£9.99Despite the acres of speculation devoted to special advisers in recent years, from Alastair Campbell to Dominic Cummings, their role is much misunderstood. Who are the people Piers Morgan once called 'these miserable little creatures' and just how much influence do they have? Peter Cardwell served as SpAd to four Cabinet ministers, acting as media adviser, political fixer, troubleshooter and occasional wardrobe consultant. In this candid, compelling and frequently hilarious insider account, he takes the reader into the heart of Whitehall to reveal what the job really involves, from dealing with counter-terror emergencies in Cobra to explaining to the Justice Secretary what a dental dam is, to having your inside leg measured in a government office. Spells in Northern Ireland office add local insight to this amusing book.
Packed with advice on navigating the perks and pitfalls of the job, The Secret Life of Special Advisers will inform and entertain anyone who has ever wondered what these mysterious figures really do all day.
The investigative journalist Sam McBride takes an analytical and thorough look at the RHI scandal that engulfed Stormont. Well written.
02.11.2019 Please note this book is in high demand and is currently reprinting - please check before ordering that we have it in stock. *currently stock due 11 Nov* We will gladly add you to the wait list.
From the bestselling author of The Big Short. Michael Lewis shines his spotlight on what happens, or might happen, if those people in power, just decide to ‘not show up’ It’s a fast and riveting read about how constancy in administration needs to actually deliver for the country, and how in the Trump era that may not have happened
How did we get to a place where bullshit is not just rife, but apparently so effective that it has become the communications strategy of our times? Written with the generous intelligent and wry humour that admirers of his broadcasting will recognise. Essential reading for anyone involved in communication.
Now available as £9.99 paperback ( August 2019)
**THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER**Sapiens showed us where we came from. Homo Deus looked to the future. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century explores the present.
How can we protect ourselves from nuclear war, ecological cataclysms and technological disruptions? What can we do about the epidemic of fake news or the threat of terrorism? What should we teach our children? Yuval Noah Harari takes us on a thrilling journey through today's most urgent issues. The golden thread running through his exhilarating new book is the challenge of maintaining our collective and individual focus in the face of constant and disorienting change. Are we still capable of understanding the world we have created?
Seven Ways to Change the World : How To Fix The Most Pressing Problems We Face
When the Covid-19 pandemic swept across the globe in 2020, it created an unprecedented impact. But out of such disruption can come a new way of thinking, and in this superb book, updated to include the latest events in Ukraine and at COP26, former UK prime minister Gordon Brown offers his solutions to the challenges we face now and in the future. In the book, he states that there are seven major global problems we must address: global health; climate change and environmental damage; nuclear proliferation; global financial instability; the humanitarian crisis and global poverty; the barriers to education and opportunity; and global inequality and its biggest manifestation, global tax havens.
Each one presents an immense challenge that requires an urgent global response and solution. All should be on the world's agenda today. None can be solved by one nation acting on its own, but all can be addressed if we work together as a global community.
£9.99An alternative history of the world that exposes some of the biggest lies ever told and how they've been used over time. Lincoln did not believe all men were created equal.
The Aztecs were not slaughtered by the Spanish Conquistadors. And Churchill was not the man that people love to remember. In this fascinating new book, journalist and author Otto English takes ten great lies from history and shows how our present continues to be manipulated by the fabrications of the past.
He looks at how so much of what we take to be historical fact is, in fact, fiction. From the myths of WW2 to the adventures of Columbus, and from the self-serving legends of 'great men' to the origins of curry - fake history is everywhere and used ever more to impact our modern world. Setting out to redress the balance, English tears apart the lies propagated by politicians and think tanks, the grand narratives spun by populists and the media, the stories on your friend's Facebook feed and the tales you were told in childhood.
And, in doing so, reclaims the truth from those who have perverted it. Fake History exposes everything you weren't told in school and why you weren't taught it.
£16.99THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER Power. Privilege. Parties.
It's a very small world at the top. 'Brilliant ... traces Brexit back to the debating chambers of the Oxford Union in the 1980s' James O'Brien'A searing onslaught on the smirking Oxford insinuation that politics is all just a game.
It isn't. It matters' Matthew Parris'A sparkling firework of a book' Lynn Barber, Spectator'Exquisite and depressing in equal measure' Matthew Syed, Sunday TimesBoris Johnson, Michael Gove, David Cameron, George Osborne, Theresa May, Dominic Cummings, Daniel Hannan, Jacob Rees-Mogg: Whitehall is swarming with old Oxonians. They debated each other in tutorials, ran against each other in student elections, and attended the same balls and black tie dinners.
