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About the book
  • Published: 12 May 2016
  • ISBN: 9781446496329
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 752

The Dark Valley




A worldwide survey of the 1930s - popular history of breathtaking scholarship and scope.

Piers Brendon's magisterial overview of the 1930s is the story of the dark, dishonest decade - child of one world war and parent of the next - that determined the course of the twentieth century.

Dealing individually with each of the period's great powers - the USA, Germany, Italy, France, Britain, Japan, Spain and Russia - Brendon takes us through the ten years dominated by the Great Depression and political turmoil. When Broadway, Piccadilly Circus, the Kurfurstendamm and the Ginza - neon metaphors of hope after four years of carnage - grew dim as the giants of unemployment, hardship, strife and fear took their hold. From the concentration camps of Dachau and Kolyma, the Ukraine famine and the American Dust Bowl, to the Moscow metro, the Empire State Building and the Paris Exposition, The Dark Valley brings the 1930's back to life through meticulous scholarship.

Brendon examines the great leaders - Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao Tse-Tung, Haile Selassie and countless others - not with hindsight but in the context of their age; but also, through a vivid chronicling of contemporary experience, he gives us a sense of what it was to be living then.

  • Pub date: 12 May 2016
  • ISBN: 9781446496329
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 752

About the Author

Piers Brendon

Piers Brendon is the author of more than a dozen books, including biographies of Churchill and Eisenhower, the best-selling Eminent Edwardians; The Windsors; The Dark Valley; The Hawker of Morwenstow; the highly acclaimed The Decline and Fall of the British Empire and, most recently, Eminent Elizabethans. He also writes for television and contributes frequently to the national press. Formerly Keeper of the Churchill Archives Centre, he is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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Praise for The Dark Valley

“The best history book I've read since Orlando Figes' A People's Tragedy... Wonderful and enthralling”

Ruth Rendell, Daily Telegraph

“A fantastic, sweeping history of the 1930s… Brendon is a superb writer, taking an exceptionally complex, dense topic and building a compelling narrative.”

John Stepek, Money Week

“Brilliant, cinematic, utterly illuminating... No other historical account I know can rival this... Masterly”

Valentine Cunningham, Financial Times

“A delight to read, a literary triumph sparkling with moments of real humour and compassion”

Richard Overy, Sunday Telegraph

“Piers Brendon's long book has such brilliance and narrative power, and contains so much fascinating detail, that reading it has all the excitement of novel”

John Grigg, Evening Standard


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