Escape from Earth
A Secret History of the Space Rocket
After happening upon an old – and still restricted – Cold War rocket testing site in the Outer Hebrides, Fraser MacDonald began to research the technology being tested, the ‘Corporal’ guided missile, and the mystery of the designer Frank J Malina. This book tells the long-buried story of this pioneering rocket scientist, his work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the birth of the space rocket – and how its inventor was written out of history during the McCarthy witch-hunts.
Not Quite a Gentleman
The press baron Max Beaverbrook (1879–1964) was a dominant figure in 20th-century British life. This biography explores his Scots-Presbyterian upbringing in Canada and the financial dealings that made him a millionaire by the time he emigrated to the UK aged 31, before going on to record his political career, his ownership of the Daily Express, and his friendship with Winston Churchill.
Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader in 2015 surprised, delighted and troubled many in the party. This biography seeks the roots of his ideas in his life and career. It describes his childhood in rural Shropshire, his marriages, and his 40 years as a rebellious backbencher, before covering his leadership campaign and unexpectedly strong showing in the 2017 election.
War and the Death of News
From Battlefield to Newsroom – My Fifty Years in Journalism
Martin Bell has seen war from both sides, first as a soldier and then as a journalist, reporting from some of the worst conflicts of recent decades. In this personal account he describes his experiences in Vietnam, Bosnia and Northern Ireland, and reflects on the way that journalism has changed. In the face of ‘embedded’ reporting, ‘infotainment’, social media and ‘post-truth’, he issues an impassioned call to put substance back into the news.
Inside the Secret Companies that Run Britain
Our government spends £80 billion a year outsourcing services to companies the public knows little about, including G4S, Serco and ATOS. Based on extensive insider interviews, White investigates systemic failures and company scandals in social care, welfare and justice. Slightly off-mint.
No Turning Back
Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria
This year-by-year account tracks the Syrian civil war from the first peaceful protests in Damascus in 2011 to 2016. Based on interviews with civilians, Free Syrian Army fighters and Islamist militias, it offers a human account of the devastation inflicted by the conflict, the ideological and religious passions involved, and the secret deals that armed and then betrayed the uprising.
An Unauthorised Life
Reviled as a terrorist and hailed as a peacemaker, Gerry Adams remains a controversial figure. Drawing on new intelligence and exclusive interviews, this biography follows his journey from street activist to elder statesman with access to prime ministers and presidents.
The 50 Most Thought-Provoking Theories in Politics, Each Explained in Half a Minute
This introduction to political theory surveys the various forms of rule by the few and by the many, including key elements of democracy and different schools of communism, together with concepts in the fields of political economy and international relations.
A People's History
While in office, President Obama received thousands of letters a day from ordinary American citizens. Every night, he read ten of these at bedtime, whether they were apologies, appreciations, thanks or rants, and he often sent handwritten responses. The author of this book has interviewed the letter-writers, members of the White House staff and Obama himself to create a vivid portrait of an empathetic leader and the people he represented.
Fighters and Quitters
Great Political Resignations
Fighters and Quitters charts the scandals, controversies and errors that have obliterated many a political career, from the Profumo affair to the casualties of Brexit. It recounts the faked death of John Stonehouse in the 1970s, Edwina Currie’s undoing by the egg industry, Robin Cook’s resignation over the Iraq War, and the many comebacks of Peter Mandelson.
John F Kennedy's Special Relationship with Great Britain
Tracking John F Kennedy’s exploits in Britain between 1935 and 1963, from the era of the Great Depression in the USA to the Cold War arms race, Christopher Sandford looks in depth at how Britain shaped JFK throughout his adult life, and how he in turn charmed British society. Set against the Second World War and its aftermath, the story of this ‘special relationship’ suggests how certain experiences of Britain may have influenced Kennedy’s basic thinking as president.
The German Left and the Weimar Republic
A Selection of Documents
Published in the Historical Materialism series, this volume presents a selection of documents relating to both parties of the political left in the Weimar period: the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), a party of government; and the revolutionary Communist Party of Germany (KPD). As well as writings on policy from both perspectives, there are documents dealing with social issues, including gender and sexual politics.
A History of Political Trials
From Charles I to Charles Taylor
While the creation of international tribunals to try heads of state for crimes against humanity are usually hailed as new, breakthrough victories for human rights, this study argues that such trials have a long history. In cases from Charles I in 1649 to Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, in 2012, Laughland examines the constitutional issues raised by political trials and ‘special tribunals’, discussing the nature of the Prosecution and the often ignored Defence as well as procedural shortcomings.
In the Shadow of Power
Influence and Spin Down the Centuries
Exploring the role of the éminence grise and the exercise of influence, Bob Whittington describes the careers and, in many cases, the demise, of 24 ‘fixers’, favourites or advisers, from Alexander the Great’s general, Parmenion (c.400–330 BCE), to Peter Mandelson, the ‘Prince of Darkness’ of Tony Blair’s premiership, and Fr Georg Gänswein, the close companion of Pope Benedict XVI.
