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About Stephen Dando-Collins
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No book on Roman history has attempted to do what Stephen Dando-Collins does in Legions of Rome: to provide a complete history of every Imperial Roman legion and what it achieved as a fighting force. The author has spent the last thirty years collecting every scrap of available evidence from numerous sources: stone and bronze inscriptions, coins, papyrus and literary accounts in a remarkable feat of historical detective work.
The book is divided into three parts: Part 1 provides a detailed account of what the legionaries wore and ate, what camp life was like, what they were paid and how they were motivated and punished. The section also contains numerous personal histories of individual soldiers. Part 2 offers brief unit histories of all the legions that served Rome for 300 years from 30BC. Part 3 is a sweeping chronological survey of the campaigns in which the armies were involved, told from the point of view of particular legions.
Lavish, authoritative and beautifully produced, Legions of Rome will appeal to ancient history enthusiasts and military history buffs alike.
—T. R. Fehrenbach, author of This Kind of War, Lone Star, and Comanches
Stephen Dando-Collins paints a vivid and definitive portrait of daily life in the Tenth Legion as he follows Caesar and his men along the blood-soaked fringes of the Empire. This unprecedented regimental history reveals countless previously unknown details about Roman military practices, Caesar's conduct as a commander and his relationships with officers and legionaries, and the daily routine and discipline of the Legion. From penetrating insights into the mind of history's greatest general to a grunt's-eye view of the gruesome realities of war in the Classical Age, this unique and riveting true account sets a new standard of exellence and detail to which all authors of ancient military history will now aspire.
Cyrus the Great was a brilliant general who founded the Persian Empire, greatest empire of its day. He was also the king who freed the Jews from exile at Babylon and allowed them to return to Jerusalem, with the Bible describing him as the only non Jew "anointed by god." Cyrus influenced the US Bill of Rights, and is the biblical figure to whom US President Donald Trump has been favorably compared by Christian evangelicals and the Prime Minister of Israel.
In this first ever modern biography of Cyrus, noted historical biographer and author of 43 books Stephen Dando-Collins describes Cyrus' fraught youth, his rise to power via rebellion, his dashing military campaigns that destroyed the Median, Lydian and Babylonian empires, and his uniquely magnanimous reign.
With his usual depth of research and highly readable narrative Dando-Collins cuts through myth and folklore to deliver a fascinating account of a fascinating life.
Explore all of the murder, madness and mayhem in Ancient Rome during the reign of the mad emperor, Caligula.
In this book about Rome’s most infamous emperor, expert author, Stephen Dando-Collins’ chronicles all the palace intrigues and murders that led to Caligula becoming emperor, and details the horrors of his manic reign and the murderous consequences brought about at the hand of his sister Agrippina the Younger, his uncle Claudius and his nephew Nero.
Skillfully researched, Dando-Collins puts the jigsaw pieces together to form an accurate picture of Caligula’s life and influences. Dando-Collins’ precise and thorough examination of the emperor’s life puts Caligula’s paranoid reign into perspective, examining the betrayals and deaths he experienced prior to his time in power and the onset of a near-fatal illness believed to have affected his mental-health.
In addition to the many periods of success, there were also great crashes including an infamous Chuck Berry tour that failed to attract audiences and forced Stiggy to declare bankruptcy.
In early 1966, Stigwood became the booking agent for the Who and also began managing the fledgling British group Cream, signing them to his record label Reaction, and their album was immediately successful.
Stigwood’s ability to pick and promote talent was astounding and he was also known for his many fallings-out.
In 1967 the Australian group the Bee Gees arrived in the UK and Stigwood claimed that they were going to be as big as the Beatles. By April, the Bee Gees had their first top 20 hit, and by September their first UK no 1.
Stigwood moved into theatre production and took Hair to London. After hearing a demo of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical Jesus Christ Superstar, Stigwood invested in the project. He oversaw the New York stage production and in 1973 produced the film adaptation. Stigwood continued to work with Lloyd Webber right up to the 1996 film of Evita.
Stiggy got involved in making British television sitcoms and adapting them for US audiences. After watching John Travolta in Welcome Back Kotter, Stigwood signed him to a three-picture deal. After reading an article by British journalist Nik Cohn Stigwood developed it into the feature film Saturday Night Fever and asked the Bee Gees to write its music. The album soundtrack remains the biggest seller of its kind while the film proved a huge hit and helped make disco music an international phenomenon. Stigwood then produced the film of the musical Grease.
Stigwood lived it up with private planes, yachts, a Central Park West penthouse
and staff. The failure of the big-budget musical film of the Beatles’ album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band got to him and he sold his record label. Though his ability to create success had not left him entirely with musical productions and films benefitting from his involvement into the 1990s.
For many years he lived a mostly reclusive life in an estate on the Isle of Wight though remained a part of the lives of the Gibb family.
The action-filled movie 300 focused on Ancient Greece's epic battle of Thermopylae, in which King Leonidas led 300 Spartans into battle against Xerxes and his million-strong Persian forces. In the sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, the action moves to the sea, covering ten years starting with the Battle of Marathon and ending with naval engagement the Battle of Artemisium, which occurred the same day as Thermopylae.
