Ferdinand and Isabella


Malveena McKendrick - 2015
    But the historic landfall of October 1492 was only a secondary event of the year. The preceding January, they had accepted the surrender of Muslim Granada, ending centuries of Islamic rule in their peninsula. And later that year, they had ordered the expulsion or forced baptism of Spain's Jewish minority, a cruel crusade undertaken in an excess of zeal for their Catholic faith. Europe, in the century of Ferdinand and Isabella, was also awakening to the glories of a new age, the Renaissance, and the Spain of the "Catholic Kings" - as Ferdinand and Isabella came to be known - was not untouched by this brilliant revival of learning. Here, from the noted historian Malveena McKendrick, is their remarkable story.

A Concise History of Romania


Keith Hitchins - 2014
    In this illuminating new history, Keith Hitchins explores Romania's struggle to find its place amidst two diverse societies: one governed by Eastern orthodox tradition, spirituality and agriculture and the other by Western rationalism, experimentation and capitalism. The book charts Romania's advancement through five significant phases of its history: medieval, early modern, modern and finally the nation's 'return to Europe'; evaluating all the while Romania's part in European politics, economic and social change, intellectual and cultural renewals and international entanglements. This is a fascinating history of an East European nation; one which sheds new light on the complex evolution of the Romanians and the identity they have successfully crafted from a unique synthesis of traditions.

King Edward VI: A Life From Beginning to End (House of Tudor Book 3)


Hourly History - 2019
     Edward VI, the only legitimate male heir of King Henry VIII, took his seat on the throne at the age of nine. His life would come to an end when he was only fifteen years old, but the mark he would come to leave on England’s history has endured to this day. This part of the Tudor period was chock-full of social unrest and economic struggles as well as turmoil over religious reforms, which the young king and his advisors often made worse by imposing substantial changes on their subjects. Inside you will read about... ✓ The Rough Wooing ✓ England’s First Protestant King ✓ The Year of Rebellions ✓ The English Reformation ✓ Succession Crisis ✓ Death of a Boy King And much more! Edward VI led his country into a new age where the Church of England was no longer tied to the Catholic Church. Putting his efforts into spreading Protestantism throughout all of England, he continued his father’s work of freeing England from the Holy Roman Empire’s grasp. His successor and half-sister, Queen Mary I, better known as “Bloody Mary,” would try to undo many of Edward’s reforms, but the English Reformation to which Edward contributed significantly would resume its course upon her death.

1494: How a Family Feud in Medieval Spain Divided the World in Half


Stephen R. Bown - 2011
    It sounds like Shakespeare and it could have very well been the plot of one of his plays." --Toronto StarIn 1494, award-winning author Stephen R. Bown tells the untold story of the explosive feud between monarchs, clergy, and explorers that split the globe between Spain and Portugal and made the world's oceans a battleground.When Columbus triumphantly returned from America to Spain in 1493, his discoveries inflamed an already-smouldering conflict between Spain's renowned monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, and Portugal's João II. Which nation was to control the world's oceans? To quell the argument, Pope Alexander VI—the notorious Rodrigo Borgia—issued a proclamation laying the foundation for the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494, an edict that created an imaginary line in the Atlantic Ocean dividing the entire known (and unknown) world between Spain and Portugal. Just as the world's oceans were about to be opened by Columbus's epochal voyage, the treaty sought to limit the seas to these two favored Catholic nations. The edict was to have a profound influence on world history: it propelled Spain and Portugal to superpower status, steered many other European nations on a collision course, and became the central grievance in two centuries of international espionage, piracy, and warfare. The treaty also began the fight for "the freedom of the seas"—the epic struggle to determine whether the world's oceans, and thus global commerce, would be controlled by the decree of an autocrat or be open to the ships of any nation—a distinctly modern notion, championed in the early seventeenth century by the Dutch legal theorist Hugo Grotius, whose arguments became the foundation of international law.At the heart of one of the greatest international diplomatic and political agreements of the last five centuries were the strained relationships and passions of a handful of powerful individuals. They were linked by a shared history, mutual animosity, and personal obligations—quarrels, rivalries, and hatreds that dated back decades. Yet the struggle ultimately stemmed from a young woman's determination to defy tradition and the king, and to choose her own husband.

