History & Geography

A Deal With The Devil

5,000.00

In this spellbinding true story, a pair of award-winning CNN investigative journalists track down the mysterious French psychic at the center of an international scam targeting the elderly and emotionally vulnerable, resulting in an exposé of one of the longest running cons in history.

While investigating financial crimes for CNN Money, Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken were intrigued by reports that elderly Americans were giving away thousands of dollars to mail-in schemes. With a little digging, they soon discovered a shocking true story.

Victims received personalized letters from a woman who, claiming amazing psychic powers, convinced them to send money in return for riches, good health, and good fortune. The predatory scam has continued unabated for decades, raking in more than $200 million in the United States and Canada alone—with investigators from all over the world unable to stop it. And at the center of it all—an elusive French psychic named Maria Duval.

Based on the five-part series that originally appeared on CNN’s website in 2016 and was seen by more than three million people, A Deal with the Devil picks up where the series left off as Ellis and Hicken reveal more bizarre characters, follow new leads, close in on Maria Duval, and connect the dots in an edge-of-your-seat journey across the US to England and France. A Deal with the Devil is a fascinating, thrilling search for the truth and is long-form investigative journalism at its best.

A Spy Among Friends

9,500.00

Who was Kim Philby? Those closest to him—like his fellow MI6 officer and best friend since childhood, Nicholas Elliot, and the CIA’s head of counterintelligence, James Jesus Angleton—knew him as a loyal confidant and an unshakeable patriot. Philby was a brilliant and charming man who rose to head Britain’s counterintelligence against the Soviet Union. Together with Elliott and Angleton he stood on the front lines of the Cold War, holding Communism at bay. But he was secretly betraying them both: He was working for the Russians the entire time.

Every word uttered in confidence to Philby by his colleagues in the West made its way to Moscow, leading countless missions to their doom and subverting American and British attempts to subdue the Soviet threat. So how was this cunning double-agent finally exposed? In A Spy Among Friends, Ben Macintyre expertly weaves the heart-pounding tale of how Philby almost got away with it all—and what happened when he was finally unmasked.

Based on personal papers and never-before-seen British intelligence files, this is Ben Macintyre’s epic telling of one of the greatest spy stories ever, a Cold War history that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

A Story of Heroes and Epics: The History of Football in Nigeria

5,000.00

For a country where heroes are hardly celebrated and epic football is almost forgotten, this book takes the reader on an enthralling historical excursion. The most detailed and certainly the best written account of the pre-Independence history of Nigerian football. Wiebe Boer has combined facts and figures with fluid prose in delivering a most engaging narration.

American Sketches

5,000.00

One of America’s most versatile writers, author of bestselling biographies such as Steve Jobs and Benjamin Franklin, has assembled a gallery of portraits of (mostly) Americans that celebreate genius, talent, and versatility, and traces his own education as a writer and biographer.

In this collection of essays, the brilliant, acclaimed biographer Walter Isaacson reflects on lessons to be learned from Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton, and other interesting characters he has chronicled both as biographer and journalist. The people he writes about have an awesome intelligence, but that is not the secret to their success. They had qualities that were even more rare, such as imagination and true curiousity.

Isaacson also reflects on how he became a writer, the lessons he learned from various people he met, and the challenges for journalism in the digital age.

He also offers loving tributes to his hometown of New Orleans, which offers many of the ingredients for a creative culture, and to the Louisiana novelist Walker Percy, who was an early mentor. In an anecdotal and personal way, Isaacson describes the joys of writing and the way that tales about the lives of fascinating people can enlighten our own lives.

Assad Or We Burn The Country

7,000.00

From a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist specializing in the Middle East, this groundbreaking account of the Syrian Civil War reveals the never-before-published true story of a 21st-century humanitarian disaster.

In spring 2011, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad turned to his friend and army commander, Manaf Tlass, for advice about how to respond to Arab Spring-inspired protests. Tlass pushed for conciliation but Assad decided to crush the uprising — an act which would catapult the country into an eight-year long war, killing almost half a million and fueling terrorism and a global refugee crisis.