They aren't just colleagues - they are peers, rivals, friends. And, when they walked out of the world of student debates onto the national stage, they brought their university politics with them. Eleven of the fifteen postwar British prime ministers went to Oxford.
In Chums, Simon Kuper traces how the rarefied and privileged atmosphere of this narrowest of talent pools - and the friendships and worldviews it created - shaped modern Britain. A damning look at the university clique-turned-Commons majority that will blow the doors of Westminster wide open and change the way you look at our democracy forever.
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Get your daughters to read this, but only after your partners and sons have finished it' Jo Brand'
Too often, we blame women. For walking home alone at night. For not demanding a seat at the table.
For not overcoming the odds that are stacked against them. This distracts us from the real problem: the failings and biases of a society that was not built for women. In this explosive book, feminist writer and activist Laura Bates exposes the systemic prejudice at the heart of five of our key institutions.
Education Politics Media Policing Criminal justice
Combining stories with shocking evidence, Fix the System, Not the Women is a blazing examination of sexual injustice and a rallying cry for reform.
£20.00In The War on the West, international bestselling author Douglas Murray asks: if the history of humankind is one of slavery, conquest, prejudice, genocide and exploitation, why are only Western nations taking the blame for it? It's become perfectly acceptable to celebrate the contributions of non-Western cultures, but discussing their flaws and crimes is called hate speech. What's more it has become acceptable to discuss the flaws and crimes of Western culture, but celebrating their contributions is also called hate speech.
Some of this is a much-needed reckoning; however, some is part of a larger international attack on reason, democracy, science, progress and the citizens of the West by dishonest scholars, hatemongers, hostile nations and human-rights abusers hoping to distract from their ongoing villainy. In The War on the West, Douglas Murray shows the ways in which many well-meaning people have been lured into polarisation by lies, and shows how far the world's most crucial political debates have been hijacked across Europe and America. Propelled by an incisive deconstruction of inconsistent arguments and hypocritical activism, The War on the West is an essential and urgent polemic that cements Murray's status as one of the world's foremost political writers.
£10.99A powerful and revelatory history book about the bloodlands - the lands that lie between Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany - where 14 million people were killed during the years 1933 - 1944. In the middle of Europe, in the middle of the twentieth century, the Nazi and Soviet regimes murdered fourteen million people in the bloodlands between Berlin and Moscow. In a twelve-year-period, in these killing fields - today's Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Western Russia and the eastern Baltic coast - an average of more than one million citizens were slaughtered every year, as a result of deliberate policies unrelated to combat.
In this book Timothy Snyder offers a ground-breaking investigation into the motives and methods of Stalin and Hitler and, using scholarly literature and primary sources, pays special attention to the testimony of the victims, including the letters home, the notes flung from trains, the diaries on corpses. The result is a brilliantly researched, profoundly humane, authoritative and original book that forces us to re-examine one of the greatest tragedies in European history and re-think our past
BOOKS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2022, NEW STATESMAN
Compelling, powerful and necessary.' Shoshana Zuboff, author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
Without a moment's pause, we share our most intimate thoughts with trillion-dollar tech companies. Their algorithms categorize us and jump to troubling conclusions about who we are. They also shape our everyday thoughts, choices and actions - from who we date to whether we vote.
But this is just the latest front in an age-old struggle. Part history and part manifesto, Freedom to Think explores how the powerful have always sought to influence how we think and what we buy. Connecting the dots from Galileo to Alexa, human rights lawyer Susie Alegre charts the history and fragility of our most important human right: freedom of thought.
Filled with shocking case-studies across politics, criminal justice, and everyday life, this ground-breaking book shows how our mental freedom is under threat like never before. Bold and radical, Alegre argues that only by recasting our human rights for the digital age can we safeguard our future.
How the Cult of the Leader Threatens Democracy around the World
Since the beginning of the millennium, when Vladimir Putin took power in Russia, authoritarian leaders have come to dominate global politics. Self-styled strongmen have risen to power in Moscow, Beijing, Delhi, Brasilia, Budapest, Ankara, Riyadh and Washington.
How and why did this new style of strongman leadership arrive? How likely is it to lead to war or economic collapse? And what forces are in place not only to keep these strongmen in check but to reverse the trend? Everywhere they go, these leaders encourage a cult of personality. They are nationalists and social conservatives, with little tolerance for minorities, dissent or the interests of foreigners. At home, they claim to stand up for ordinary people against globalist elites; abroad, they posture as the embodiments of their nations.