When They Go Low, We Go High
Speeches that Shaped the World – and Why We Need Them
An experienced speechwriter for politicians including Tony Blair, Philip Collins explains how the right words, at the right time, can change the world. His analysis of 25 great speeches, by Pericles, Lincoln, Emmeline Pankhurst, Churchill, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and others, demonstrates how oratory can shape national identity, give voice to the people, and establish peace in place of war. In an age of fake news and populism, he argues, attention to how democratic ideas are expressed is more important than ever.
The Murdoch Method
Notes on Running a Media Empire
Rupert Murdoch has had a huge impact on the modern media landscape and Irwin Stelzer was an adviser to him for 35 years. He describes Murdoch’s predilection for risk-taking, mistrust of the establishment and unconventional management style, while analysing turning points in his career, from his purchase of British newspapers (the News of the World, followed by the Sun) and News Corp’s takeover of Twentieth Century Fox to Myspace’s decline and the tabloid phone-hacking scandal.
The Café de Move-on Blues
In Search of the New South Africa
A quarter of a century after the end of apartheid, Christopher Hope embarks on a road trip through his homeland from Cape Town to the Zimbabwean border, meeting exploited black miners and embittered white nationalists. In the face of persisting economic inequality and interracial bitterness, he concludes that Nelson Mandela’s dream of a ‘rainbow nation’ is fading, and it might be the turn of the whites to hear what anti-apartheid politician Oliver Tambo called ‘the Move-on Blues’.
The Putin Interviews
The Full Transcripts
Celebrated director Oliver Stone filmed a number of interviews with Vladimir Putin between 2015 and 2017, discussing his childhood and rise to power as well as current policies and relationships with Western politicians. These transcripts of the interviews give a detailed insight into the Russian leader and question whether his demonization by the West in recent years is justified. Off-mint.
A Biography of Tom Johnston
As Scottish Secretary in Churchill’s war cabinet, Tom Johnston helped lay the foundations of the NHS; later, he brought electricity to remote parts of Scotland. Tracing his ideals to his early career as a campaigning journalist, this biography celebrates his fighting spirit and lasting achievements.
The Architectural, Landscape and Constitutional Plans of the Earl of Mar, 1700-32
One of Scotland’s foremost citizens of the early 18th century, John Erskine (1675–1732), Earl of Mar was active in politics and in architecture, landscape and infrastructure planning. He made important contributions to building in Scotland, particularly in his native Alloa and, in exile in France after his support for the 1715 Rising, he continued designing and planning. This aspect of Mar’s life, rather than his controversial politics, is the focus of Margaret Stewart’s richly illustrated study.
At the Heart of Power From Heath to Blair
Described as ‘one of the two or three men who actually run the country’, Robin Butler served variously as private secretary to, and cabinet secretary under, five prime ministers. This biography presents Butler as both traditionalist and innovator in a civil service undergoing profound change.
An Unsuccessful Prime Minister? Reappraising John Major
This collection of essays takes a balanced look at the successes and failures of John Major’s government, and re-evaluates its legacy. Contributions from politicians including Charles Clarke, Paddy Ashdown and John Redwood and commentators such as Peter Oborne and Christian Wolmar reflect on the government’s fragile majority, battles over Europe and the Maastricht treaty, the Exchange Rate Mechanism debacle, the first Gulf War, and the Northern Ireland peace process.
Tony Blair: The Tragedy of Power
Tony Blair became prime minister in 1997 with a landside majority and an approval rating of 93 per cent. When he resigned in 2007, his popularity had slumped and his party was in disarray. With access to Whitehall officials, politicians and military officers, this study offers a day-to-day account of his decade in office and his subsequent career, charting the steps – the spin, the Iraq war, the Chilcot enquiry – by which his reputation was eroded. Slightly off-mint.
War and the Death of News
Reflections of a Grade B Reporter
Martin Bell has seen war from both sides, first as a soldier and then as a journalist, reporting from some of the worst conflicts of recent decades. In this personal account he describes his experiences in Vietnam, Bosnia and Northern Ireland, and reflects on the way that journalism has changed. In the face of ‘embedded’ reporting, ‘infotainment’, social media and ‘post-truth’, he issues an impassioned call to put substance back into the news. Slightly off-mint.
Lenin on the Train
When Tsar Nicholas II abdicated in March 1917, the exiled Lenin immediately began planning to return from Zurich to Petrograd. Sensing an opportunity to throw Russia into greater chaos, the German government allowed the Bolshevik leader to cross their country in a sealed railway carriage. Merridale tells the story of this world-changing journey and delves into the archives to uncover the underground conspiracy, illicit finance and wartime desperation that combined to make Lenin’s return possible.
The Black Prince of Florence
The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro de' Medici
The illegitimate son of Lorenzo II and a maidservant, Alessandro de’ Medici ruled Florence for six turbulent years until he was assassinated in 1537. This first complete account of his life charts the rise through the intrigue-ridden courts of Renaissance Italy of the model for Machiavelli’s Prince, assesses the qualities of a ruler branded a tyrant by his enemies after his death, and considers the possible ethnic origins of this ‘first European ruler of colour’.
