Synopses & Reviews
An evocative account of fourteen European kingdoms-their rise, maturity, and eventual disappearance.
There is something profoundly romantic about lost civilizations. Europe's past is littered with states and kingdoms, large and small, that are scarcely remembered today, and while their names may be unfamiliar-Aragon, Etruria, the Kingdom of the Two Burgundies-their stories should change our mental map of the past. We come across forgotten characters and famous ones-King Arthur and Macbeth, Napoleon and Queen Victoria, right up to Stalin and Gorbachev-and discover how faulty memory can be, and how much we can glean from these lost empires. Davies peers through the cracks in the mainstream accounts of modern-day states to dazzle us with extraordinary stories of barely remembered pasts, and of the traces they left behind.
This is Norman Davies at his best: sweeping narrative history packed with unexpected insights. Vanished Kingdoms will appeal to all fans of unconventional and thought-provoking history, from readers of Niall Ferguson to Jared Diamond.
One of the most dramatic and shameful episodes in World War II was the doomed Warsaw uprising of 1944andmdash;an uprising that failed because the Allies betrayed it. Now that story comes to its full terrible life in this gripping account by the bestselling historian Norman Davies.
In August 1944, encouraged by the advance of the Red Army, the Polish Resistance poured forty thousand fighters into the streets of Warsaw to reclaim the city from the hated Germans. But Stalin condemned the uprising as a criminal venture. For sixty-three days the Wehrmacht methodically set about crushing the rebellion and destroying the city. Following the battleandrsquo;s desperate progress through the cellars and sewers of Warsaw, Rising andrsquo;44 retrieves its subject from the shadows of history, revealing its pivotal importance to the outcome of World War II and the Cold War that followed.
One of the world?s leading historians re- examines World War II and its outcome
A clear-eyed reappraisal of World War II that offers new insight by reevaluating well-established facts and pointing out lesser-known ones, No Simple Victory asks readers to reconsider what they know about the war, and how that knowledge might be biased or incorrect. Norman Davies poses simple questions that have unexpected answers: Can you name the five biggest battles of the war? What were the main political ideologies that were contending for supremacy? The answers to these questions will surprise even those who feel that they are experts on the subject.
Davies has established himself as a preeminent scholar of World War II . No Simple Victory is an invaluable contribution to twentieth-century history and an illuminating portrait of a conflict that continues to provoke debate.
From the bestselling author of Europe: A History comes a uniquely ambitious masterpiece that will thrill fans of lost civilizations
While Germany, Italy, France, and England dominate our conceptions of Europe, these modern states are relatively recent constructs. In this brilliant work of historical reconstruction, Norman Davies brings back to life the long-forgotten empire of Aragon, which once controlled the Western Mediterranean; the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, once the largest country in Europe, and the Kingdom of the Rock, founded by ancient Britons when neither England nor Scotland existed. In the tradition of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, Davies subverts our established view of the past and urges us to reconsider the impetus for the rise and fall of nations.
About the Author
Norman Davies is a supernumerary Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Historical Society, and Professor Emeritus at London University. His books include Europe: A History (a New York Times Notable Book), The Isles: A History, and the definitive history of Poland, God’s Playground.
Table of Contents
Rising '44 Foreword
List of Illustrations
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Part One. Before the Rising
Chapter I: The Allied Coalition
Chapter II: The German Occupation
Chapter III: Eastern Approaches
Chapter IV: Resistance
Part Two. The Rising
Chapter V: The Warsaw Rising
Outbreak; Impasse; Attrition; Junction; Finale
Part Three. After the Rising
Chapter VI: Vae Victis: Woe to the Defeated, 1944-45
Chapter VII: Stalinist Repression, 1945-56
Chapter VIII: Echoes of the Rising, 1956-2000
Notes to Capsules
Notes to Appendices