June 2024 nonfiction catalogue



Osprey military history

The Killing Ground: A Biography of Thermopylae
Cole, Myke & Livingston, Michael
Thermopylae might be the most famous battlefield in history. Tens of thousands of people have lost their lives fighting over this ground over the millennia, from at least the dawn of the Classical Era all the way up to World War II. But why? Thermopylae isn’t a regional capital. It isn’t a major nexus of trade. It isn’t an agricultural centre or home to a large population. No religious sites of great significance call it home. It’s excellent defensive terrain, sure, but so are many other locations throughout a country known for its mountains, rivers, and jagged coastline. Thermopylae has nevertheless been a cultural icon and a political symbol for over 2,500 years. But in all that time, no one has ever stopped to ask why? Why is this one tiny, out of the way place worth so much bloodshed? The Killing Ground: A Biography of Thermopylae will answer this question in thrilling fashion. The book combines the talents of two people uniquely suited to tell this story – both accomplished novelists, historians, and essayists. Myke Cole and Dr Michael Livingston will combine their intense commitment to unimpeachable scholarship with their shared skills in crafting a tense, dramatic, narrative, to finally answer the question of why Thermopylae was so important. The book will examine the pass’ full history from its ancient origins to its use as a modern battlefield. Cole and Livingston will provide exciting narratives of each of the battles and holding actions that took place in the pass, covering the background and history of each conflict, the personalities and decision making of the commanders, the arms, equipment, and tactics of the troops, and the play-by-play stories of how each battle played out. As a team they have made multiple visits to Greece, surveying the ground to provide a boots-on understanding of the key moments in the pass. Their command of multiple ancient and medieval languages means they can even provide their own translations of much of the source material, ensuring new insights. Along the way, they will marry the uncompromising scholarship of their multi-faceted explorations to the narrative storytelling that they’ve honed to create a gripping and dramatic historical account. They’ll reveal both why and how Thermopylae is one of the most blood-soaked patches of ground in the history of the world – and what its past can tell us about our future.
Military history | HC | $49.99

The Destroyer USS Kidd: Anatomy of the Ship
Draminski, Stefan
USS Kidd (DD-661) was launched 28 February 1943 and served in the Pacific from August 1943 until the end of the war, taking part in operations in the Marshall Islands, the Marianas campaign, and the Philippines. In early 1945, she joined Task Force 58 (TF 58) for the invasion of Okinawa. After service in the Korean War as part of Task Force 77 she alternated West Pacific cruises with operations on the West Coast. She was decommissioned on 19 June 1964 and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. She has been docked at Baton Rouge, since 23 May 1982, when she was transferred to the Louisiana Naval War Memorial Commission; and is, now, on public view there as a museum vessel. Never modernised, USS Kidd is the only destroyer to retain its World War II appearance. This brand-new addition to the Anatomy of the Ship series combines a brief narrative history of the USS Kidd, its design and construction and contemporary photographs, with a series of detailed plans of the destroyer and Stefan Draminski’s superbly-detailed digital colour artworks.
Naval history | HC | $89.99

The Soviet–Afghan War: 1979–89 (Essential Histories)
Fremont-Barnes, Gregory
The Soviet invasion of its neighbour Afghanistan in December 1979 sparked a bloody nine-year conflict in that country until Soviet forces withdrew in 1988–89, dooming the communist Afghanistan government to defeat at the hands of the Mujahideen, the Afghan popular resistance backed by the USA and other powers. The Soviet invasion had enormous implications on the global stage; it prompted the US Senate to refuse to ratify the hard-won SALT II arms-limitation treaty, and the USA and 64 other countries boycotted the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics. For Afghanistan, the invasion served to prolong the interminable civil war that pitted central government against the regions and faction against faction. The country remains locked in conflict over 30 years later, with no end in sight. Featuring specially drawn mapping and drawing upon a wide range of sources, this succinct account explains the origins, history, and consequences of the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, thereby shedding new light on the more-recent history – and prospects – of that troubled country.
Military history | PBK | $26.99

Putin’s Wars: From Chechnya to Ukraine
Galeotti, Mark
A history of how Putin and his conflicts have inexorably reshaped Russia, including his devastating invasion of Ukraine. Putin’s Wars is a timely overview of the conflicts in which Russia has been involved since Vladimir Putin became prime minister and then president of Russia, from the First Chechen War to the two military incursions into Georgia, the annexation of Crimea and the eventual invasion of Ukraine, itself. But it also looks more broadly at Putin’s recreation of Russian military power and its expansion to include a range of new capabilities, from mercenaries to operatives in a relentless information war against Western powers. This is an engrossing strategic overview of the Russian military and the successes and failures on the battlefield. Thanks to Dr Galeotti’s wide-ranging contacts throughout Russia, it is also peppered with anecdotes of military life, personal snapshots of conflicts, and an extraordinary collection of first-hand accounts from serving and retired Russian officers. Russia continues to dominate the news cycle throughout the Western world. There is no better time to understand how and why Putin has involved his armed forces in a variety of conflicts, for over two decades.
Military history | PBK | $22.99

