Against the monumental canvas of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and Russia, unfolds the magnificent story of Peter the Great, crowned at the age of 10. A barbarous, volatile feudal tsar with a taste for torture; a progressive and enlightened reformer of government and science; a statesman of vision and colossal significance: Peter the Great embodied the greatest strengths and weaknesses of Russia while being at the very forefront of her development.
Robert K. Massie delves deep into the life of this captivating historical figure, chronicling the pivotal events that shaped a boy into a legend – including his ‘incognito’ travels in Europe, his unquenchable curiosity about Western ways, his obsession with the sea and establishment of the stupendous Russian navy, his creation of an unbeatable army, and his relationships with those he loved most: Catherine, his loving mistress, wife, and successor; and Menshikov, the charming, unscrupulous prince who rose to power through Peter’s friendship. Impetuous and stubborn, generous and cruel, a man of enormous energy and complexity, Peter the Great is brought fully to life.
Mark White - Kenneth Branagh
From humble beginnings, Kenneth Branagh drove himself to dizzy heights of accomplishment. With a West End hit at twenty-one, a lead with the RSC by twenty-three and his own theatre company by twenty-six, no actor of his generation achieved so much so rapidly. And yet no actor has received such relentless criticism. Based on extensive research and numerous interviews, Mark White traces the vicissitudes of Branagh's career, examining his meteoric rise and the accompanying backlash.
Jared Cade - Agatha Christie és a hiányzó tizenegy nap
1926. december 3-án eltűnt otthonából egy közepesen ismert angol krimiszerző. 1926. december 14-én este, mikor férje azonosította egy harrogate-i szállodában, már a világ egyik leghíresebb asszonya volt Agatha Christie. A közbeeső tizenegy napban egész Anglia őt kereste, megtalálójának magas összegű jutalmat ígért egy napilap, médiumok kinyilatkoztatásait olvashatták az érdeklődők, az Amerikai Egyesült Államokban is újsághír lett belőle. Amikor végre megkerült, mindenki azt várta, interjúkat ad és elmagyarázza, mi történt az alatt a tizenegy nap alatt. De Agatha Christie egy nyilatkozatot kivéve soha nem volt hajlandó beszélni róla. Jared Cade angol újságíró elhatározta, hogy utánajár a titoknak. Először is elolvasott mindent, amit valaha összeírtak a világ legismertebb eltűnéséről, aztán elkezdte felkutatni a még élő szemtanúkat, illetve a hajdani szemtanúk családtagjait. És eközben bukkant a kincsesbányára: Agatha Christie gyerekkori barátnőjének, sógornőjének lányára, aki mindent elmesélt, amit anyjától csak hallott, ráadásul olyan fényképekkel is megajándékozta, amelyeket még soha nem publikáltak. Ezt a könyvet Agatha Christie nem hivatalos életrajzának is nevezhetjük, hiszen az eltűnés előtti és utáni éveiről is beszámol. Izgalmas, új nézőpontú mű egy tehetséges és bölcs asszonyról.
Lee Mack - Mack the Life
Have you ever wondered where comedians come from? Why is it that one person is a funny bloke down the pub while another actually makes a living by standing up in front of an audience telling jokes? And where does all that material come from? Well, young Lee McKillop used to wonder that too. Growing up in his parents' pub, small and wiry in a world of bigger and chunkier specimens, Lee quickly learned that cracking jokes was a way to get attention. After a somewhat random series of jobs, which included being Red Rum's stableboy and a bingo hall barman, it was as a Great Yarmouth holiday camp entertainer that he had his first crack at telling jokes on stage. It got him some laughs, the sack and a punch in the face.* Now, as Lee Mack, he's one of our best loved and most successful comedians, both as a live stand-up and on television. In Mack the Life, Lee tells the story of how he got there and gives extraordinary insight into what really makes comics tick. Hilarious and brilliant, it's the kind of book which reminds you why you learned to read in the first place. *Nearly.
