• Welcome!
Total books

Biographies & history

Biography & Memoir
164
History
146
Sort by
Iconoclasm and Later Prehistory

Iconoclasm, or the destruction of images and other symbols, is a subject that has significant resonance today. Traditionally focusing on examples such as those from late Antiquity, Byzantium, the Protestant Reformation and the French Revolution, iconoclasm implies intentioned attacks that reflect religious or political motivations. However, the evidence highlights considerable variation in intentionality, the types and levels of destruction and the targets attacked. Such variation has been highlighted in recent iconoclasm scholarship and this has resulted in new theoretical frameworks for its study. This book presents the first analysis of iconoclasm for prehistoric periods. Through an examination of the themes of objects, the human body, monuments and landscapes, the book demonstrates how the application of the approaches developed within iconoclasm studies can enrich our understanding of earlier periods in addition to identifying specific events that may be categorised as iconoclastic. Iconoclasm and Later Prehistory combines approaches from two distinct disciplinary perspectives. It presents a new interpretative framework for prehistorians and archaeologists, whilst also providing new case studies and significantly extending the period of interest for readers interested in iconoclasm.

Counter-History of the Present: Untimely Interrogations into Globalization, Technology, Democracy

In Counter-History of the Present Gabriel Rockhill contests, dismantles, and displaces one of the most widespread understandings of the contemporary world: that we are all living in a democratized and globalized era intimately connected by a single, overarching economic and technological network. Noting how such a narrative fails to account for the experiences of the billions of people who lack economic security, digital access, and real political power, Rockhill interrogates the ways in which this grand narrative has emerged in the same historical, economic, and cultural context as the fervid expansion of neoliberalism. He also critiques the concurrent valorization of democracy, which is often used to justify U.S. military interventions on the behalf of capital. Developing an alternative account of the current conjuncture that acknowledges the plurality of lived experiences around the globe and in different social strata, he shifts the foundations upon which debates about the contemporary world can be staged. Rockhill's counter-history thereby offers a new grammar for historical narratives, creating space for the articulation of futures no longer engulfed in the perpetuation of the present.

Walk Through History: Discover Victorian London

Walking around London is one of life's great pleasures. There is a huge amount that you can only see on foot—but sometimes it is hard to know where to look. This book takes the reader on a series of stimulating original walks through different areas of central London, focusing on one particular period of history, the Victorian, so ubiquitous that we take it for granted, and yet so astonishing and so far reaching in its variety, imagination, ambition and detail. Discover the remarkable 300-foot bell tower you never knew was there, the extraordinary fairytale house where the Mikado was inspired, the best Victorian loos in the world, a hidden chapel described by Oscar Wilde as "the most delightful private chapel in London," London's best preserved high class Victorian shop, and an almost complete Victorian townscape boasting the world's oldest surviving mansion block.

Rise of the Modern Hospital: An Architectural History of Health and Healing, 1870-1940

Rise of the Modern Hospital is a focused examination of hospital design in the United States from the 1870s through the 1940s. This understudied period witnessed profound changes in hospitals as they shifted from last charitable resorts for the sick poor to premier locations of cutting-edge medical treatment for all classes, and from low-rise decentralized facilities to high-rise centralized structures. Jeanne Kisacky reveals the changing role of the hospital within the city, the competing claims of doctors and architects for expertise in hospital design, and the influence of new medical theories and practices on established traditions. She traces the dilemma designers faced between creating an environment that could function as a therapy in and of itself and an environment that was essentially a tool for the facilitation of increasingly technologically assisted medical procedures. Heavily illustrated with floor plans, drawings, and photographs, this book considers the hospital building as both a cultural artifact, revelatory of external medical and social change, and a cultural determinant, actively shaping what could and did take place within hospitals.

The Arabs: A History
The Arabs: A History Sented by Shon

In this definitive history of the modern Arab world, award-winning historian Eugene Rogan draws extensively on Arab sources and texts to place the Arab experience in its crucial historical context for the first time. Tracing five centuries of Arab history, Rogan reveals that there was an age when the Arabs set the rules for the rest of the world. Today, however, the Arab world’s sense of subjection to external powers carries vast consequences for both the region and Westerners who attempt to control it. Updated with a new epilogue, The Arabs is an invaluable, groundbreaking work of history.