Tomorrow City (Dieselpunk Roleplaying)
Russell, Nathan & D’Alessandro, Biagio (illustrator)
A dieselpunk roleplaying game of action, mystery and mad science! Tomorrow City was one of the cities of the future, built to usher in a new age of prosperity, seizing upon scientific achievements at the dawn of the 20th century. Then came the War. Radium-powered soldiers assembled, diesel-fuelled nightmares rolled off production lines, city fought city, and the world burned in atomic fire. We survived, barely. Tomorrow City still stands, an oil-stained beacon of hope; part refuge, part asylum. Beset by dangers from both within and without, a secret war now rages on its streets. Diesel-born monstrosities stalk the alleyways, air pirates strike from the wastelands, mad scientists continue their dark work, occultists manipulate the city’s strange geometry, and secret societies plot in the shadows. Tomorrow City is a roleplaying game of dark science and dieselpunk action. Swift and simple character creation and an easy-to-learn dice pool system places the emphasis on unique personalities and the momentum of the plot. Join the Underground and fight the crime and corruption at the heart of the city. Sell your dieselpunk tech, occult knowledge, and sheer grit as trouble-shooters for mysterious paymasters. Hunt down spies, saboteurs, and science run amok. As weary sky rangers, fringe scientists, and radium-powered veterans, you might be all that stands between a better tomorrow, and no tomorrow, at all.
Gaming | HC | $52.99

The ‘Grossdeutschland’ Division in World War II: The German Army’s premier combat unit (Elite 255)
Slaughter, James F & Bujeiro, Ramiro (illustrator)
Investigates the history and evolving appearance of the ‘Grossdeutschland’ Division, the German Army’s premier combat unit during World War II. Featuring eight pages of original artwork and carefully-chosen photographs depicting personalities, uniforms, insignia, and personal equipment, this is the absorbing story of the German Army’s elite ‘fire brigade’ during 1939–45. The unit began its life as an elite guard detachment; expanded to regimental size in 1939, it saw action in France in 1940 and Yugoslavia in 1941, before participating in the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union. Reinforced to divisional status, ‘Grossdeutschland’ fought on the Eastern Front in 1942–44, notably at Rzhev in late 1942 and Kharkov in early 1943. Refitted and redesignated a Panzergrenadier-Division, ‘Grossdeutschland’ played a key role in the battle of Kursk in July 1943, before acting as the Wehrmacht’s ‘fire brigade’ in 1943–44. In late 1944, ‘Grossdeutschland’ was expanded to Panzerkorps status, with Panzergrenadier-Division ‘Brandenburg’ also taking the field. Further units joined the order of battle, the Führerbegleit-Brigade fighting in the Ardennes in 1944–45 before also being redesignated a division. All of these campaigns are covered in this book, which charts the evolving appearance of this elite formation over nearly six years of brutal warfare.
Military history | PBK | $29.99


General nonfiction

Simply Emerging Technology: Facts Made Fast
Understanding technology has never been easier. Combining bold graphics with easy-to-understand text, Simply Emerging Technology is the perfect introduction to the fast-changing world of technology for those who are short of time but hungry for knowledge. Covering a broad range of fields – from familiar topics like 3D printing and cryptocurrency to less well-known but equally important technologies like gel robotics and extended reality, and much more besides – entries explain the likely impact of such emerging technologies, and the ways in which they could transform the way we live, exploring the potential risks and rewards of each. Explaining individual aspects of key trends within technology more clearly than ever before, the book outlines the breakthrough technologies that underpin the future of innovation, explores their most likely practical applications, and presents the numerous ethical debates that surround them, and their increasing role in cultures and societies across the globe. Whether you are studying data science or technology-related subjects at school or college, or simply want a jargon-free overview of this important and timely subject, this essential guide is packed with everything you need to understand the basics quickly and easily.
Technology | HC | $22.99

How Economics Works: The Concepts Visually Explained
Discover everything you need to know about economics with this unique graphic guide. Combining clear, jargon-free language and bold, eye-catching graphics, How Economics Works is a comprehensive and user-friendly guide to all aspects of economics. Covering everything from economic theories to international trade, the book presents the ground-breaking ideas of key economists – from Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes to Joseph Schumpeter and Milton Friedman – in a uniquely visual and easy-to-understand way. Beginning with foundational ideas, such as scarcity, marginalism, and the free market, entries then explore the role of choice, markets, trade, and finance, and how whole economies work and are influenced by decisions made by governments and central banks, such as raising taxes or interest rates. With its unique graphic approach and clear, authoritative text, How Economics Works is the perfect introduction to the subject.
Economics | HC | $39.99

