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Search Results for: burning the books

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Burning the Books: RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK

Burning the Books: RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK

‘Burning the Books is fascinating, thought-provoking and very timely. No one should keep quiet about this library history’ IAN HISLOP

Opening with the notorious bonfires of ‘un-German’ and Jewish literature in 1933 that offered such a clear signal of Nazi intentions, Burning the Books takes us on a 3000-year journey through the destruction of knowledge and the fight against all the odds to preserve it.

Richard Ovenden, director of the world-famous Bodleian Library, explains how attacks on libraries and archives have been a feature of history since ancient times but have increased in frequency and intensity during the modern era. Libraries are far more than stores of literature, through preserving the legal documents such as Magna Carta and records of citizenship, they also support the rule of law and the rights of citizens. Today, the knowledge they hold on behalf of society is under attack as never before. In this fascinating book, he explores everything from what really happened to the Great Library of Alexandria to the Windrush papers, from Donald Trump’s deleting embarrassing tweets to John Murray’s burning of Byron’s memoirs in the name of censorship.

At once a powerful history of civilisation and a manifesto for the vital importance of physical libraries in our increasingly digital age, Burning the Books is also a very human story animated by an unlikely cast of adventurers, self-taught archaeologists, poets, freedom-fighters — and, of course, librarians and the heroic lengths they will go to preserve and rescue knowledge, ensuring that civilisation survives. From the rediscovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the desert, hidden from the Romans and lost for almost 2000 years to the medieval manuscript that inspired William Morris, the knowledge of the past still has so many valuable lessons to teach us and we ignore it at our peril.
The Journey to the Mayflower

The Journey to the Mayflower

‘Wonderfully learned, wonderfully written, a microscopic examination of the acorn from which a truly mighty oak would spring. I learnt a huge amount.’ – Tom Holland, author of Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind

2020 sees the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower – the ship that took the Pilgrim Fathers to the New World. It’s a foundational event in American history, but it began as an English story, which pioneered the idea of religious freedom.

The illegal underground movement of Protestant separatists from Elizabeth I’s Church of England is a story of subterfuge and danger, arrests and interrogations, prison and executions. It starts with Queen Mary’s attempts to burn Protestantism out of England, which created a Protestant underground. Later, when Elizabeth’s Protestant reformation didn’t go far enough, radicals recreated that underground, meeting illegally throughout England, facing prison and death for their crimes. They went into exile in the Netherlands, where they lived in poverty – and finally the New World.

Stephen Tomkins tells this fascinating story – one that is rarely told as an important piece of English, as well as American, history – that is full of contemporary relevance: religious violence, the threat to national security, freedom of religion and tolerance of dangerous opinions.

This is a must-read book for anyone interested in the untold story of how the Mayflower came to be launched.

‘A rattling good read’ – The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu
Burn The Business Plan

Burn The Business Plan

How would you like to get business startup advice straight from the man who co-founded Global Entrepreneurship Week and StartUp America? Well now you can.

Carl Schramm, the man described by The Economist as ‘The Evangelist of Entrepreneurship’, has written a myth-busting guide packed with tools and techniques to help you get your big idea off the ground.

Carl believes that entrepreneurship has been completely misrepresented by the media, business books, university programmes and MBA courses. He believes that the perception of what it takes to start a business no longer matches the reality – which is bad news for everyone because it stops great ideas coming to life.

Burn the Business Plan punctures the myth of the cool, tech-savvy 20-something entrepreneur with nothing to lose and venture capital to burn, showing that most people who start businesses are juggling careers and mortgages just like you.

Burn the Business Plan is written to encourage you to get started. It demystifies the entrepreneurial process portrayed on television shows like Dragon’s Den. It doesn’t rely on largely irrelevant stories of overvalued tech startups, nor does it build on the largely mistaken narrative of a linear path from cold start to great success that is the essence of business planning, as taught in universities. This is the guide to starting and running a business that will actually work for the rest of us.

Burn the Business Plan is for regular people who just want practical, real-world advice on how to start and run a successful business. It shows you how to avoid the common mistakes and what you need to do to put your enterprise on track for success.
Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

Hugely enjoyable– Spectator
A lucid, elegantly written and thought-provoking social and intellectual history– Evening Standard
As a historian trying to put Darwin in the context of his time, there is surely no better biographer than Wilson’ – The Times
‘A work of scholarship that is hard to put down’Deborah Cadbury

Charles Darwin: the man who discovered evolution? The man who killed off God? Or a flawed man of his age, part genius, part ruthless careerist who would not acknowledge his debts to other thinkers?

