6 Must-Read Books About British History

By August 25, 2017Literature

As with our previous article focussed on the history of America, this list of historical non-fiction offers a no-holds-barred look at what made the UK what it is today.

Contrary to what many of us were taught in school, British history was not all glory and pride… Much of what made us ‘great’ was built upon the backs of oppressed and disenfranchised innocents. From well before the ‘Great Roman Empire’ to the ‘Great British Empire’ and beyond, British history is both fascinating and horrifying in equal measure.

Let us not forget what this country was built upon, and let us always remember why threads of racial and class prejudice still run through our societies today.

The following list would be a great start for any budding historian intent on having a honest and true account of how Great Britain became the mixing pot of cultures and communities it is today.




“British history is traditionally regarded as having started with the Roman Conquest. But this is to ignore half a million years of prehistory that still exert a profound influence. Here Francis Pryor examines the great ceremonial landscapes of Ancient Britain and Ireland – Stonehenge, Seahenge, Avebury and the Bend of the Boyne – as well as the discarded artefacts of day-to-day life, to create an astonishing portrait of our ancestors. This major re-revaluation of pre-Roman Britain, made possible in part by aerial photography and coastal erosion, reveals a much more sophisticated life in Ancient Britain and Ireland than has previously been supposed.”

“The complete set of all three paperback volumes of Simon Schama’s compelling history of Britain. ‘History clings tight but it also kicks loose’ writes Simon Schama at the outset of his epic three-volume journey into Britain’s past. Disruption as much as persistence is its proper subject. So although the great theme of British history seen from the twentieth century is endurance, it’s counterpoint seen from the twenty-first must be alteration. Change – sometimes gentle and subtle sometimes shocking and violent – is the dynamic of Schama’s unapologetically personal, grippingly written history, especially the changes that wash over custom and habit, transforming our loyalties. From early England and the Tudors through the British Wars of the 17th century to the rise and fall of the British Empire, award-winning historian Simon Schama illuminates British history through a variety of historical themes and key British characters.”

“In this first full-scale treatment of Britain’s relationship with the surrounding oceans, Glen O’Hara examines the history of British people’s maritime lives and, in turn, the formation of British cultural identities. A lens through which to view British life, Britain and the Sea spans more than 400 years, beginning in 1600 and taking us through to the present day. Tying together every aspect in the development of Great Britain, from state formation, industrialization and modernization, through to histories of transport, migration, slavery, warfare and crime, this book illustrates how the rich tapestry of Britain’s narrative was decided not among the fields of the ‘green and pleasant land’, but out at sea.”

“Drawing on new genealogical research, original records, and expert testimony, Black and British reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination, Elizabethan ‘blackamoors’ and the global slave-trading empire. It shows that the great industrial boom of the nineteenth century was built on American slavery, and that black Britons fought at Trafalgar and in the trenches of both World Wars. Black British history is woven into the cultural and economic histories of the nation. It is not a singular history, but one that belongs to us all. Unflinching, confronting taboos and revealing hitherto unknown scandals, Olusoga describes how the lives of black and white Britons have been entwined for centuries.”

“In the eighteenth century, India’s share of the world economy was as large as Europe’s. By 1947, after two centuries of British rule, it had decreased six-fold. The Empire blew rebels from cannon, massacred unarmed protesters, entrenched institutionalised racism, and caused millions to die from starvation. British imperialism justified itself as enlightened despotism for the benefit of the governed, but Shashi Tharoor takes demolishes this position, demonstrating how every supposed imperial ‘gift’ – from the railways to the rule of law – was designed in Britain’s interests alone. He goes on to show how Britain’s Industrial Revolution was founded on India’s deindustrialisation, and the destruction of its textile industry. In this bold and incisive reassessment of colonialism, Tharoor exposes to devastating effect the inglorious reality of Britain’s stained Indian legacy.”