Patricia Cronin Marcello - Gloria Steinem
Gloria Steinem represents second-wave American feminism. This new biography recounts her truly fascinating life, one that was remarkable even prior to her association with the feminist movement. Steinem was destined to succeed and showed extraordinary strength dealing with difficult family circumstances, a peripatetic upbringing, and financial straights that forced her as a teenager to support herself and her divorced, emotionally troubled mother. Brains and talent became her tickets to Smith College, travel, journalism, and worldwide fame as a feminist icon. Marcello's engaging narrative was written with SteineM&Apos;s cooperation. New details and quotations are presented here for the first time. Students and others unfamiliar with SteineM&Apos;s youth and pre-Ms. Magazine days will find much to respect in her character and achievements.
Leander Kahney - Jony Ive (angol)
In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to Apple as CEO with the unenviable task of turning around the company he had founded. One night, Jobs discovered a scruffy British designer toiling away at Apple’s corporate headquarters, surrounded by hundreds of sketches and prototypes. It was then that Jobs realized he had found a talent who could reverse the company’s long decline. That young designer was Jony Ive. Jony Ive’s collaboration with Jobs would produce some of the world’s most iconic technology products, including the iMac, iPod, iPad, and iPhone. The designs have not only made Apple a hugely valuable company, they’ve overturned entire industries, built a loyal fan base, and created a globally powerful brand. Along the way, Jony Ive has become the world’s leading technology innovator, won countless design awards, earned a place on the 2013 Time 100 list, and was even knighted for his “services to design and enterprise.” Yet despite his triumphs, little is known about the shy and soft-spoken whiz whom Jobs referred to as his “spiritual partner” at Apple. Jony Ive reveals the true story of Apple’s real innovator-in-chief. Leander Kahney, the bestselling author of Inside Steve’s Brain, offers a detailed portrait of a creative genius. He shows us how Jony Ive went from an English art school student with dyslexia to the man whose immense insights have altered the pattern of our lives. From his early interest in industrial design, fostered by his designer father, through his education at Newcastle Polytechnic and meteoric rise at Apple, we discover the principles and practices that he developed to become the designer of his generation. Based on interviews with Jony Ive’s former colleagues and Kahney’s own familiarity with the world of Apple, this book gives insight into how Jony Ive (now senior vice president of design) has redefined the ways in which we work, entertain, and communicate with one another.
Christopher Hitchens - Why Orwell Matters
In this widely acclaimed biographical essay, Christopher Hitchens assesses the life, the achievements, and the myth of the great political writer and participant George Orwell. In true emulative and contrarian style, Hitchens is both admiring and aggressive, sympathetic yet critical, taking true measure of his subject as hero and problem. Answering both the detractors and the false claimants, Hitchens tears down the façade of sainthood erected by the hagiographers and rebuts the critics point by point. He examines Orwell and his perspectives on fascism, empire, feminism, and Englishness, as well as his outlook on America, a country and culture towards which he exhibited much ambivalence. Whether thinking about empires or dictators, race or class, nationalism or popular culture, Orwell's moral outlook remains indispensable in a world that has undergone vast changes in the fifty years since his death. Combining the best of Hitchens's polemical punch and intellectual elegance in a tightly woven and subtle argument, this book addresses not only why Orwell matters today, but how he will continue to matter in a future, uncertain world.Christopher Hitchens, one of the most incisive minds of our own age, meets Orwell on the page in this provocative encounter of wit, contention and moral truth. Vanity Fair and Nation contributor Hitchens passionately defends a great writer from attacks by both right and left, though he also refutes those fans who proclaim his sainthood. George Orwell (1903-1950), a socialist who abhorred all forms of totalitarianism, was, as Hitchens points out, prescient about the "three great subjects of the twentieth century:" imperialism, fascism, and