Margaret Thatcher: Power and Personality


Jonathan Aitken - 2013
    Drawing from an abundance of new, previously unpublished material from the Thatcher Archive at Churchill College, Cambridge, Jonathan Aitken's fresh and original biography is a lively and perceptive exploration of the personality that dominated conservative British politics for more than 10 years and her profound and worldwide impact on the historical tapestry of her time. At once positive and critical in its assessment of her governance, Margaret Thatcher: Power and Personality is crafted from the author's longtime personal relationship with his subject, his eyewitness account of public and private episodes in her life, and more than 100 interviews with the former Prime Minister's political colleagues and close personal friends. Penetrating and insightful, it chronicles one of the most remarkable political lives of our time.

A Concise History of Hungary


Miklós Molnár - 1980
    It tells above all the thrilling story of a people who became a great power in the region and then fought against--and were invaded by--Ottomans, Germans and Soviets. The Hungarian people preserved nevertheless a continuous individuality through their Ural-born language and a specifically Hungaro-European culture.

Rivers of Gold: The Rise of the Spanish Empire from Columbus to Magellan


Hugh Thomas - 2002
    Hugh Thomas’s magisterial narrative of Spain in the New World has all the characteristics of great historical literature: amazing discoveries, ambition, greed, religious fanaticism, court intrigue, and a battle for the soul of humankind.Hugh Thomas shows Spain at the dawn of the sixteenth century as a world power on the brink of greatness. Her monarchs, Fernando and Isabel, had retaken Granada from Islam, thereby completing restoration of the entire Iberian peninsula to Catholic rule. Flush with success, they agreed to sponsor an obscure Genoese sailor’s plan to sail west to the Indies, where, legend purported, gold and spices flowed as if they were rivers. For Spain and for the world, this decision to send Christopher Columbus west was epochal—the dividing line between the medieval and the modern.Spain’s colonial adventures began inauspiciously: Columbus’s meagerly funded expedition cost less than a Spanish princess’s recent wedding. In spite of its small scale, it was a mission of astounding scope: to claim for Spain all the wealth of the Indies. The gold alone, thought Columbus, would fund a grand Crusade to reunite Christendom with its holy city, Jerusalem. The lofty aspirations of the first explorers died hard, as the pursuit of wealth and glory competed with the pursuit of pious impulses. The adventurers from Spain were also, of course, curious about geographical mysteries, and they had a remarkable loyalty to their country. But rather than bridging earth and heaven, Spain’s many conquests bore a bitter fruit. In their search for gold, Spaniards enslaved “Indians” from the Bahamas and the South American mainland. The eloquent protests of Bartolomé de las Casas, here much discussed, began almost immediately. Columbus and other Spanish explorers—Cortés, Ponce de León, and Magellan among them—created an empire for Spain of unsurpassed size and scope. But the door was soon open for other powers, enemies of Spain, to stake their claims.Great men and women dominate these pages: cardinals and bishops, priors and sailors, landowners and warriors, princes and priests, noblemen and their determined wives.Rivers of Gold is a great story brilliantly told. More significant, it is an engrossing history with many profound—often disturbing—echoes in the present.

A People Betrayed: A History of Corruption, Political Incompetence and Social Division in Modern Spain


Paul Preston - 2020
    Looking back to the years prior to 1923, Preston demonstrates how electoral corruption infiltrated almost every sector of Spanish life, thus excluding the masses from organized politics and giving them a bitter choice between apathetic acceptance of a decrepit government or violent revolution. So ineffective was the Republic—which had been launched in 1873—that it paved the way for a military coup and dictatorship, led by Miguel Primo de Rivera in 1923, exacerbating widespread profiteering and fraud. When Rivera was forced to resign in 1930, his fall brought forth a succession of feeble governments, stoking rancorous tensions that culminated in the tragic Spanish Civil War.With astonishing detail, Preston describes the ravages that rent Spain in half between 1936 and 1939. Tracing the frightening rise of Francisco Franco, Preston recounts how Franco grew into Spain’s most powerful military leader during the Civil War and how, after the war, he became a fascistic dictator who not only terrorized the Spanish population through systematic oppression and murder but also enriched corrupt officials who profited from severe economic plunder of Spain’s working class.The dictatorship lasted through World War II—during which Spain sided with Mussolini and Hitler—and only ended decades later, in 1975, when Franco’s death was followed by a painful yet bloodless transition to republican democracy. Yet, as Preston reveals, corruption and political incompetence continued to have a corrosive effect on social cohesion into the twenty-first century, as economic crises, Catalan independence struggles, and financial scandals persist in dividing the country.Filled with vivid portraits of politicians and army officers, revolutionaries and reformers, and written in the “absorbing” (Economist) style for which Preston is so revered, A People Betrayed is the first historical work to examine the continuities of political unrest and national anxiety in Spain up until the present, providing a chilling reminder of just how fragile democracy remains in the twenty-first century.

