The Fringes of Power: 10 Downing Street Diaries, 1939 - 1955

John Colville - 1985
    An intimate and unvarnished view of Winston Churchill at his best.

The Bomb in My Garden: The Secrets of Saddam's Nuclear MasterMind

Mahdi Obeidi - 2004
    intelligence on the subject. It is a fascinating and rare glimpse inside Saddam Hussein's Iraq-and inside a tyrant's mind.""-Fareed Zakaria, author of The Future of Freedom""The Bomb in My Garden is important and utterly gripping. The old clich? is true-you start reading, and you don't want to stop. Mahdi Obeidi's story makes clear how hard Saddam Hussein tried to develop a nuclear weapon, and the reasons he fell short. It is also unforgettable as a picture of how honorable people tried to cope with a despot's demands. I enthusiastically recommend this book.""-James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly""One of the three or four accounts that anyone remotely interested in the Iraq debate will simply have to read. Apart from its insight into the workings of the Saddam nuclear project, it provides a haunting account of the atmosphere of sheer evil that permeated every crevice of Iraqi life under the old regime.""-christopher hitchens, Slate""Mahdi Obeidi describes in jaw-dropping detail how Iraq acquired the means to produce highly enriched uranium, the key ingredient to building a nuclear weapon, by the eve of the first Gulf War. . . . [His book] offers insights into how a determined dictator, backed by sufficient resources, can come within reach of acquiring the world's most horrific weapons.""-The Washington Post BookWorld

Magda Goebbels

Anja Klabunde - 1999
    Magda Goebbels (1901-1945) is arguably the most contradictory and the most intriguing among them. What made a beautiful and intelligent woman go from being deeply in love with the ardent Zionist leader Victor Chaim Arlosoroff to marrying Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's minister of propaganda and a ferocious anti-Semite? Indeed, in the eyes of many people she was the 'First Lady' of the Reich, owing to Hitler's lifelong attachment to her. How could the devoted mother of six, the poster-child of family values during the Third Reich, turn into Medea and poison these six children? Anja Klabunde's thoroughly researched and remarkable biography for the first time brings together these stunning facts.

The Roosevelts and the Royals: Franklin and Eleanor, the King and Queen of England, and the Friendship That Changed History

Will Swift - 2004
    Dr. Swift is the first to concentrate on this unusual subject with such a wealth of sympathetic detail."-Sarah Bradford, author of "America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth: A Biography of Britain's Queen," and "The Reluctant King: The Life and Reign of George VI, 1895--1952""A splendid addition to our understanding of an extraordinary Anglo-American partnership. Both intimate and expansive, Will Swift's vigorously researched book is timely, illuminating, and dramatic."-Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of "Eleanor Roosevelt, Vol. 1: 1884-1933" and "Eleanor Roosevelt, Vol. 2: The Defining Years, 1933-1938""The Anglo-American alliance has long been a bedrock of the global order, and Will Swift's The Roosevelts and the Royals details an important chapter in that fascinating story with warmth and verve."-Jon Meacham, author of "Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship""Those who remember only that the Roosevelts served hot dogs to the royals will be fascinated by this well-researched account of an historic and ennobling relationship-a great story!"-James MacGregor Burns, author of "The Three Roosevelts: Patrician Leaders Who Transformed America" and "Roosevelt: Soldier of Freedom""A gripping account of four very different lives that were woven together to change the world in wartime."-Hugo Vickers, author of "Cecil Beaton and Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece""Written in fluid and lucid prose, this book is not only eminently readable but also historically illuminating. It explores the contrasting personalities of the four main protagonists with skill and insight and it is both convincing and refreshingly candid."-Brian Roberts, author of "Randolph: A Study of Churchill's Son and Cecil Rhodes and the Princess""This book brings to life my grandmother and her royal friends. Reading it, I found myself reliving the times I shared with them. A wonderful story."-Nina Roosevelt Gibson, Ph.D., psychologist and granddaughter of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt

Ministers at War: Winston Churchill and His War Cabinet

Jonathan Schneer - 2015
    Survival seemed to hinge on the leadership of Winston Churchill, whom the King reluctantly appointed Prime Minister as Germany invaded France. Churchill’s reputation as one of the great twentieth-century leaders would be forged during the coming months and years, as he worked tirelessly first to rally his country and then to defeat Hitler. But Churchill—regarded as the savior of his nation, and of the entire continent—could not have done it alone.As prize-winning historian Jonathan Schneer reveals in Ministers at War, Churchill depended on a team of powerful ministers to manage the war effort as he rallied a beleaguered nation. Selecting men from across the political spectrum—from fellow Conservative Anthony Eden to leader of the opposing socialist Labor Party Clement Attlee—Churchill assembled a War Cabinet that balanced competing interests and bolstered support for his national coalition government. The group possessed a potent blend of talent, ambition, and egotism. Led and encouraged by Churchill, the ministers largely set aside their differences, at least at first. As the war progressed, discord began to grow. It reached a peak in 1945: with victory seemingly assured, Churchill was forced by his Minsters at War to dissolve the Government and call a General Election, which, in a shocking upset, he lost to his rival Attlee.Authoritatively recasting our understanding of British high politics during World War II, Schneer shows that Churchill managed the war effort by managing his team of supremely able yet contentious cabinet members. The outcome of the war lay not only in Churchill’s individual brilliance but also in his skill as an executive, and in the collective ability of men who muted their personal interests to save the world from barbarism.

