Adam Zamoyski


Poland: A History

Adam Zamoyski first wrote his history of Poland two years before the collapse of the Soviet Union. This substantially revised and updated edition sets the Soviet era in the context of the rise, fall and remarkable rebirth of an indomitable nation. In 1797, Russia, Prussia and Austria divided Poland among themselves, rewriting Polish history to show that they had brought much-needed civilisation to a primitive backwater. But the country they wiped off the map had been one of Europe's largest and most richly varied, born of diverse cultural traditions and one of the boldest constitutional experiments ever attempted. Its destruction ultimately led to two world wars and the Cold War. Zamoyski's fully revised history of Poland looks back over a thousand years of turmoil and triumph, chronicling how Poland has been restored at last to its rightful place in Europe.
10,93 € 11,50 €

Phantom Terror

A magnificent and timely examination of an age of fear, subversion, suppression and espionage, Adam Zamoyski explores the attempts of the governments of Europe to police the world in a struggle against obscure forces, seemingly dedicated to the overthrow of civilisation. The advent of the French Revolution confirmed the worst fears of the rulers of Europe. They saw their states as storm-tossed vessels battered by terrible waves coming from every quarter and threatened by horrific monsters from the deep. Rulers' nerves were further unsettled by the voices of the Enlightenment, envisaging improvement only through a radical transformation of existing structures, with undeniable implications for the future role of the monarchy and the Church. Napoleon's arrival on the European stage intensified these fears, and the changes he wrought across Europe fully justified them. Yet he also brought some comfort to those rulers who managed to survive: he had tamed the revolution in France and the hegemony he exercised over Europe was a kind of guarantee against subversion. Once Napoleon was toppled, the monarchs of Europe took over this role for themselves. However, the nature of their attempts to impose order were not only ineffectual, they also managed to weaken the bases of that order. As counter-productive as anything, for example, was the use of force. Reliance on standing armies to maintain order only served to politicize the military and to give potential revolutionaries the opportunity to get their hands on a ready armed force. The wave of revolutions in 1848 might have embodied the climactic clash that many had come to expect, but it was no Armageddon, lacking the kind of mass support that rulers had dreaded and revealed the groundlessness of most of their fears. Interestingly, the sense of a great, ill-defined, subversive threat never went away, indeed it lingers on even today in the minds of world leaders. Adam Zamoyski's compelling history explores how the rulers and governments of the time really did envisage the future and how they meant to assure it.
11,88 € 12,50 €

Napoleon: The Man Behind The Myth

`Napoleon is an out-and-out masterpiece and a joy to read' Sir Antony Beevor, author of Stalingrad A landmark new biography that presents the man behind the many myths. The first writer in English to go back to the original European sources, Adam Zamoyski's portrait of Napoleon is historical biography at its finest. Napoleon inspires passionately held and often conflicting visions. Was he a god-like genius, Romantic avatar, megalomaniac monster, compulsive warmonger or just a nasty little dictator? While he displayed elements of these traits at certain times, Napoleon was none of these things. He was a man and, as Adam Zamoyski presents him in this landmark biography, a rather ordinary one at that. He exhibited some extraordinary qualities during some phases of his life but it is hard to credit genius to a general who presided over the worst (and self-inflicted) disaster in military history and who single-handedly destroyed the great enterprise he and others had toiled so hard to construct. A brilliant tactician, he was no strategist. But nor was Napoleon an evil monster. He could be selfish and violent but there is no evidence of him wishing to inflict suffering gratuitously. His motives were mostly praiseworthy and his ambition no greater than that of contemporaries such as Alexander I of Russia, Wellington, Nelson and many more. What made his ambition exceptional was the scope it was accorded by circumstance. Adam Zamoyski strips away the lacquer of prejudice and places Napoleon the man within the context of his times. In the 1790s, a young Napoleon entered a world at war, a bitter struggle for supremacy and survival with leaders motivated by a quest for power and by self-interest. He did not start this war but it dominated his life and continued, with one brief interruption, until his final defeat in 1815. Based on primary sources in many European languages, and beautifully illustrated with portraits done only from life, this magnificent book examines how Napoleone Buonaparte, the boy from Corsica, became `Napoleon'; how he achieved what he did, and how it came about that he undid it. It does not justify or condemn but seeks instead to understand Napoleon's extraordinary trajectory.
36,05 € 37,95 €