This tale is told by 1 that died at birth by 1 that came into the world in days of endles war & at the moment of disaster.
Billy Dean is a secret child, growing up in the dark heart of Blinkbonny. He has a beautiful young mother and a father who arrives at night carrying the scent of incense and cigarettes. His world is just a bed, some pictures of the holy island and a single locked door, but his father fills his dreams with mysterious tales and dreadful warnings.
When his father disappears, Billy's mum brings him out into the world, and he learns the dreadful truth of what happened in Blinkbonny on the day he was born. Gradually he finds he has the gift of helping to rebuild what has been broken. But there is one figure who is beyond healing, who comes looking for Billy himself and is determined on a kind of reckoning.
I am Billy Dean. This is the truth. This is my tale.
David Almond's extraordinary first novel for adults is the story of a child, born of sin, who emerges into a post-industrial, almost apocalyptic world where the force of his innocence is tested to the extreme.
1914-1918, David Stevenson's history of the First World War, has been acclaimed as the definitive one-volume account of the conflict In the summer of 1914 Europe exploded into a frenzy of mass violence. The war that followed had global repercussions, destroying four empires and costing millions of lives. Even the victorious countries were scarred for a generation, and we still today remain within the conflict's shadow. In this major analysis David Stevenson re-examines the causes, course and impact of this 'war to end war', placing it in the context of its era and exposing its underlying dynamics. His book provides a wide-ranging international history, drawing on insights from the latest research. It offers compelling answers to the key questions about how this terrible struggle unfolded: questions that remain disturbingly relevant for our own time.'It's harder to imagine a better single-volume comprehensive history of the conflict than this superb study' Ian Kershaw'Perhaps the best comprehensive one-volume history of the war yet written' New Yorker'David Stevenson is the real deal ... His defining characteristic is his outstanding rigour as an historian ... tremendously clever' Niall Ferguson 'This history of the 1914-1918 conflict surpasses all others. It is tough, erudite and comprehensive' Independent
Welcome to Rome. It is the summer of 1978, and the Krasnansky family, bickering, tired and confused, are supposed to be passing through. Alongside thousands of other Soviet Jewish refugees - among them criminals, dissidents and refuseniks - they await passage to their new homes in the West. But escaping Communism is not so easy, especially when some of the Krasnanskys insist on bringing it with them, and even more so when their sponsor in the USA lets them down and they find that they're no longer passing through at all. On the contrary, they're stuck.
Welcome, then, to the waiting room of your life, and to a tragic yet comic tale of reckless brothers and long-suffering sisters, ailing parents and innocent children, of love affairs and criminal liaisons, of a wonderfully troubled family and a perpetually wandering people, and their epic search for a home: somewhere, anywhere - or Canada, as it turns out.
Visiting a villa built by Lorenzo de Medici outside Pisa, David Gilmour fell into conversation about the unification of Italy with a distinguished former minister: '"You know, Davide," he said in a low conspiratorial voice, as if nervously uttering a heresy, "Garibaldi did Italy a great disservice.If he had not invaded Sicily and Naples, we in the north would have the richest and most civilized state in Europe."After looking round the room at the other guests, he added in an even lower voice, "Of course to the south we would have a neighbour like Egypt."' These words stayed in the author's mind for a long time. The dream of a unified Italy, how and why it has never been more than a dream, became the subject of a book he has been thinking about and writing for the last twenty years.
Was the elderly Italian right? The Pursuit of Italy traces the whole history of the Italian peninsula since the Romans in a wonderfully readable style, full of well-chosen stories and observations from personal experience, and peopled by many of the great figures of the Italian past, from Cicero and Virgil to Machiavelli and the Medici, Garibaldi and Cavour, and the rather less inspiring political figures of the 20th century. Gilmour gives a clear-eyed view of the Risorgimento, the pivotal event in modern Italian history, debunking the many absurd and influential myths which have grown up around it but including a particularly sympathetic portrait of Giuseppe Verdi, one of many cultural figures he treats.
Gilmour shows that the glory of Italy has always lain in its regions, with their distinctive civic cultures, cuisine, art and identities. Similarly, most of the people of the peninsula have thought of themselves first as Tuscans, Venetians, Romans, Neapolitans or Sicilians and as Italians second, if at all. This, he argues, is where the strength of Italy lies rather than in misconceived ideas of unity.
This wise and enormously engaging book explains the course of Italian history in a manner and with a coherence which no one with any interest in the country could fail to enjoy.
The familiar image of the British in the Second World War is that of the plucky underdog taking on German might. David Edgerton's bold, compelling new history shows the conflict in a new light, with Britain as a very wealthy country, formidable in arms, ruthless in pursuit of its interests and sitting at the heart of a global production system. The British, indeed Churchillian, vision of war and modernity was challenged by repeated defeat by less well equipped enemies. Yet the end result was a vindication of this vision. Like the United States, a powerful Britain won a cheap victory, while others paid a great price. Britain's War Machine, by putting resources, machines and experts at the heart of a global rather than merely imperial story, demolishes some of the most cherished myths about wartime Britain and gives us a very different and often unsettling picture of a great power in action.
The Game of Our Lives by David Goldblatt - The Meaning and Making of English Football In the last two decades football in Britain has made the transition from a peripheral dying sport to the very centre of our popular culture, from an economic basket-case to a booming entertainment industry. What does it mean when football becomes so central to our private and political lives? Has it enriched us or impoverished us?
In this sparkling book David Goldblatt argues that no social phenomenon tracks the momentous economic, social and political changes of the post-Thatcherite era in a more illuminating manner than football, and no cultural practice sheds more light on the aspirations and attitudes of our long boom and now calamitous bust. A must-read for the thinking football fan, The Game of Our Lives will appeal to readers of Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby and Inverting the Pyramid by Jonathan Wilson. It will also be relished by readers of British social history such as Austerity Britain by David Kynaston.
'Goldblatt doesn't just understand the social context of the game. He also has a nose for the best stories' Simon Kuper on The Ball Is Round David Goldblatt is the author of The Ball Is Round: A Global History of Football (Penguin, 2007), the definitive historical account of the world's game, and of Futebol Nation (Penguin, 2014), a highly acclaimed footballing history of Brazil. For a number of years he wrote a sports column in Prospect magazine and has made a number of documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and for the World Service, including ones on football in Jerusalem and the politics of the game in Kenya. He has also taught the sociology of sport at the University of Bristol, at De Montfort University, Leicester, and at Pitzer College, Los Angeles. He lives in Bristol.