A Brief History of Stuff: The Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Objects, Science Museum
Explore the past, present and future of the everyday stuff in your home, from tinned food to tampons. Learn how 30,000 bath toys and the work of amateur beachcombers have helped scientists study ocean currents. Explore how the search for a death ray led to the creation of the microwave oven and ready meals. Discover the surprising link between sticky tape and the Nobel Prize. Uncover the extraordinary stories of ordinary objects in this perfect gift for curious minds. From the creators of the A Brief History of Stuff podcast and inspired by the incredible artefacts in the Science Museum Group Collection, this collection of entertaining essays reveals the fascinating history behind some of the most mundane items in our homes.
History/Science | HC | $42.99

How to Think Like a Philosopher: Essential Principles for Clearer Thinking
Baggini, Julian
The key principles for a more humane and balanced approach to thinking, to politics and to life. As politics slides toward impulsivity, and outrage bests rationality, how can philosophy help us critically engage with the world? How to Think Like a Philosopher is a revelatory exploration of the methods, tenets and attitudes of thought that guide philosophy, and how they can be applied to our own lives. Drawing on decades of enquiry and a huge range of interviews, Julian Baggini identifies 12 key principles that promote incisive thinking. Pay attention; question everything; seek clarity, not certainty: these are just a few of philosophy’s guiding maxims which can be applied to everything from understanding the impact of climate change to correctly appraising our own temperaments. Both a fresh introduction to philosophy covering canonical and contemporary philosophers, and an essential, practical guide to good thinking, How to Think Like a Philosopher shows us the way to a more humane, balanced and rational approach to thinking, to politics, and to life.
Philosophy | PBK | $24.99

The Skill Code: How to Save Human Ability in an Age of Intelligent Machines
Beane, Matt
From one of the world’s top researchers on work and technology comes an insightful and surprising guide to protecting your skill in a world filling with AI and robots. Think of your most valuable skill, the thing you can reliably do under pressure to deliver results. How did you learn it? Whatever your job – plumber, attorney, teacher, surgeon – decades of research show that you achieved mastery by working with someone, who knew more than you did. Formal learning – school and books – gave you conceptual knowledge, but you developed your skill by working with an expert. Today, this essential bond is under threat. In our grail-like quest to optimise productivity with intelligent technologies like AI and robots, we are separating junior workers from experts in workplaces around the world. It’s a looming multi-trillion-dollar problem that few are addressing, until now. In The Skill Code, researcher and technologist Matt Beane reveals the hidden code that underwrites every successful expert-novice relationship. Beane has spent the last decade examining this unique bond in a variety of settings, from warehouses to surgical suites. He’s found that just as the four amino acids are the building blocks of DNA, the three Cs – challenge, complexity, and connection – are the basic components of how we develop our most valuable skills. Whether you’re an expert or a novice, this book will show you how to build skill more effectively – and how to make intelligent technologies part of the solution, not the problem. The Skill Code is an insightful must read, with significant implications for how we will work and build skill in the 21st century – a guide to help you not only survive but thrive.
Impact of technology | TP | $34.99

Messalina: The Life and Times of Rome’s Most Scandalous Empress
Cargill-Martin, Honor
This is the story of Messalina – third wife of Emperor Claudius and one of the most notorious women to have inhabited the Roman world. According to the Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonius, the Empress Messalina was a sexually insatiable schemer. The tales they told about her – including a 24-hour sex competition with a prostitute – have taken deep root in the Western imagination, but Messalina’s real story is much more complex. In her reappraisal of one of the most slandered female figures of ancient history, Honor Cargill-Martin finds an intelligent, passionate, and ruthless woman who succeeded in asserting herself in the overwhelmingly male world of imperial Roman politics. Rather than setting out to ‘salvage’ Messalina’s reputation, she looks at her life in the context of her time. Above all, she seeks to reclaim the humanity of a life story previously circumscribed by currents of high politics and patriarchy.
Biography | PBK | $22.99

Wise Animals: How Technology Has Made Us What We Are
Chatfield, Tom
Wise Animals explores the history of our relationship with technology, and our deep involvement with our creations from the first use of tools and the taming of fire, via the invention of reading and printing, to the development of the computer, the creation of the internet and the emergence of AI. Human children know no more of modern technology than their ancestors did of older technologies, thousands of years ago; and develop in relation to the technologies of their time. We co-evolve with technology as individuals as we have as a species over thousands of years. Rather than see technology as a threat, this deeply humanist contribution to the debate proposes that we are neither masters, nor victims, of our technologies. They are part of who we are, and our future – and theirs – is in our hands.
Science | TP | $36.99

