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Book Cover: CONSTANTINE AT THE BRIDGE: How the Battle of Milvian Bridge Created Christian Rome

'A marvelous book. An engaging and beautifully written study of a pivotal moment in Roman and European history.' MARK FELTON, author of Castle of the Eagles: Escape from Mussolini's Colditz, UK

'Dando-Collins' writing in this book follows the maxims of good journalism... He is an experienced and dependable writer.' WASHINGTON INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF BOOKS, US

'Stephen Dando-Collins has once again proved that he can easily tell stories in an accessible way, and based on reliable sources and knowledge base.' IMPERIUM ROMANUM, Poland  

'We love this writer's style... Those readers interested in the origins and formation of the Christian Church are well advised to read this account of a critical period in Christian history... An entertaining, informative, and educational read appropriate for high school through graduate school students and casual readers alike. We give this book a hearty thumbs up and our highest recommendation!' HISTORY AND HEADLINES, US

 

THE AD 312 BATTLE OF THE MILVIAN BRIDGE, JUST OUTSIDE ROME, MARKED THE START OF A MONUMENTAL CHANGE FOR ROME AND HER EMPIRE.

THIS BATTLE WAS THE FIGURATIVE BRIDGE BETWEEN OLD PAGAN ROME AND NEW CHRISTIAN  ROME. AND ONCE THIRTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD CONSTANTINE THE GREAT HAD CROSSED THAT BRIDGE, THERE WAS NO TURNING BACK.

Published in the US on November 9, 2021 by Turner Publishing

Book Cover: CONQUERING JERUSALEM: The Roman Campaign to Crush the AD 66-73 Jewish Revolt

'Full of tragedy and triumph, heartbreak and heroism, Conquering Jerusalem deftly balances masterful storytelling with exquisite attention to detail. This book is a must-read to understand this conflict, which still reverberates to this day.' PHILIP BARLAG, author of Evil Roman EmperorsThe History of Rome in 12 Buildings, and The Leadership Genius of Julius Caesar, US

'Stephen Dando-Collins tells this story as a rip-roaring yarn that clarifies both the complexities of combat and the political maneuvers that influenced the outcome of the military struggle.' DAVID RICHTER, professor emeritus, Graduate Center, City University of  New York, US

'Gripping... Stephen Dando-Collins narrates his well-researched account of the complex and often harrowing events with a punchy clarity.' PAUL N. PEARSON, author of Maximinus Thrax: From Common Soldier to Emperor of Rome, UK

'Expert historian and author Stephen Dando-Collins chronicles the First Jewish Revolt and its important role in both Roman and Jewish memory.' BLUECHER, Germany

'A granular, blow-by-blow account. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, US

'Highly readable, while retaining academic accuracy and serious addressing of facts and events... Dando-Collins has a true gift as an author... We strongly recommend Conquering Jerusalem for all readers, students, academics and casual historians... a must read.' HISTORY AND HEADLINES, US

'Dando-Collins' skillful descriptions enable us to see not only how much, but how little the world has changed.' PORTLAND BOOK REVIEW, US

'A very solid account of the political events of the Empire during the years 66-73 CE.' IMPERIUM ROMANUM, Poland 

'(A) fascinating historical study, thoroughly accessible to lay readers and scholars alike. Highly recommended.' MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW, US

 

RELEASED IN THE US IN JULY, 2021, THE UK IN AUGUST, 2021, AND AUSTRALIA IN LATE 2021

 

Book Cover: CYRUS THE GREAT, Conqueror, Liberator, Anointed One

WITH AN AFTERWORD BY PROFESSOR DAVID RICHTER

'One of the Most Anticipated Books for 2020,' A Book and Words

'Expert... excellent... engaging... A comprehensive biography that treats an important piece of history as the gripping story that it is.' Foreword Magazine, US

WINNER, SILVER AWARD FOR BIOGRAPHY, 2020 INDIE AWARDS, US

In this first ever modern biography of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire and the only non Jew referred to as 'anointed by God' in the Old Testament, Stephen applies his usual depth of research and highly readable narrative style to cut through folklore and myth to deliver a fascinating account of a fascinating life.