Winston Churchill by His Personal Secretary: Recollections of the Great Man by a Woman Who Worked for Him

Elizabeth Nel - 1958
    The vivid and human details of her experiences, of her impressions and memories of the irascible and loveable war hero, take up the story of Churchill's life at No. 10 where the BBC's impressive drama, The Gathering Storm, leaves off-when Churchill took over the reins of Government at the outset of the war. Finally, the author, Elizabeth Nel, at 90 years of age, looks back across the years. "Mrs Nel was Mr Churchill's secretary from 1941 to 1945 and her experiences, from the first day of inevitable blunders to the wartime meetings in Canada, the United States, Moscow, Yalta and Casablanca to which she accompanied him, are told with a modest restraint."- The Times Literary Supplement "She was by his side when Germany attacked Russia; when Pearl Harbour, the fall of Tobruk and Arnhem occurred. But somehow the distant roar of guns is dimmed by the sweat of being Mr Churchill's secretary."- Daily Express "It is a personal book, but one that shows the great admiration Churchill was able to inspire in those who worked with him."- New York Herald Tribune

Yeh Khamoshi Kahan Tak / یہ خاموشی کہاں تک

Shahid Aziz - 2013
    Certainly the focus is not General Musharraf or even the Army. It is a book about human experience of life; the story of a weak man stumbling through his life; pushed by his fears and dragged by his desires; torn apart by love, transcending with time. It is a book for the youth of this nation, to learn from the mistakes I have made, to see how life twists and moulds each one of us. In this endeavour I have laid my life bare, and exposed myself to all forms of criticism. I did not expect any less. And this is the least price I must pay for the suffering that some of my mistakes have caused to this nation."Autobiography of Lt. Gen. (retd) Shahid Aziz, a central character of the 1999 coup by Pakistan Army against the democratically elected government.

Attack Transport: The Story Of The U.S.S. Doyen

Lawrence A. Marsden - 2018
     It was these ships that carried the bulk of the troops and equipment to the bloody assault beaches of the overseas landings. The Japanese military had swept across Pacific Ocean conquering and fortifying hundreds of small islands that the Allied forces would have to conquer one by one in order to defeat their enemy. Despite being unarmored and having little fire power, attack transports continued to make a monumental impact in the fate of the war. Not because they could defeat the Japanese on their own but because they carried in their hulls the war’s one essential combat element: the troops that fought on the ground. U.S.S. Doyen was one such attack transport that served with honor and made its contribution felt through the course of the war. Lawrence Marsden’s fascinating history of this ship uncovers the action of the Doyen from commissioning through to her last operation in World War Two and of course exposes the lives of the men who sailed her through treacherous waters to do their duty. This book provides brilliant insight into the Pacific War as it was seen from one small unit in the fleet as they were involved in some of the most important operations of that front, including the invasions of Kiska, Tarawa, Kwajalein, Saipan, Guam, Leyte, Lingayen Gulf and Iwo Jima. “In war, transports seldom rest. Between assaults, on long and dreary voyages they carry out to distant bases replacement and service troops and freight, and carry back to home ports our casualties and essential war materials. They are the unsung, battle-scarred work horses of the Navy.” Richmond K. Turner, Admiral, U.S. Navy, Former Commander Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet. This book is perfect for readers who wish to learn more about these fascinating boats, the men who fought aboard them and the impact that they made throughout the war. Lieutenant Commander Lawrence A. Marsden served on the U.S.S. Doyen from May 1944 through to the end of the war, and was involved in the landings at Saipan, Guam, Leyte Gulf, Luzon and Iwo Jima. After the war he resigned his commission and became a textile company executive. His book Attack Transport: The Story of The USS Doyen was first published in 1946 and he passed away in 2005.

One Day in My Life

Bobby Sands - 1983
    He spent almost nine years of his life in prison because of his Irish republican activities. He died, in prison, on 5 May 1981, on the sixty-sixth day of his hunger strike at Long Kesh, outside Belfast. This book documents a day in the life of Bobby Sands. It is a tale of human bravery, endurance and courage against a backdrop of suffering, terror and harassment. It will live on as a constant reminder of events that should never have happened -- and will hopefully never happen again.


