(1). THE RELENTLESS REVOLUTION BY JOYCE APPLEBY
When did we start thinking that greed was good? Where did the notion of the wisdom of the market come from? Economic historian Joyce Appleby answers these questions, and more, in her rigorous history of the West's economic system.
2. 15 MINUTES BY DOUGLAS KEENEY
A heart-racing account of the mistakes, accidents, oversights and misjudgements of the US military in its Cold War nuclear defence planning. Not one for the faint-hearted.
3. HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD BY ERIC HOBSBAWM
The 16th book from the 94-year-old historian brings together his studies on the history of Marxist thought and its varying fortunes since Marx's death in 1883.
4. THE HEMLOCK CUP BY BETTANY HUGHES
Hughes' lively narrative and witty turn of phrase makes her tale of the life, times and intellectual significance of Socrates a must-read for anyone with an interest in Western thought.
5. RED HEAT BY ALEX VON TUNZELMANN
Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, Tunzelmann's much-praised book takes readers on a whistlestop tour of America's relations with its Caribbean neighbours during the Cold War.
6. MALCOLM X: A LIFE OF REINVENTION BY MANNING MARABLE
A prodigiously researched, elegantly written study of one of the 1960s' Americas most enigmatic figures, which takes a refreshing no-holds-barred approach to debunking the myths that surround the man.
7. JERUSALEM: A BIOGRAPHY BY SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE
"Jerusalem is the holy city, yet it has always been a den of superstition, charlatanism and bigotry," so begins Simon Sebag Montefiore's excoriating account of Jerusalem's history, from ancient fortified village to strife-torn modern city.
8. THE POPES: A HISTORY BY JOHN JULIUS NORWICH
Known for his studies of the Byzantine Empire and Mediterranean, John Julius Norwich has now turned his unerring attention to the world's oldest continuing institution: the papacy.
9. REPROBATES BY JOHN STUBBS
From drunken political intrigue to bloody murders, Stubbs tale of the English Cavaliers during the civil war is a romp through 17th-century British history.
10. BOARDWALK EMPIREBY NELSON JOHNSON
Nelson Johnson's tale of Atlantic City's rise from small seaside resort to modern-day Gomorrah is as good, if not better, than the television series.