Woman’s Lore: 4,000 Years of Sirens, Serpents and Succubi
Clegg, Sarah
The history of a demonic tradition that was stolen from women – and then won back again. Creatures like Lilith, the seductive first wife of Adam, and mermaids, who lured sailors to their death, are familiar figures in the genre of monstrous temptresses who use their charms to entice men to their doom. But if we go back 4,000 years, the roots of these demons lie in horrific creatures like Lamashtu, a lion-headed Mesopotamian demon who strangled infants and murdered pregnant women; and Gello, a virgin ghost of ancient Greece who killed expectant mothers and babies out of jealousy. Far from enticing men into danger and destruction, these monsters were part of women’s ritual practices surrounding childbirth and pregnancy. So, how did their mythology evolve into one focused on the seduction of men? Sarah Clegg takes us on an absorbing and witty journey from ancient Mesopotamia to the present day, encountering a multitude of serpentine succubi, a child-eating wolf-monster of ancient Greece, the Queen of Sheba and a host of vampires. Clegg shows how these demons were appropriated by male-centred societies, before they were eventually recast as symbols of women’s liberation, offering new insights into attitudes towards womanhood, sexuality, and women’s rights.
History/Mythology | PBK | $24.99

The Friday Afternoon Club: A Family Memoir
Dunne, Griffin
A charming, hilarious account of Griffin Dunne’s coming of age among a family of larger-than-life characters in Hollywood and Manhattan. At eight, Sean Connery saved him from drowning. At 13, desperate to hook up with Janis Joplin, he attended his aunt Joan Didion’s legendary LA launch party for Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. In his early 20s, he shared a Manhattan apartment with his best friend and soulmate Carrie Fisher while she was filming some sci-fi movie, called Star Wars; and he was a struggling actor selling popcorn at Radio City Music Hall. A few years later, he produced and starred in the now-iconic film After Hours, directed by Martin Scorsese. In the midst of it all, Griffin’s 22-year-old sister, Dominique, a rising star in Hollywood, was brutally strangled to death by her ex-boyfriend, leading to one of the most infamous public trials of the 1980s. The outcome was a travesty of justice that marked the beginning of their father Dominick Dunne’s career as a bestselling author of true crime narratives. And, yet, for all its boldface cast of characters and jaw-dropping scenes, The Friday Afternoon Club is no mere celebrity memoir. It is, down to its bones, a family story that embraces the poignant absurdities and best and worst efforts of its loveable, infuriating, funny, and moving characters – its author, most of all.
Memoir | TP | $34.99

Fake Heroes: 10 False Icons and How they Altered the Course of History
English, Otto
A shocking, yet hilarious, look at 10 of the greatest liars from our past, examining these previously unquestioned idols and exposing what they were trying to hide.
Was Che Guevara really a revolutionary hero? Should Mother Teresa be honoured as a saint? Is Henry V actually England’s greatest king? And why does JFK’s legend continue to grow?
Having exposed some of the greatest lies ever told in Fake History (PBK, $24.99), journalist Otto English turns his attention to some of history’s biggest (and most beloved) figures. Whether it’s virtuous leaders in just wars, martyrs sacrificing all for a cause, or innovators changing the world for the better, down the centuries, supposedly-great men and women have risen to become household names, saints and heroes. But just how deserving, are they, of their reputations? Exploring everything from Captain Scott’s reckless hunt for glory and Andy Warhol’s flagrant thievery to Coco Chanel’s murky Nazi past, Otto English dives into the hidden lives of some of history’s most recognisable names. Scrutinising figures from the worlds of art, politics, business, religion and royalty, he brings to light the murkier truths they would rather have kept buried away, at the same time as celebrating the unsung heroes lost to time. Fake Heroes exposes the truth of the past and helps us understand why that matters today.
History | PBK | $24.99

Any Person is the Only Self: Essays
Gabbert, Elisa
Who are we when we read? When we journal? Are we more ourselves alone or with friends? Right now or in memory? How does time transform us and the art we love? In 16 dazzling, expansive essays, the acclaimed essayist and poet Elisa Gabbert explores a life lived alongside books of all kinds: dog eared and destroyed, cherished and discarded, classic and clichéd, familiar and profoundly new. She turns her witty, searching mind to the writers she admires, from Plath to Proust, and the themes that bind them – chance, freedom, envy, ambition, nostalgia, and happiness. She takes us to the strange edges of art and culture, from hair metal to surf movies to party fiction. Any Person Is the Only Self is a love letter to literature and to life, inviting us to think alongside one of our most thrilling and versatile critics. Contagiously curious essays on reading, art, and the life of the mind.
Reading | TP | $39.95

Possible: Ways To Net Zero
Goodall, Chris
The realities of a green new deal, from the world’s foremost expert on climate technologies. A carbon neutral future is possible – we have the technology to transform the global economy, and guard against the worst effects of climate change. So, how do we get to net zero? In Possible, entrepreneur and climate tech consultant Chris Goodall tackles 16 challenges that we must overcome in making a just transition to carbon neutrality. He explores the technologies that will solve these challenges – from changing how steel, cement, and fuel are made, to locking carbon in healthy soils, and from green hydrogen storage to building climate-resilient homes. With case studies and success stories from entrepreneurs across the globe, Goodall illustrates the incredible potential of a Net Zero future, as well as the determination we will need to overcome these problems. New tech featured includes Sweden’s H2 Green Steel, California’s Fortera cement substitute, Hong Kong garment-to-garment recycling, Finnish turbine company Coolbrook, Norwegian e-fuels, and Captura’s innovative ocean CO2 capture.
Climate change | HC | $24.99

