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History non-fiction

5 Books | by Alan Eager

The Graves Are Walking

The Graves Are Walking

Books

A magisterial account of one of the worst disasters to strike humankind--the Great Irish Potato Famine--conveyed as lyrical narrative history from the acclaimed author of The Great Mortality Deeply researched, compelling in its details, and startling in its conclusions about the appalling decisions behind a tragedy of epic proportions, John Kelly's retelling of the awful story of Ireland's great hunger will resonate today as history that speaks to our own times. It started in 1845 and before it was over more than one million men, women, and children would die and another two million would flee the country. Measured in terms of mortality, the Great Irish Potato Famine was the worst disaster in the nineteenth century--it claimed twice as many lives as the American Civil War. A perfect storm of bacterial infection, political greed, and religious intolerance sparked this catastrophe. But even more extraordinary than its scope were its political underpinnings, and The Graves Are Walking provides fresh material and analysis on the role that Britain's nation-building policies played in exacerbating the devastation by attempting to use the famine to reshape Irish society and character. Religious dogma, anti-relief sentiment, and racial and political ideology combined to result in an almost inconceivable disaster of human suffering. This is ultimately a story of triumph over perceived destiny: for fifty million Americans of Irish heritage, the saga of a broken people fleeing crushing starvation and remaking themselves in a new land is an inspiring story of revival. Based on extensive research and written with novelistic flair, The Graves Are Walking draws a portrait that is both intimate and panoramic, that captures the drama of individual lives caught up in an unimaginable tragedy, while imparting a new understanding of the famine's causes and consequences.

Stalingrad

Stalingrad

Books

'One of the great novels of the 20th century' ObserverIn April 1942, Hitler and Mussolini plan the huge offensive on the Eastern Front that will culminate in the greatest battle in human history.Hundreds of miles away, Pyotr Vavilov receives his call-up papers and spends a final night with his wife and children in the hut that is his home. As war approaches, the Shaposhnikov family gathers for a meal: despite her age, Alexandra will soon become a refugee; Tolya will enlist in the reserves; Vera, a nurse, will fall in love with a wounded pilot; and Viktor Shtrum will receive a letter from his doomed mother which will haunt him forever. The war will consume the lives of a huge cast of characters - lives which express Grossman's grand themes of the nation and the individual, nature's beauty and war's cruelty, love and separation.For months, Soviet forces are driven back inexorably by the German advance eastward and eventually Stalingrad is all that remains between the invaders and victory. The city stands on a cliff top by the Volga River. The battle for Stalingrad - a maelstrom of violence and firepower - will reduce it to ruins. But it will also be the cradle of a new sense of hope. Stalingrad is a magnificent novel not only of war but of all human life: its subjects are mothers and daughters, husbands and brothers, generals, nurses, political officers, steelworkers, tractor girls. It is tender, epic, and a testament to the power of the human spirit.'You will not only discover that you love his characters and want to stay with them - that you need them in your life as much as you need your own family and loved ones - but that at the end... you will want to read it again' Daily Telegraph THE PREQUEL TO LIFE AND FATE NOW AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH FOR THE FIRST TIME, STALINGRAD IS A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER AND NOW A MAJOR RADIO 4 DRAMAWINNER OF MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION "LOIS ROTH AWARD" FOR TRANSLATIONS FROM ANY LANGUAGE

The Storm of War

The Storm of War

Books

“Gripping. . . . splendid history. A brilliantly clear and accessible account of the war in all its theaters. Roberts’s prose is unerringly precise and strikingly vivid. It is hard to imagine a better-told military history of World War II.” –New York Times Book ReviewAndrew Roberts's acclaimed new history has been hailed as the finest single-volume account of this epic conflict. From the western front to North Africa, from the Baltic to the Far East, he tells the story of the war—the grand strategy and the individual experience, the brutality and the heroism—as never before.Meticulously researched and masterfully written, The Storm of War illuminates the war's principal actors, revealing how their decisions shaped the course of the conflict. Along the way, Roberts presents tales of the many lesser-known individuals whose experiences form a panoply of the courage and self-sacrifice, as well as the depravity and cruelty, of the Second World War.

Stalingrad

Stalingrad

Books

In October 1942, a panzer officer wrote 'Stalingrad is no longer a town... Animals flee this hell; the hardest stones cannot bear it for long; only men endure. The battle for Stalingrad became the focus of Hitler and Stalin's determination to win the gruesome, vicious war on the eastern front. The citizens of Stalingrad endured unimaginable hardship; the battle, with fierce hand-to-hand fighting in each room of each building, was brutally destructive to both armies. But the eventual victory of the Red Army, and the failure of Hitler's Operation Barbarossa, was the first defeat of Hitler's territorial ambitions in Europe, and the start of his decline. An extraordinary story of tactical genius, civilian bravery, obsession, carnage and the nature of war itself, Stalingrad will act as a testament to the vital role of the soviet war effort.

The Day of Battle

The Day of Battle

Books

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER"Majestic... Atkinson's achievement is to marry prodigious research with a superbly organized narrative and then to overlay the whole with writing as powerful and elegant as any great narrative of war." —The Wall Street JournalIn An Army at Dawn—winner of the Pulitzer Prize—Rick Atkinson provided an authoritative history of the Allied triumph in North Africa during World War II. Now, in The Day of Battle, he follows the strengthening American and British armies as they invade Sicily in July 1943 and then, mile by bloody mile, fight their way north toward Rome.The decision to invade the so-called soft underbelly of Europe was controversial, but once under way, the commitment to liberate Italy from the Nazis never wavered. The battles at Salerno, Anzio, the Rapido River, and Monte Cassino were particularly lethal, yet as the months passed, the Allied forces continued to drive the Germans up the Italian peninsula. And with the liberation of Rome in June 1944, ultimate victory at last began to seem inevitable.Drawing on a wide array of primary source material, written with great drama and flair, The Day of Battle is a masterly account of one of history's most compelling military campaigns.

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