Art of Suicide (Picturing History)

The Art of Suicide is a history of the visual representation of suicide from the ancient world to its decriminalization in the 20th century. After looking at instances of voluntary death in ancient Greece, Ron Brown discusses the contrast between the extraordinary absence of such events in early Christianity and the proliferation of images of biblical suicides in the late medieval era. He emphasizes how differing attitudes to suicide in the early modern world slowly merged, and pays particular attention to the one-time chasm between so-called heroic suicide and self-destruction as a "crying crime". Brown tracks the changes surrounding the perception of suicide into the pivotal Romantic era, with its notions of the "man of feeling", ready to hurl himself into the abyss over a woman or an unfinishable poem. After the First World War, the meaning of death and attitudes towards suicide changed radically, and in time this led to its decriminalization. The 20th century in fact witnessed a growing ambivalence towards suicidal acts, which today are widely regarded either as expressions of a death-wish or as cries for help. Brown concludes with Warhol's picture of Marilyn Monroe and the videos taken by the notorious Dr Kevorkian.

Men in Black Hb (Picturing history)

Men's clothes went black in the 19th century, and Dickens, Ruskin and Baudelaire all asked why it was that, in an age of supreme wealth and power, men wanted to dress as if going to a funeral. For an answer one must look at the history of black, for it is clear that over the last 1000 years there have been successive expansions in the wearing of black - from the Church to the Court, from the Court to officials and the merchant class. Though the black fashion was often smart and elegant, the growth and extension of it were fed by several dark currents in Europe's history - in its politics, its asceticism, its religious warfare. It was only in the 19th century, however, that the black fashion fully came into its own; the most telling witnesses constantly saw connections between the taste for black and the forms of constraint with which European society regimented itself. Although the 20th century has aimed for new colours and a new direction, black has retained its authority as well as its associations with strength and cruelty. At the same time, black is still smart, and fashion keeps returning to black. It is, perhaps, the colour that has come to acquire the greatest, most significant range of meaning in history, and this book offers a detailed study.

Underground, Overground: A Passenger's History of the Tube

Why is the Victoria Line so hot? What is an Electrical Multiple Unit? Is it really possible to ride from Kings Cross to Kings Cross on the Circle line? The London Underground is the oldest, most sprawling and illogical metropolitan transport system in the world, the result of a series of botch-jobs and improvisations.Yet it transports over one billion passengers every year - and this figure is rising. It is iconic, recognised the world over, and loved and despised by Londoners in equal measure. Blending reportage, humour and personal encounters, Andrew Martin embarks on a wonderfully engaging social history of London's underground railway system (which despite its name, is in fact fifty five per cent overground). Along the way he attempts to untangle the mess that is the Northern Line, visit every station in a single day - and find out which gaps to be especially mindful of. Underground, Overground is a highly enjoyable, witty and informative history of everything you need to know about the Tube.

Persian Gulf Command: A History of the Second World War in Iran and Iraq

A new history of the long-overlooked WWII theater in Iran and Iraq, its unrecognized significance, and its impact on local society and politics This dynamic history is the first to construct a total picture of the experience and impact of World War II in Iran and Iraq. Contending that these two countries were more important to the Allied forces’ war operations than has ever been acknowledged, historian Ashley Jackson investigates the grand strategy of the Allies and their operations in the region and the continuing legacy of Western intervention in the Middle East. Iran and Iraq served as the first WWII theater in which the U.S., the U.K., and the U.S.S.R. fought alongside each other. Jackson charts the intense Allied military activity in Iran and Iraq and reveals how deeply the war impacted common people’s lives. He also provides revelations about the true nature of Anglo-American relations in the region, the beginnings of the Cold War, and the continuing corrosive legacy of Western influence in these lands.

The History of Policing America: From Militias and Military to the Law Enforcement of Today

America’s first known system of law enforcement was established more than 350 years ago. Today law enforcement faces issues such as racial discrimination, use of force, and Body Worn Camera (BWC) scrutiny. But the birth and development of the American police can be traced to a multitude of historical, legal and political-economic conditions. In The History of Policing America: From Militias and Military to the Law Enforcement of Today, Laurence Armand French traces how and why law enforcement agencies evolved and became permanent agencies; looking logically through history and offering potential steps forward that could make a difference without triggering unconstructive backlash.

London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets

London Under is a wonderful, atmospheric, imagina­tive, oozing short study of everything that goes on under London, from original springs and streams and Roman amphitheaters to Victorian sewers, gang hideouts, and modern tube stations. The depths below are hot, warmer than the surface, and this book tunnels down through the geological layers, meeting the creatures, real and fictional, that dwell in darkness—rats and eels, mon­sters and ghosts. When the Underground’s Metropolitan Line was opened in 1864, the guards asked for permission to grow beards to protect themselves against the sulfurous fumes, and named their engines after tyrants—Czar, Kaiser, Mogul—and even Pluto, god of the underworld. 

In Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age

A landmark history of nuclear power from a veteran industry insider. Recent years have brought increased concern about nuclear proliferation and increased interest in nuclear power as a solution to the energy crisis, but few have truly come to terms with the complexities―and enormous risks―of nuclear technology. In Mortal Hands is crucial for those who wish to understand an issue, that could very well determine the future of our planet.