Superspy Science: Science, Death and Tech in the World of James Bond
Harkup, Kathryn
The adventures of James Bond have thrilled readers since Ian Fleming’s novel Casino Royale was published in 1953, and when the movie of Dr No was released in 1962, Bond quickly became the world’s favourite secret agent. Science and technology have always been central to the plots that make up the world of Bond, and in Superspy Science Kathryn Harkup explores the full range of 007’s exploits and the arms, technologies, tactics and downfalls of his various foes. From the practicalities of building a volcano-based lair, to whether being covered in gold paint really will kill you, and – if your plan is to take over the world – whether it is better to use bacteria, bombs, or poison – this book has all the answers, and more. Could our favourite Bond villains actually achieve world domination? Were the huge variety of weapons and technology in Bond’s arsenal from both the films and books ever actually developed in real life? And would 007 actually escape, all those close shaves, intact? From the plots to the gadgets to the ludicrous ways that his life is threatened, Superspy Science takes an in-depth look at the scientific world of James Bond.
Science/Pop culture | PBK | $24.99

C S Lewis’ Oxford
Horobin, Simon
The fantastical fictional land of Narnia, famously reached via a magical wardrobe, has many connections to the world in which its creator C S Lewis lived. The influence of Oxford can be seen not only in medieval buildings and towers but also in the literature which Lewis encountered there, through a lifetime’s reading and teaching of classical, medieval and renaissance literature. This book examines the role Oxford, its colleges, libraries, chapels, clubs, common rooms and pubs, played in fostering the work of one of the 20th century’s most influential writers and thinkers. It reveals a number of new archival discoveries, including letters, tutorial reports and even an unpublished poem, as well as offering new insights into Lewis’ Oxford life, his transition to Cambridge, his Christian faith, and his global influence today. It also takes a fresh look at his extensive involvement in Oxford’s various clubs and societies, including the Coalbiters, the Socratic Club and, of course, the Inklings, whose distinguished members coalesced around him and his great friend, J R R Tolkien.
History | HC | $59.99

Chemistry For Breakfast: The Amazing Science of Everyday Life
Nguyen-Kim, Mai Thi
In Chemistry for Breakfast, award-winning chemist and science communicator Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim reveals the amazing chemistry behind everyday things (like baking and toothpaste) and not-so-everyday things (like space travel). With a relatable, funny, and conversational style, she explains essential chemical processes everyone should know – and turns the ordinary into extraordinary.
Science | TP | $29.99

The New Cold War: How the Contest Between the US and China Will Shape Our Century
Niblett, Robin
An urgent and essential assessment of the global contest between the US and China, and how looking to history will help us to navigate it, from former Director of Chatham House. We have entered a new Cold War. The contest between America and China is global and unbridgeable, and it encompasses all major instruments of statecraft – economic, political and military. It has its tinder box: Taiwan. And both protagonists are working hard to draw allies to their side from across the world. We stand at its beginning. But this Cold War is nothing like the conflict between the Soviet Union and the West which defined the second half of the 20th century. We need new ideas to navigate its risks and avoid a globally devastating hot war. In this urgent and necessary book, Robin Niblett argues that only by looking back can we learn the lessons to guide us through this new reality: he goes through the 10 ways in which the New Cold War is different and offers five rules for navigating its onset. How we manage this contest will determine not only whether there is still space for international cooperation to deal with our many global challenges, from the climate emergency to the technological revolution, but also who will lead the 21st century and, quite simply, the course of all our futures.
Politics | TP | $32.99

Tripped: Nazi Germany, the CIA, and the Dawn of the Psychedelic Age
Ohler, Norman
A brilliant and original investigation into the medical origins of LSD and how the Nazis and the CIA turned it into a weapon, by the author of Blitzed (PBK, $22.99).
Berlin, 1945. Following the fall of the Third Reich, drug use – long kept under control by the Nazis’ strict anti-drug laws – is rampant throughout the city. In the American sector, Arthur J Giuliani of the nascent Federal Bureau of Narcotics is tasked with learning about the Nazis’ drug policies and bringing home anything that might prove ‘useful’. Five years later, Harvard professor Dr Henry Beecher begins work with the US government to uncover the research behind the Nazis’ psychedelics program. Originally created for medical purposes by Dr Albert Hofmann, the Nazis co-opted LSD to experiment with mind control and find a ‘truth serum’ – research that the US, particularly the CIA, is desperate to acquire. Based on extensive archival research, Tripped is a wild, unconventional post-war history, a spiritual sequel to Norman Ohler’s bestselling Blitzed. Revealing the hidden connections between the Nazis and the CIA’s notorious brainwashing experimentation program, MKUltra, Ohler shares how this secret history held back the therapeutic research of psychedelic drugs for decades as the West sought to turn LSD into a weapon.
History | TP | $32.99

