Autobiography/Bio/Non-Fiction

//Autobiography/Bio/Non-Fiction
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  • The recollections of the former Soviet Ambassador in London. Ivan Maisky was the epitome of the cosmopolitan intellectual whom Stalin and his team both despised and envied as well as being a former Menshevik. Once in London, he quickly grasped the mores of the English upper classes and established an extraordinary network of contacts and was on easier personal terms with Churchill and Beaverbrook than he was with Stalin. Churchill and Beaverbrook extolled Maisky’s performance as ambassador; praise from capitalist ruling circles was a dubious benefit for a Soviet diplomat, suggesting as it did that the diplomat had gone native. In a way this was true of Maisky, although the diaries confirm that he was a tireless worker for Soviet interests as he saw them, strengthening the Soviet-British alliance during World War II and pushing for a Second Front in Western Europe. This one-volume edition is said to contain about a quarter of the three published diaries: Who Helped Hitler?; Spanish Notebooks and Memoirs of a Soviet Ambassador: The War 1939-43.
  • Discovered one summer in an Atlanta basement full of sixty years' worth of accumulated debris, the writings of a young Margaret Mitchell reveal a prodigious and inspirational talent for one so young. She would later pen the best-selling book of all time after the Bible (and one that still sells more than 200,000 copies annually). She  was a precocious, imaginative, headstrong rebel and yet as distracted by everyday concerns about parental approval and social insecurities as any child. Nevertheless, as shown in the pages of Before Scarlett, Mitchell displayed an amazing talent through her writing of letters, journals, short stories, and one-act plays (later staged in her midtown Atlanta home). From westerns and shipwreck tales to stories of scalawags and musings on her best friends and boys, Mitchell demonstrated a finesse for challenging authority and striking out on her own - personality traits not surprising for the society debutante who was later rejected by the Junior League of Atlanta after she and a friend performed a racy Apache dance at one of their balls. She later had to cope with the pressures of international fame measured against her personal philanthropic efforts for African American causes in racially divided Atlanta. Hers is a story of youthful independence and talent. Illustrated with black and white photographs.
  • With Incidental Observations On Great Beer Myths, Pubs And Publicans, Barmaids And Breathalysers, Mum, Flip, Beery Bards, And Beer In The Kitchen, Etc. This is the first and all-embracing guide to Australian beer ever written - with duly meticulous field research conducted (with great sacrifice)  by the author.   It covers the place of beer in art  - advertising, cartoons etc - historically (in its international setting); legally and politically, scientifically and statistically; alone or in company (mixed or segregated). Well - it is all-embracing!

  • On the Hebridean island of Bruach, life among the crofters is as happy and full of humour as ever. Beckwith tells enchanting tales about the islanders' wit, their canny resourcefulness and their gossipy interest in outsiders. There is Flora and the fancy dress dance, beachcombing, whelk gathering, Highland cattle and a stag - among many other characters and animals. Based on Beckwith's own experiences.
  • Described by its author as "a true Adults Only version of Lord of the Flies, meeting Nightmare on Elm Street". 1629: the magnificent ship Batavia - the pride of the Dutch East India Company - is on her maiden voyage from Amsterdam to the Dutch East Indies, laden down with the greatest treasure to leave the Dutch Republic. The ship is already boiling over with a mutinous plot that is just about to be put into action when, just off the coast of Western Australia, it strikes an unseen reef in the middle of the night. While Commandeur Francisco Pelsaert decides to take the long-boat across 2000 miles of open sea for help, his second-in-command Jeronimus Cornelisz takes over, quickly deciding that 220 people on a small island is too many for the scanty supplies  they have. Quietly, he puts forward a plan to 40 odd mutineers to save themselves by killing most of the rest and spare only a half-dozen or so women, including his personal fancy, Lucretia Jans - one of the noted beauties of the Dutch Republic - to service their sexual needs. A reign of terror begins, countered only by a previously anonymous soldier Wiebbe Hayes, who begins to gather to him those are prepared to do what it takes to survive...hoping against hope that the Commandeur will soon be coming back to them with the rescue yacht. With colour and black and white photographs and etchings.
  • Written in the tradition of James Herriot and Richard Gordon, here are all the wildly funny ups and downs of would-be Rumpole Charlotte Hunter's apprenticeship at the Middle Temple.  The Law is an unrelenting taskmaster whose only consistent feature is its infinite capacity to surprise, being full of eccentric characters and the domination of medieval chivalry and male infallibility (!) - she found herself dashing from one magistrate's court to the next, defending a flasher in a knee length mackintosh, then an ornamental bird fancier, and all the time managing to retain her equilibrium and her sense of humour.
  • The Barossa Valley is one of the most richly historical areas of Australia. During over a century, a unique community developed in this serene countryside, consisting mainly of the descendants of Germans who had emigrated to Australia in search of regligious freedom. The traditions of the old country were cherised by those who grew close to the soil as they developed a different way of life that flourished like the vineyards they planted on the hillsides. Thiele’s often witty and sometimes poetic prose tells of the people, the customs and the winemakers as Jeanette McLeaod’s illustrations capture the atmoshphere.
  • Ballarat profited so much from the discovery of gold that one of its founders in 1837 marvelled how, within 30 years, the scene had changed from 'a flock of sheep tended by a solitary shepherd; to that of a great, teeming city. Ballarat's wealth in gold, grazing, iron and industry, together with the freedom to choose from all that Europe offered, created an architectural panorama for the studious and delightful variety for all visitors. Ballarat's dynamic history can be traced through its variety of structures, encompassing iron-filigreed verandahs, classical facades, 'Ballarat Baroque', polychrome brick and Gothic revival.
  • Barcs, a correspondent for a firm of Hungarian newspapers, had just been expelled from Mussolini's Italy in 1938 when he decided to come to Australia.  He arrived with his wife and eight letters from various European newspapers expressing mild interest in Australian life.   These sources of income disappeared as war engulfed Europe, and Barcs was on his own.  He immediately began contributing to the Sydney Daily Telegraph and was accepted as a member of the Australian Journalists' Association. He was an unusual figure in Australian journalism at that time for his university education, extensive background as a foreign correspondent and ability to speak five languages. He worked as a freelance journalist for Australian and overseas newspapers. Interned as an enemy alien in late 1941, he was called up for full-time duty in the Citizen Military Forces on 27 July, he served with the 3rd Employment Company and was asked to join the inaugural committee of the Association of Refugees (Association of New Citizens). Barcs was naturalised in 1946. It seemed that he certainly became naturalised in Australian humour: the sections of these memoirs are entitled: Nobody Owes You A Living; His Majesty's Most Loyal Internee and The Backyard of Mars. He died in 1990.