In this bold new life – the first single volume biography in twenty-five years – A. N. Wilson, the acclaimed author of The Victorians and God’s Funeral, goes in search of the celebrated but contradictory figure Charles Darwin.

Darwin was described by his friend and champion, Thomas Huxley, as a ‘symbol’. But what did he symbolize? In Wilson’s portrait, both sympathetic and critical, Darwin was two men. On the one hand, he was a naturalist of genius, a patient and precise collector and curator who greatly expanded the possibilities of taxonomy and geology. On the other hand, Darwin, a seemingly diffident man who appeared gentle and even lazy, hid a burning ambition to be a universal genius. He longed to have a theory which explained everything.

But was Darwin’s 1859 master work, On the Origin of Species, really what it seemed, a work about natural history? Or was it in fact a consolation myth for the Victorian middle classes, reassuring them that the selfishness and indifference to the poor were part of nature’s grand plan?

Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker is a radical reappraisal of one of the great Victorians, a book which isn’t afraid to challenge the Darwinian orthodoxy while bringing us closer to the man, his revolutionary idea and the wider Victorian age.
The Chambers Dictionary of Great Quotations

The Chambers Dictionary of Great Quotations

With over 25,000 quotations from over 4,000 sources, The Chambers Dictionary of Great Quotations is the category-leading quotations dictionary
Welcome to a treasure trove of the wittiest, most insightful, most famous and most important words uttered in history. With more quotes than any other quotations dictionary, from more sources, with better international coverage and full author biographies rather than just a brief line, The Chambers Dictionary of Great Quotations is the only book you need.

This new edition brings things right up to date with thousands of new quotations right up to 2015, mixing old favourites and new sources such as Barack Obama, Bradley Wiggins, Kurt Vonnegut, Arsene Wenger, Richard Dawkins, Seamus Heaney, Pope Francis and of course, 50 Cent.

This is a browser’s paradise stretching from ancient times to the present day. Entries are arranged alphabetically by author, starting with Diane Abbot’s description of the United Kingdom’s Parliament as ‘a nightmare of elderly white males’ and finishing with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg telling us to ‘move fast and break things’. Between those two extremes are just under 1000 pages of quotations, followed by a 350 page keyword index, so you can locate a quote even if you can only remember a single word or phrase.

As well as literary quotations from important authors past and present this collection contains quotations from writers, critics, politicians and journalists. We have sought out memorable phrases from scientists, industrialists, entertainers, sportspeople, and many more, to reflect the diversity of modern life. And just as the world has changed since the last edition of this dictionary, so many of the hundreds of new quotations reflect these changes, and important global and local events.

The Chambers Dictionary of Great Quotations includes quotations from over 4,000 sources, including: Jonathan Aitken, Woody Allen, Giorgio Armani, David Beckham, The Bible, Tony Blair, Don Bradman, Robert Burns, George W Bush, Catullus, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Brian Clough, Jarvis Cocker, Simone de Beauvoir, Charles Dickens, Tracey Emin, E M Forster, Stephen Fry, Joseph Heller, Charlton Heston, John Humphrys, Joan of Arc, Elton John, The Koran, Mao Zedong, George Melly, George Michael, Jo Moore, Andrew Motion, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sylvia Plath, Plato, Will Self, William Shakespeare, Stevie Smith, Kevin Spacey, Quentin Tarantino, Margaret Thatcher, Queen Victoria, Gore Vidal, Oscar Wilde, Michael Winner, Emile Zola and many more.

If you’ve ever struggled with a half-remembered line or you’ve got a quote in your head and don’t know where it comes from, this is the book for you.

‘A fresh and lively collection… first-class’ Sunday Times

‘A wonderful volume… full of goodies’ Irish Independent

‘Chambers is the one I keep at my right hand’ Philip Pullman
Granada

Granada

AN INDEPENDENT TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR
A TELEGRAPH TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR

Yearning for a change, Steven Nightingale took his family to live in the ancient Andalucian city of Granada. But as he journeyed through its hidden courtyards, scented gardens and sun-warmed plazas, Steven discovered that Granada’s present cannot be separated from its past, and began an eight-year quest to discover more.

