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Biography: historical, political & military

See below for a selection of the latest books from Biography: historical, political & military category. Presented with a red border are the Biography: historical, political & military books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Biography: historical, political & military books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

The Man Who Was Saturday The Extraordinary Life of Airey Neave

The Man Who Was Saturday The Extraordinary Life of Airey Neave

Author: Patrick Bishop Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/02/2020

SOLDIER, ESCAPER, SPYMASTER, POLITICIAN - Airey Neave was assassinated in the House of Commons car park in 1979. Forty years after his death, Patrick Bishop's lively, action-packed biography examines the life, heroic war and death of one of Britain's most remarkable 20th century figures. Airey Neave was one of the most extraordinary figures of his generation. Taken prisoner during WW2, he was the first British officer to escape from Colditz and using the code name `Saturday' became a key figure in the IS9 escape and evasion organisation which spirited hundreds of Allied airmen and soldiers out of Occupied Europe. A lawyer by training, he served the indictments on the Nazi leaders at the Nuremburg war trials. An ardent Cold War warrior, he was mixed up in several of the great spy scandals of the period. Most people might consider these achievements enough for a single career, but he went on to become the man who made Margaret Thatcher, mounting a brilliantly manipulative campaign in the 1975 Tory leadership to bring her to power. And yet his death is as fascinating as his remarkable life. On Friday, 30 March 1979, a bomb planted beneath his car exploded while he was driving up the ramp of the House of Commons underground car park, killing him instantly. The murder was claimed by the breakaway Irish Republican group, the INLA. His killers have never been identified. Patrick Bishop's new book, published to mark the 40th anniversary of his death, is a lively and concise biography of this remarkable man. It answers the question of who killed him and why their identities have been hidden for so long and is written with the support of the Neave family.

Working With Winston

Working With Winston

Author: Cita Stelzer Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/02/2020

To maintain the pace at which he worked as a parliamentarian, cabinet minister, war leader, writer and painter, Churchill required a vast female staff of secretaries, typists and others. For these women Churchill was an intimidating boss; he was a man of prodigious energy, who imposed unusual and demanding schedules on those around him, and who combined a callous-seeming disregard with sincere solicitude for their well-being. Churchill was no ordinary employer: he did not live by the clock on the office wall. He expected those who worked with and for him to live by that timetable. Despite these often unreasonable demands, Churchill inspired an enduring loyalty and affection amongst the women who worked for him. Drawing on the wealth of oral testimonies of Churchill's many secretaries held in the Churchill Archive in Cambridge, Cita Stelzer - author of Dinner with Churchill - brings to life the experiences of a legion of women whose stories have hitherto remained unpublished in journals and letters. In recapturing their memories of working for and with Churchill - of famous people met, of travels abroad, of taking dictation in non-air-conditioned aeroplanes, of working though whisky-fuelled nights - she paints an original and memorable biographical portrait of one of the twentieth century's iconic statesmen.

Agent Moliere The Life of John Cairncross, the Fifth Man of the Cambridge Spy Circle

Agent Moliere The Life of John Cairncross, the Fifth Man of the Cambridge Spy Circle

Author: Geoff Andrews Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/02/2020

The Cambridge Spies continue to fascinate - but one of them, John Cairncross, has always been more of an enigma than the others. He worked alone and was driven by his hostility to Fascism rather than to the promotion of Communism. During his war-time work at Bletchley Park, he passed documents to the Soviets which went on to influence the Battle of Kursk. Now, Geoff Andrews has access to the Cairncross papers and secrets, and has spoken to friends, relatives and former colleagues. A complex individual emerges - a scholar as well as a spy - whose motivations have often been misunderstood. After his resignation from the Civil Service, Cairncross moved to Italy and here he rebuilt his life as a foreign correspondent, editor and university professor. This gave him new circles and friendships - which included the writer Graham Greene - while he always lived with the fear that his earlier espionage would come to light. The full account of Cairncross's spying, his confession and his dramatic public exposure as the 'fifth man' will be told here for the first time, while also unveiling the story of his post-espionage life.

