Popular uprisings in Poland and Hungary shake Moscow's hold on its eastern European empire. Across the American South, and in the Union of South Africa, black people risk their livelihoods, and their lives, in the struggle to dismantle institutionalised white supremacy and secure first-class citizenship. France and Britain, already battling anti-colonial insurgencies in Algeria and Cyprus, now face the humiliation of Suez. Meanwhile, in Cuba, Fidel Castro and his band of rebels take to the Sierra Maestra to plot the overthrow of a dictator...1956 was one of the most remarkable years of the twentieth century. All across the globe, ordinary people spoke out, filled the streets and city squares, and took up arms in an attempt to win their freedom. In response to these unprecedented challenges to their authority, those in power fought back, in a desperate bid to shore up their position. It was an epic contest, and one which made 1956 - like 1789 and 1848 - a year that changed our world.
Vibrantly and sympathetically told, this is the story of one year - a capsule history of exhilarating triumphs and shattering defeats around the world.
Simon Hall studied history at Sheffield and Cambridge, and held a Fox International Fellowship at Yale, before moving to the University of Leeds in 2003 to teach American history. His previous books include Peace and Freedom: The Civil Rights and Antiwar Movements in the 1960s and American Patriotism, American Protest: Social Movements Since the Sixties.