Where once Christians, Muslims and Jews lived peacefully together and the arts and sciences flourished, Granada also witnessed brutality: places of worship razed to the ground, books burned, massacre and anarchy. In the 1600s the once-populous city was reduced to 6,000 who lived among rubble. In the next three centuries, the deterioration worsened, and the city became a refuge for anarchists; then during the Spanish Civil War, fascism took hold.

Literary and sensual, Steven Nightingale produces a portrait of a now-thriving city and the joy he discovered there, revealing the resilience and kindness of its people, the resonance of its gardens and architecture and the cyclical nature of darkness and light in the history of Andalucia. At once personal and far-reaching, Granada is an epic journey through the soul of this most iconic of cities.
Following A Lark

Following A Lark

A country boy creeps unwillingly to school on a lark-filled summer morning. Norse crusaders, preparing to sail on Earl Rognvald’s crusade in 1151 break into the burial chamber at Maeshowe seeking treasure, and cut runes in its massive stones. And the famous Iceland poet Thorbjorn leaves his farm to join the group of poets whose lyrics stud like gems that famous pilgrimage. The ancient northern ceremonies of solstice and equinox, Easter and Yule, are brought to vivid life in the poems collected in this book, and so also are some of the holidays of the Christian calender.

The cycle of seasons is more noticeable in the north, especially perhaps winter, the time of story-telling and music. There are tributes to the great poet of winter, Robert Burns, and a celebration of the Irish veteran of the Peninsular War who founded a tavern in Orkney in 1821. The life of an islander is ‘sweetly compacted’ in The Laird and the Three Women.
A Lovely Way to Burn

A Lovely Way to Burn

As heard on BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime

It doesn’t look like murder in a city full of death.

A pandemic called ‘The Sweats’ is sweeping the globe. London is a city in crisis. Hospitals begin to fill with the dead and dying, but Stevie Flint is convinced that the sudden death of her boyfriend Dr Simon Sharkey was not from natural causes. As roads out of London become gridlocked with people fleeing infection, Stevie’s search for Simon’s killers takes her in the opposite direction, into the depths of the dying city and a race with death.

A Lovely Way to Burn is the first outbreak in the Plague Times trilogy. Chilling, tense and completely compelling, it’s Louise Welsh writing at the height of her powers.
When Britain Burned the White House

When Britain Burned the White House

As heard on BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week.

Shortlisted for the Paddy Power Political History Book of the Year Award 2014.

In August 1814 the United States’ army is defeated in battle by an invading force just outside Washington DC. The US president and his wife have just enough time to pack their belongings and escape from the White House before the enemy enters. The invaders tuck into the dinner they find still sitting on the dining-room table and then set fire to the place.

9/11 was not the first time the heartland of the United States was struck a devastating blow by outsiders. Two centuries earlier, Britain – now America’s close friend, then its bitterest enemy – set Washington ablaze before turning its sights to Baltimore.

In his compelling narrative style, Peter Snow recounts the fast-changing fortunes of both sides of this extraordinary confrontation, the outcome of which inspired the writing of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’, America’s national anthem. Using a wealth of material including eyewitness accounts, he also describes the colourful personalities on both sides of these spectacular events: Britain’s fiery Admiral Cockburn, the cautious but immensely popular army commander Robert Ross, and sharp-eyed diarists James Scott and George Gleig. On the American side: beleaguered President James Madison, whose young nation is fighting the world’s foremost military power, his wife Dolley, a model of courage and determination, military heroes such as Joshua Barney and Sam Smith, and flawed incompetents like Army Chief William Winder and War Secretary John Armstrong.

When Britain Burned the White House highlights this unparalleled moment in American history, its far-reaching consequences for both sides and Britain’s and America’s decision never again to fight each other.
One Holy Fire

One Holy Fire

Haunted by the fear that we have not allowed the Holy Spirit to burn to his full potential, Nicky Cruz has written an astonishing testimony to the Spirit’s power and world-changing potential. He shares incredible stories from his own life over the last 30 years. Stories of physical, emotional and spiritual healing; of masses coming to salvation in Jesus Christ; of hand-to-hand spiritual warfare; and of the supernatural provision and presence of God’s Spirit in every area of his life and ministry.



ONE HOLY FIRE is a book to re-ignite your soul from the author of the phenomenal best-seller RUN BABY RUN.
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  • Stephen Tomkins
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