Assad or We Burn the Country examines Syria’s tragedy through the generational saga of the Assad and Tlass families, once deeply intertwined and now estranged in Bashar’s bloody quest to preserve his father’s inheritance. By drawing on his own reporting experience in Damascus and exclusive interviews with Tlass, Dagher takes readers within palace walls to reveal the family behind the destruction of a country and the chaos of an entire region.

Dagher shows how one of the world’s most vicious police states came to be and explains how a regional conflict extended globally, engulfing the Middle East and pitting the United States and Russia against one another. Timely, propulsive, and expertly reported, Assad or We Burn the Country is the definitive account of this global crisis, going far beyond the news story that has dominated headlines for years.

Beneath the Tamarind Tree

5,000.00

In the early morning of April 14, 2014, the militant Islamic group Boko Haram violently burst into the small town of Chibok, Nigeria, and abducted 276 girls from their school dorm rooms. From poor families, these girls were determined to make better lives for themselves, but pursuing an education made them targets, resulting in one of the most high-profile abductions in modern history. While the Chibok kidnapping made international headlines, and prompted the #BringBackOurGirls movement, many unanswered questions surrounding that fateful night remain about the girls’ experiences in captivity, and where many of them are today.

In Beneath the Tamarind Tree, Isha Sesay tells this story as no one else can. Originally from Sierra Leone, Sesay led CNN’s Africa reporting for more than a decade, and she was on the front lines when this story broke. With unprecedented access to a group of girls who made it home, she follows the journeys of Priscilla, Saa, and Dorcas in an uplifting tale of sisterhood and survival.

Sesay delves into the Nigerian government’s inadequate response to the kidnapping, exposes the hierarchy of how the news gets covered, and synthesizes crucial lessons about global national security. She also reminds us of the personal sacrifice required of journalists to bring us the truth at a time of growing mistrust of the media. Beneath the Tamarind Tree is a gripping read and a story of resilience with a soaring message of hope at its core, reminding us of the ever-present truth that progress for all of us hinges on unleashing the potential of women.

Biafra In The News

10,000.00

Fifty years ago, Nigeria endured a period of violent disturbance leading to the breakaway of the Eastern Region under the name Biafra. The resulting conflict (1967-70) aroused shock and protests around the world because of mass starvation in the war zone. While Britain supplied arms to the federal
Nigerian government, and France to the Biafrans, relief agencies with contributions from countless individuals organized a memorable airlift of food and medicine to the Biafrans’ Uli airstrip.

Jonathan Derrick, then a journalist for the London weekly West Africa, followed these events closely and
recorded the war in the magazine’s news pages, right up to the federal forces’ final victory and the remarkable reconciliation between supporters of Biafra–predominantly Igbo–and other Nigerians. He later worked for some years in Nigeria, and has studied much of the material published on the war
since 1970.

Here, he recounts the history of the conflict as documented in West Africa, referring to later literature on and analysis of the events, which inspired passion at the time and have provoked debate ever since. His account deals with myths, misapprehensions and controversies surrounding the conflict, while recalling the tragic facts of a grim episode in African history.

Black and British: A Forgotten History

7,500.00

In this vital re-examination of a shared history, historian and broadcaster David Olusoga tells the rich and revealing story of the long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa and the Caribbean.

This edition, fully revised and updated, features a new chapter encompassing the Windrush scandal and the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, events which put black British history at the centre of urgent national debate. Black and British is vivid confirmation that black history can no longer be kept separate and marginalised. It is woven into the cultural and economic histories of the nation and it belongs to us all.

Drawing on new genealogical research, original records, and expert testimony, Black and British reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination, Elizabethan ‘blackamoors’ and the global slave-trading empire. It shows that the great industrial boom of the nineteenth century was built on American slavery, and that black Britons fought at Trafalgar and in the trenches of both World Wars. Black British history is woven into the cultural and economic histories of the nation. It is not a singular history, but one that belongs to us all.

Unflinching, confronting taboos, and revealing hitherto unknown scandals, Olusoga describes how the lives of black and white Britons have been entwined for centuries.