How the World Made the West: A 4,000-Year History
Quinn, Josephine
The West, the story goes, was built on the ideas and values of Ancient Greece and Rome, which disappeared from Europe during the Dark Ages and were then rediscovered by the Renaissance. But what if that isn’t true? In a bold and magisterial work of immense scope, Josephine Quinn argues that the real story of the West is much bigger than this established paradigm leads us to believe. So much of our shared history has been lost, drowned out by the concept – developed in the Victorian era – of separate ‘civilisations’. Moving from the Bronze Age to the Age of Exploration, How the World Made the West reveals a new narrative: one that traces the millennia of global encounters and exchange that built what is now called the West, as societies met, tangled and sometimes grew apart. From the creation of the alphabet by Levantine workers in Egypt, who in a foreign land were prompted to write things down in their own language for the first time, to the arrival of Indian numbers in Europe via the Arab world, Quinn makes the case that understanding societies in isolation is both out of date and wrong. It is contact and connections – rather than solitary civilisations – which drive historical change. It is not peoples that make history – people do.
History | TP | $39.99

The Trial of Vladimir Putin
Robertson, Geoffrey
There have been dozens of books about the Russian President since he launched his illegal invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Some have examined the historical aspects of the conflict, others have analysed its military and geopolitical importance. However, none so far have looked purely at the legal consequences of that disastrous action. This remarkable survey by one of our most celebrated human rights lawyers examines how the war in effect destroys the purpose of the UN by exposing the fatal flaw in its 1945 Charter which entrusts the duty to five permanent members with a veto on any Security Council action. Russia may not even be expelled for breaching the Charter from the General Assembly without a Security Council recommendation, which Russia itself can veto! It looks at the difficulties of bringing Putin to trial, and why the popular campaign for a court to try him in absentia would not work; gives an explanation of the ICC charges he already faces, and surmises that any future peace agreement would include an amnesty for Putin (though, that amnesty would not be valid in international law). Putin is plainly guilty of the crime of aggression. But, asks Robertson, does the Bush doctrine of ‘Pre-emptive self-defence’, developed to justify his invasion of Iraq, provide Putin with an opt out; and could the ‘Tu Quoque’ defence (‘I did it, but you did it first’) be raised at Putin’s trial, as it was for Admiral Doenitz at Nuremberg? This brilliant deep dive into international law offers a unique perspective onto an unjust war that has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and threatens to overturn the accepted world order, through the lens of its key protagonist.
International law | TP | $34.99

The Algorithm: How AI Can Hijack Your Career and Steal Your Future
Schellmann, Hilke
Artificial intelligence is being used, on a massive scale, to decide who gets hired, fired, and promoted. Through whistleblower exclusives, leaked internal documents and astonishing real-world practices, journalist Hilke Schellmann reveals the secret rise of AI in the world of work. Testing them herself, she discovers that many algorithms making these high-stakes calculations do more harm than good, and traces their origins to troubling pseudoscientific ideas about people’s ‘true’ essence. Interviewing experts, developers and ordinary workers, The Algorithm offers fascinating and alarming truths. From software analysing interviewees’ facial expressions and tone of voice, to video games assessing their performance, to ‘personality profiles’ built from candidates’ social media, almost all major employers use AI in recruitment. Programs track their staff’s activity, group dynamics and physical health, identifying who is productive, a bully, worth long-term investment, or likely to quit. But can we trust them?
Impact of technology | HC | $49.99

Masquerade: The Lives of Noel Coward
Soden, Oliver
This sparkling, revelatory biography celebrates Noel Coward as a pioneer in life, art and sexuality. The voice, the dressing-gown, the cigarette in its holder, remain unmistakable. There is rarely a week, when one of Private Lives, Hay Fever, and Blithe Spirit is not in production, somewhere in the world. Phrases from Noel Coward’s songs – ‘Mad About the Boy’, ‘Mad Dogs and Englishman’ – are forever lodged in the public consciousness. He was, at one point, the most highly-paid author in the world. Yet, some of his most striking and daring writing remains unfamiliar. As T S Eliot said, in 1954, ‘there are things you can learn from Noel Coward that you won’t learn from Shakespeare’. Coward wrote some 50 plays and nine musicals, as well as revues, screenplays, short stories, poetry, and a novel. He was both composer and lyricist for approximately 675 songs. Louis Mountbatten’s famous tribute argued that, while there were greater comedians, novelists, composers, painters, and so on; only ‘the master’ had combined 14 talents in one. So central, was he, to his age’s theatre that any account of his career is also a history of the British stage. And, so daring, was Coward’s unorthdoxy in his closest relationships, obliquely reflected throughout his writing, that it must also be a history of sexual liberation in the 20th century. In Oliver Soden’s sparkling, story-packed new Life, the Master finally gets his due.
Biography | PBK | $26.99