And they are not just operating in authoritarian political systems but have begun to emerge in the heartlands of liberal democracy. From Putin, Trump and Bolsonaro to Erdogan, Xi and Modi, The Age of the Strongman provides the first truly global treatment of the new nationalism and offers a bold new paradigm for understanding our world.
Reporting the Troubles 2 : More Journalists Tell Their Stories of the Northern Ireland Conflict
In this follow-up to their landmark first book, Deric Henderson and Ivan Little have gathered new stories from seventy journalists who have worked in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. These contributors write powerfully about the victims they have never forgotten, the events that have never left them, and the lasting impact of working through those terrible years. Reporting the Troubles 2, which includes contributions from a new generation of journalists, who came up in the years leading to the Good Friday Agreement, provides a compelling narrative of the last fifty years, and covers many of the key events in Northern Ireland's troubled history, from Bloody Sunday in 1972 to the inquest into the Ballymurphy Massacre in 2021.
Grounded in the passionate belief that good journalism and good journalists make a difference, Reporting the Troubles 2 is a profoundly moving act of remembrance and testimony. 'I am sometimes asked to identify the most important story that I dealt with while I was editor of the Irish Times ... I answer that the most important story was not published in a single day but over years.
And it was not put together by any one journalist but by a whole cohort of reporters, photographers, feature writers and editors ... For the most part they just got by-lines and the satisfaction of knowing that what they were doing was important, that the story had to be told, day by day, hour by hour. And that telling it could make a difference.
One of the most influential economists in the world' Wired
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, capitalism was stuck. It had no answers to a host of problems, including disease, inequality, the digital divide and, perhaps most blatantly, the environmental crisis. Taking her inspiration from the 'moonshot' programmes which successfully co-ordinated public and private sectors on a massive scale, Mariana Mazzucato calls for the same level of boldness and experimentation to be applied to the biggest problems of our time.
We must, she argues, rethink the capacities and role of government within the economy and society, and above all recover a sense of public purpose. Mission Economy, whose ideas are already being adopted around the world, offers a way out of our impasse to a more optimistic future.
Empire of Pain : The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty, Patrick Radden Keefe ( Paperback March 2022)
£9.99The gripping and shocking story of three generations of the Sackler family and their roles in the stories of Valium, OxyContin and the opioid crisis. 'Jaw-dropping . .
. Beggars belief' Sunday Times'You feel almost guilty for enjoying it so much' The TimesThe Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions - Harvard; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Oxford; the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations in the arts and the sciences.
The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing Oxycontin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis - an international epidemic of drug addiction which has killed nearly half a million people. In this masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, award-winning journalist and host of the Wind of Change podcast Patrick Radden Keefe exhaustively documents the jaw-dropping and ferociously compelling reality. Empire of Pain is the story of a dynasty: a parable of twenty-first-century greed.
This is a book about political stasis; the purgatory that Stormont became, and the sins of that long standoff. The story begins in January 2017, with Martin McGuinness’s dramatic resignation as Deputy First Minister, and chronicles all the behind-the-scenes negotiations that ultimately resulted in the restoration of the Executive in January 2020, with the ‘New Decade, New Approach’ agreement. Then, that new fight with a fearsome and unknowable foe: coronavirus.
Political Purgatory charts the three years from the collapse then restoration of the northern Executive to Covid-19 in the wider frame of building peace after conflict, and it turns the next corner into the centenary of Northern Ireland and that louder call for Irish unity since Brexit, like a piece of heavy machinery on fragile ground, has left cracks across the Union.
Spanning several decades, some of the biggest names on the inside of Irish and British politics, including Gerry Adams, Naomi Long, Peter Robinson, Julian Smith and Simon Coveney, help veteran journalist Brian Rowan turn the pages in what President Clinton has called the ‘long war for peace’.
Amanda Gorman's powerful and historic poem 'The Hill We Climb,' read at President Joe Biden's inauguration, is now available as a collectible gift edition.
On 20 January 2021, Amanda Gorman spoke a message of truth and hope to millions. Aged twenty-two, she delivered a poetry reading at the inauguration of US President Joe Biden.
Her poem, 'The Hill We Climb', addressed the country and reached across the world: a call for a brave future. This special edition, which includes an enduring foreword by Oprah Winfrey, marks that poem and offers us courage, consolation and the inspiration to make change. 'If the hardest part of an artist's job is to fully and honestly meet the moment, Amanda delivered a master class [at the inauguration].
