Book cover of Emperor of Rome: Ruling the Ancient Roman World by Mary Beard
Ancient Civilizations

Emperor of Rome: Ruling the Ancient Roman World

In her international bestseller SPQR, Mary Beard told the thousand-year story of ancient Rome, from its slightly shabby Iron Age origins to its reign as the undisputed hegemon of the Mediterranean. Now, drawing on more than thirty years of teaching and writing about Roman history, Beard turns to the emperors who ruled the Roman Empire, beginning with Julius Caesar (assassinated 44 BCE) and taking us through the nearly three centuries—and some thirty emperors—that separate him from the boy-king Alexander Severus (assassinated 235 CE). […Learn More]

Book cover of Resistance: The Underground War Against Hitler, 1939-1945 by Halik Kochanski
Eastern Europe

Resistance: The Underground War Against Hitler, 1939-1945

In every country that fell to the Third Reich during the Second World War, from France in the west to parts of the Soviet Union in the east, a resistance movement against Nazi domination emerged. And every country that endured occupation created its own fiercely nationalist account of the role of homegrown resistance in its eventual liberation. Halik Kochanski’s panoramic, prodigiously researched work is a monumental achievement: the first book to strip these disparate national histories of myth and nostalgia and to integrate them into a definitive chronicle of the underground war against the Nazis. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Siege of Loyalty House: A Story of the English Civil War by Jessie Childs
Europe

The Siege of Loyalty House: A Story of the English Civil War

Between 1643 and 1645, Basing House in Hampshire, England, was besieged three times. To the parliamentary Roundheads, the house symbolized everything that was wrong with England: it was the largest private residence in the country, a bastion of royalism and excess. Its owner, the Marquess of Winchester, reportedly had the motto Love loyalty etched into the windows. Winchester refused all terms of surrender. When he discovered his brother plotting to betray the house, he forced him to hang his accomplices. When the garrison divided along religious lines, Winchester expelled all the Protestants. […Learn More]

Book cover of Checkpoint Charlie: The Cold War, The Berlin Wall, and the Most Dangerous Place On Earth by Iain MacGregor
Europe

Checkpoint Charlie: The Cold War, The Berlin Wall, and the Most Dangerous Place On Earth

In the early 1960s, East Germany committed a billion dollars to the creation of the Berlin Wall, an eleven-foot-high barrier that consisted of seventy-nine miles of fencing, 300 watchtowers, 250 guard dog runs, twenty bunkers, and was operated around the clock by guards who shot to kill. Over the next twenty-eight years, at least five thousand people attempt to smash through it, swim across it, tunnel under it, or fly over it. […Learn More]

Book cover of How the Victorians Took Us to the Moon: The Story of the 19th-Century Innovators Who Forged Our Future by Iwan Rhys Morus
Computers & Technology

How the Victorians Took Us to the Moon: The Story of the 19th-Century Innovators Who Forged Our Future

The rich and fascinating history of the scientific revolution of the Victorian Era, leading to transformative advances in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

The Victorians invented the idea of the future. They saw it as an undiscovered country, one ripe for exploration and colonization. And to get us there, they created a new way of ordering and transforming nature, built on grand designs and the mass-mobilization of the resources of the British Empire. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Dark Queens: The Bloody Rivalry That Forged the Medieval World by Shelley Puhak
Biography & Autobiography

The Dark Queens: The Bloody Rivalry That Forged the Medieval World 

The remarkable, little-known story of two trailblazing women in the Early Middle Ages who wielded immense power, only to be vilified for daring to rule.

Brunhild was a foreign princess, raised to be married off for the sake of alliance-building. Her sister-in-law Fredegund started out as a lowly palace slave. And yet-in sixth-century Merovingian France, where women were excluded from noble succession and royal politics was a blood sport-these two iron-willed strategists reigned over vast realms, changing the face of Europe. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: The True Story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive by Lucy Adlington
Biography & Autobiography

The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: The True Story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive 

A powerful chronicle of the women who used their sewing skills to survive the Holocaust, stitching beautiful clothes at an extraordinary fashion workshop created within one of the most notorious WWII death camps. 

At the height of the Holocaust twenty-five young inmates of the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp—mainly Jewish women and girls—were selected to design, cut, and sew beautiful fashions for elite Nazi women in a dedicated salon. It was work that they hoped would spare them from the gas chambers.  […Learn More]