The Peshtigo Fire of 1871: The Story of the Deadliest Fire in American History


Charles River Editors - 2014
    What happened at Peshtigo makes Johnstown look like a birdbath." – Bill Lutz, co-author of Firestorm at Peshtigo "The air burned hotter than a crematorium and the fire traveled at 90 mph. I read an account of a Civil War veteran who had been through some of the worst battles of the war. He described the sound - the roar - during the fire as 100 times greater than any artillery bombardment.” – Bill Lutz In arguably the most famous fire in American history, a blaze in the southwestern section of Chicago began to burn out of control on the night of October 8, 1871. It had taken about 40 years for Chicago to grow from a small settlement of about 300 people into a thriving metropolis with a population of 300,000, but in just two days in 1871, much of that progress was burned to the ground. Due to the publicity generated by a fire that reduced most of a major American city to ash, the Peshtigo Fire of 1871 might fairly be called America’s forgotten disaster. Overshadowed by the much better covered and publicized Great Chicago Fire that occurred on the same evening, the fire that started in the Wisconsin logging town of Peshtigo generated a firestorm unlike anything in American history. In addition to destroying a wide swath of land, it killed at least 1,500 people and possibly as many as 2,500, several times more than the number of casualties in Chicago. While people marveled at the fact that the Great Chicago Fire managed to jump a river, the Peshtigo fire was so intense that it was able to jump several miles across Green Bay. While wondering aloud about the way in which the Peshtigo fire has been overlooked, Bill Lutz noted, "Fires are normally very fascinating to people, but people seem resistant to Peshtigo. Maybe Peshtigo is on such a large scale that people can't comprehend it." Ironically, while Peshtigo is widely forgotten, the fire there is often cited as proof that the Great Chicago Fire was caused by natural phenomena, such as a comet or meteor shower. Those advocating such a theory think it’s too coincidental that such disastrous fires were sparked in the same region on the same night, and they point to other fires across the Midwest. Of course, as with the Great Chicago Fire, contemporaries of the Peshtigo fire faulted human error and didn’t necessarily link the two fires, if only because fires were a common problem in both Peshtigo and Chicago during the 19th century. The Peshtigo Fire of 1871 chronicles the story America’s deadliest fire. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the Peshtigo fire like never before, in no time at all.

Charles Goodnight: Cowman and Plainsman


J. Evetts Haley - 1981
    Charles Goodnight knew the West of Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, Dick Wooton, St. Vrain, and Lucien Maxwell. He ranged a country as vast as Bridger ranged. He rode with the boldness of Fremont, guided by the craft of Carson. His vigorous zest for life enabled him to live intensely and amply, and in this book by J. Evetts Haley, himself no stranger to the West, provides a fully readable and important western biography, vividly told, thrilling, witty, and completely authentic.

Queen Of The Sea: A History Of Lisbon


Barry Hatton - 2018
    Its journey from port town to Portugal's capital was not always smooth sailing―in 1755 the city was devastated by the largest earthquake ever to strike modern Europe, followed by a catastrophic tsunami and a six-day inferno that turned sand to glass.Barry Hatton unearths these forgotten memories in a vivid account of Lisbon’s colourful past and present, bringing to life the 1147 siege during the Iberian reconquista, the assassination of the king, the founding of a republic and the darkness of a modern dictatorship. He reveals the rich, international heritage of Portugal's metropolis―the gateway to the Atlantic and the unrivalled Queen of the Sea.

