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The Strange Death of Liberal England

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George Dangerfield The Strange Death of Liberal England
Foreword by Paul Bew

At the beginning of the twentieth century Britain's empire spanned the globe, her economy was strong and the political system seemed to be immune from the ills that afflicted so many other countries. After a resounding electoral triumph in 1906 the Liberals again formed the government of the most powerful nation on earth, yet within a few years the army had mutinied, industrial unrest was rife and civil war loomed in Ireland.

The Strange Death of Liberal England is the classic study of this rapid collapse of a self-confident body politic. Three factors combined to bring Liberal England to its knees: the Home Rule crisis brought Ireland to the brink of civil war, while the campaign for women's suffrage created widespread civil disorder, and an unprecedented strike wave swept the land.

The years before the First World War are often presented as a golden age, but this stylish and witty history shows the turbulence of an alleged belle époque to have been the writing on the wall for a nation that had for too long thought of itself as all-powerful.

'The most exciting way to start looking at the nation's history during this period.'
Eric Hobsbawm

'A wonderful book ... Anyone who hasn't read Dangerfield yet should waste no time in getting a copy.'
The Guardian

'A classic both of popular history, in the best sense of that phrase, and of good and interesting writing.'
The Irish Times

'As bracing an antidote to the banality of Downton Abbey as you could hope to find ... one of those rare histories that survive long after the author's death.'
Nick Cohen, The Spectator

> A Good Read, BBC Radio 4

> 1913: The Year Before, BBC Radio 4

> Free Thinking, Landmark: George Dangerfield's The Strange Death of Liberal England, Philip Dodd talks to Shirley Williams, Roy Foster, Nick Cohen, Duncan Brack and Bea Campbell, BBC Radio 3

> Download podcast of Free Thinking, BBC Radio 3 (right click & select 'save file/link as')

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'It is a rare pleasure not just to recommend a book but to insist with all possible powers of persuasion that anyone lucky enough not to have read it should instantly treat themselves ... George Dangerfield's book is supreme. Every page, indeed every sentence, is lifted above the average by his irresistible writing style.'
Paul Foot, Socialist Review

'A rare example of a book which has become canonical, or at least the focus of all subsequent academic argument, without even having received the tribute of a review in a scholarly journal when it first appeared in 1935.'
John Vincent, The Spectator

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Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion

£14.99 / US $19.95 / AUS $32.95


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Norman Cohn Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion

Hitler's anti-semitic obsession was fuelled by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a hugely successful forgery containing the master-plan of an alleged Jewish conspiracy to control the world.

In a fascinating work of literary and historical detection, Norman Cohn unravels the origins of the Protocols. Tracing its roots in anti-semitic mythology, Cohn pinpoints the collaboration of hack writers and secret policemen in concocting a book that, published around the world, was once second only to the Bible in its circulation.

Even before Hitler came to power, the Protocols were one of the cornerstones of Nazi propaganda and, once the Second World War started, became the principal 'justification' for the attempted extermination of European Jewry.

Despite being completely discredited, the Protocols are still widely read, and Warrant for Genocide remains the key text for anyone wishing to understand one of the most pernicious and enduring myths of our time.

'A scholarly account of a moral enormity.'
The Guardian

'One of the greatest of all modern historians.'
Isiah Berlin

'Powerful and important ... There have been previous histories of the Protocols and the mythologies of modern anti-semitism, but this is the most lucid and ironic.'
George Steiner

'It is impossible to understand twentieth-century politics unless Cohn's insights into the religious origins of totalitarian movements have been fully absorbed.'
John Gray

The Crowd in History

£15 / US $24 / AUS $32.95


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George Rudé The Crowd in History
A Study of Popular Disturbances in France and England, 1730-1848

What motivated the food rioters who sparked off the French Revolution? Who took part in the widespread disturbances that periodically shook eighteenth-century London? How did the Captain Swing movement of agricultural labourers destroying new machinery spread from one village to another in the English countryside? How did the sans-culottes organise in revolutionary Paris?

George Rudé was the first historian to ask such questions, and in doing so he identified 'the faces in the crowd' in some of the key episodes in modern European history. A classic work of 'history from below', The Crowd in History is remarkable above all for the clarity with which it deals with complex historical events. Whether in Cairo or Kiev, crowds continue to make history - whether in Tahrir Square or at the fall of the Berlin Wall - and George Rudé's work retains all its freshness and relevance for both the general reader and the student of history and politics.

'He put the mind back into history and restored the dignity of man.'
A.J.P. Taylor

'Like all his work, this book is concentrated, simple and clear, and admirably suited to the non-specialist reader.'
Eric Hobsbawm, New York Review of Books

The Romantic Exiles

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E.H. Carr The Romantic Exiles

1847: the Russian liberal Alexander Herzen and his family leave Moscow on a short-term permit, become embroiled in the revolution of 1848 in Paris and, unable to return to Tsarist Russia, are condemned to permanent exile. As they move from one European country to another, their lives are punctuated by romance and illusion, intrigue and adultery.

