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  1. Adelaide to Alamein - Based on the War Diary of an Australian Infantry Officer

    In June 1940, following the Nazi invasion of France, Ivor Paech, an ordinary primary school teacher from South Australia, enlisted in the Second AIF – the all-volunteer fighting component of the Australian Army in World War II. The unit he was assigned to would become Australia’s most highly decorated infantry battalion of the conflict – the 2/48th Infantry Battalion. Ivor served in the front lines in North Africa during the Siege of Tobruk, both battles of Alamein, and bore witness to some of the most violent fighting undertaken by Australian soldiers during the war. This is Ivor’s story, compiled by his grandson who is a former Army officer, based on the diary he kept during the conflict, background research and interviews with surviving members of the unit.

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  2. At Home on the Range

    A cookbook far ahead of its time, Margaret Yardley Potter’s “At Home on the Range,” originally published in 1947, was rediscovered by the author Elizabeth Gilbert—who just so happens to be the author’s great-granddaughter. Gilbert’s “Gima” was no ordinary housewife: at a time when the American dinner table was hurtling towards homogeny, Potter espoused the importance of farmers’ markets and ethnic food (when pizza was considered ethnic), derided preservatives and culinary shortcuts, and lustily celebrated her epicurean adventures. Part scholar, part crusader, and always throwing parties, Potter could not but be a source of Gilbert’s own love of food, and her warm, infectious prose.

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  3. The Red Line - The Gripping Story of the RAF's Bloodiest Raid on Hitler's Germany

    From best-selling author of Tail-End Charlie and Tornado Down comes this powerful and deeply moving account of Bomber Command’s 1944 Nuremberg Raid – the RAF’s bloodiest night of the Second World WarMore men from Royal Air Force Bomber Command died on one single night of the Second World War than the total RAF aircrew losses during the whole of the four-month-long Battle of Britain.This is the story of the air raid intended to be the climax of Sir Arthur `Bomber’ Harris’s relentless campaign to defeat Nazi Germany. The target was Nuremberg: 795 aircraft set out, nearly 700 men did not return. In `The Red Line’, we meet the young aircrew who flew on the night of 30 March 1944. John Nichol has interviewed the few surviving veterans, British and German, in the air and on the ground, to record the voices of a diminishing generation.While the airmen of Bomber Command were among the greatest heroes of the conflict, their contribution and sacrifice has been sidelined in the face of post-war criticism of Bomber Command’s tactics. John Nichol’s dramatic tribute to the men who flew on the RAF’s bloodiest raid has provided the surviving veterans with the chance to tell the story of that terrible night – the night they flew to Nuremberg.

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  4. On Tyranny - Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

    THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ‘These 128 pages are a brief primer in every important thing we might have learned from the history of the last century, and all that we appear to have forgotten’ Observer History does not repeat, but it does instruct. In the twentieth century, European democracies collapsed into fascism, Nazism and communism. These were movements in which a leader or a party claimed to give voice to the people, promised to protect them from global existential threats, and rejected reason in favour of myth. European history shows us that societies can break, democracies can fall, ethics can collapse, and ordinary people can find themselves in unimaginable circumstances. History can familiarise, and it can warn. Today, we are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to totalitarianism in the twentieth century. But when the political order seems imperilled, our advantage is that we can learn from their experience to resist the advance of tyranny. Now is a good time to do so.

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  5. D-Day Diary - Life on the Front Line in the Second World War

    6 June 1944 is one of the most memorable dates of the Second World War. It marked the beginning of the end of the conflict as Allied forces invaded Normandy and fought their way into Nazi-occupied Europe. Operation Overlord, as the invasion was codenamed, was an incredible feat that proved to be a turning point which would eventually result in the defeat of Nazi Germany. Around 150,000 soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy on the first day in the largest amphibious operation in history, and within a month more than 1 million men had been put ashore. As memory becomes history, first-hand accounts of this incredible moment become more and more precious. In D-Day Diary, historian Carol Harris collects together remarkable tales of bravery, survival and sacrifice from what was one of the war’s most dramatic and pivotal episodes.