Hitler: Volume II Downfall 1939-45

Hitler: Volume II Downfall 1939-45

Author: Volker Ullrich Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/02/2020

In the summer of 1939 Hitler was at the zenith of his power. The Nazis had consolidated their authority over the German people, and in a series of foreign-policy coups, the Fuhrer had restored Germany to the status of a major Continental power. He now embarked on realising his lifelong ambition: to provide the German people with the living space and the resources they needed to flourish and exterminate those who were standing in the way - the Bolsheviks and the Jews. Yet despite the initial German triumphs - the quick defeat of Poland, the successful Blitzkrieg in the west - the war set in motion Hitler's downfall. With the attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941 and the entry of the United States into the war later that year, Nazi Germany's fortunes began to turn: it soon became clear that the war could not be won. As in the earlier volume, Volker Ullrich offers fascinating insight into the personality of the Fuhrer, without which we fail to understand the course of the war and the development of the Holocaust. As Germany's supreme military commander, he decided on strategy and planned operations with his generals, involving himself in even the smallest minutiae. And here the key traits - and flaws - of his personality quickly came to the fore. Hitler was a gambler who put everything on one card; deeply insecure, he was easily shaken by the slightest setback and quick to blame his subordinates for his own catastrophic mistakes; and when he realised that the war was lost, he embarked on the annihilation of Germany itself in punishment of the German people who had failed to hand him victory. In September 1939, Hitler declared that he would wear a simple military tunic until the war was won - or otherwise, he would not be there to witness the end. On 30 April 1945, as Soviet troops closed in on his bunker in Berlin, Hitler committed suicide; seven days later, Germany surrendered. Hitler's murderous ambitions had not just destroyed Germany: they had cost the lives of tens of millions of people throughout Europe.

Hitler: Volume II Downfall 1939-45

Hitler: Volume II Downfall 1939-45

Author: Volker Ullrich Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/02/2020

In the summer of 1939 Hitler was at the zenith of his power. The Nazis had consolidated their authority over the German people, and in a series of foreign-policy coups, the Fuhrer had restored Germany to the status of a major Continental power. He now embarked on realising his lifelong ambition: to provide the German people with the living space and the resources they needed to flourish and exterminate those who were standing in the way - the Bolsheviks and the Jews. Yet despite the initial German triumphs - the quick defeat of Poland, the successful Blitzkrieg in the west - the war set in motion Hitler's downfall. With the attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941 and the entry of the United States into the war later that year, Nazi Germany's fortunes began to turn: it soon became clear that the war could not be won. As in the earlier volume, Volker Ullrich offers fascinating insight into the personality of the Fuhrer, without which we fail to understand the course of the war and the development of the Holocaust. As Germany's supreme military commander, he decided on strategy and planned operations with his generals, involving himself in even the smallest minutiae. And here the key traits - and flaws - of his personality quickly came to the fore. Hitler was a gambler who put everything on one card; deeply insecure, he was easily shaken by the slightest setback and quick to blame his subordinates for his own catastrophic mistakes; and when he realised that the war was lost, he embarked on the annihilation of Germany itself in punishment of the German people who had failed to hand him victory. In September 1939, Hitler declared that he would wear a simple military tunic until the war was won - or otherwise, he would not be there to witness the end. On 30 April 1945, as Soviet troops closed in on his bunker in Berlin, Hitler committed suicide; seven days later, Germany surrendered. Hitler's murderous ambitions had not just destroyed Germany: they had cost the lives of tens of millions of people throughout Europe.

Test Pilots of the Jet Age Men Who Heralded a New Era in Aviation

Test Pilots of the Jet Age Men Who Heralded a New Era in Aviation

Author: Colin Higgs, Bruce Vigar Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/01/2020

Today, as we board our flights to Adelaide, Zurich, and all points in between, we give little thought to the jet power that will take us there. But, this is only possible because just over 70 years ago a select band of British test pilots was prepared to risk all in the quest to fly further, faster and higher than ever before. Their quest was fraught with danger; disaster and death were never far away. This book captures eleven of those stories as told by the pilots themselves - their words as to how they took British aviation to the forefront of a new era, the Jet Age'. Britain's aircraft industry was booming in the years immediately after the end of the Second World War and the demand for test pilots seemingly limitless as new aircraft types rolled off the drawing boards. Meteors, Vampires, Hunters, Comets, Victors, Vulcans and Harriers were some of the aircraft that became world-beaters. Today, these names and the role played by the test pilots in bringing these projects to fruition are all but forgotten. The stories were filmed over a number of years and it is the edited transcripts of those interviews that form a unique and rare perspective on such a pivotal era in aviation. Most were veterans of the Second World War with illustrious service records. Now they faced new battles as they flew new airframes and engines to the limit and sometimes beyond. First, they had to conquer the sound barrier' which to many, scientists and the public alike, had assumed almost mythic status. Having done that, they were soon flying at twice the speed of sound, such was the rate of progress. It took discipline, technical know-how, an above average level of flying skill and according to some, a lack of imagination to make a good test pilot. Their stories are often insightful, always modest and often tinged with humour.

