Book cover of The Reopening of the Western Mind: The Resurgence of Intellectual Life from the End of Antiquity to the Dawn of the Enlightenment by Charles Freeman
Europe

The Reopening of the Western Mind: The Resurgence of Intellectual Life from the End of Antiquity to the Dawn of the Enlightenment

In this wide-ranging history, Freeman follows the immense intellectual development that culminated in the Enlightenment, from political ideology to philosophy and theology, as well as the fine arts and literature. He writes, in vivid detail, of how Europeans progressed from the Christian-minded thinking of Saint Augustine to the more open-minded later scholars, such as Michel de Montaigne, leading to a broader, more “humanist” way of thinking. […Learn More]

Book cover of Capital of Spies: Intelligence Agencies in Berlin During the Cold War by Sven Felix Kellerhoff and Bernd von Kostka
Europe

Capital of Spies: Intelligence Agencies in Berlin During the Cold War 

For almost half a century, the hottest front in the Cold War was right across Berlin. From summer 1945 until 1990, the secret services of NATO and the Warsaw Pact fought an ongoing duel in the dark. Throughout the Cold War, espionage was part of everyday life in both East and West Berlin, with German spies playing a crucial part of operations on both sides: Erich Mielke’s Stasi and Reinhard Gehlen’s Federal Intelligence Service, for example. […Learn More]

Book cover of Money for Nothing: The Scientists, Fraudsters, and Corrupt Politicians Who Reinvented Money, Panicked a Nation, and Made the World Rich by Thomas Levenson
Biography & History

Money for Nothing: The Scientists, Fraudsters, and Corrupt Politicians Who Reinvented Money, Panicked a Nation, and Made the World Rich

In the heart of the Scientific Revolution, when new theories promised to explain the affairs of the universe, Britain was broke, facing a mountain of debt accumulated in war after war it could not afford. But that same Scientific Revolution—the kind of thinking that helped Isaac Newton solve the mysteries of the cosmos—would soon lead clever, if not always scrupulous, men to try to figure a way out of Britain’s financial troubles.  […Learn More]

Book cover of God: An Anatomy by Francesca Stavrakopoulou
History

God: An Anatomy 

An astonishing and revelatory history that re-presents God as he was originally envisioned by ancient worshippers—with a distinctly male body, and with superhuman powers, earthly passions, and a penchant for the fantastic and monstrous. […Learn More]

Africa

Atlantic Wars: From the Fifteenth Century to the Age of Revolution

In a sweeping account, Atlantic Wars explores how warfare shaped the experiences of the peoples living in the watershed of the Atlantic Ocean between the late Middle Ages and the Age of Revolution. At the beginning of that period, combat within Europe secured for the early colonial powers the resources and political stability they needed to venture across the sea. By the early nineteenth century, descendants of the Europeans had achieved military supremacy on land but revolutionaries had challenged the norms of Atlantic warfare. […Learn More]

Book cover of Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe by Judith Herrin
Ancient Civilizations

Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe

A riveting history of the city that led the West out of the ruins of the Roman Empire

At the end of the fourth century, as the power of Rome faded and Constantinople became the seat of empire, a new capital city was rising in the West. Here, in Ravenna on the coast of Italy, Arian Goths and Catholic Romans competed to produce an unrivaled concentration of buildings and astonishing mosaics. […Learn More]