Brett Harper - 2014
    Theodore Roosevelt, known to all but his friends as Teddy, was born a sickly child but transformed himself into an outdoorsman, a cowboy, and a warrior who led his Rough Riders up the San Juan Heights of Cuba in a charge that still ranks among the world's military legends. But Roosevelt was also a man of letters who churned out some forty books, a gifted politician who charmed the nation, and a statesman who could settle a war as well as wage one. His wily acquisition of the Panama Canal Zone set up an engineering feat that has lasted a century, and it's safe to predict that we'll never again see his match for exuberance, force of character, patriotism, and sheer energy. His story will grip you like his handshake.

Intrepid Aviators: The American Flyers Who Sank Japan's Greatest Battleship

Gregory G. Fletcher - 2012
     October 24, 1944: As World War II raged, six young American torpedo bombers were sent on a search-and-destroy mission in the Sibuyan Sea. Their target: the superbattleship Musashi, the pride of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The pilots were tasked with preventing the immense enemy warship from inflicting damage on American supply ships. Little did these men know that they had embarked on the opening round of history’s greatest—and last—epic naval battle. Two bomber crews launched in the first wave of attackers were shot out of the sky. Only pilot Will Fletcher survived the crash landing. Adrift at sea, Will made his way to land and escaped into the jungles of the Philippines, where he eluded capture by the Japanese with the help of Filipino guerrillas, whose ranks he joined to fight against their common enemy. Intrepid Aviators is the thrilling true story of these brave bomber pilots, their daring duel with the Musashi, and Will Fletcher’s struggle to survive as a guerrilla soldier. The sinking of Musashi inflicted a crucial blow in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and marked the first time in history that aviators sank a Japanese battleship on the high seas. MAIN SELECTION OF THE MILITARY BOOK CLUB INCLUDES PHOTOGRAPHS


Douglas MacArthur - 1964
    Douglas MacArthur's memoir spans more than half a century of modern history. His vantage point at center stage during major controversies of the twentieth century enabled him to present unique views of the conflicts in which he played a vital role. No soldier in modern time has been more admired--or reviled. Liberator of the Philippines, shogun of Occupied Japan, victor of the Battle of Inchon, the general was a national hero when suddenly relieved of his command by President Truman. His supporters believe his genius for command and ability to implement that command by strategy stand as landmarks in military history. His critics are not so kind, calling him a gigantic ego paying homage to himself in this book. Decade by decade, battlefield by battlefield, this self portrait is a moving final testament to a life of service that began at West Point and continued in Vera Cruz during the Mexican uprisings and throughout the world wars. Appointed Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Pacific, MacArthur was the architect of the campaign to drive the Japanese from their strongholds at Bataan, Corregidor, and New Guinea. His recounting of World War II is dramatically punctuated with intimate portraits of key personalities and insights into his stand on controversial issues. Although the autobiography was written more than thirty years ago, it continues to be a valuable document of the period.

Cables From Kabul: The Inside Story Of The West's Afghanistan Campaign

Sherard Cowper-Coles - 2011
    The West's mission in Afghanistan has never been far from the headlines. For Sherard Cowper-Coles, the former Ambassador, Britain's role in the conflict - the vast amount of money being spent and the huge number of lives being lost - was an everyday reality. In Cables from Kabul, Cowper-Coles takes the reader on a journey through the backstreets of Afghanistan's capital to the corridors of power in London and Washington. He pays tribute to the tactical successes of our soldiers but asks whether these will be enough to secure stability. Nobody is better placed to tell this story of embassy life in one of the most dangerous places on earth. Powerful and astonishingly frank, Cables from Kabul explains how Great Britain got into the quagmire of Afghanistan, and how Great Britain can get out of it.

The Goebbels Diaries, 1939-1941

Joseph Goebbels - 1948
    From 1923 to 1941, he wrote the entries himself. From 1941 to 1945, he dictated lengthy passages to aides. He sometimes telephoned them in the middle of the night when he wanted to add some text.The dictations usually opened with a description of the military situation, followed by his personal comments. The dictated diary is not as personal as the earlier one he wrote himself.Much of the diaries were thought to have been lost during World War II. However in 1992, they were discovered to be held in Soviet-era archives — as Goebbels himself had ordered his diaries to be duplicated while in the Fuhrerbunker, and buried in a nearby grove of trees, believing that one day history would laud him, and would want to know about his life.There is dispute over which researcher first discovered the Soviet archives, with Elke Fröhlich and David Irving both laying claim to the title.

Hitler and Stalin: The Tyrants and the Second World War

Laurence Rees - 2021
    Briefly allies during World War II, Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin then tried to exterminate each other in sweeping campaigns unlike anything the modern world had ever seen, affecting soldiers and civilians alike. Millions of miles of Eastern Europe were ruined in their fight to the death, millions of lives sacrificed.Laurence Rees has met more people who had direct experience of working for Hitler and Stalin than any other historian. Using their evidence he has pieced together a compelling comparative portrait of evil, in which idealism is polluted by bloody pragmatism, and human suffering is used casually as a political tool. It's a jaw-dropping description of two regimes stripped of moral anchors and doomed to destroy each other, and those caught up in the vicious magnetism of their leadership.