Through a series of perfectly executed pen portraits, Carr brings to life a fascinating group of liberal propagandists, exiled anarchists, dissident aristocrats and – inevitably – the occasional police spy, and their conspiratorial entanglements. He allows Herzen to take centre stage, although the actors themselves gave this honour to Mikhail Bakunin, 'the father of Russian anarchism' and the most charismatic figure in this extraordinary tale. This is also a story of financial skulduggery and personal tragedy for almost everyone involved as Romantic ideals – personal, political and philosophical – crumble in the face of the rise of nationalism across Europe.

'Remarkable' The Times

'Required reading' New York Times

'Our most distinguished historian' The Spectator

Northern Ireland 1921-2001

£14.99 / US $24.95 / AUS $38.45


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Paul Bew, Peter Gibbon, Henry Patterson Northern Ireland 1921-2001
Political Forces and Social Classes

The updated edition of this path-breaking history covers the entire period between partition in 1921 and the evolving peace process at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The authors lay bare the key issues of Northern Ireland's history, from the establishment of the B Specials to the realities of Direct Rule from London in the 1990s. They take issue with the stereotypes that portray Protestants as monolithic and unchanging in their loyalism and Catholics as uniformly alienated from the political establishment. Instead, this sophisticated yet accessible history reveals the economic realities behind the civil rights movement and shows how divisions between the Orange elite and the broader Protestant population sowed the seeds of the destruction of the Unionist state and its eventual replacement by a new system of devolved government and cross-border co-operation.

'Excellent'
Fintan O'Toole

'Puts Ulster's past back into its Irish context with deep learning and few illusions'
New Statesman

'A penetrating analysis of Unionism'
The Scotsman

The Politics of Illusion

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Henry Patterson The Politics of Illusion
A Political History of the IRA

This is the first comprehensive study of the IRA's attempts to create a 'social republicanism', a marriage between militant nationalism and the politics of the left. From agitation amongst peasantry in the 1920s to recent efforts to add a political dimension to purist nationalism, Henry Patterson analyses the various failed attempts to marry two fundamentally incompatible ideologies.

Friend and foe have described the IRA as 'socialists', 'Marxists', 'fascists' or simply as militaristic and murderous thugs. In this highly praised work the author steers us through the complex and inevitably secretive history of both the Provisional and the Official IRA, Sinn Fein and the various organisations with which they have been associated.

This fully revised new edition takes the history of Irish republicanism to the IRA's renewed ceasefire, and Henry Patterson's conclusion is that 'physical force' or militarist nationalism and the politics of the left make uneasy and, when the rhetoric is cleared away, illusory bed-fellows.

'Of immense value'
The Irish Times

'Subtle and authoritative'
Fintan O'Toole, New York Review of Books

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'The definitive history of the IRA'
BBC Radio 4

'An extremely timely book that will be an eye-opener for those who believe they understand Ireland and its problems'
Library Journal

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Nine Lives

£9.99 / US $14.95 / AUS $27.45


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Waldemar Lotnik, Julian Preece Nine Lives
Ethnic Conflict in the Polish-Ukrainian Borderlands
Foreword by Neal Ascherson

By any standards, Waldemar Lotnik's experience of the Second World War was remarkable. Fighting in the Polish Resistance, his unit was engaged in a bitter ethnic conflict with pro-Nazi Ukrainians. Unknown in the West, this struggle was, like that raging at the same time between Serbs and Croats, provoked by the Germans arming one ethnic group and unleashing it against a rival. Lotnik described with total and sometimes frightening candour his part in a war without rules that claimed at least half a million lives.

Captured by the Germans, Lotnik was taken to the Majdanek concentration camp. There he carted corpses to the crematorium and, like every inmate, fought a day-to-day battle for survival. When the camp was liberated, he volunteered for the new 'Red' Polish air force and, while training to fly, was recruited by the KGB to inform on his comrades. After deserting, he joined the Polish Home Army, which in the summer of 1945 was fighting a desperate but doomed battle against the country's new occupiers. With the Soviets' victory never seriously in doubt, he escaped to the West to begin a new life.

'An unforgettable book ... one of the most tragic and horrifying memoirs to emerge from the Second World War.'
Neal Ascherson

'Reveals a major hidden episode in Europe's bloody history of ethnic violence .... The parallels with recent events in the Balkans are striking.'
The Observer

'An exceptional book ... it tells a story from a perspective we rarely, if ever, are able to see.'
Anne Appelbaum, Literary Review

'Vivid and disturbing ... Ably reconstructed with the help of Julian Preece, Lotnik's memoir sheds lights on a relatively unknown conflict waged within the larger drama on the Eastern Front, and hence on the topical theme of how neighbours can turn on each other with terrifying savagery, as we have recently seen in the Balkans.'
Times Literary Supplement