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Stephen Evans's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Stephen Evans recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Stephen Evans's favorite book recommendations of all time.

Hopkirk's spellbinding account of the great imperial struggle for supremacy in Central Asia has been hailed as essential reading with that era's legacy playing itself out today. The Great Game between Victorian Britain & Tsarist Russia was fought across desolate terrain from the Caucasus to China, over the lonely passes of the Parmirs & Karakorams, in the blazing Kerman & Helmund deserts, & thru the caravan towns of the old Silk Road-both powers scrambling to control access to the riches of India & the East. When play first began, the frontiers of Russia & British... more
Recommended by Stephen Evans, and 1 others.

Stephen EvansThis takes me away from London and cholera to Afghanistan, the North West Frontier and Central Asia. Hopkirk’s Great Game is a history of the game of exploration and espionage played out by representatives of Britain and Russia in the 19th century. (Source)

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This dazzling new book explores London’s history in the Nineteenth century, from the destruction of old London and the unparalled suburban expansion, to its absorption of people from all over the world. less
Recommended by Stephen Evans, and 1 others.

Stephen EvansIf you live in London, have visited London or love London, you have to read this book. White borrows a quotation from William Blake, who characterised the place as a ‘human awful wonder of God’, and gives a gripping account of London’s exponential growth between 1815 and 1900. He looks not only at the city’s physical expansion but also its social and political development, and charts the... (Source)

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The Riddle of the Sands

Languishing one summer at the Foreign Office in London, Carruthers is rescued by an unexpected invitation to join Arthur Davies and the Dulcibella in the Baltic. A grouse-shooting party or a weekend at Cowes would have been more Carruther’s style. More disconcerting still, soon after his arrival it emerges that Davies needs his assistance, not on a yachting holiday, but in a sport of amateur spying...

Sounding a warning of the dangers of a German sea-borne invasion, The Riddle of the Sands created a sensation when it appeared in 1903. Recognizably the great forerunner...

Ben MacintyreIt’s a ripping yarn, it’s just so exciting. I first read it when I was about ten, and I’ve re-read it periodically since and it combines two of the things that I love most. (Source)

Keith JefferyA wonderful book both for the espionage aficionado and also for the yachtsman. (Source)

Stephen EvansIt’s the Great Game again, but this time it is played out in a small sailing boat on the Frisian Coast in Germany around 1900. (Source)

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Kim is set in an imperialistic world; a world strikingly masculine, dominated by travel, trade and adventure, a world in which there is no question of the division between white and non-white.

Two men - a boy who grows into early manhood and an old ascetic priest, the lama - are at the center of the novel. A quest faces them both. Born in India, Kim is nevertheless white, a sahib. While he wants to play the Great Game of Imperialism, he is also spiritually bound to the lama. His aim, as he moves chameleon-like through the two cultures, is to reconcile these opposing strands, while...
Recommended by Mark Tully, Stephen Evans, and 2 others.

Mark TullyKim is the story of a young boy who falls in with a Tibetan lama and joins in with the lama’s search for his spiritual goal. I have always loved the book because of Kipling’s wonderful writing. I think it is Kipling’s greatest book. I also love it because the descriptions of India at that time are so vivid. Bear in mind what I said earlier about the way that the British were, on the whole,... (Source)

Stephen EvansThis is the fictionalised account of the Great Game, telling the story of an Anglo-Indian boy who is recruited by British spy masters in India during the latter part of the 19th century. But the book adds up to far more than that. Kim’s nickname is ‘little friend of all the world’, because he straddles Western and Indian cultures. The book is a sympathetic and sensitive attempt, by an Englishman... (Source)

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From Steven Johnson, the dynamic thinker routinely compared to James Gleick, Dava Sobel, and Malcolm Gladwell, The Ghost Map is a riveting page-turner about a real-life historical hero, Dr. John Snow. It's the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure—garbage removal, clean water, sewers—necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate... more

Seth MnookinThe Ghost Map is a book that I oftentimes give to people to show them how cool and exciting and accessible and gripping stories about scientific discoveries can be. (Source)

Alison AlvarezI read the Ghost Map, a book about 1854 London Cholera outbreak. The outbreak was stopped because of a map created by Dr. John Snow. You can see hints of this map in some of our customer discovery tools because it was such an effective way of pinpointing a solution to a seemingly insurmountable problem. (Source)

Stephen EvansJohnson looks at London during a specific moment in time, August 1854, and focuses on a particular incident, an outbreak of cholera in Soho, in Central London. (Source)

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