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This Just In

Interesting new titles in August

Jeremy Hutchinson's Case Histories by Thomas Grant

John Murray
Jeremy Hutchinson

Born in 1915 into the fringes of the Bloomsbury Group, Jeremy Hutchinson went on to become the greatest criminal barrister of the 1960s, '70s and '80s. The cases of that period changed society for ever and Hutchinson's role in them was second to none. In Case Histories, Jeremy Hutchinson's most remarkable trials are examined, each one providing a fascinating look into Britain's post-war social, political and cultural history.

Accessibly and entertainingly written, Case Histories provides a definitive account of Jeremy Hutchinson's life and work. From the sex and spying scandals which contributed to Harold Macmillan's resignation in 1963 and the subsequent fall of the Conservative government, to the fight against literary censorship through his defence of Lady Chatterley's Lover and Fanny Hill, Hutchinson was involved in many of the great trials of the period. He defended George Blake, Christine Keeler, Great Train robber Charlie Wilson, Kempton Bunton (the only man successfully to 'steal' a picture from the National Gallery), art 'faker' Tom Keating, and Howard Marks who, in a sensational defence, was acquitted of charges relating to the largest importation of cannabis in British history. He also prevented the suppression of Bernardo Bertolucci's notorious film Last Tango in Paris and did battle with Mary Whitehouse when she prosecuted the director of the play Romans in Britain.

Above all else, Jeremy Hutchinson's career, both at the bar and later as a member of the House of Lords, has been one devoted to the preservation of individual liberty and to resisting the incursions of an overbearing state. Case Histories provides entertaining, vivid and revealing insights into what was really going on in those celebrated courtroom dramas that defined an age, as well as painting a picture of a remarkable life.

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The End of Tsarist Russia by Dominic Lieven

Viking
The End of Tsarist Russia by Dominic Lieven

World War I and the Russian Revolution together shaped the twentieth century in profound ways. In The End of Tsarist Russia, acclaimed scholar Dominic Lieven connects for the first time the two events, providing both a history of the First World War’s origins from a Russian perspective and an international history of why the revolution happened.

Based on exhaustive work in seven Russian archives as well as many non-Russian sources, Dominic Lieven’s work is about far more than just Russia. By placing the crisis of empire at its core, Lieven links World War I to the sweep of twentieth-century global history. He shows how contemporary hot issues such as the struggle for Ukraine were already crucial elements in the run-up to 1914.

By incorporating into his book new approaches and comparisons, Lieven tells the story of war and revolution in a way that is truly original and thought-provoking.

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Genghis Khan by Frank McLynn

The Bodley Head
Genghis Khan by Frank McLynn

At the time of his death in 1227, his empire encompassed more than half the globe. At its peak, it stretched from the Pacific Ocean to central Europe, including all of China, the Middle East and Russia. So how did an illiterate nomad from the steppes of Central Asia rise to such colossal power, eclipsing the military achievements of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Napoleon? Credited by some with paving the way for the Renaissance and even democracy itself, condemned by others for being the most heinous murderer in history, who was Genghis Khan?

His actual name was Temujin, and the story of his success is the story of the Mongol people: a loose collection of fractious tribes who tended livestock, ate a diet of meat and fermented yak’s milk, considered bathing strictly taboo and possessed an unparalleled genius for horseback warfare. United under Genghis, they were exceptionally meritocratic, religiously tolerant, disciplined and pragmatic, and developed the means to communicate rapidly over vast distances. Genghis himself was a tactician of astonishing cunning and versatility, who realised that the Mongols’ nomadic culture and military prowess equipped them to dominate any sedentary society they chose.

In this magnificent new biography, Frank McLynn brings vividly to life the strange and distant world of the Mongols, describes Temujin’s rise from boyhood outcast to become Genghis Khan, and tells the greatest story of military conquest in human history. Combining fast-paced accounts of battles with rich cultural background, he draws on the latest scholarship to provide the most balanced and comprehensive account yet of one of the most extraordinary men ever to have lived.

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The Art of the Con by Anthony M. Amore

Palgrave MacMillan
The Art of the Con by Anthony M. Amore

Art scams are today so numerous that the specter of a lawsuit arising from a mistaken attribution has scared a number of experts away from the business of authentication and forgery, and with good reason. Art scams are increasingly convincing and involve incredible sums of money. The cons perpetrated by unscrupulous art dealers and their accomplices are proportionately elaborate.

Anthony M. Amore's The Art of the Con tells the stories of some of history's most notorious yet untold cons. They involve stolen art hidden for decades; elaborate ruses that involve the Nazis and allegedly plundered art; the theft of a conceptual prototype from a well-known artist by his assistant to be used later to create copies; the use of online and television auction sites to scam buyers out of millions; and other confidence scams incredible not only for their boldness but more so because they actually worked. Using interviews and newly released court documents, The Art of the Con will also take the reader into the investigations that led to the capture of the con men, who oftentimes return back to the world of crime. For some, it's an irresistible urge because their innocent dupes all share something in common: they want to believe.

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