Stalinism. In all things, Orwell's feelings were every bit as visceral as intellectual, and Hitchens devotes some of his best writing to describing Orwell's first-hand experiences with empire in Burma. It was there that he learned to hate racism, bullying and exploitation of the lower classes. "Orwell can be read," notes Hitchens, "as one of the founders of... post-colonialism." Orwell's insights about fascism and Stalinism crystallized in Spain, while he was fighting in the Civil War. Hitchens offers an excellent analysis of the writer's women, both real (his wives) and fictional, to show that the feminist critique of Orwell (that he didn't like strong, brainy women) may be unfair, though Hitchens also points out what feminists have ignored: Orwell's "revulsion for birth control and abortion." Hitchens brilliantly marshals his deep knowledge of Orwell's work. Fans of Orwell will enjoy Hitchens's learned and convincing defense, while those unfamiliar with Orwell may perhaps be induced to return to the source. Far from being an ordinary biography, this small volume is an in-depth investigation of the essential George Orwell-"the heart on fire and the brain on ice." Hitchens recognizes that Orwell was more than the author of 1984 and Animal Farm. He was a keen critic of Nazism and Stalinism and didn't soften his pictures of them to sell books. His analysis of the grave inequities of those two forms of government is sufficiently acute to apply to the early 21st century's political spectrum. While claiming that Orwell "requires extricating from a pile of saccharine tablets and moist hankies [as] an object of sickly veneration and sentimental over-praise," Hitchens, a columnist for Vanity Fair and the Nation, asserts that in contrast to his many contemporaries who wrote about the era's political issues (e.g., Louis MacNeice, Stephen Spender, and Cecil Day Lewis), "it [is] possible to reprint every single letter, book review and essay composed by Orwell without exposing him to any embarrassment"-a remarkable feat, indeed. The only problem with this study is that it assumes that the reader already knows that Orwell conscientiously overcame his early anti-intellectualism, his dislike of the "dark" people of the English Empire, and his squeamishness about homosexuality-all to become a great humanist. Thus, it is written for readers who have already done their homework.
Ashley Jackson - Churchill
"Winston Churchill attracted far more criticism alive than he has since his death. He was, according to Evelyn Waugh, 'always in the wrong, surrounded by crooks, a terrible father, a radio personality'. To others, he was the saviour of the nation, even of Western civilization, 'the greatest Briton' who ever lived. Whatever one's view, Winston Churchill remains splendidly unreduced. He also remains enormous fun--a cartoonist's and caricaturist's dream on the one hand, one of the most powerful and successful statesmen in modern history on the other. Globally famed for his role as a leader during the Second World War, this study resists the temptation to conflate Churchill's post-war career with Britain's demise on the international stage. Nor does it endorse the notion that Churchill became an anachronism as he lived and continued to work, at a prodigious rate, through his seventies and eighties. As well as being Britain's most celebrated politician and war leader, Winston Churchill was a Nobel Prize-winning author. He was one of the most prolific writers of his age and his accounts of the momentous events through which he lived have indelibly marked the way in which modern British history has been conceptualized. Uniquely endowed with talent, energy and determination, Winston Churchill was, as a close wartime colleague put it, 'unlike anyone you have ever met before'. Ashley Jackson describes the contours and contradictions of Churchill's remarkable life and career as a soldier, politician, historian, journalist, painter, amateur farmer and homemaker. From thrusting subaltern to high-flying politician, Cabinet outcast to elder statesman, this is the eternally fascinating story of Winston Churchill's appointment with destiny"
Caleb Carr - The Devil Soldier
The American Soldier of Fortune Who Became a God in China A courageous leader who became the first American mandarin, Frederick Townsend Ward won crucial victories for the Emperor of China during the Taiping Rebellion, history's bloodiest civil war. Carr's skills as historian and storyteller come to the fore in this thrilling account of the kind of adventurer the world no longer sees. Photographs.