Rise of an Empire tells the story of the real men and events depicted in the movie, focusing on the Athenian general Themistocles, one of the world's greatest warriors. He became warlord of Greece, built their navy and, by uniting Greece to defeat Xerxes' fleet, enabled what we call western civilization. Packed with vivid detail, clashes of arms and ships, blood and glory, Rise of an Empire tells a story even bigger than the big screen could contain.
- Both an essential read for fans of the 300 movies and the Frank Miller graphic novels they're based on
- An insightful exploration of the leaders who feature in the film, their backgrounds, motivations, command decisions, struggles, victories and defeats, from the Battle of Marathon through the Battles of Artemisium and Salamis: Xerxes, the Persian king determined to succeed where his father failed, and Themistocles, overcoming monumental hurdles to turn Athens into Ancient Greece's greatest sea power and leading city-state of the age
- A gripping narrative of the real-life naval battles of the first and second Persian invasions of Greece, with fascinating detail about the ships, the warriors and the tactics
In the first book ever devoted to the First Jewish Revolt, award-winning author and historian Stephen Dando-Collins provides unparalleled insight into the fight for Jerusalem.
Known as the Great Revolt by Jewish communities and as the Judean War by the Romans, Dando-Collins details the conflict from both sides of the 4-year campaign. His examination of the revolt draws upon numerous archeological and forensic discoveries made since 2002 to illuminate the people and events as never before.
Neither side emerges from the conflict unscathed. Both were at times equally heroic and barbaric. In the end, the Jewish freedom fighters lost the war and their holy city—the focus of the revolt that the Roman military fought to end. Yet today, Jerusalem is once more the heart of the Jewish faith, while, thanks to Christianity—an offshoot of Judaism—the Roman Empire and its gods have long gone. Conquering Jerusalem illustrates that faith can have its rewards...and the tables can be turned if you wait long enough.
When he died in 1877, Cornelius Vanderbilt, founder of the Vanderbilt dynasty, was wealthier than the U.S. Treasury. But he had nearly lost his fortune in 1856, when William Walker, a young rogue from Nashville, set out to conquer Central America and, in the process, take away Vanderbilt’s most profitable shipping business. To win back his empire, Vanderbilt had to win a bloody war involving seven countries.
Tycoon’s War tells the story of an epic imperialist duel—a violent battle of capitalist versus idealist, money versus ambition—and a monumental clash of egos that resulted in the deaths of thousands of Americans.
Written by a master storyteller, this incredible true story, impeccably researched and never before told in full, is packed with greed, intrigue, and some of the most hair-raising battle scenes ever written.
“A fascinating window into an era when the rules of industrial capitalism were in their infancy and gunboat diplomacy was standard operating procedure. . . . Reads . . . [like a] screenplay treatment for a hell of a movie.” —Wall Street Journal
“One incredible story of adventurism gone wild . . . blind ambition, the clash of wills, money, and conquest—all the elements of good story.” —Charleston Post and Courier
“The sheer drama of the story, ably conveyed by Dando-Collins’s efficient prose, sweeps the reader along through the misadventure.” —Providence Journal
The true story of a little-known, yet remarkable World War II operation, which had all the hallmarks of a suicide mission.
Beginning with a crazy plan hatched by a suspect prince, and an even crazier reliance on the word of the Nazis, Operation Chowhound was devised. Between May 1 and May 8, 1945, 2,268 military units flown by the USAAF, dropped food to 3.5 million starving Dutch civilians in German-occupied Holland.
It took raw courage to fly on Operation Chowhound, as American aircrews never knew when the German AAA might open fire on them or if Luftwaffe fighters might jump them. Flying at 400 feet, barely above the tree tops, with guns pointed directly at them, they would have no chance to bail out if their B-17s were hit—and yet, over eight days, 120,000 German troops kept their word, and never fired on the American bombers. As they flew, grateful Dutch civilians spelled out "Thanks Boys" in the tulip fields below. Many Americans who flew in Operation Chowhound would claim it was the best thing they did in the war.
In this gripping narrative, author Stephen Dando-Collins takes the reader into the rooms where Operation Chowhound was born, into the aircraft flying the mission, and onto the ground in the Netherlands with the civilians who so desperately needed help. James Bond creator Ian Fleming, Hollywood actress Audrey Hepburn, as well as Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Churchill all play a part in this story, creating a compelling, narrative read.
The story opens in the stinking latrines of the Schubin camp as an American and a Canadian lead the digging of a tunnel which enabled a break involving 36 prisoners of war (POWs). The Germans then converted the camp to Oflag 64, to exclusively hold US Army officers, with more than 1500 Americans ultimately housed there. Plucky Americans attempted a variety of escapes until January, 1945, only to be thwarted every time.
Then, with the Red Army advancing closer every day, camp commandant Colonel Fritz Schneider received orders from Berlin to march his prisoners west. Game on! Over the next few days, 250 US Army officers would succeed in escaping east to link up with the Russians - although they would prove almost as dangerous as the Nazis - only to be ordered once they arrived back in the United States not to talk about their adventures. Within months, General Patton would launch a bloody bid to rescue the remaining Schubin Americans.
In The Big Break, this previously untold story follows POWs including General Eisenhower's personal aide, General Patton's son-in-law, and Ernest Hemingway's eldest son as they struggled to be free. Military historian and Paul Brickhill biographer Stephen Dando-Collins expertly chronicles this gripping story of Americans determined to be free, brave Poles risking their lives to help them, and dogmatic Nazis determined to stop them.