Color: A Natural History of the Palette

Discover the tantalizing true stories behind your favorite colors. For example: Cleopatra used saffron—a source of the color yellow—for seduction. Extracted from an Afghan mine, the blue “ultramarine” paint used by Michelangelo was so expensive he couldn’t afford to buy it himself. Since ancient times, carmine red—still found in lipsticks and Cherry Coke today—has come from the blood of insects.

China in World History (New Oxford World History)

Here is a fascinating compact history of Chinese political, economic, and cultural life, ranging from the origins of civilization in China to the beginning of the 21st century. Historian Paul Ropp combines vivid story-telling with astute analysis to shed light on some of the larger questions of Chinese history. What is distinctive about China in comparison with other civilizations? What have been the major changes and continuities in Chinese life over the past four millennia? Offering a global perspective, the book shows how China's nomadic neighbors to the north and west influenced much of the political, military, and even cultural history of China. Ropp also examines Sino-Indian relations, highlighting the impact of the thriving trade between India and China as well as the profound effect of Indian Buddhism on Chinese life. Finally, the author discusses the humiliation of China at the hands of Western powers and Japan, explaining how these recent events have shaped China's quest for wealth, power and respect today, and have colored China's perception of its own place in world history.

A Modern History of Hong Kong

From a little-known fishing community at the periphery of China, Hong Kong developed into one of the world's most spectacular and cosmopolitan metropoles after a century and a half of British imperial rule. This history of Hong Kong -- from its occupation by the British in 1841 to its return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 -- includes the foundation of modern Hong Kong; its developments as an imperial outpost, its transformation into the "pearl" of the British Empire and of the Orient and the events leading to the end of British rule. Based on extensive research in British and Chinese sources, both official and private, the book addresses the changing relations between the local Chinese and the expatriate communities in 156 years of British rule, and the emergence of a local identity. It ends with a critical but dispassionate examination of Hong Kong's transition from a British Crown Colony to a Chinese Special Administrative Region.

Theology and the Drama of History (Cambridge Studies in Christian Doctrine)

How can theology think and talk about history? Building on the work of the major twentieth-century theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar as well as entering into sharp critical debate with him, this book sets out to examine the value and the potential of a 'theodramatic' conception of history. By engaging in dialogue not only with theologians and philosophers like von Balthasar, Hegel and Barth, but with poets and dramatists such as the Greek tragedians, Shakespeare and Gerard Manley Hopkins, the book makes its theological principles open and indebted to literary forms, and seeks to show how such a theology might be applied to a world intrinsically and thoroughly historical. By contrast with theologies that stand back from the contingencies of history and so fight shy of the uncertainties and openness of Christian existence, this book's theology is committed to taking seriously the God who works in time.

A Splintered History of Wood: Belt Sander Races, Blind Woodworkers, and Baseball Bats

A Splintered History of Wood is a passionate and personal exploration of nature’s greatest gift: wood. In the successful tradition of books such as Salt and Cod, writer and carpenter Spike Carlsen explores the history, versatility, and special appeal of something we use everyday—but take for granted—in this comprehensive and dynamic history of wood’s global impact and its personal significance to people in all walks of life.

Thinking, Recording, and Writing History in the Ancient World

Thinking, Recording, and Writing History in the Ancient World presents a cross-cultural comparison of the ways in which ancient civilizations thought about the past and recorded their own histories. Written by an international group of scholars working in many disciplines Truly cross-cultural, covering historical thinking and writing in ancient or early cultures across in East, South, and West Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Americas Includes historiography shaped by religious perspectives, including Judaism, early Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism

Great Christian Jurists in English History (Law and Christianity)

The Great Christian Jurists series comprises a library of national volumes of detailed biographies of leading jurists, judges and practitioners, assessing the impact of their Christian faith on the professional output of the individuals studied. Little has previously been written about the faith of the great judges who framed and developed the English common law over centuries, but this unique volume explores how their beliefs were reflected in their judicial functions. This comparative study, embracing ten centuries of English law, draws some remarkable conclusions as to how Christianity shaped the views of lawyers and judges. Adopting a long historical perspective, this volume also explores the lives of judges whose practice in or conception of law helped to shape the Church, its law or the articulation of its doctrine.

The Politics of Scale: A History of Rangeland Science

Rangelands are vast, making up one quarter of the United States and forty percent of the Earth’s ice-free land. And while contemporary science has revealed a great deal about the environmental impacts associated with intensive livestock production—from greenhouse gas emissions to land and water degradation—far less is known about the historic role science has played in rangeland management and politics. Steeped in US soil, this first history of rangeland science looks to the origins of rangeland ecology in the late nineteenth-century American West, exploring the larger political and economic forces that—together with scientific study—produced legacies focused on immediate economic success rather than long-term ecological well being.

Sort by