Nancy Horan - Under the Wide and Starry Sky
The much-anticipated second novel by the author of Loving Frank, the beloved New York Times bestseller, this new work tells the incredible story of the passionate, turbulent relationship between Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson and his wild-tempered American wife, Fanny. In her masterful new novel, Nancy Horan has recreated a love story that is as unique, passionate, and overwhelmingly powerful as the one between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney depicted so memorably in Loving Frank. Under the Wide and Starry Sky chronicles the unconventional love affair of Scottish literary giant Robert Louis Stevenson, author of classics including Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and American divorcee Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne. They meet in rural France in 1875, when Fanny, having run away from her philandering husband back in California, takes refuge there with her children. Stevenson too is escaping from his life, running from family pressure to become a lawyer. And so begins a turbulent love affair that will last two decades and span the world.
Valerio Massimo Manfredi - The Ends of the Earth
All his life, Alexander defied the limits the gods gave mortals. That passion overwhelmed cities and armies...and united a vast empire. Alexander was no longer simply King of Macedonia: The Pan-Hellenic League had named him Supreme Leader. Egypt crowned him Pharaoh. And all Persia acknowledged him as Great King. He was a true heir to Achilles and Hercules, a leader who had guided troops to victory beyond the Nile, the Tigris, and the Euphrates. Now, conquering India would place all of Asia in his hands. But his army reached the limit of its endurance, and the cost of triumph had been high — in blood, betrayal, and tragedy. Alexander lost Barsine, his first beloved; Bucephalus, a steed unequaled; Peritas, his loyal hound; and Hephaestion, the closest companion of his youth. Still he sought the wisdom and might to transform the empire he had claimed into the one of which he dreamed, no longer divided into victors and vanquished, but a unified people under his rule. For Alexander was destined for timeless glory in the domain of heroes and gods — both in his lifetime and in the realm of eternal legend.
Valerio Massimo Manfredi - The Sands of Ammon
THE BESTSELLING EPIC OF THE GLORY AND THE GRANDEUR INTRIGUES AND PASSIONS OF ANCIENT GREECE...AND THE WARRIOR KING WHOSE CONQUESTS BUILT AN ETERNAL LEGEND. ALEXANDER Volume II: THE SANDS OF AMMON A thousand years after Agamemnon fought the Trojan War. Alexander, the king of Macedonia and descendant of Achilles, follows in the footsteps of Greek legend . He has gathered a mighty force to liberate the Greek cities of Asia — from legendary Sardis and Miletus to Halicarnassus. But vengeance is just one of Alexander's ambitions. Great oracles and loyal followers claim Alexander is more than mortal — a powerful warrior, and insatiable scholar, a political genius. Yet,in battle after battle, one man blocks his way. Memnon of Rhodes, a Greek-born mercenary chosen by the Persian Great King to lead his vast army, is a cunning strategist who challenged Alexander's claim to the title of Lord of Asia. In Memnon, Alexander confronts an enemy who inspires his admiration. And in Memnon's wife, Barsine, he finds a woman who captures his heart. But neither bravery nor love can stem the tide of Alexander's destiny. For with Persia defeated, Alexander's thoughts turn to Egypt and beyond....
Trevor Baker - Dave Gahan (angol)
The first and only biography of one of music's most influential and enigmatic characters. Dave Gahan's extraordinary life as the frontman of one of modern music's most successful bands is a tale unrivalled in rock and roll folklore. From a colourful childhood and youth in Essex, Gahan went on to become a huge star all over the world. For years each Depeche Mode album was more successful than the one before but in 1995 the increasing pressures on the band and within Gahan's personal life almost killed him. From this harrowing abyss, Gahan has bounced back and forged a new acclaimed career as a solo artist. Gahan's stunning rehabilitation as a songwriter and rejuvenated frontman means he deserves his own chapter in music history this unauthorised biography includes new and exclusive interviews with numerous people who ve worked with and around Gahan. Aside from recounting his turbulent private battles, this first ever book on Gahan examines his musical legacy and suggests he is arguably Britain's most under-rated and interesting rock vocalist. Recounted for the very first time, Gahan's tale away from his band-mates overshadows even the remarkable story of Depeche Mode the combination of his difficult yet triumphant story plus the thrilling music he has recorded, make this a story like no other in rock and roll history.
