Monday, July 20, 2009

Coming Soon - The Most Dangerous Enemy

Almost seventy years since Spitfires, Merlins and Hurricanes fought to protect Britain’s skies, it is surprising how little is publicly known about the Battle of Britain. Many people may not even be aware that the RAF’s triumph in this battle was integral in saving our country from German invasion in the Second World War. What collective memory exists at all undoubtedly features a soaring Spitfire as the hero of this epic battle, with little more detail than the faint sound of air-raid sirens. However, in the 1980s and 90s, scholars began to counter this image, publishing works which devalued Churchill’s leadership and the quality of the Spitfire’s engineering. Not sure who to believe, Stephen Bungay set out to discover the truth behind these myths. The Most Dangerous Enemy: A History of the Battle of Britain contains his surprising revelations. The book brings to light stories of first-hand experience, compiled from extensive research and interviews, one of which reveals how oblivious some fighter pilots were about the significance of their actions. Outnumbered, and with little previous experience of air warfare, it appears that British pilots managed an astounding victory.

The Most Dangerous Enemy has been described as “the most exhaustive and detailed account of the Battle of Britain”, but the book is far from an alienating history textbook. Bungay manages to make an event over sixty-nine years old accessible to a modern reader by establishing the background to the battle without patronising the knowledgeable or veering into dull statistics. We learn how the Battle of Britain may not have happened, had Churchill not have been elected as Prime Minister, and how Churchill’s military confidence and sense of moral obligation stood alone against government and public calls for peace.

For the avid historian there is still much to learn about the Battle of Britain, and Bungay weaves his newfound knowledge into an exciting and compelling narrative. This is a thoroughly readable account of one of the most important battles in British history, finally providing a comprehensive and thoughtful insight into our country’s past.

The Most Dangerous Enemy: A History of the Battle of Britain by Stephen Bungay will be available from August in paperback at £8.79

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Try Something Different This Holiday...

Janie Hamilton’s The Austerity Olympics and Paddy Ashdown’s A Fortunate Life proved their success last weekend when they were named as two of the ‘100 Best Holiday Reads’ in The Sunday Times. Hamilton’s book was heralded as “a delightful jog through the trials and tribulations of putting the 1948 games together on a shoestring”, whilst the former leader of the Liberal Democrats was praised for his “action-packed reminiscences”. Why not pack one of these inspiring reads in your suitcase this summer?

Read the full list at this address:

The Real Story of The Clash - Out Now

Released for the 30th anniversary of their classic album, ‘London Calling’, Pat Gilbert’s revised edition of Passion is a Fashion: The Real Story of The Clash sheds light on the hidden personalities which made up one of the most influential punk-rock bands of the 70s and 80s. Gilbert draws on MOJO archives and interviews with friends, producers and the boys themselves to reveal what really went on behind the music. From steps taken to invent the band’s iconic image to the dampening of their rebellious spirit after signing on with CBS, we learn what led to the band’s eventual separation and legacy. Gilbert’s personal quest for knowledge delivers plenty of new material in this definitive biography, but what truly separates Passion is a Fashion from the many other books written about The Clash is the real sense of an emotional connection between the author and his material. Gilbert’s own passion for the band inspired his research and this ardour is evident in his writing, making this a must-read for any music-lover.

Passion is a Fashion: The Real Story of The Clash is available now in paperback from £7.99