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  6. Lifeline - A British Casualty Clearing Station on the Western Front, 1918

    On 21st March 1918, 29th and 3rd Casualty Clearing Stations RAMC were encamped at Grevillers, just behind the front line, when Germany launched its final, massive offensive. These Field Hospitals were the lifeline to the rear for the unabated deluge of wounded which soon overwhelmed both units; all wards were full and operating theatres were working round the clock to deal with the endless queues for amputations and major surgery. In the words of Major-General von Bertele in his foreword: `that casualty care should be managed on such a scale and at such a pace leaves the reader open mouthed.’ LIFELINE is a touching record of the care provided by an often exhausted but dedicated medical and nursing staff and the bravery and spirit of their patients as the hospitals, always under intense pressure, moved back and forth with the changing positions of the line during the last months of the war.

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  7. War on the Western Front - In the Trenches of World War I

    This book is a collection of essays by well known First World War contributors such as Dr Stephen Bull, Ian Drury, Thomas A. Hoff, Martin Pegler and Ian Sumner. World War I stands as a watershed in the evolution of modern warfare, with the development of sophisticated trench systems forming a battlefield over 400 miles long; innovations in weaponry and equipment; and the introduction of tanks in battle. Without the ordinary soldier, however, there could have been no war: The Great War was very much a conflict of infantrymen – Tommies, Stormtrooper, Poilus and Doughboys. War on the Western Front provides an extensive re-assessment of trench warfare, a revolutionary tactic that challenged the very idea of war, and details developments in weaponry and armoured vehicles, including terrifying innovations in the use of poison gas, flamethrowers and tanks.

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  8. Biggest Estate on Earth - How Aborigines made Australia

    Across Australia, early Europeans commented again and again that the land looked like a park. With extensive grassy patches and pathways, open woodlands and abundant wildlife, it evoked a country estate in England. Bill Gammage has discovered this was because Aboriginal people managed the land in a far more systematic and scientific fashion than we have ever realised.For over a decade, Gammage has examined written and visual records of the Australian landscape. He has uncovered an extraordinarily complex system of land management using fire and the life cycles of native plants to ensure plentiful wildlife and plant foods throughout the year. We know Aboriginal people spent far less time and effort than Europeans in securing food and shelter, and now we know how they did it.With details of land-management strategies from around Australia, The Biggest Estate on Earth rewrites the history of this continent, with huge implications for us today. Once Aboriginal people were no longer able to tend their country, it became overgrown and vulnerable to the hugely damaging bushfires we now experience. And what we think of as virgin bush in a national park is nothing of the kind.

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  9. Breakdown - The Crisis of Shell Shock on the Somme

    Paralysis. Stuttering. The ‘shakes’. Inability to stand or walk. Temporary blindness or deafness.When strange symptoms like these began appearing in men at Casualty Clearing Stations in 1915, a debate began in army and medical circles as to what it was, what had caused it and what could be done to cure it. But the numbers were never large.Then in July 1916 with the start of the Somme battle the incidence of shell shock rocketed. The high command of the British army began to panic. An increasingly large number of men seemed to have simply lost the will to fight. As entire battalions had to be withdrawn from the front, commanders and military doctors desperately tried to come up with explanations as to what was going wrong. ‘Shell shock’ – what we would now refer to as battle trauma – was sweeping the Western Front.By the beginning of August 1916, nearly 200,000 British soldiers had been killed or wounded during the first month of fighting along the Somme. Another 300,000 would be lost before the battle was over. But the army always said it could not calculate the exact number of those suffering from shell shock. Re-assessing the official casualty figures, Taylor Downing for the first time comes up with an accurate estimate of the total numbers who were taken out of action by psychological wounds. It is a shocking figure.Taylor Downing’s revelatory new book follows units and individuals from signing up to the Pals Battalions of 1914, through to the horrors of their experiences on the Somme which led to the shell shock that, unrelated to weakness or cowardice, left the men unable to continue fighting. He shines a light on the official – and brutal – response to the epidemic, even against those officers and doctors who looked on it sympathetically. It was, they believed, a form of hysteria. It was contagious. And it had to be stopped.Breakdown brings an entirely new perspective to bear on one of the iconic battles of the First World War.

