The best history books of 2017

27 November 2017

By Pan Macmillan

A round-up of the best history books of 2017, from Ken Follett to Andrew Marr and Tudor England to revolutionary Russia.

Non-fiction

The Last of the Tsars

The Last of the Tsars

A riveting account of the final eighteen months of the life and reign of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of All the Russias, as well as a compelling account of Russia in the aftermath of Alexander Kerensky's February Revolution, the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917 and the beginnings of Lenin's Soviet republic.

Available now in Hardback and Ebook formats. 

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Truevine

Truevine

The extraordinary story of two brothers from the American South who were stolen away to become circus freaks and their distraught mother’s twenty-eight year struggle to get them back.

Available now in Hardback and Ebook formats. 

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The Burning Time

The Burning Time

A vivid account of the men and women who were burned at the stake for heresy by the Tudor monarchs at London's Smithfield.

The Burning Time tells the true story behind some of the key players in C. J. Sansom's Shardlake novels and Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies

Available now in Hardback and Ebook formats. 

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A History of Modern Britain

A History of Modern Britain

A brand new 10th anniversary edition of Andrew Marr's acclaimed Sunday Times number one bestseller, updated with an extensive new chapter taking readers from Blair to Brexit.

Available now in Paperback, Ebook and as an Audio download. 

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The Women Who Flew for Hitler

The Women Who Flew for Hitler

Hanna Reitsch and Melitta von Stauffenberg were talented, courageous women who fought convention to make their names in the male-dominated field of flight in 1930s Germany. With the war, both became pioneering test pilots and both were awarded the Iron Cross for service to the Third Reich. But they could not have been more different and neither woman had a good word to say for the other. 

In The Women Who Flew For Hitler, biographer Clare Mulley gets under the skin of these two distinctive and unconventional women, against a changing backdrop of the 1936 Olympics, the Eastern Front, the Berlin Air Club, and Hitler's bunker.  

Available now in Hardback and Ebook formats. 

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The King's Assassin

The King's Assassin

The rise of George Villiers from minor gentry to royal power seemed to defy gravity. Becoming gentleman of the royal bedchamber in 1615, the young gallant enraptured James, Britain’s first Stuart king, royal adoration reaching such an intensity that the king declared he wanted the courtier to become his ‘wife’. For a decade, Villiers was at the king’s side – at court, on state occasions and in bed, right up to James’s death in March 1625. The King’s Assassin is the scandalous story of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, lover – and murderer – of King James I.

Available now in Hardback and Ebook formats.

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The Trial of Adolf Hitler

The Trial of Adolf Hitler

On the evening of November 8, 1923, the thirty-four-year-old Adolf Hitler stormed into a beer hall in Munich, fired his pistol in the air, and proclaimed a revolution. Seventeen hours later, all that remained of his bold move was a trail of destruction. Hitler was on the run from the police. His career seemed to be over.

In The Trial of Adolf Hitler historian David King tells the true story of how Hitler transformed the fiasco of the beer hall putsch into a stunning victory for the fledgling Nazi Party - and a haunting failure of justice with catastrophic consequences.

Available now in Hardback and Ebook formats. 

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The Darkening Age

The Darkening Age

A Sunday Telegraph History Book of the Year for 2017

Classicist and journalist Catherine Nixey’s debut book tells the largely unknown story of how the rise of Christianity attacked and suppressed vast swathes of classical literature, ushering in centuries of unquestioning adherence to 'one true faith'. 

Available now in Hardback and Ebook.

 

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India After Gandhi

India After Gandhi

Born against a background of privation and civil war, divided along lines of caste, class, language and religion, independent India emerged, somehow, as a united and democratic country. Ramachandra Guha’s hugely acclaimed book tells the full story – the pain and the struggle, the humiliations and the glories – of the world’s largest and least likely democracy.

Massively researched and elegantly written, India After Gandhi is a remarkable account of India’s rebirth, and a work already hailed as a masterpiece of single volume history. This tenth anniversary edition, published to coincide with seventy years of India’s independence, is revised and expanded to bring the narrative up to the present.

Available now in Paperback and Ebook formats. 

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Black and British

Black and British

Winner of the 2017 PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize

In Black and British, award-winning historian and broadcaster David Olusoga offers readers a rich and revealing exploration of the extraordinarily long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa. Drawing on new genetic and genealogical research, original records, expert testimony and contemporary interviews, Black and British reaches back to Roman times and to the present, and modern Britain, showing how black British history is woven into the cultural, social and economic histories of the nation.

Black and British is published in paperback, ebook and audiobook now. 

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The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

In a forensic examination of the world we now live in, acclaimed historian Michael Burleigh sets out to answer: are we living in the best, or the worst of times? Who could have imagined that China would champion globalization and lead the battle on climate change? Or that post-Soviet Russia might present a greater threat to the world’s stability than ISIS? And while we may be on the cusp of still more dramatic change, perhaps the risks will – in time – bring not only change but a wholly positive transformation.

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times is available in hardback and ebook now. 

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  Fiction

The Confessions of Young Nero

The Confessions of Young Nero

The first book in a new series, The Confessions of Young Nero is the story of a boy's ruthless ascension to the throne.Impeccably researched and written in captivating prose, bestseller Margaret George’s first book in five years tell the tales of Nero's journey from innocent youth to infamous ruler,  an epic tale of the lengths to which man will go in the ultimate quest for power and survival.

Available now in Hardback and Ebook formats. 

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The Children of Jocasta

The Children of Jocasta

Natalie Haynes reimagines the Oedipus and Antigone stories from the perspectives of two of the women who have often been overlooked; retelling the myth to reveal a new side of an ancient story.


Available now in Hardback and Ebook formats. 

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The Conqueror's Queen

The Conqueror's Queen

The final novel in Joanna Courtney’s The Queens of the Conquest trilogy, which tells the story of The Battle of Hastings from the perspective of the three, often forgotten, queens, Edyth, Elizaveta and Matilda.

Available now in Hardback and Ebook formats. 

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A Column of Fire

A Column of Fire

Ken Follett's saga that has enthralled the millions of readers of The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End now continues with Ken Follett's magnificent, gripping A Column of Fire.

Christmas 1558, and young Ned Willard returns home to Kingsbridge to find his world has changed. The ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn by religious hatred. Europe is in turmoil as high principles clash bloodily with friendship, loyalty and love. 

Then Elizabeth Tudor becomes queen and all of Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country’s first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions and invasion plans. Elizabeth knows that alluring, headstrong Mary Queen of Scots lies in wait in Paris. Part of a brutally ambitious French family, Mary has been proclaimed the rightful ruler of England, with her own supporters scheming to get rid of the new queen.

Available now in Hardback, ebook and audiobook now. 
 

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