Blood And Bronze

11,500.00

The famous Benin Bronzes are among the most prized possessions of the British Museum. Celebrated for their great beauty, they embody the history, myth and artistry of the ancient Kingdom of Benin, once the most powerful in West Africa and now part of Nigeria. But despite their renown, little
has been written about the brutal act of imperial violence through which the Bronzes were plundered.

This incisive new history tells that neglected story: the 1897 British invasion of Benin. Diving into the archives, Blood and Bronze sets the assault on Benin in its late Victorian context. As Britain faced new commercial and strategic pressures on its power elsewhere, it ruthlessly expanded its rule in West Africa. Revealing both the extent of African resistance and previously concealed British outrages, this is a definitive account of the conquest and destruction of Benin. By laying bare the Empire’s true motives and its violent means, Paddy Docherty demolishes any moral claim for Britain retaining the Bronzes, and makes a passionate case for their immediate repatriation to Nigeria.

Bring Back Our Girls

7,500.00

What happens after you click Tweet? The heart-stopping definitive account of the mission to rescue hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls whose abduction ignited a global social media campaign and a dramatic worldwide intervention.

In the spring of 2014, millions of Twitter users, including some of the world’s most famous people, unwittingly helped turn a group of 276 schoolgirls abducted by a little-known Islamist sect into a central prize in the global War on Terror by retweeting a call for their release: #BringBackOurGirls. With just four words, their tweets launched an army of would-be liberators. Soldiers and drones, spies, mercenaries, and glory hunters descended into an obscure conflict that few understood, in a remote part of Nigeria that had barely begun to use the internet.

When hostage talks and military intervention failed, the schoolgirls were forced to take survival into their own hands. As their days in captivity dragged into years, the young women learned to withstand hunger, disease, and torment, and became witnesses and victims of unspeakable brutality. Many of the girls were Christians who refused to take the one path offered them—converting to their captors’ fundamentalist creed. In secret, they sang hymns, and kept a diary, relying on their faith and friendships to stay alive.

Bring Back Our Girls unfolds across four continents, from the remote forests of northern Nigeria to the White House; from clandestine meetings in Khartoum safe houses to century-old luxury hotels on picturesque lakes in the Swiss Alps. A twenty-first century story that plumbs the promise and peril of an era whose politics are fueled by the power of hashtag advocacy, this urgent and engrossing work of investigative journalism reveals the unpredictable interconnectedness of our butterfly-wings world, where a few days of online activism can bring years of offline consequences for people continents away.

Capitalism In America

10,000.00

From even the start of his fabled career, Alan Greenspan was duly famous for his deep understanding of even the most arcane corners of the American economy, and his restless curiosity to know even more. To the extent possible, he has made a science of understanding how the US economy works almost as a living organism–how it grows and changes, surges and stalls. He has made a particular study of the question of productivity growth, at the heart of which is the riddle of innovation. Where does innovation come from, and how does it spread through a society? And why do some eras see the fruits of innovation spread more democratically, and others, including our own, see the opposite?

In Capitalism in America, Greenspan distills a lifetime of grappling with these questions into a thrilling and profound master reckoning with the decisive drivers of the US economy over the course of its history. In partnership with the celebrated Economist journalist and historian Adrian Wooldridge, he unfolds a tale involving vast landscapes, titanic figures, triumphant breakthroughs, enlightenment ideals as well as terrible moral failings. Every crucial debate is here–from the role of slavery in the antebellum Southern economy to the real impact of FDR’s New Deal to America’s violent mood swings in its openness to global trade and its impact. But to read Capitalism in America is above all to be stirred deeply by the extraordinary productive energies unleashed by millions of ordinary Americans that have driven this country to unprecedented heights of power and prosperity.

At heart, the authors argue, America’s genius has been its unique tolerance for the effects of creative destruction, the ceaseless churn of the old giving way to the new, driven by new people and new ideas. Often messy and painful, creative destruction has also lifted almost all Americans to standards of living unimaginable to even the wealthiest citizens of the world a few generations past. A sense of justice and human decency demands that those who bear the brunt of the pain of change be protected, but America has always accepted more pain for more gain, and its vaunted rise cannot otherwise be understood, or its challenges faced, without recognizing this legacy. For now, in our time, productivity growth has stalled again, stirring up the populist furies. There’s no better moment to apply the lessons of history to the most pressing question we face, that of whether the United States will preserve its preeminence, or see its leadership pass to other, inevitably less democratic powers.