A brilliant general and administrator, Cyrus freed the Jews in exile at Babylon after he conquered the Babylonian Empire and allowed them to go home to Jerusalem. Cyrus influenced the US Bill of Rights and is the Biblical figure to whom US President Donald Trump has been favorably compared by the Prime Minister of Israel and Christian evangelicals - whether that comparison is valid or not, you can decide for yourself once you have read the book.

From fraught youth to a rise to power through desperate rebellion and gifted generalship, this is the true story of one of history's most influential figures.

Published in the US, UK and Australia by Turner Publishing.

 

Book Cover: CALIGULA, The Mad Emperor of Rome

'A small masterpiece.' RALPH BENKO, realclearhistory.com, US

'Was Caligula really mad, bad and dangerous to know? Discover whether he deserves his infamy - or not - in this engrossing character study of the famous emperor.' MARGARET GEORGE, New York Times bestselling author of The Confessions of Young Nero and The Splendor Before the Dark, US

'There have been many biographies of Caligula, but none that have such spark and vivacity. This reads more like a thriller than a biography.' MANDA SCOTT, bestselling author of the  Boudica and Rome series and A Treasury of Spies, and former president of the Historical Writers Association of the UK

'A compelling page-turner. It reads like a political thriller. Which it is. It reads like a work of investigative journalism. Which it is. It reads like a myth-busting period history. Which it is. The author, clearly familiar with, yet never pedantic about, the primary sources, dispels many old libels masquerading for centuries as fake news. Meanwhile he provides us with an abundance of documented stories so lurid as to dwarf the overhyped misdemeanors of today... Caligula may herald the perfection of a new literary genre: "forensic history." It takes narrative history to a virtuosic level with a timeless story extremely well-told.' RALPH BENKO, US columnist

'A fascinating and widely documented new biography.' UNIDAD EDITORIAL, Spain

'Stephen Dando-Collins has used a wide variety of ancient sources to construct a far more three-dimensional portrait of this important ruler.' PROFESSOR JOHN R. HALE, University of Louisville, US

'A marvelous book. Stephen Dando-Collins offers a fresh scholarly perspective on the notorious emperor Caligula that succeeds admirably in being of interest to professional scholars of the early Roman Empire and to the general reader. This is a lively, engaging volume that is a true pleasure to read. Anyone interested in ancient Rome will want to acquire and enjoy this great new addition to the bibliography.' DR. LEE FRATANTUONO, Professor of Classics, Ohio Wesleyan University, and author of Caligula, An Unexpected General, US

'Dando-Collins debunks some myths surrounding the third emperor of Rome... a complex character; a murderer, no doubt, but also a victim.' EL PAIS, Spain

'A marvelously readable popular biography. It's studded with atmospheric, well-crafted set pieces highlighting both the excesses of this emperor's reign and his imperial milieu.' WASHINGTON INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF BOOKS, US

 

Was the young third of emperor of Rome sex-crazed, bedding his three sisters and engaging in drunken orgies? Did he make his horse a senator, and declare himself a god? Did he set out to invade Britain only to order his troops to collect sea-shells on a French beach? Did he consign biblical figures Pontius Pilate and Herod Antipas to ignominious fates? Did he prove to be, as his predecessor Tiberius predicted, a viper set loose on the Roman people? Can Caligula and Donald Trump justifiably be compared?

The 1979 movie 'Caligula' was full of distortions about Caligula; distortions which have entered the popular imagination. In this riveting, widely researched new biography of the young emperor, Stephen sets out to sort the facts from the fictions, and, based on his knowledge as a renowned international expert on the legions of Rome, provides answers to questions that have perplexed biographers and historians for centuries.

Published on July 30, 2019 in the US and August 15 2019 in the UK by Turner Publishing in hardback, paperback, e-book and audio book, with a Spanish edition now also released in Spain.