Elizabeth Widville, Lady Grey Edward IV's Chief Mistress and the 'Pink Queen'

Elizabeth Widville, Lady Grey Edward IV's Chief Mistress and the 'Pink Queen'

Author: John Ashdown-Hill Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/01/2020

Wife to Edward IV and mother to the Princes in the Tower and later Queen Elizabeth of York, Elizabeth Widville was a central figure during the War of the Roses. Much of her life is shrouded in speculation and myth - even her name, commonly spelled as Woodville', is a hotly contested issue. Born in the turbulent fifteenth century, she was famed for her beauty and controversial second marriage to Edward IV, who she married just three years after he had displaced the Lancastrian Henry VI and claimed the English throne. As Queen Consort, Elizabeth's rise from commoner to royalty continues to capture modern imagination. Undoubtedly, it enriched the position of her family. Her elevated position and influence invoked hostility from Richard Neville, the Kingmaker', which later led to open discord and rebellion. Throughout her life and even after the death of her husband, Elizabeth remained politically influential: briefly proclaiming her son King Edward V of England before he was diposed by her brother-in-law, the infamous Richard III, she would later play an important role in securing the succession of Henry Tudor in 1485 and his marriage to her daughter Elizabeth of York, thus and ending the War of the Roses. Elizabeth Widville was an endlessly enigmatic historical figure, who has been obscured by dramatizations and misconceptions. In this fascinating and insightful biography, Dr John Ashdown-Hill brings shines a light on the truth of her life.

Bibi The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu

Bibi The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu

Author: Anshel Pfeffer Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/01/2020

For many in Israel and elsewhere, Benjamin Netanyahu is anathema, an embarrassment; yet he continues to dominate Israeli public life. How can we explain his rise, his hold on Israeli politics, and his outsized role on the world's stage? In Bibi, Anshel Pfeffer reveals the formative influence of Netanyahu's father and grandfather, who bequeathed to him a once-marginal brand of Zionism combining Jewish nationalism with religious traditionalism. In the Zionist enterprise, Netanyahu embodies the triumph of the underdogs over the secular liberals who founded the nation. Netanyahu's Israel is a hybrid of ancient phobia and high-tech hope; of tribalism and globalism -- just like the man himself. We cannot understand Israel today without first understanding the man who leads it.

Inside the Hot Zone A Soldier on the Front Lines of Biological Warfare

Inside the Hot Zone A Soldier on the Front Lines of Biological Warfare

Author: Mark G Kortepeter Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/01/2020

Inside the Hot Zone is an insider's account of one of the deadliest offices on earth: the United States Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, or USAMRIID for short. Retired U.S. Army Captain Mark G. Kortepeter, MD, a leading biodefense expert, takes the reader with him as he moves from the lecture hall to the role of Department Chief, to the battlefield, to inside the Biosafety Level-4 maximum containment lab, and finally, to the corner office. During his seven and a half years in leadership at USAMRIID, the United States was threatened by the most pivotal events in modern germ warfare, including the 2003 Iraq War's biological weapons fears, the anthrax letters of 2001, and a little-known crisis involving a presumed botulism attack on the President of the United States. Inside the Hot Zone is shocking, frightening, and occasionally amusing as Kortepeter tells the rest of the story - how he and his USAMRIID colleagues handled events related to anthrax, botulism, smallpox, Lassa, and Ebola in a cool and thoughtful manner as they unfolded. A modern-day Hawkeye Pierce, Kortepeter brings a rich and riveting narrative as he wrestles with life and death decisions managing biological weapon exposures. The stories are real, but they could easily serve as plotlines in popular fiction or Hollywood thrillers. He gives the reader a seat at the table as each crisis unfolds, with an unvarnished, deep and personal perspective of the dangers, the drama, the fear, the frustrations, the irony, and the uncertainty encountered as a physician in the role of Biodefender in an unusual and occasionally threatening environment.