Magisteria: The Entangled Histories of Science and Religion
Spencer, Nicholas
Most things you ‘know’ about science and religion are myths or half-truths that grew up in the last years of the 19th century and remain widespread, today. The true history of science and religion is a human one. It’s about the role of religion in inspiring, and strangling, science before the scientific revolution. It’s about the sincere but eccentric faith and the quiet, creeping doubts of the most brilliant scientists in history – Galileo, Newton, Faraday, Darwin, Maxwell, Einstein. Above all it’s about the question of what it means to be human, and who gets to say – a question that is more urgent in the 21st century than ever before. From eighth-century Baghdad to the frontiers of AI today, via medieval Europe, 19th-century India and Soviet Russia, Magisteria sheds new light on this complex historical landscape. Rejecting the thesis that science and religion are inevitably at war, Nicholas Spencer illuminates a compelling and troubled relationship that has definitively shaped human history.
History | PBK | $24.99

Burn Book: A Tech Love Story
Swisher, Kara
A witty, scathing, but fair account of the tech industry by a legendary journalist who has covered the Silicon Valley boom, since the very beginning; and who is respected and feared in equal measure by everyone, from Mark Zuckerberg to Tim Cook. From award-winning journalist Kara Swisher, comes a witty, scathing, but fair accounting of the tech industry and its founders who wanted to change the world but broke it instead. While tech titans bragged they would ‘move fast and break things’, Kara Swisher was moving faster and breaking news. Covering the explosion of the digital sector in the early 1990s, she developed a long track record of digging up and reporting the truth of this new world order. Her consistent scoops drove one CEO to accuse her of ‘listening in the heating ducts’ and for Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg to once say: ‘It is a constant joke in the Valley when people write memos for them to say, “I hope Kara never sees this”.’ Burn Book is part memoir, part history and, most of all, a necessary recounting of tech’s most powerful players. This is the inside story, we’ve all been waiting for, of modern Silicon Valley and the biggest boom in wealth creation in the history of the world. While still in college, Swisher got her start at The Washington Post, where she became one of the few people in journalism interested in the emerging field of tech. She was among the first to recognise the potential of the internet, accurately predicting that ‘everything that could be digitised, would be digitised’. She went on to work for The Wall Street Journal, joining with Walt Mossberg to start the ground-breaking AllThingsD conference, as well as pioneering online tech sites. It’s only a slight exaggeration to say Swisher has interviewed everyone. Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Bob Iger, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Meg Whitman, Peter Thiel, and Mark Zuckerberg are just a few, who Swisher made sweat – figuratively and, in one famous case, literally. Despite the damage she chronicles, Swisher remains optimistic about tech’s potential to help solve problems and not just create them. She calls upon the industry to make better, more thoughtful choices, even as a new set of powerful AI tools are poised to change the world yet again. At its heart, this book is a love story to, for, and about tech from someone who knows it better than anyone. Burn Book includes soaring tales of innovation and brilliant entrepreneurs, as well as Silicon Valley’s much more complex history of striving, success, and failure. The book details how the commercial internet came into being; and how, for all it has given the world, it now sits at the centre of global power, creating a clear and present danger to humanity.
Technology reporting | TP | $34.99

The Wars of the Roses: The Medieval Art of Graham Turner
Turner, Graham
A highly-illustrated history of the Wars of the Roses, based on the medieval art of Graham Turner. The period of civil strife in the second half of the 15th century, now known as the Wars of the Roses, was one of the most dramatic and tumultuous in English history. Since first being inspired by a visit to Bosworth battlefield, nearly 30 years ago, renowned historical artist Graham Turner has built a worldwide reputation for his depictions of this colourful and troubled era, his paintings and prints prized by historians and collectors for their attention to detail and dramatic and atmospheric compositions. This new study contains a detailed history of the wars, alongside a unique and comprehensive collection of over 120 of his paintings and drawings, many created especially for this book. It provides meticulously-researched details of arms, armour, settings, and countless other aspects of the period, while bringing to life the human stories behind the turbulent events.
Military history | HC | $70.00

How to Apocalypse: An illustrated guide
Wildish, Stephen
A funny infographic survival guide. Apocalypse… Now? Prepare for every possible end of days with this essential survival guide. Covering crucial survival skills, the ideal Plan A and Plan B, tips for survival on the road as you travel from chaos to salvation, and assembling the perfect team, this hilarious book has everything you need when Doomsday strikes. Includes: Zombies, Alien Invasion, Nuclear Fallout, Climate Crisis, Asteroids, Viruses, Robots, and more!
Apocalypse | HC | $29.99

The CIA: An Imperial History
Wilford, Hugh
A celebrated British historian of US intelligence explores how the CIA was born in anti-imperialist idealism but swiftly became an instrument of a new covert empire both in America and overseas. As World War II ended, the United States stood as the dominant power on the world stage. In 1947, to support its new global status, it created the CIA to analyse foreign intelligence. But within a few years, the Agency was engaged in other operations: bolstering pro-American governments, overthrowing nationalist leaders, and surveilling anti-imperial dissenters in the US. The Cold War was an obvious reason for this transformation – but not the only one. In The CIA, celebrated intelligence historian Hugh Wilford draws on decades of research to show the Agency as part of a larger picture, the history of Western empire. While young CIA officers imagined themselves as British imperial agents like T E Lawrence, successive US presidents used the covert powers of the Agency to hide overseas interventions from postcolonial foreigners and anti-imperial Americans alike. Even the CIA’s post-9/11 global hunt for terrorists was haunted by the ghosts of empires past. Comprehensive, original, and gripping, The CIA is the story of the birth of a new imperial order in the shadows. It offers the most complete account yet, of how America adopted unaccountable power and secrecy both at home and abroad.
History | TP | $34.99