“Pauperland is Jeremy Seabrook’s account of the mutations of poverty over time, historical attitudes to the poor, and the lives of the impoverished themselves, from early Poor Laws till today. He explains how in the medieval world, wealth was regarded as the greatest moral danger to society, yet by the industrial era, poverty was the most significant threat to social order. How did this change come about, and how did the poor, rather than the rich, find themselves blamed for much of what is wrong with Britain, including such familiar-and ancient-scourges as crime, family breakdown and addictions? How did it become the fate of the poor to be condemned to perpetual punishment and public opprobrium, the useful scapegoat of politicians and the media? Pauperland charts how such attitudes were shaped by ill-conceived and ill-executed private and state intervention, and how these are likely to frame ongoing discussions of and responses to poverty in Britain.”




Amazon Deletes Hundreds of Reviews of Clinton Memoirs

By | Literature, Political | No Comments
Within hours of its publication, Hillary Clinton’s memoirs had received over one thousand reviews on the Amazon site.

Much like the presidential campaign itself the reviews were either 5-star rave reviews or 1-star damning criticisms.

A spokesman at the publishing company Simon & Schuster, Jonathan Karp, commented:

“It seems highly unlikely that approximately 1,500 people read Hillary Clinton’s book overnight and came to the stark conclusion that it is either brilliant or awful.”

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Stephen King Bans Donald Trump from Seeing IT

By | News, Political | No Comments
As you may well know by now, the movie version of Stephen King’s IT has had a remake, and Mr. Mercedes is set for its televisual debut.

King is prevalent on Twitter and has made no secret of his dislike of President Donald Trump, much to the annoyance of Trump fans America-wide.

The latest spat ended with the POTUS blocking King on Twitter for his negative comments, and King responded with a block of his own…

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7 Collections of Short Stories Selected For You

By | Literature, New Releases | No Comments
Short stories are generally considered to be short enough to be read in one sitting. They are longer than 1,000 words, or else they are considered ‘flash fiction’, but shorter than 10,000 words. They encompass all that is involved in your regular novel- from exposition to resolution- carried through in one swift story and far less complex than a full fiction novel.

The short story dates back to the traditional form of oral storytelling which, for obvious reasons, could not take hours to resolve. Long tales (such as Homer’s Odyssey) would be recited in sections- often with rhyme and rhythm to aid remembering each verse. Often separate short tales would be told but would be linked in some way (such as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales).

2017 has seen this traditional form flourish still, and remain ever more popular. Perhaps modern life calls for shorter, snappier tales to fit in with our busy lives?

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6 Must-Read Books About British History

By | Literature | No Comments
As with our previous article focussed on the history of America, this list of historical non-fiction offers a no-holds-barred look at what made the UK what it is today.

Contrary to what many of us were taught in school, British history was not all glory and pride… Much of what made us ‘great’ was built upon the backs of oppressed and disenfranchised innocents. From well before the ‘Great Roman Empire’ to the ‘Great British Empire’ and beyond, British history is both fascinating and horrifying in equal measure.

Let us not forget what this country was built upon, and let us always remember why threads of racial and class prejudice still run through our societies today.

The following list would be a great start for any budding historian intent on having a honest and true account of how Great Britain became the mixing pot of cultures and communities it is today.

Read More

5 Books For The American History Fanatic

By | Culture, Literature | One Comment
For many people history is compelling and fascinating, as well as utterly horrifying. In the UK and the US in particular we are not always told the whole truth of our history, often for shameful reasons, and for fear of losing patriotism.

It is important to understand what our nations did, and how we became the powerful countries we are today. The sacrifices made by our ancestors, as well as the now-abhorrent action taken in the name of progress cannot and should not be ignored.

To truly understand why certain people feel certain ways, and why others are treated the way they are to this day is related directly to our past. We start with American history- land of the free and home of the brave- But how did they get to that point?

These American history books are a fascinating look into how America became the multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual powerhouse she is today.

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7 Space Themed Books That Are Out Of This World

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Ground control to all avid readers… This is For Reading Addicts calling. Are you ready for an adventure of a lifetime? 

Human beings have been looking up at the stars and wondering how to explore the universe for centuries. The 20th century saw the first steps of Man upon the moon, and since then giant strides have been made in the quest for further knowledge of the universe.

For many of us Earthbound Reading Addicts, we will never get the chance to explore space, but we have the next best thing: books.

Here are 7 space themed books for all ages, to inspire awe and wonder and take you into space without leaving your chair.

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