A Purgatory of Misery is a wide-ranging and easily readable account of the Irish Potato Famine, 1845-49. It puts the disaster into political, religious, social and economic perspective.
A Ray of Light gives a short and easily readable account of the story of the Czech village of Lidice. Utterly destroyed by the Nazis in 1942, after the war ended it was completely rebuilt, largely by donations from English miners.
Autumn 1066 gives a fictional account of the weeks preceding the Battle of Hastings on the south coast of England in October 1066. It’s a novella that takes about an hour to read. The book has much to commend it, but is let down by many punctuation mistakes, poor editing, and no cover illustration.
Life After America is an excellently written, enthralling account of a young American war resistor in the late 1960s. On the verge of being called up to fight in Vietnam, Joseph Glazner puts his pacifism into practice. He flees to Canada before being drafted. The book relates his experiences over the next two years and wonderfully captures the mood of the 1960s.
An excellent, deeply researched book by Adam Hochshild that covers all aspects of the rise and abolition of global slavery. It takes in events in western Europe, west Africa, the West Indies and the States.
This is an extremely comprehensive, well-researched and readable book that will be of great use and interest to anyone interested in brutal civil wars that ravaged Liberia and brought this country – that was established with such high hopes – to its knees. Although centred around the life and activities of Charles Taylor, the book […]
This book left me seething with anger. Not at the author – this is a historical biographer at the top of his game – but at his subject. I came to this book knowing very little about the colonisation of Congo, other than it was a dark stain on the history of Belgium (a stain […]
In The Trigger, Tim Butcher traces the life of Gavrilo Princip, who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand; the catalyst to the start of the First World War. It’s a well-researched book that is both informative and enjoyable.
The 2017 winner of the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Priz is a deeply thoughtful look at the nature that surrounded the soldiers in the trenches. Its strength is that it is based around actual quotes (hundreds!) from soldiers, either in letters, poems, booklets, newspaper articles, even illustrations.
A gripping, harrowing, fascinating and informative account of one man’s solo trek through one of the most dangerous routes in the world at the moment. Tim Butcher writes extremely well: clearly, concisely, logically, yet very personally. He’s not afraid to reveal his own shortcomings and frailties, even his downright fear. And why shouldn’t he? You […]
Tim Butcher’s epic trek through three West African countries, following the footsteps of Graham Greene’s 1935 route, does not disappoint. It is gripping throughout, delightfully insightful, and full of fascinating details. Highly recommended.