Nagasaki: Life after Nuclear War
The searing account of five teenage hibakusha ("explosion-affected people"): how they survived the atom bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki in 1945, and the terrible price they paid in the aftermath of the war.
Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles
A great and terrible story of a battle that was fought 200 years ago, told with energy and clarity by a writer who has a deep understanding of men in combat and why they do what they do. "Waterloo" proves that Bernard Cornwell's non-fiction is as fine as his novels, if not finer.
The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East
How a multinational Muslim empire was destroyed by the first world war, by a historian of the 20th century who is director of the Middle East Centre at Oxford University.
Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning
A historian at Yale University has made a detailed study of where Jews were in most danger during the second world war. In France and Italy, three-quarters of the Jews survived. In eastern territories, which suffered "double occupation", first by the Soviets and then by the Nazis, at least 90% of them perished.
SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome
A masterly new chronicle, by Britain's most engaging historian of the ancient world, about Rome from its myth-shrouded origins to the early third century. She shows that the key to its dominance was granting citizenship to so many people.
Empire of Cotton: A Global History
By focusing on a sector that until 1900 was the world's most important manufacturing industry, Sven Beckert offers a fine account of 900 years of globalisation.
What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing
How tap-dancing entertained many, even as it had clear racist overtones. An engaging, warts-and-all history of one of America's greatest creative inventions by a dance critic at the New York Times.
Towards the Flame: Empire, War and the End of Tsarist Russia
How Russia went to war. A gripping, poignant and in some respects revolutionary contribution to European history by a distinguished British scholar who is descended from several of the protagonists he describes.