Book Cover: Caesar the War Dog 3: Operation Pink Elephant

'An interesting look into the world of poaching and the people who fight against it. This is an excellent book, full of action and excitement.' TOWNSVILLE BULLETIN

When their friend Lucky is kidnapped by elephant poachers in Tanzania, the Global Rapid Reaction Responders team is called in to find him. Caesar the super-sniffing war dog is among the team, along with his handler Ben and team leader Charlie, for the mission.

After a death-defying parachute jump into the ocean and pickup by Australia's largest warship, HMAS Canberra, they start gathering clues.

Saving Lucky and village children who have also been kidnapped by the heavily armed poachers is top priority, but the GRRR team is also prepared to do whatever is necessary to stop the cruel trade in elephant tusks. A battle is about to erupt on the African plain!

As part of the research for this book, Stephen delved deep into the elephant tusk poaching trade, discovering that an Australian ranger was genuinely kidnapped by poachers. Stephen was also a guest of the Royal Australian Navy for a private tour of HMAS Canberra.

 

 

Book Cover: Caesar the War Dog 2: Operation Blue Dragon

'This action-packed adventure will satisfy animal lovers and military enthusiasts alike. Caesar is easy to love and he really shines at showing the greatness behind military service dogs.' SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, US

'The book's strength is its level of detail and contemporary subject matter... It does not glorify war and violence, but rather promotes peacekeeping and cooperation.' BOOKLIST, US

 

Caesar is back in action with his handler Ben, and back in Afghanistan.

In another gripping adventure, when the visiting Secretary-General of the United Nations is captured by the Taliban and a rescue mission is mounted, it's Caesar and the operatives of the UN's new multinational GRRR special operations unit who have to locate and save him.

 

Book Cover: Tank Boys

'Boys aged 12 to 16 would revel in this superby crafted story, composed with a mix of plenty of amiable youthful humour.' READPLUS, Australia

 

Based around the first ever tank versus tank battle of WWI, and inspired by the true story of a boy smuggled back to Australia by Aussie soldiers after the war, Stephen Dando-Collins tells the gripping, captivating story of three 16-year-olds from different sides who come face to face on the Somme battlefield.

Frankie and Taz didn't think about killing or dying when they lied about their age to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force. Richard is conscripted into the German Army via a clerical error, and finds himself the youngest member of the sixteen man crew of the massive German tank Mephisto as it rolls into battle at Villers-Bretonneux. What happens next will change the lives of the three youths forever.

 

Book Cover: Nero's Killing Machine: The True Story of Rome's Remarkable Fourteenth Legion

'Cleverly structured and well paced... Written with a filmic sense of the physicality of battle and the fine line between triumph and disaster.' The Age, Melbourne

'Read his Roman legion books, they are the best there are in this particular genre.' The Gate Entertainment Magazine, Canada 

 

FINALIST, AUDIE AWARDS, HISTORY, US, 21014

THE GLORIOUS SAGA OF THE 14TH GEMINA MARTIA VICTRIX LEGION, THE  MOST CELEBRATED LEGION OF THE EARLY ROMAN EMPIRE.

The second in his unique and internationally successful series of books on individual Roman imperial legions, Dando-Collins tells the true story of the 14th GMV. A veritable killing machine in its heyday, this legion was named by the emperor Nero as his 'most valuable troops,' an award given to no other legion in Roman history.

In the late Republic this unit was wiped out whilst fighting for Julius Caesar. For decades after, the men serving in the 14th struggled to regain their lost status, battling their way back to glory in the invasion of Britain, and two decades later making a legendary stand against British war queen Boudicca and her revolting Britons. Vastly outnumbered, the men of the legion were determined to either conquer or go down fighting.

It reads like a novel, yet it's all true.

AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH AND POLISH EDITIONS AND AUDIOBOOK.

Check out the other Dando-Collins legion sagas on this site: Caesar's Legion, Cleopatra's Kidnappers, and Mark Antony's Heroes.

For detailed backgrounds on all Rome's imperial legions, see the breakthrough Dando-Collins work Legions of Rome, (now in English, Spanish and Russian editions).

