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Discover the bizarre world of medieval witch trials or the intricate codes of manners at the Georgian dinner table with the Folio Society’s collection of social history books. With beautiful illustrations or carefully researched photographs these titles are the perfect guide for any reader with an interest in how society has developed across the world. See below for the full list of Folio Social History books.

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History of Western Philosophy book

History of Western Philosophy

Bertrand Russell

This essential introduction to philosophy is engaging, entertaining and filled with Russell’s passion for the subject.

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Manhattan '45 book

Manhattan '45

Jan Morris

Jan Morris’s exuberant and witty love letter to the Manhattan of 1945 effortlessly evokes a time when it was ‘the most hopeful city on earth’.

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A New Birth of Freedom: Selected Writings of Abraham Lincoln book

A New Birth of Freedom: Selected Writings of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Compiled by award-winning biographer Fred Kaplan, this collection, unique to Folio, brings together the best of Abraham Lincoln's speeches, letters and articles to give the reader intimate insight into the particular nature of his political and literary genius.

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The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream book

The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream

H. W. Brands

Utilising the stories of the men and women caught up in a period of extraordinary change, H. W. Brands has created an epic portrait of the Gold Rush, illustrated in this edition with rare contemporary photography.

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The Age of Illusion book

The Age of Illusion

Ronald Blythe

Britain between the wars is brilliantly and entertainingly chronicled in this book by the author of Akenfield.

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The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science book

The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science

Richard Holmes

Richard Holmes presents an entertaining study of the extraordinary figures that changed the face of science.

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An Expression of the American Mind book

An Expression of the American Mind

Thomas Jefferson

This collection, commissioned by Folio, presents the best of Jefferson’s writings: political correspondence with George Washington, private letters to his wife and his lover and documents that express his views on everything from America's future, the nature of democracy and slavery.

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Behind the Wall book

Behind the Wall

Colin Thubron

A vivid portrait of a post-Mao China, from one of the great travel writers.

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Between Silk and Cyanide book

Between Silk and Cyanide

Leo Marks

Unpublished until 1998 because of the Official Secrets Act, Leo Marks's memoir of his time as part of SOE has been acclaimed as one of the greatest accounts of espionage in the Second World War. An unforgettable story of heroism under fire, gallows humour, unswerving loyalty and fatal mistakes.

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Black Sea book

Black Sea

Neal Ascherson

Neal Ascherson chronicles the tumultuous history of the sea where East meets West. He recalls Ovid’s exile on its shores, charts Scythian wayfarers, Stalinist purges and Hitler’s vision of a German Gothic Crimea. His thoughtful book ends by considering the sea’s damaged ecology – perhaps to be its final tragedy.

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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee book

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Dee Brown

A searing and visceral account of how the American West was really won. Told from the point of view of the American Indian, the catalogue of broken promises, treaties and battles is a tragic but essential story.

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The Discovery of Tahiti book

The Discovery of Tahiti

George Robertson

A vivid and lively account of the HMS Dolphin’s visit to Tahiti, featuring exquisite wood engravings by Robert Gibbings.

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A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century book

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century

Barbara W. Tuchman

A hugely accessible account of an age of extraordinary conflicts.

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The Dynasties of China book

The Dynasties of China

Bamber Gascoigne

Bamber Gascoigne leads us on an exhilarating journey spanning three and a half millennia of Chinese imperial civilisation.

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The Elizabethan Age book

The Elizabethan Age

A. L. Rowse

Often called the golden age of English culture, the Elizabethan age saw an unprecedented explosion of creativity in the arts and commerce. In this rich portrait of the time, Rowse examines English society under Elizabeth and the lasting influence of the era, still resonating today.

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