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  10. Gladiators - From Spartus to Spitfires: One-on-one Combat Through the Ages

    Around 180 CE in the lavish ampitheatres of the Roman Empire, trained gladiators would enter the arena, ready to fight to the death. Armed with a weapon, the gladiator would face his opponent; a wild animal ready to strike, or a condemned criminal looking to save his own life. The duel would begin and the bloodthirsty spectators would cheer, applauding every severed limb and spurt of blood. There could be only one outcome in the gladiatorial arena – one dead body, and one victorious champion. The barbaric Roman gladitorial duels were a million miles away from the relatively sophisticated pistol duels of the 18th century. A gentleman’s duel would be proposed following a dispute, no matter how trivial, and the two opponents would meet in the ‘Field of Honour’ at dawn, armed with a gun. The duellers would stand back-to-back with loaded pistols, and at the drop of a handkerchief, they would walk ten paces then turn, and fire. The last man standing would win the argument.

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  11. On Sparta

    Plutarch’s vivid and engaging portraits of the Spartans and their customs are a major source of our knowledge about the rise and fall of this remarkable Greek city-state between the sixth and third centuries BC. Through his Lives of Sparta’s leaders and his recording of memorable Spartan Sayings he depicts a people who lived frugally and mastered their emotions in all aspects of life, who also disposed of unhealthy babies in a deep chasm, introduced a gruelling regime of military training for boys, and treated their serfs brutally. Rich in anecdote and detail, Plutarch’s writing brings to life the personalities and achievements of Sparta with unparalleled flair and humanity.

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  12. The Piano Shop On The Left Bank

    Ever since the piano was invented, people have longed to own one. In the nineteenth century, an age without recorded music or television, this craze reached its apex. Pianos were everywhere- they swelled and shrank in the heat of the colonies, they were in every genteel home, in restaurants, on steamships, in the remote bars of the American west. Some of these pianos have become treasured family heirlooms, some have ended up as firewood. Others have led a more intinerant life, washing up in all sorts of strange places. Occassionally, these wandering pianos find their way to a secret, glass-roofed workshop in Paris where they are lovingly restored and sent off again by a French piano repairer with a passion for his job. When Thad Carhart discovered Luc and his hidden cache of pianos in the dusty repair shop on his street in Paris, his life changed. Having been constantly on the move between America and France, he had never owned his own piano. As he explored the Eldorado of second-hand uprights, grands, harpsichords and player pianos in Luc’s atelier, talked to him about how they work and their history, and finally found the baby grand of his dreams, he rediscovered his deep lo

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  13. Crumps and Camouflets - ANZAC Centenary Commemorative Release - Australian Tunnelling Companies on the Western Front

    Below the shattered ground that separated the British and German infantry on the Western Front in World War I, an unseen and largely unknown war was raging, fought by miners, tunnellers as they were known. They knew at any moment their lives could be extinguished without warning by hundreds of tonnes of collapsed earth and debris.

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  14. K2 the Savage Mountain - The Classic True Story of Disaster and Survival on the World's Second Highest Mountain

    When eleven climbers died on K2 on August 1, 2008, it was a stark reminder that the world’s second-highest mountain has, for more than a century, been regarded as the most difficult and dangerous of all-for every four people who reach the top, one dies in the attempt. K2, The Savage Mountain tells the dramatic story of the 1953 American expedition, led by Charles S. Houston, when a combination of terrible storms and illness stopped the team short of the 28,251-foot summit. Then on the descent, tragedy struck, and how the climbers made it back to safety is renowned in the annals of climbing. K2, The Savage Mountain captures this sensational tale with an unmatched power that has earned this book its place as one of the classics of mountaineering literature.

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  15. On Revolution - Faber Modern Classics

    Hannah Arendt’s penetrating observations of the modern world, based on a profound knowledge of the past, have been fundamental to our understanding of the political landscape. On Revolution is her classic exploration of a phenomenon that has reshaped the globe. From the eighteenth-century rebellions in America and France to the explosive changes of the twentieth-century, Arendt traces the changing face of revolution and its relationship to war while underscoring the crucial role such events will play in the future. Illuminating and prescient, this timeless work will fascinate anyone who seeks to decipher the forces that shape our tumultuous age.