 

Book Cover: Captain Bligh's Other Mutiny: The True Story of the Military Coup That Turned Australia into a Two-Year Rebel Republic

'Rivetting!' WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN

''This is a brilliant book. Like me, you won't be able to put it down.' TOM KENEALLY, Booker Prize winning author

'A fine book.' DR PAUL BRUNTON, Head Curator, Mitchell Library, Sydney

'My commendations to Mr Dando-Collins on the effort taken to share this captivating event in Australia's history.' ANNA BLIGH, Premier of Queensland, and a descendant of William Bligh

January 26 is (currently) celebrated as Australia Day. It's also the anniversary of the only military coup in Australia's history, an 1808 event which led to Australia being run like a rebel republic for two years.

The coup was led by wealthy local businessman John Macarthur, who would later be declared insane, and the greedy officers of the New South Wales Corps. The victims were Commodore William Bligh and the civil service officers and settlers who remained loyal to him - the same William Bligh whose crew had mutinied on him when he'd commanded the Bounty, and who had been sent by the British Government to stamp out the corruption in the colony of New South Wales.

Known as the Great Rebellion well into the 20th Century, it later became known as the Rum Rebellion - a title which implied a jolly romp. But there was nothing jolly about this corrupt, brutal affair, one which legal experts from Dr  H.V. Evatt to Geoffrey Robertson have considered totally ilegal, a traversty of justice, and a blot on Australia's history.

With anyone who supported by Bligh being deprived of their labour, and, often their liberty, the only way that some settlers found to protest was by giving their newborn sons the first and second names of William Bligh. This tradition has continued in the family of current prime minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull, whose firstborn son is William Bligh Turnbull.

Taken from court transcripts, diaries, letters, and newspaper accounts, this gripping book reads like a novel as it tells the incredible true story of the days when fear and favour ruled in Australia. Bligh wasn't perfect, but as this books shows, his opponents were rogues of the worst order.

 

Book Cover: Pasteur's Gambit: Louis Pasteur, the Australasian Rabbit Plague, and a Ten Million Dollar Prize

                   WINNER, Queensland Premier's Literary Award for Science Writing.

               SHORTLISTED, Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Science Writing.

 

'A fascinating book, reminding us of the incredible adventures of Adrien Loir, Pasteur's nephew, in Australia.' PROFESSOR MAXIME SCHWARTZ, former director general of the Institut Pasteur, Paris

' A fantastic story. Part science, part history, sprinklings of drama, and ultimately a real adventure.' PROFESSOR TONY PEACOCK, University of Canberra

"I had no idea that Pasteur had so much trouble raising the money for the Pasteur Institute... clearly far from the truth!" said PROFESSOR SIR GUSTAV NOSSAL of the University of Melbourne, Australia's leading microbiologist, to Stephen following the publication of this award-winning book. A book presented by the scientific community to seven winners of the Nobel Prize.

When New South Wales Premier Sir Henry Parkes staged an international competition to find a microbiological remedy to the Australasian rabbit plague of the 1880s, he recieved 1500 entries from around the world, one of those entries came from Louis Pasteur in Paris.

Pasteur, desperate to win the contest prize, worth $10 million in today's money, to fund the opening of his new Pasteur Institute in the French capital, sent his nephew and protege Adrien Loir to Australia to secure the win.

While Parkes was keen for Pasteur to win, and helped young Loir set up the world's second Pasteur Institute on Rodd Island in Sydney Harbour, others in Australia engaged Pasteur's greatest scientific rival, Germany's Robert Kock, in an attempt to scuttle the Pasteur bid.

Scientific discovery, an international scandal, spying, sabotage and skullduggery, and a little sex, were all to follow. The sex part came when Pasteur's nephew Loir had an affair on Rodd Island with visiting French actress and superstar Sarah Bernhardt.

There were only two major Australian literary awards for science writing when Pasteur's Gambit was published. This book won one of them, and was shortlisted for the other.

Yet this amazing true tale reads like a novel. The result of the sort of exhaustive research for which Stephen Dando-Collins is renowned, in Australia and France. It's the stuff of a movie or TV miniseries - which maybe one day it will be.