The Pursuit of Power
This volume of the Penguin History of Europe explores the huge cultural, political and technological changes of an era in which cities expanded massively, countries were created and the speed of long-distance communication was accelerated. Describing the ways in which the continent developed and interacted with the rest of the world, Richard Evans provides a comprehensive survey of Europe during the period between the Battle of Waterloo and the First World War.
1923–1968: The Idealist
Few US statesmen have been as revered and reviled as Henry Kissinger. This first of two volumes charts his escape from Nazi Germany, his combat experience in the Second World War, his early celebrity as a Harvard professor, and his formative visit to Vietnam. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
A Different Kind Of Weather
William Waldegrave was a key figure in Margaret Thatcher’s government. His elegantly written memoir recalls the quintessentially English upbringing that would shape his life and career. With unusual frankness and dark humour, Waldegrave charts the rise and fall of Mrs Thatcher, offering a rare glimpse of the narcotic effect of politics, and a unique insight into one of the most tumultuous eras of modern British history.
A Capital History
This wide-ranging and extensively illustrated survey explores every aspect of London’s politics, not only in its position as the capital of the nation, seat of the monarchy and home of Parliament, but in all its diversity. Richard Tames charts the development of the city’s often contentious local government, its long-standing function as a magnet for exiled revolutionaries, and its role as an arena of conflict for strikers, suffragettes, Fenians and fascists.
The Untold Story from Independence to Civil War
Hilde F Johnson, the former UN Special Representative in South Sudan, provides an insider’s account of the years following the country’s declaration of independence in July 2011. From her vantage point in Juba, Johnson witnessed how the seeds of conflict were sown and the rapid escalation of violence into what Desmond Tutu describes in his foreword as ‘an atrocious and senseless civil war’. This in-depth study of the new nation attempts to answer the question: why?
The World According to Xi
Everything You Need to Know About the New China
China is rapidly becoming the most powerful nation on earth, and its leader, Xi Jingping, is enshrined in its constitution – an honour not seen since Chairman Mao. This succinct, accessible primer charts his rise to power and explains his world-view, his plans to eradicate poverty and extend his country’s global reach, his thoughts on China’s Communist legacy – and how far he is prepared to go to defend it.
How the World Works
Noam Chomsky is one of the world’s most respected linguists, yet his radical political ideas, while attracting legions of followers across the globe, have made him a prophet without honour in his own land. In this selection of interviews, he lays bare the realities of contemporary geopolitics with exceptional clarity and power, including the main goals of US foreign policy, the new global economy, the roots of racism and the coming ecological catastrophe.
A Very Courageous Decision
The Inside Story of Yes Minister
In 1980, when Britain had no 24-hour television news, internet, Twitter or demands for ‘transparency’, the cogs of government turned most mysteriously. Public enlightenment came with an intelligent, well-informed and hilarious TV series: Yes Minister and its sequel, Yes Prime Minister, which revealed and mercilessly lampooned what went on in Whitehall and Westminster. Graham McCann tells the story of the series and seeks out the real political fiascos that inspired it. Slightly off-mint.
The Black Door
Spies, Secret Intelligence and British Prime Ministers
‘The use of secret intelligence is one of the dark arts of statecraft’: this study traces how British Prime Ministers have used the intelligence agencies since 1909. From Herbert Asquith to David Cameron, the book examines each premier’s personal approach to MI5 and MI6 and the national security issues that confronted their administrations, whether Asquith’s response to the ‘German menace’, Churchill’s mastery of ‘this queer and deadly game’ during the Second World War or Tony Blair’s missing Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Plato and the City
A New Introduction to Plato's Political Thought
This is an expanded English version of Pradeau's Platon et la cite (1997). Lucid and non-technical, the book is both a study of the city - or political community - in Plato's work and an introduction to his political thought as a whole, with translations of key extracts. It offers English-speaking readers access to a more unifying continental European reading of Plato than is common in British and North American scholarship. Translated by Janet Lloyd, with a foreword by Christopher Gill.
Struggles and Feminism in Britain c.1770-1970
Part of the Documents in Modern History series, this volume traces the progress of women's rights through a collection of documents organized by seven themes: the law, marriage and motherhood, education, work, politics, health and sexuality. No jacket.
Harry's Last Stand
How the World My Generation Built is Falling Down, and What We Can Do to Save It
Born in Yorkshire in 1923 and brought up in poverty, Harry Leslie Smith was a survivor of the Great Depression, an RAF veteran of the Second World War and now an activist for the preservation of social democracy and author of Guardian articles online. Part autobiography, part commentary on contemporary society, this is his passionate account of 'how the world my generation built is falling down, and what we can do to save it'.
Dublin Castle and the First Home Rule Crisis: The Political
Journal of Sir George Fottrell, 1884-1887
Presenting information supplied by administrators to politicians including George Fottrell, earls Spencer and Carnarvon, Sir Robert Hamilton and Gladstone, this collection of documents gives a 'worm's-eye-view' of Irish affairs. Camden Fifth Series. Vol.33