She spoke truth to power and embodied clear-eyed hope to a weary nation. She revealed us to ourselves' Lin-Manuel Miranda, TIME
'An urgent and exhilarating account of how populism, prejudice & polarisation have corrupted objective truth and public discourse. D'Ancona's sparkling prose provides an explanation of how we got here and, crucially, how we might get out.' -- James O'Brien
'A book so rich in thought, wisdom and persuasion I find myself sharing the ideas within it with everyone I meet... In the much-mourned absence of Christopher Hitchens, d'Ancona is fast becoming the voice of enlightenment for our bewildered age.' -- Emily Maitlis'
This is a call to arms. The old tools of political analysis are obsolete - they have rusted and are no longer fit for purpose. We've grown lazy, wedded to the assumption that, after ruptures such as Brexit, the pandemic, and the rise of the populist Right, things will eventually go 'back to normal'.
Award-winning political writer Matthew d'Ancona invites you to think afresh: to seek new ways of challenging political extremism, bombastic populism and democratic torpor on both Left and Right. In this ground-breaking book, he proposes a new way of understanding our era and plots a way forward. With rigorous analysis, he argues that we need to understand the world in a new way, with a framework built from the three I's: Identity, Ignorance and Innovation.
If you've ever wondered what would happen if limitless money met limitless power, wonder no longer, it's all here...Terrifying, disturbing and ghastly' Oliver Bullough, author of Moneyland'
Blood and Oil is the explosive untold story of how Mohammed bin Salman and his entourage grabbed power in the Middle East and acquired a network of Western allies - including well-known US bankers, Hollywood figures, and politicians - all eager to help the charming and crafty crown prince.
Through astonishing interviews with powerful insiders, Blood and Oil tells how MBS's cabal played the Saudi economy and capitalised on the omnipotence of feudal power while effectively stamping out dissent, before allegations of his extreme brutality and excess began to slip out.
A story of breath-taking dealings that range from Riyadh to London, Paris to America, this is a thrilling and brutal investigation into extreme wealth, one of the world's most decisive and dangerous new leaders, and the bid for Saudi transformation that is reverberating around the world. "This is as close to the truth, to the real story of the corruption, vulgarities, horrors, and lies of the Kingdom and its current despot as we are likely to get.
- Anne Applebaum is a leading historian of communism and a penetrating investigator of contemporary politics. Here she sets her sights on the big question, one with which she herself has been deeply engaged in both Europe and America: how did our democracy go wrong? This extraordinary document, written with urgency, intelligence and understanding, is her answer.
Analysis, reportage and memoir, Twilight of Democracy fearlessly tells the shameful story of a political generation gone bad. In the years just before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, people from across the political spectrum in Europe and America celebrated a great achievement, felt a common purpose and, very often, forged personal friendships. Yet over the following decades the euphoria evaporated, the common purpose and centre ground gradually disappeared, extremism rose once more and eventually - as this book compellingly relates - the relationships soured too.
Anne Applebaum traces this history in an unfamiliar way, looking at the trajectories of individuals caught up in the public events of the last three decades. When politics becomes polarized, which side do you back? If you are a journalist, an intellectual, a civic leader, how do you deal with the re-emergence of authoritarian or nationalist ideas in your country? When your leaders appropriate history, or pedal conspiracies, or eviscerate the media and the judiciary, do you go along with it?Twilight of Democracy is an essay that combines the personal and the political in an original way and brings a fresh understanding to the dynamics of public life in Europe and America, both now and in the recent past.
Feargal covers the story of his own family history and prompts reflections on what it means to kill for a cause, and how to reconcile history and war with moving forward. A thoughtful and powerful read.
How did we go from Obama to Trump - and can the tide be turned back? Dan Pfeiffer was communications director for Obama.. his is a funny, thoughtful and humble recollection of his time on the front line of politics.
David Runciman is one of the UK’s leading professors of politics. Here he surveys the political landscape of the West, helping us to spot the new signs of a collapsing democracy and advising us of what might happen next.
We think we know what that looks like: chaos descends and the military arrives to restore order, until the people can be trusted to look after their own affairs again. However, there is a danger that this picture is out of date. Until very recently, most citizens of Western democracies would have imagined that the end was a long way off, and very few would have thought it might be happening before their eyes as Trump, Brexit and paranoid populism have become a reality.
Paperback £9.99 now available.