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  16. On the Trail of the Assassins - One Man's Quest to Solve the Murder of President Kennedy

    On March 1, 1967, New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison shocked the world by arresting local businessman Clay Shaw for conspiracy to murder President Kennedy. Returning to print for the first time in years, “On the Trail of the Assassins” is Garrison’s own account of his investigations into the background of Lee Harvey Oswald and the assassination of President Kennedy, and his prosecution of Clay Shaw in the trial that followed. It was the primary source material for Oliver Stone’s hit film “JFK”.

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  17. One Minute to Midnight - Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War

    In October 1962, at the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union came to the brink of nuclear conflict over the placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba. In this hour-by-hour chronicle of those tense days, veteran Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs reveals just how close we came to Armageddon.Here, for the first time, are gripping accounts of Khrushchev’s plan to destroy the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo; the handling of Soviet nuclear warheads on Cuba; and the extraordinary story of a U-2 spy plane that got lost over Russia at the peak of the crisis.Written like a thriller, One Minute to Midnight is an exhaustively researched account of what Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. called the most dangerous moment in human history, and the definitive book on the Cuban missile crisis.”

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  18. Red Famine - Stalin's War on Ukraine

    SUNDAY TIMES, THE TIMES, FT AND EVENING STANDARD BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2017The momentous new book from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gulag and Iron Curtain. In 1932-33, nearly four million Ukrainians died of starvation, having been deliberately deprived of food. It is one of the most devastating episodes in the history of the twentieth century. With unprecedented authority and detail, Red Famine investigates how this happened, who was responsible, and what the consequences were. It is the fullest account yet published of these terrible events.The book draws on a mass of archival material and first-hand testimony only available since the end of the Soviet Union, as well as the work of Ukrainian scholars all over the world. It includes accounts of the famine by those who survived it, describing what human beings can do when driven mad by hunger. It shows how the Soviet state ruthlessly used propaganda to turn neighbours against each other in order to expunge supposedly ‘anti-revolutionary’ elements. It also records the actions of extraordinary individuals who did all they could to relieve the suffering.The famine was rapidly followed by an attack on Ukraine’s cultural and political leadership – and then by a denial that it had ever happened at all. Census reports were falsified and memory suppressed. Some western journalists shamelessly swallowed the Soviet line; others bravely rejected it, and were undermined and harassed. The Soviet authorities were determined not only that Ukraine should abandon its national aspirations, but that the country’s true history should be buried along with its millions of victims. Red Famine, a triumph of scholarship and human sympathy, is a milestone in the recovery of those memories and that history. At a moment of crisis between Russia and Ukraine, it also shows how far the present is shaped by the past.

    $39.35
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  19. Hell on High Seas

    ‘Eclectic collection of disaster at sea stories – brilliantly written – gripping and entertaining’ Lindsay Eaton, goodreads.com ‘ROB MUNDLE IS A MASTER OF THE MARITIME NARRATIVE’Sunday Age This bestselling maritime classic chronicles some of the most remarkable stories of survival and daring that the world’s oceans have hosted over the past half century. There are the bizarre, unbelievable accounts of people who went missing and were given up for dead, like the five Mexican fishermen who went to sea for a three-day shark-fishing trip and then vanished, only for three of them to miraculously reappear, apparition-like, nine months later. And there are the incredible survival stories, such as Maurice and Maralyn Bailey, who spent 117 days adrift in a rubber dinghy in the Pacific after their yacht was sunk by a whale, and the extraordinary tales of people risking everything to break world records – such as Kay Cottee, the first woman to sail non-stop and unassisted around the world, and Ken Warby, the fastest man on water. Hell on High Seas is awash with amazing feats of daring – some verging on madness, others where death is eluded through sheer courage, determination and innovation … or even divine intervention?

    $18.75
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  20. Blood Revenge - Murder on the Hawkesbury 1799

    Blood Revenge examines the first time that white men were held to account in a criminal court of New South Wales for killing Australian Aborigines. It happened in 1799, just 11 years after theNew South Wales colony began. This book answers the disturbing question: Why were five men found guilty of killing two Aborigines-yet they were never punished? The story lays bare the nature of black-white relations at the colony’s Hawkesbury River frontier settlement. Governor John Hunter tried to carry out his orders and stop the wanton killing of Aborigines. Inevitably, there was a divide between policy and practice. In Blood Revenge the politics of this murder case reads like a missing chapter of Doc Evatt’s Rum Rebellion.

    $25.50
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