Mengele Unmasking the Angel of Death

Mengele Unmasking the Angel of Death

Author: David G. Marwell Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/01/2020

Perhaps the most notorious war criminal of all time, Josef Mengele was the embodiment of bloodless efficiency and passionate devotion to a grotesque worldview. Aided by the role he has assumed in works of popular culture, Mengele has come to symbolize the Holocaust itself as well as the failure of justice that allowed countless Nazi murderers and their accomplices to escape justice. Whether as the demonic doctor who directed mass killings or the elusive fugitive who escaped capture, Mengele has loomed so large that even with conclusive proof, many refused to believe that he had died. As chief of investigative research at the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations in the 1980s, David G. Marwell worked on the Mengele case, interviewing his victims, visiting the scenes of his crimes, and ultimately holding his bones in his hands. Drawing on his own experience as well as new scholarship and sources, Marwell examines in scrupulous detail Mengele's life and career. He chronicles Mengele's university studies, which led to two PhDs and a promising career as a scientist; his wartime service both in frontline combat and at Auschwitz, where his selections sent innumerable innocents to their deaths and his scientific pursuits-including his studies of twins and eye color-traumatized or killed countless more; and his postwar flight from Europe and refuge in South America. Mengele describes the international search for the Nazi doctor in 1985 that ended in a cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the dogged forensic investigation that produced overwhelming evidence that Mengele had died-but failed to convince those who, arguably, most wanted him dead. This is the riveting story of science without limits, escape without freedom, and resolution without justice.

From Roucan to Riches The Rise of the Glassell Family

From Roucan to Riches The Rise of the Glassell Family

Author: David McKenzie Robertson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/01/2020

From Roucan to Riches traces the story of the Glassell family from their obscure beginnings as humble Scots tenant farmers, through two brothers who made a fortune from tobacco in Virginia, and on to their descendants who made their mark in varied and interesting ways. As the American Revolution loomed, one brother returned to Scotland and the other remained. John settled as a rural Scottish landowner in Longniddry, East Lothian, and demolished the village in the name of agricultural improvement. His daughter was educated in Edinburgh during its Golden Age , and knew many of its greatest luminaries. She kept a lively diary of her Italian travels, fell for and married the divorced middle-aged heir to the Dukedom of Argyll, and died tragically young. The descendants of Andrew, the American brother, became slave-owning Virginian aristocracy , Civil War heroes and victims, and fabulously wealthy entrepreneurs, one of whom helped to drive forward the development of California. The notorious Second World War figure General George Patton was a descendant of the Californian Glassells.

Mavis Batey Bletchley Codebreaker - Garden Historian - Conservationist - Writer

Mavis Batey Bletchley Codebreaker - Garden Historian - Conservationist - Writer

Author: Jean Stone Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/01/2020

Late 1930s. When World War II was declared, Mavis Batey, previously studying German Romanticism, abandoned her studies to do her duty for her country. At Bletchley Park, Britain's best kept secret, she became one of the first women codebreakers, a pioneer and a star, breaking codes vital to bringing peace. Mavis Batey, a unique biography, delves into the life of one of Britain's best female codebreakers, taking the reader through the war and to the arrival of peace, when Mavis turned her attention from breaking codes to the conservation and preservation of gardens. Mavis became an important figure in conservation, becoming President of the Garden History Society, which, under her watch, became an academic society and campaigning force for the protection of landscapes, parks, and gardens of historic interest. She also lobbied Parliament, fighting threats of encroachment and misuse of land. Acts of Parliament were passed, English Heritage was established, and grants were introduced. Historic gardens became officially recognised as essential components of European culture and her National Register of Historic Gardens came to fruition. Mavis's passion was writing and she wrote many books. Mavis was finally awarded the RHS Veitch Memorial Medal and the MBE for Services to the preservation and conservation of historic landscapes. Mavis never did retire: her final project was to inspire an American Garden Trail for Bletchley Park which she signed off just a few months before her death in November 2013.