Urban Jungle: Wilding the City
Wilson, Ben
In this exhilarating look at cities, past and future, Ben Wilson proposes that, in our world of rising seas and threatening weather, the natural world may prove the city’s saviour. Since the beginning of civilisation, humans have built cities to wall nature out, then glorified it in beloved but quite artificial parks. In Urban Jungle, Ben Wilson looks to the fraught relationship between nature and the city for clues to how the planet can survive in an age of climate crisis. Whether it was the market farmers of Paris, Germans in medieval forest cities, or the Aztecs in the floating city of Tenochtitlan, pre-modern humans had an essential bond with nature. But when the day came that water was piped in and food flown from distant fields, that relationship was lost. Today, urban areas are the fastest-growing habitat on Earth and in Urban Jungle Ben Wilson finds that we are at last acknowledging that human engineering is not enough to protect us from extremes of weather. He takes us to places where efforts to rewild the city are under way: to Los Angeles, where the city’s concrete river will run blue again, to New York City, where a bleak landfill will be a vast grassland preserve. The pinnacle of this strategy will be Amsterdam: a city that is its own ecosystem; that makes no waste and produces its own energy. In many cities, Wilson finds, nature is already thriving. Koalas are settling in Brisbane, wild boar may raid your picnic in Berlin. Green canopies, wildflowers, wildlife: the things that will help cities survive, he notes, also make people happy. Urban Jungle offers the pleasures of history – how backyard gardens spread exotic species all over the world, how war produces biodiversity – alongside a fantastic vision of the lush green cities of our future. Climate change, Ben Wilson believes, is only the latest chapter in the dramatic human story of nature and the city.
Science/Urban planning | PBK | $24.99

Words from Hell: Unearthing the Darkest Secrets of English Etymology
Zafarris, Jess
From bodily functions to the dirtiest insults onto war and weaponry to illicit substances, this book goes where no dictionary has dared go before. It is the only adults-only etymology dictionary. The English language is where words go to be tortured and mutilated into unrecognisable shadows of their former selves. It’s where Latin, Greek, and Germanic roots are shredded apart and stitched unceremoniously back together with misunderstood snippets of languages snatched from the wreckage of conquest and colonialism. It wreaks merciless havoc upon grammar and spelling. It turns clinical terms into insults and children’s tales into filthy euphemisms. With an emphasis on understanding where the foulest words in the English language came from – and the disgusting and hilarious histories behind them – this book demonstrates the true filth of our everyday words. But this book is more than just a list of vulgar words and salacious slang. It’s a thoughtful analysis of why we deem words as being inappropriate as well as revealing ‘good words’ that have surprisingly naughty origins. Dirty-minded word nerds and lewd linguistics lovers will derive unadulterated pleasure in leering at the origins of swear words, sexual lingo, inappropriate idioms, violent vocabulary, and terminology for bodily functions – not to mention the unexpectedly foul origins of words you thought were perfectly innocent. If it’s inappropriate, stomach-churning, uncomfortable, or offensive, this book reaches into the dark recesses of history and exposes them for all to see. This book combines humour, scholarly research, and a beautiful design. It is a book to enjoy, collect, and revisit time and time again.
Language | HC | $34.99

The Accidental Superpower: 10 Years On
Zeihan, Peter
With a new ’10 years later’ epilogue for every chapter, comes an eye-opening assessment of American power and deglobalisation.
Near the end of the Second World War, the United States made a bold strategic gambit that rewired the international system. Empires were abolished and replaced by a global arrangement enforced by the US Navy. With all the world’s oceans safe for the first time in history, markets and resources were made available for everyone. Enemies became partners. We think of this system as normal – it is not. We live in an artificial world on borrowed time. In The Accidental Superpower, international strategist Peter Zeihan examines how the hard rules of geography are eroding the American commitment to free trade; how much of the planet is aging into a mass retirement that will enervate markets and capital supplies; and how, against all odds, it is the ever-ravenous American economy that – alone among the developed nations – is rapidly approaching energy independence. Combined, these factors are doing nothing less than overturning the global system and ushering in a new (dis)order. For most, that is a disaster in waiting, but not for the Americans. The shale revolution allows Americans to sidestep an increasingly dangerous energy market. Only the United States boasts a youth population large enough to escape the sucking maw of global aging. Most important, geography will matter more than ever in a deglobalising world, and America’s geography is simply sublime.
Politics | TP | $39.99

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