Donald Spoto - Rebel
There's only one true form of greatness for a man. If he can bridge the gap between life and death... if he can live on after he's died... then maybe he was a great man. Whatever's the truth, you've got to live fast. - James Dean America's most enduring symbol of rebellious youth, James Dean has held the fascination of the public since his tragic death at the age of twenty-four more than forty years ago. In the first complete, fully documented biography of this enigmatic hero, Donald Spoto offers a startlingly revelatory look at the short, greatly misunderstood life of an icon who remains frozen in time. With the cooperation of dozens of family members, friends, lovers, directors and co-stars, Spoto vividly describes Dean's electrifying rise to stardom from his humble roots and midwestern childhood; he delves deeply into the tragic dath of Dean's mother when he was nine and his tumultuous relationship with his father, the devastating effects of which would be played out for the rest of his life. Donald Spoto, author of internationally bestselling biographies of Alfred Hitchcock, Tennessee Williams, Laurence Olivier, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, describes James Dean's on-and-off screen exploits while filming the classics East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant. His authoritative new biography offers an illuminating perspective on the boy/man who remains the eternal teenage rebel.
Patrick Swayze - Lisa Niemi - The Time Of My Life
In September 2009 movie star Patrick Swayze lost his long and bravely fought battle against pancreatic cancer. His was a life richly led and this memoir, completed just weeks before his death, is a testament to the strength and passion of this remarkable man. It was January 2008 when Patrick Swayze was given the worst news of his life. What he hoped was just a stomach ache was actually stage four pancreatic cancer. This book isn't just the story of Patrick's fight against cancer, it's the story of a remarkable life and career. Intended as a low budget, straight-to-video production, Dirty Dancing became a cult hit and remains one of the most enduring films of the 80s. Ghost cemented Patrick as a hugely bankable star, and most recently Patrick returned to the public's adoring arms in TV's The Beast. This book will chronicle Patrick's personal life, too -- including his treatment for alcoholism following the death of his father and sister's sudden death. What remained a constant in Patrick's life was his marriage and Patrick and Lisa's love story is inspiring, honest, heartfelt and transcends the typical celebrity marriage.Lisa and Patrick have shown the world that cancer isn't just a diagnosis given to one individual, but a disease that can bring a household together or pull a family apart. Bold, honest and inspiring, Patrick Swayze's memoir is the story of a remarkable man's life and career and of his refusal to give up without a fight.
Valerio Massimo Manfredi - Child of a Dream
Before his birth, omens foretold that Alexander, son of the warrior-king Philip of Macedonia, was destined for greatness. From boyhood, the prince was trained by the finest scholars and mightiest soldiers to attain extraordinary strength of body and spirit. A descendant of Heracles and Achilles, Alexander aimed to surpass his ancestors' heroism and honor, and his chosen companions strove to be worthy to share his godlike fate. Even as a youth, Alexander's deeds were unequaled. In a single day, he tamed the fierce steed Bucephalus. In his first battle, his troops defeated the invincible Sacred Band. And as he grew to manhood, surrounded by deadly plots and intrigue, his friends pledged to follow him to the ends of the world. With the support of that loyal group of men, Alexander's might would transform dreams of conquest into reality amid the fabled cities of Persia and the mysterious East...and his destiny would carry them all to glory.
Mark Zwonitzer - Charles Hirshberg - Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?
_Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?_ is the first major biography of the Carter Family, the musical pioneers who almost single-handedly created the sounds and traditions that grew into modern folk, country, and bluegrass music. Meticulously researched and lovingly written, it is a look at a world and a culture that, rather than passing, has continued to exist in the music that is the legacy of the Carters -- songs that have shaped and influenced generations of artists who have followed them. Brilliant in insight and execution, _Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?_ is also an in-depth study of A.P., Sara, and Maybelle Carter, and their bittersweet story of love and fulfillment, sadness and loss. The result is more than just a biography of a family; it is also a journey into another time, almost another world, and theirs is a story that resonates today and lives on in the timeless music they created.