Bosnia: A Short History


Noel Malcolm - 1994
    Malcolm examines the different religious and ethnic inhabitants of Bosnia, a land of vast cultural upheaval where the empires of Rome, Charlemagne, the Ottomans, and the Austro-Hungarians overlapped. Clarifying the various myths that have clouded the modern understanding of Bosnia's past, Malcolm brings to light the true causes of the country's destruction. This expanded edition of Bosnia includes a new epilogue by the author examining the failed Vance-Owen peace plan, the tenuous resolution of the Dayton Accords, and the efforts of the United Nations to keep the uneasy peace. What went wrong in the country where Christians and Muslims mingled and tolerated each other for over five centuries? It was a land with a vibrant political and cultural history, unlike any other in Europe, where great powers and religions-the empires of Rome, Charlemagne, the Ottomans; the faiths of Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Judaism, and Islam overlapped and combined. In this first English-language history of Bosnia, Noel Malcolm provides a narrative chronicle of the country from its beginnings to its tragic end. Clarifying the various myths that have clouded the modern understanding of Bosnia's past, Malcolm brings to light the true causes of the country's destruction: the political strategy of the Serbian leadership, the conflict between the city and the countryside, the fatal inaction and miscalculations of Western politicians. Putting the Bosnia war into perspective, this volume celebrates the complex history of a country whose past, as well as its future, has been all but erased. At last, here is the guide for the general reader seeking a comprehensive and accessible account of the war in the former Yugoslavia. Table of Contents A Note on Names and Pronunciations Maps Introduction 1. Races, myths and origins: Bosnia to 1180 2. The medieval Bosnian state, 1180-1463 3. The Bosnian Church 4. War and the Ottoman system, 1463-1606 5. The Islamicization of Bosnia 6. Serbs and Vlachs 7. War and politics in Ottoman Bosnia, 1606-1815 8. Economic life, culture and society in Ottoman Bosnia, 1606-1815 9. The Jews and the Gypsies of Bosnia 10. Resistance and reform, 1815-1878 11. Bosnia under Austro-Hungarian rule, 1878-1914 12. War and the kingdom: Bosnia 1914-1941 13. Bosnia and the second world war, 1941-1945 14. Bosnia in Titoist Yugoslavia, 1945-1989 15. Bosnia and the death of Yugoslavia: 1989-1992 16. The destruction of Bosnia: 1992-1993 Notes Glossary Bibliography Index

The Puppet Masters: Spies, Traitors and the Real Forces Behind World Events


John Hughes-Wilson - 2004
    From France’s brilliant secret agent transvestite to the infamous Cambridge spy ring, ‘The Puppet Masters’ offers an entertaining and thought-provoking insight into the work – and treacheries – of the spies who shaped history. From the Old Testament’s honey-traps to WWII’s cryptography, from Elizabeth I to Osama bin Laden, the hidden hand of intelligence is exposed behind every critical decision. In this revised and updated edition, John Hughes-Wilson analyses the threat of the globalisation of terrorism and the role of intelligence in fighting the ‘War on Terror’. ‘The Puppet Masters’ provides the essential guide to history, intelligence and war, perfect for either curious layman or expert. “A powerful book… there should be a well-thumbed copy of this book on every general’s bedside table…” – The Spectator “John Hughes-Wilson has a lively pen and an eye for a good anecdote… an enjoyable romp through world history.” – The Sunday Telegraph A former senior intelligence officer, John Hughes-Wilson is an author and broadcaster specialising in military history and intelligence. He has published multiple works, including the best-selling ‘Military Intelligence Blunders’, while acting as a consultant for the United Nations, European Union, and the Ministry of Defence among other organisations. Endeavour Press is the UK's largest independent publisher of digital books.

A Concise History of Bulgaria


R.J. Crampton - 1997
    This concise history traces the country's growth from pre-history, through its days as the center of a powerful medieval empire and five centuries of Ottoman rule, to the political upheavals of the twentieth century which led to three wars. It highlights 1995 to 2004, a vital period during which Bulgaria endured financial meltdown, set itself seriously on the road to reform, elected its former King as prime minister, and finally secured membership in NATO and admission to the European Union. First Edition Hb (1997) 0-521-56183-3 First Edition Pb (1997) 0-521-56719-X

The Low Countries: A History


Anthony Bailey - 2016
    Here, from British historian and New Yorker senior writer Anthony Bailey is the dramatic story of the Low Countries - Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg - from the early days of nomads and barbarian invaders to the birth of towns and cities to the rise and decline of world prominence and finally to the dark and tragic days of World War II.