The Last Empress
By Hannah Pakula
Entertaining and masterly biography of Madame Chiang Kai-shek - the woman who built modern China.THE LAST EMPRESS revolves around a fascinating, manipulative woman and her family who were largely responsible for dragging China into the modern world. Soong May-ling, or Madame Chiang as she was known, is uniquely positioned at the heart of this story. As her husband came to represent the hopes of the West in the East, she acted as his adviser, English translator, secretary, and most loyal champion, finding herself on the world stage with Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. A savvy politician, she remained a popular if controversial figure both at home and abroad.Hannah Pakula brilliantly narrates the life of this extraordinary woman - how she charmed the United States out of billions of dollars while remaining dedicated to her China, and how she managed to influence if not change the history of the twentieth century.
Lawrence Of Arabia
By Adrian Greaves
A new biography of Lawrence of ArabiaT.E. Lawrence is one of the most enigmatic characters in British history. At the outbreak of the First World War he was working as an archaeologist in the Middle East. He had no military training at all, and a strong distrust of politicians and senior officers alike. And yet he succeeded in a task where all these people had failed: not only did he unite the Arab nation - a nation at perpetual war with itself - but he also led them to victory against the Ottoman Empire.How he managed to achieve these incredible feats has fascinated and confounded historians ever since. The myths that have grown up around this remarkable man have been enhanced by the untruths Lawrence himself propagated. He was never captured and tortured by the Turks as he claimed, neither was he the first to target Ottoman troops by dynamiting their trains. And yet the truth is every bit as compelling as the fiction. He was far more ruthless than he portrayed himself, and the battles he fought were every bit as barbarous as those fought by his Ottoman enemies. He was also strangely determined not to take credit for his achievements: when offered the VC at Buckingham Palace he refused it, leaving the king holding the box.This brand new biography by the author of RORKE'S DRIFT uses primary sources to uncover the truth from all the fictions that surround this legendary man. It covers the actualities of the war Lawrence fought in greater detail than ever before, and also describes what happened to Lawrence after the war.