Lewis Hamilton - My Story
'My story is, I hope, an inspirational read for those who want to find out what it takes to get to the top. 'It's about the amazing (and challenging!) start to my Grand Prix racing career. It has snapshots of my family and my early experiences as a child and in karts. And it's an inside view of the cool world of Formula One. It's my story, fully updated, and in my own words. 'Shoot... it really has been unbelievable!'
Irene Gammel - Looking for Anne of Green Gables
In June 1908, a red-haired orphan appeared on to the streets of Boston and a modern legend was born. That little girl was Anne Shirley, better known as Anne of Green Gables, and her first appearance was in a book that has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide and been translated into more than 35 languages (including Braille). The author who created her was Lucy Maud Montgomery, a writer who revealed very little of herself and her method of crafting a story. On the centenary of its publication, Irene Gammel tells the braided story of both Anne and Maud and, in so doing, shows how a literary classic was born. Montgomery’s own life began in the rural Cavendish family farmhouse on Prince Edward Island, the place that became the inspiration for Green Gables. Mailmen brought the world to the farmhouse’s kitchen door in the form of American mass market periodicals sparking the young Maud’s imagination. From the vantage point of her small world, Montgomery pored over these magazines, gleaning bits of information about how to dress, how to behave and how a proper young lady should grow. She began to write, learning how to craft marketable stories from the magazines’ popular fiction; at the same time the fashion photos inspired her visual imagination. One photo that especially intrigued her was that of a young woman named Evelyn Nesbit, the model for painters and photographers and lover of Stanford White. That photo was the spark for what became Anne Shirley. Blending biography with cultural history, Looking for Anne of Green Gables is a gold mine for fans of the novels and answers a trunk load of questions: Where did Anne get the “e” at the end of her name? How did Montgomery decide to give her red hair? How did Montgomery’s courtship and marriage to Reverend Ewan Macdonald affect the story? Irene Gammel's dual biography of Anne Shirley and the woman who created her will delight the millions who have loved the red haired orphan ever since she took her first step inside the gate of Green Gables farm in Avonlea.
Dennis Stock - Joe Hyams - James Dean: Fifty Years Ago
Like a restless ghost, James Dean (1921-1955) continues to haunt us. Though he died nearly 50 years ago, the enigmatic star of "East of Eden, Rebel without a Cause", and "Giant" still symbolizes the mystery and torment of adolescence, an image that his sudden, violent death fixed forever in the public mind. Magnum photographer Dennis Stock met Dean in Hollywood in 1954 and began to capture him on camera. Shot over a three-month period just as the young actor's star began to rise, these iconic photographs are the greatest pictures ever taken of Dean. Together with Stock's text and an introduction by Dean biographer Joe Hyams, the images provide an extraordinarily intimate view of the cult legend whose brooding good looks captivated fans by illuminating the troubled depths of his character. Published on the 50th anniversary of his death, this is the definitive photographic portrait of James Dean in both his professional and his private worlds, the real man behind the lingering legend.
Christine Arnothy - I am Fifteen and I Do Not Want to Die
The compelling and moving narrative of a young girl caught by the tides of marching armies during the siege of Budapest in 1945. Told with calm compulsive force, and with an intimacy and maturity that defies the author's youth, I am fifteen is a poignant coming-of-age memoir, and a remarkable tale of ordinary lives destroyed by war. Budapest in early 1945: the siege - which was to kill some 40,000 civilians - raged around Christine Arnothy, her family and the various inhabitants of their building. Hiding in cellars, venturing out in a desperate search for food and water only when the noise of battle momentarily receded, they wondered if the Germans from the West or the Russians from the East would be victorious and under which they would fare best. Praying she would survive, and mourning the loss of some of her fellow refugees, Christine found solace in her writing - in pencil on a small notepad in the cellar - and dreamt of becoming a writer at the end of the war. Her subsequent adventures include a dramatic escape over the frontier into Austria, to Vienna and freedom (or so she imagined); then the difficult decision to leave her parents in an Allied refugee camp, while she searched for a new life in Paris.