Britain Begins - Barry Cunliffe

What was England like before there was even an English language? The sweeping narrative of Britain Begins (Oxford Univ., $45) takes us from the earliest moments of unsettled, rolling hills up to the point where the Norman conquest gave birth to the language of Chaucer. As an archeologist and Oxford professor Emeritus, Barry Cunliffe is well prepared to delve as far back as DNA evidence, oral history, and a clear mind can reach. Most fascinating in his telling are the scientific and cultural roots of the myths we associate with inherent Britishness, such as King Arthur. Cunliffe also illustrates how hunter-gatherers, Celts, Vikings, and Romans influenced and were themselves changed by the magnificent green islands.

Britain Begins By Barry Cunliffe Cover Image
ISBN: 9780199679454
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - January 1st, 2014

Victorian Bloomsbury - Rosemary Ashton

Virginia Woolf may have put Bloomsbury into the minds of every student to take an interest in modernism, but she didn’t create that world. The London neighborhood long boasted of bright, artistic folk, and Rosemary Ashton’s Victorian Bloomsbury (Yale Univ., $40) gives context to a subculture that has too long been relegated to a footnote. From Charles Dickens to Mary Ward, from secular humanism to poor houses, Victorian Bloomsbury was filled to bursting with characters, idealisms, and clashing classes that could make any hardened modernist blush. Every history buff or Anglophile will enjoy perusing Ashton’s well-researched, flowing narrative of the high life and those who sought emancipation from small minds.
Victorian Bloomsbury By Rosemary Ashton Cover Image
ISBN: 9780300154474
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Yale University Press - November 13th, 2012

The File: A Personal History - Timothy Garton Ash

After taking his degree at Oxford, Timothy Garton Ash went to Cold War Berlin to study German resistance to the Nazism. As he lived and traveled behind the Iron Curtain, he recorded the personal and intellectual intensity of his youth at the hinge of history. The Stasi, the East German secret police, also watched and took notes. After the wall fell, the Stasi files were opened, revealing in every detail a scheme of social control both insidiously malign and grimly bureaucratic. Garton Ash tracks down and interviews those who tracked and informed on him—out of fear, cupidity, ideological conviction and a preference for the path of least resistance. What emerges is a portrait of an ineluctably compromised society. The File's remarkable admixture of deep political erudition, engagé directness and pellucid style marks Garton Ash as a worthy heir to George Orwell and Isaiah Berlin.

The File: A Personal History By Timothy Garton Ash Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679777854
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Vintage - September 29th, 1998