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.
Statesman or Scoundrel
Although best-known for his leadership during the First World War, David Lloyd George (1863–1945) made an enormous contribution to domestic politics both before and after the war, introducing pensions and national insurance during his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer, giving women the vote, and signing the Anglo-Irish Treaty. This biography and critical assessment of Lloyd George offers a new perspective on one of the most phenomenally talented – but also flawed – British Prime Ministers.
The Garments of Court and Palace
Machiavelli and the World That He Made
Over the centuries, the ideal ruler as described by Machiavelli in The Prince has mostly been seen as a ruthless tyrant, but Philip Bobbitt argues that this is a misunderstanding arising from mistranslations, political agendas and interpreters overlooking Machiavelli’s earlier work. In his commentary on The Prince, Bobbitt presents Machiavelli as ‘the clear-sighted prophet of a new constitutional order with its basis in the union of strategy and law’.
Principles and Power
A Labour politician who believed that foreign policy must have an ethical dimension, Robin Cook was Foreign Secretary throughout Tony Blair’s first term as Prime Minister, from 1997 to June 2001. In 2003, as Leader of the Commons, he resigned from government in protest against the Iraq war. John Williams, who was Cook’s press secretary at the Foreign Office, gives a behind-the-scenes account of a politician whose career illustrates the difficulty of reconciling principles with the compromises of government.
Some 20th Century British Politicians
Michael Bloch, acclaimed biographer of Jeremy Thorpe, here turns to many other ‘homosexual, bisexual and sexually ambiguous’ male British politicians, from Edwardian times to the present day. His entertaining and enlightening discussion of such colourful characters as Bob Boothby and Tom Driberg combines humorous gossip with serious reflections on the private turmoil of men who were forced to live double lives by their country’s social attitudes. Foreword by Matthew Parris.
Beyond Magna Carta
Writing shortly before the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, and in the aftermath of the Scottish Independence referendum, Andrew Blick sees a present need for a full written constitution of the UK. He examines a series of historical texts dating back as far as the sixth and seventh centuries, and including Magna Carta, which sought to set out arrangements for the governance of England – and later the UK. These, he argues, comprise a powerful tradition of written constitution.
Coming Up Trumps
The daughter of an officer and an American heiress, Jean Trumpington was born into a world of considerable privilege, but the Wall Street Crash wiped out her mother's fortune. In this forthright memoir Trumpington looks back on her long and remarkable life during which she worked for Lloyd George and then at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, married, and later embarked on a political career, becoming a life peer in 1980.
The Zhivago Affair
The Kremlin, the CIA and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book
In Soviet Russia in 1956, Boris Pasternak's novel Dr Zhivago was seen as an assault on the 1917 Revolution. The manuscript was taken out of the USSR and published first in Italy, then around the world. It was also published in Russian by the CIA and smuggled back into the Soviet Union. Pasternak became not only a Nobel Laureate, but the first of Russia's great writer-dissidents. Drawing on recently declassified files, this is the dramatic story of how Dr Zhivago became a secret weapon in an ideological war.
Step By Step
In the years that followed the Great Depression, with Germany re-arming and the British establishment united in their desire to appease Hitler, Churchill was a voice in the wilderness. This powerful collection of newspaper articles from the period reveals his political foresight as he reports on the Spanish Civil War and the Munich agreement, warns of the inadequacy of Britain’s Navy and aircraft manufacturing, and urges the country to prepare for the inevitable war.
A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine
The Last Diaries
The diaries of Tony Benn (1925-2014) provide an unparalleled commentary on Britain's political life between his election to Parliament in 1950 and the first decade of this century. This final volume covers the years 2007-2009 and includes observations on the 2008 financial crisis, the collapse of Gordon Brown's premiership and Benn's personal reflections on the challenges and compensations of old age. Edited by Ruth Winstone.
The Best of Benn
Tony Benn (1925–2014) was not only a prominent, charismatic and principled politician, but also the pre-eminent diarist of his generation. This volume brings together a selection of his journalism, speeches and diary entries to highlight key moments in his career and to illustrate the range of issues on which he campaigned, such as workers' rights and the abolition of the death penalty, as well as his interest in the connections between Christianity and socialism.
The Struggle for Democracy
Parliamentary Reform, From Rotten Boroughs to Today
Before the 1832 Great Reform Act, MPs were elected by a minority of the male population, who were often bribed by candidates and whose eligibility for voting varied between boroughs. Notoriously, just one man controlled the election of both MPs for Old Sarum. Mason explains how this situation arose, then charts the progress of successive efforts to make the system fairer, such as the introduction of the secret ballot and the extension of voting rights to all women in 1928.
A Political Life
Memorably described by the Telegraph as the most dangerous woman in politics, Scotland's First Minister might yet see her country leave the United Kingdom. But how has she risen to a position of such enormous influence? David Torrance explores her life and career and the impact of 'Nicola-mania' in a revised edition of his biography, which has been updated to include the repercussions of the vote to leave the European Union.
The Inside Story of the Phone Hacking Trial
It was the marathon trial that laid bare the tricks, corruption and hypocrisy of the tabloid press. Peter Jukes attended the whole of the eight-month hearings, and brings the courtroom drama to full, uncensored life. Here are the secret tape recordings, the emails from Hollywood actors, Cabinet ministers and royal courtiers, and the scandal that embroiled Rupert Murdoch's protegee Rebekah Brooks and David Cameron's former Director of Communications, Andy Coulson.
The Chilcot Report
Report of the Iraq Inquiry: Executive Summary
In 2003, for the first time since the Second World War, the UK invaded a sovereign state: Iraq. In 2016 Sir John Chilcot delivered his long-awaited report on the war; its 2.6 million words fill twelve volumes. This accessible edition of the executive summary allows the reader to make up their own mind about the crucial questions. Did Saddam have chemical weapons? Were they a threat? Was the war legal? And was the planning adequate?
Of the People, By the People
A New History of Democracy
Roger Osborne approaches democracy as 'a continual, collective enterprise' and provides, not a definitive history, but a stimulating historical framework in which to study how individual societies have found solutions for their own unique problems. Among the democracies visited are those of ancient Athens, medieval European parliaments, the English Revolution, the American colonies and post-colonial India; Osborne also discusses the demise of democracy during the 1930s, its resurgence and the conditions for its development in present-day China.
Her Fatal Legacy
John Sergeant brings his mordant wit and keen understanding to bear on Margaret Thatcher's enduring - and, as he persuasively argues, baleful - legacy. Based on Sergeant's insights into the Westminster scene and his unique access to her closest colleagues, Maggie charts the course from her glory days to her downfall and beyond, showing how 'Mrs Thatcher's power to influence events did not end with her resignation'.
Last Man Standing
Memoirs of a Political Survivor
As a child in a council flat in Epping, Jack Straw never imagined he would one day hold three great offices of state. In this candid memoir he charts his progress from student politics to Lord Chancellor. Without rancour or self-justification, he reveals the toll that public office takes on private life, discusses the fateful decision to go to war in Iraq, and offers first-hand insight into both the Blair government and the Bush administration. Off-mint.
Liberalism and Local Government in Early Victorian London
In this study, Weinstein considers the development of London's liberal political culture between the general election of 1832 and the establishment of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1855. He offers a fresh interpretation of the city's political life, arguing that Whiggery was a potent force, exerting a 'powerful "negative influence" on the construction of early Victorian metropolitan radical identity'.