China Syndrome

6,000.00

When the SARS virus broke out in China in January 2003, Karl Taro Greenfeld was the editor of Time Asia in Hong Kong, just a few miles from the epicenter of the outbreak. After vague, initial reports of terrified Chinese boiling vinegar to “purify” the air, Greenfeld and his staff soon found themselves immersed in the story of a lifetime.

Deftly tracking a mysterious viral killer from the bedside of one of the first victims to China’s overwhelmed hospital wards—from cutting-edge labs where researchers struggle to identify the virus to the war rooms at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva—China Syndrome takes readers on a gripping ride that blows through the Chinese government’s effort to cover up the disease . . . and sounds a clarion call warning of a catastrophe to come: a great viral storm potentially more deadly than any respiratory disease since the influenza of 1918.

Chinese Spies

10,500.00

In 1920s Shanghai, Zhou Enlai founded the first Chinese communist spy network, operating in the shadows against nationalists, Western powers and the Japanese. The story of Chinese spies has been a global one from the start.

Unearthing previously unseen papers and interviewing countless insiders, Roger Faligot’s astonishing account reveals nothing less than a century of world events shaped by Chinese spies. Working as scientists, journalists, diplomats, foreign students and businessmen, they’ve been everywhere, from Stalin’s purges to 9/11 to Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. This murky world has swept up Ho Chi Minh, the Clintons and everyone in between, with the action moving from Cambodia to Cambridge, and from the Australian outback to the centres of Western power.

This fascinating narrative exposes the sprawling tentacles of the world’s largest intelligence service, from the very birth of communist China to Xi Jinping’s absolute rule today.

Christianity: A Global History

8,000.00

David Chidester, one of the world’s foremost scholars of religion, traces Christianity’s growth and development from the time of Jesus to the dawn of the third millennium, revealing its rich diversity through the deeds and beliefs of heretics and saints, witches and healers, preachers and inquisitors. Chidester explores the emergence of the major streams of Christian thought and practice, distilling the cultural history of the Church and its impact on the world into this superbly readable book. Alongside this broad panorama is a richly human story that the author brilliantly encapsulates in incisive character sketches and historical vignettes.

Christianity, in all its many facets, has been and continues to be one of the most influential forces in history. Chidester shows that this religion, with its roots deep in the ancient world, has always been in a constant state of evolution, affecting and affected by the religions and societies around it. At times Christianity has coexisted peacefully with other forms of belief, exchanging ideas and practices with them. At other times profound, even violent, conflict has arisen. In this book David Chidester intelligently and objectively portrays Christians in different times and places, as a minority and as the majority group, a religion both absorbing and resisting the world around it.

Christianity reveals the religion as it was and is lived in the life of everyday people rather than focusing on the dry dogmas and beliefs that fill most histories. Chidester’s accomplishment is to capture the complexity and grand sweep of this story in one remarkable volume that is destined to take its place as a classic of religious history.

Cleopatra

8,000.00

Our world today would not be the same without Cleopatra. While she is one of the most famous figures in history, the legendary Egyptian queen remains, in many ways, an enigma. In this mesmerizing history, Alberto Angela offers a fresh and dynamic portrait of this extraordinary ruler, revealing a strikingly modern woman born in an ancient era and skilled in the art of diplomacy and war, who would conquer the heart of a general—Marc Antony—and Rome itself.

Cleopatra focuses on a twenty-year period that marked a sweeping change in Roman history, beginning with the assassination of Julius Caesar that led to the end of the Republic, and ending with the suicides of Antony and Cleopatra and the birth of the Augustan Empire. Angela brings the people, stories, customs, and traditions of this fascinating period alive as he transports us to the chaotic streets of the capital of the ancient world, the exotic port of Alexandria in Egypt, and to the bloody battlefields where an empire was won and lost.

Meticulously researched and rich with vivid detail, this sweeping history, reminiscent of the works of Simon Schama, Mary Beard’s SPQR, and Tom Holland’s Rubicon, recreates this remarkable era and the woman at its turbulent center.

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