Following on from Foundation, Tudors is the second volume in Peter Ackroyd's astonishing series, The History of England.Rich in detail and atmosphere and told in vivid prose, Tudors recounts the transformation of England from a settled Catholic country to a Protestant superpower. It is the story of Henry VIII's cataclysmic break with Rome, and his relentless pursuit of both the perfect wife and the perfect heir; of how the brief reign of the teenage king, Edward VI, gave way to the violent reimposition of Catholicism and the stench of bonfires under 'Bloody Mary'. It tells, too, of the long reign of Elizabeth I, which, though marked by civil strife, plots against the queen and even an invasion force, finally brought stability.Above all, however, it is the story of the English Reformation and the making of the Anglican Church. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, England was still largely feudal and looked to Rome for direction; at its end, it was a country where good governance was the duty of the state, not the church, and where men and women began to look to themselves for answers rather than to those who ruled them.
The No.1 New York Times Bestseller In January 1961, as the cold war escalates, John F. Kennedy struggles to contain the growth of communism while he learns the hardships, solitude and temptations of what it means to be president of the United States. At the same time, JFK acquires a number of formidable enemies, among them Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Allen Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Then, in the midst of a 1963 campaign trip to Texas, a sequence of gunshots kills a beloved president and sends America into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath. A page-turner from beginning to end, Killing Kennedy chronicles both the heroism and deceit of Camelot, bringing history to life fifty years after the most notorious crime of the twentieth century. 'Immersively written . . . A powerful historical précis' Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Why do obviously intelligent people believe things in spite of the evidence against them? Will Storr has travelled across the world to meet an extraordinary cast of modern heretics in order to answer this question. He goes on a tour of Holocaust sites with David Irving and a band of neo-Nazis, experiences his own murder during 'past-life regression' hypnosis, takes part in a mass homeopathic overdose, and investigates a new disease affecting tens of thousands of people - a disease that doesn't actually exist. Using a unique mix of personal memoir, investigative journalism and the latest research from neuroscience and experimental psychology, Storr reveals why the facts just won't convince some people, and how the neurological 'hero-maker' inside all of us can so easily lead to self-deception and science-denial. The Heretics will change the way you think about thinking.
In 476 AD the last of Rome's emperors was deposed by a barbarian general, the son of one of Attila the Hun's henchmen, and the imperial vestments were despatched to Constantinople. The curtain fell on the Roman Empire in Western Europe, its territories divided between successor kingdoms constructed around barbarian military manpower. But if the Roman Empire was dead, the dream of restoring it refused to die. In many parts of the old Empire, real Romans still lived, holding on to their lands, the values of their civilisation, its institutions; the barbarians were ready to reignite the imperial flame and to enjoy the benefits of Roman civilization, the three greatest contenders being Theoderic, Justinian and Charlemagne. But, ultimately, they would fail and it was not until the reinvention of the papacy in the eleventh century that Europe's barbarians found the means to generate a new Roman Empire, an empire which has lasted a thousand years.
A massive bestseller in its native Italy, and a book that can justly be compared with Roberto Saviano's Gomorrah, Blood Ties is a terrifying account of the 'ndrangheta's criminal activities over the last four decades. Originally from Calabria, this sinister organization has - like the Mafia in Sicily and the Camorra in Naples - a vicious hold over northern Italy and much of the rest of the country, too, a stranglehold that is growing every day. Told to the authors by an insider, Pippo di Bella, a 'pentito', a former member of the gang now turned state's evidence, it reveals many hitherto unknown operations, as well as throwing new light on well-known cases from the past. It shows an organization which retains and strengthens its position through corruption, drug smuggling, gun running, violence, extortion and kidnapping. Visceral, compelling and terrifyingly readable, it paints a brutally vivid picture of the most dangerous and powerful of the Italian mafias, one which demands to be read.
Have you ever seen something that wasn't really there? Heard someone call your name in an empty house? Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing? Hallucinations don't belong wholly to the insane. Much more commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness, or injury. In some conditions, hallucinations can lead to religious epiphanies or even the feeling of leaving one's own body. Humans have always sought such life-changing visions, and for thousands of years have used hallucinogenic compounds to achieve them. In Hallucinations, with his usual elegance, curiosity, and compassion, Dr Oliver Sacks weaves together stories of his patients and of his own mind-altering experiences to illuminate what hallucinations tell us about the organization and structure of our brains, how they have influenced every culture's folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination is present in us all, a vital part of the human condition.
A non-fiction thriller by international bestselling author Blaine Harden (Escape from Camp 14) that explores the world's most repressive state through the intertwined lives of two North Koreans, one infamous, one obscure: Kim Il Sung, the former North Korean leader and No Kum Sok, once the state's youngest jet fighter pilot.Shortly before the Korean War ended, No Kum Sok met Kim Il Sung, who congratulated him for his flying skill and his courage. A few months later, No Kum Sok stole a Soviet-made MiG-15 and flew it to a US airfield in South Korea. Beginning with the arbitrary division of Korea in 1945 and ending two months after the shaky armistice that halted combat in the Korean War, The Great Leader & the Fighter Pilot is an ambitious and gripping book which digs deeply into the character of the Kim family dictatorship.At once an irresistible adventure story and an authoritative guide to the notorious state, it explains why North Korea remains so isolated, why it created and maintains a vast gulag of concentration camps, and why it is still so angry at the western world.