library, and Library Journal described it as "clearly the most fascinating book of the year." Now, in two equally fascinating new books, Paine focuses on two of the most interesting areas of maritime history: WARSHIPS OF THE WORLD TO 1900 and SHIPS OF DISCOVERY AND EXPLORATION. WARSHIPS OF THE WORLD TO 1900 traces the history of naval warfare through the stories of more than two hundred of the most famous and important fighting ships, from the earliest triremes and Viking longships to the Mary Rose, Wasa, Bonhomme Richard, HMS Victory, USS Constitution, USS Monitor, and Mikasa. Each ship is described in a vivid short essay that captures its personality as well as its physical characteristics, construction, and history, from the drawing board to the scrap yard or museum. Paintings and photographs show the grandeur and grace of these vessels that helped shape world events. An introductory essay, maps, and a chronology offer the reader a global perspective on the course of naval history from antiquity to the present..

Fiction

Sophie's World | Jostein Gaarder

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One day Sophie comes home from school to find two questions in her mail: "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" Before she knows it she is enrolled in a correspondence course with a mysterious philosopher. Thus begins Jostein Gaarder's unique novel, which is not only a mystery, but also a complete and entertaining history of philosophy..

History

The Rules of the Game | Andrew Gordon

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Foreword by Admiral Sir John Woodward. When published in hardcover in 1997, this book was praised for providing an engrossing education not only in naval strategy and tactics but in Victorian social attitudes and the influence of character on history. In juxtaposing an operational with a cultural theme, the author comes closer than any historian yet to explaining what was behind the often described operations of this famous 1916 battle at Jutland. Although the British fleet was victorious over the Germans, the cost in ships and men was high, and debates have raged within British naval circles ever since about why the Royal Navy was unable to take advantage of the situation. In this book Andrew Gordon focuses on what he calls a fault-line between two incompatible styles of tactical leadership within the Royal Navy and different understandings of the rules of the games..

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The Chinese Navy | ,

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History

Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy | Ian W. Toll

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"A fluent, intelligent history...give[s] the reader a feel for the human quirks and harsh demands of life at sea."—New York Times Book Review Before the ink was dry on the U.S. Constitution, the establishment of a permanent military became the most divisive issue facing the new government. The founders—particularly Jefferson, Madison, and Adams—debated fiercely. Would a standing army be the thin end of dictatorship? Would a navy protect from pirates or drain the treasury and provoke hostility? Britain alone had hundreds of powerful warships. From the decision to build six heavy frigates, through the cliff-hanger campaign against Tripoli, to the war that shook the world in 1812, Ian W. Toll tells this grand tale with the political insight of Founding Brothers and the narrative flair of Patrick O'Brian..

History

British Destroyers & Frigates | Norman Friedman

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“A comprehensive survey of the design history and development of the Royal Navy's greyhounds of the sea.”—WARSHIPS Magazine Since World War II, the old categories of destroyer and frigate have tended to merge, a process that this book traces back to the radically different “Tribal” class destroyers of 1936. It deals with the development of all the modern destroyer classes that fought the war, looks at the emergency programs that produced vast numbers of trade protection vessels—sloops, corvettes and frigates—then analyzes the pressures that shaped the post-war fleet, and continued to dominate design down to recent years. Written by America's leading authority and featuring photos and ship plans, it is an objective but sympathetic view of the difficult economic and political environment in which British designers had to work, and benefits from the author's ability to compare and contrast the US Navy's experience. Norman Friedman is renowned for his ability to explain the policy and strategy changes that drive design decisions, and his latest book uses previously unpublished material to draw a new and convincing picture of British naval policy over the previous seventy years and more. Includes photos.