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History

On 8 February 1421 the largest fleet the world had ever seen sailed from its base in China. The ships, 500 foot long junks made from the finest teak and mahogany, were led by Emperor Zhu Di's loyal eunuch admirals. Their mission was 'to proceed all the way to the end of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond ... read more

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The classic international bestseller - a marvellously exciting and stimulating look at the emergence and development of Western civilisation Kenneth Clark's sweeping narrative looks at how Western Europe evolved in the wake of the collapse of the Roman Empire, to produce the ideas, books, buildings, works of art and great ind... read more

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In 1963 John Profumo, the British Secretary of State for War, was revealed as the lover of a teenage model, Christine Keeler, who was also the mistress of Yevgeny Ivanov, a naval attach at the embassy of the Soviet Union and reputedly a Russian spy. The ensuing investigation into what became known as the Profumo Affair uncove... read more

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Eavesdropping on Jane Austen's England explores the real England of Jane Austen's lifetime. It was a troubled period, with disturbing changes in industry and agriculture and a constant dread of invasion and revolution. The comfortable, tranquil country of her fiction is a complete contrast to the England in which she actually... read more

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In the sixteenth century, Spanish conquistadors discovered the New World. The vast quantities of gold and silver would make their country rich, yet the new wealth, which was plunged into multiple wars, would eventually lead to the economic ruin of their empire. Here, historian and politician Kwasi Kwarteng shows that this mom... read more

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In *The Divide*, Matt Taibbi - the scourge of America's financial plutocrats - takes on his most important story yet. Written with forensic zeal and righteous rage, this is an exploration of an unprecedented wealth gap that is not just changing the US's economic life, but transforming the meaning of rights, justice, and basic... read more

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"The time has come now," Abraham Lincoln told his cabinet as he presented the preliminary draft of a "Proclamation of Emancipation." Lincoln's effort to end slavery has been controversial from its inception-when it was denounced by some as an unconstitutional usurpation and by others as an inadequate half-measure-up to the pr... read more

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Over the last decade, the center of world power has been quietly shifting from Europe to Asia. With oil reserves of several billion barrels, an estimated nine hundred trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and several centuries' worth of competing territorial claims, the South China Sea in particular is a simmering pot of potent... read more

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In the months following his resignation as PM in late August 1941, Menzies swayed between relief at his release from the burdens of office as PM and despair that his life at the top had come to so little. Many followers of Australian political history, including Liberal party supporters, forget that Robert Menzies had many ye... read more

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Books of speeches are rarely published as a compendium of work by one person. After Words is unique in Australian publishing by virtue of its scale and range of subjects, and that all the speeches are the work of one eye and one mind: former Prime Minister Paul Keating. Each speech has been conceptualised, contextualised and ... read more

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'At its core, The Black War is a story about two peoples who just wanted to be free of each other...sooner or later Europeans and Aborigines were bound to clash, but it was Tasmania's unique circumstances that turned this encounter into a 'war of extermination'.' Between 1825 and 1831 close to 200 Britons and 1000 Aborigines ... read more

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In November 1941 HMAS Sydney, the pride of Australia's wartime fleet, and its crew of 645 disappeared without a trace off the Western Australian coast. All that was known was Sydney had come under fire from the German raider HSK Kormoran, which also sank. After numerous unsuccessful searches from the mid 1970s onwards, the Fi... read more

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This is the colourful, salacious and sumptuously illustrated story of Covent Garden - the creative heart of Georgian London - from Wolfson Prize-winning author Vic Gatrell. It is shortlisted for the hessell tiltman prize 2014. In the teeming, disordered, and sexually charged square half-mile centred on London's Covent Garden ... read more

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How a seven-year cycle of rain, cold, disease, and warfare created the worst famine in European history In May 1315, it started to rain. It didn't stop anywhere in north Europe until August. Next came the four coldest winters in a millennium. Two separate animal epidemics killed nearly 80 percent of northern Europe's livesto... read more

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This is the incredible rise and unbelievable fall of a woman whose energy and ambition is often overshadowed by Napoleon's military might. In this triumphant biography, Kate Williams tells Josephine's searing story, of sexual obsession, politics and surviving as a woman in a man's world. Abandoned in Paris by her aristocratic... read more

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From the author of the award-winning White Fever, Kolyma Diaries is an excursion into one of the world's last remaining badlands, a place full of Gulag ghosts and living wrecks. All along the 2000 kilometres of the Kolyma highway, Bader is plied with vodka. He hears mesmerizing, sometimes devastating, tales of the journeys th... read more

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During 2010-11, Stephen Mills conducted on-the-record interviews with every living national campaign director of the two major political parties. Their experience covers the 15 federal election campaigns from 1974 to the present day. Built around ten critical moments in Australian electoral history, The Professionals traces t... read more

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As good as it gets in Australian politics. That is how the Hawke -Keating Government is now widely regarded. But how did this highly able, ambitious, strong-willed collective work through its crises and rivalries, and achieve what it did? Gareth Evans's diary, written in the mid-1980s and published now for the first time, is ... read more

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By turns heart-warming and poignant, the story of an Australian farm boy who carved a military career encompassing service in two international wars.

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Few years can justly be said to have transformed the earth: 1914 did. In July that year, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Britain and France were poised to plunge the world into a war that would kill or wound 37 million people, tear down the fabric of society, uproot ancient political systems and set the course for the blood... read more

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