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In the last years of the 19th century an American tobacco company, Allen and Ginter, began inserting plain cards called 'stifeners' into packets of cigarettes to protect their products from being crushed. It was swiftly exploited for commercial purposes: to advertise other products and then illustrate the cards with popular personalities. These collectables swiftly became a phenomenon. Now Rowlands has shared his passion. Featuring every Liverpool player featured in this medium, along with biographical details and contextual notes, Rowlands tells the story of the cigarette card craze. Presented in full colour.
In Red Men, a unique and exhaustively researched history of Liverpool Football Club, John Williams explores the origins and divisive politics of football in the city of Liverpool, and profiles the key men behind the emergence of the club and its early successes. The first great Liverpool manager, Tom Watson, piloted the club to its first league championships in 1901 and 1906 before taking the club to the FA Cup final in 1914. Watson and the key members of those early Liverpool teams are analysed in depth, as is the role of the club and its fans in the city as Merseyside balanced self-improvement and cosmopolitanism with almost unimaginable problems of poverty. Liverpool secured consecutive league titles in 1922 and 1923 with the incomparable goalkeeper Elisha Scott as its totemic star and the darling of the Kop. In the '20s, Liverpool was also the first British club to internationalise its playing staff. The club's next league title came in 1947, but, in the bleak '50s, the Liverpool board ruled with an iron fist and controlled the purse strings - until Bill Shankly arrived and won that elusive first FA Cup in 1965. The recent tragedies that have shaped the club's contemporary identity are also covered here, as are the new Continental influences at Liverpool and, of course, the glory of Istanbul in 2005. Red Men is the definitive history of a remarkable football club from its formation in 1892 to the present day, told in the wider context of the social and cultural development of the city of Liverpool and its people.
A police helicopter hovers above Hackney. Snipers surround a house under siege. Fascinated, Nelson Millar edges forward to watch the advance of the negotiator: a robot, uncannily tall and serene, designed to empathise with the despair that has turned a bitter executive into a corner gunman. But the robot is too late; an explosion engulfs the house. As Nelson watches the burning machine burst onto the street, he realises that the future has arrived on his doorstep. Nelson is unwittingly working on a project that threatens the very nature of democracy - the simulation of a town and its citizens in an attempt to create the ultimate focus group. Meanwhile, his friend Raymond is hired to assist the mysterious Red Men, digital copies of the rich and powerful whose vile appetites and hatred for real life soon lead to murder. A literary thriller for an out-of-control age, THE RED MEN captures the shocking, baffling quality of life in our new century, a battle in which even ordinary men like Nelson must take sides to survive. [Cover image taken from the short film Dr. Easy, written and directed by Shynola. The image is reproduced with the kind permission of Warp Films Ltd and Film4, a division of Channel Four Television Corporation. All rights reserved.]
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