Britain's empire has gone. Our manufacturing base is a shadow of its former self; the Royal Navy has been reduced to a skeleton. In military, diplomatic and economic terms, we no longer matter as we once did. And yet there is still one area in which we can legitimately claim superpower status: our popular culture.
""Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones""
In the summer of 1914 most of Europe plunged into a war so catastrophic that it unhinged the continent's politics and beliefs in a way that took generations to recover from. The disaster terrified its survivors, shocked that a civilization that had blandly assumed itself to be a model for the rest of the world had collapsed into a chaotic savagery beyond any comparison.
The 20th century should make sense. It's the period of history that we know the most about, an epic geopolitical narrative that runs through World War One, the Great Depression, World War Two, the American century and the fall of the Berlin Wall. But somehow that story doesn't quite lead into the world we find ourselves in now, this bewildering 21st century, adrift in a network of constant surveillance, unsustainable competition, tsunamis of trivia and extraordinary opportunity.
"Tour through our times."
A journey into the glittering, surreal heart of 21st century Russia: into the lives of Hells Angels convinced they are messiahs, professional killers with the souls of artists, bohemian theatre directors turned Kremlin puppet-masters, supermodel sects, post-modern dictators and oligarch revolutionaries.
"The aim, to own all forms of political discourse."
For the first time since that extraordinary day, investigative journalist Kris Hollington lays bare the bones of the case, using exclusive, in-depth interviews with the Diamond Geezers, the police, Dome workers and De Beers employees to get to the heart of the heist. Discover who was crazy enough to want to buy the hottest diamonds in the world, as well as the shocking secrets of the planet's most precious diamond collection.
"Fun, insightful, and atmopsheric"
Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award and the basis of a major film adaptation, Seabiscuit is the true story of three men and their dreams for one racehorse. A story that symbolises a pivotal moment in US history, as modern America was born out of the crucible of the Depression and the new century's greatest nation found the courage to bet on itself to win against the odds. In 1936, the habits of 19th-century America were finally consigned to history just as Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind was published.
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the 9-11 Commission, was created by congressional legislation and the signature of President George W. Bush in late 2002. This independent, bipartisan commission had the task of producing a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the attack, including preparedness and immediate response, and providing recommendations designed to guard against future attacks.
"Surprisingly 'wet' -"
Could history repeat itself, with one giant entity taking control of American information? Most consider the Internet Age to be a moment of unprecedented freedom in communications and culture. But as Tim Wu shows, each major new medium, from telephone to cable, arrived on a similar wave of idealistic optimism only to become, eventually, the object of industrial consolidation profoundly affecting how Americans communicate.
"Brilliant technological non fiction"
This audiobook offers the first systematic analysis of Putin's two wars, placing the Second Chechen War and the War with Georgia of 2008 in their broader historical contexts. Drawing on extensive original Russian sources, Marcel H. Van Herpen analyzes in detail how Putin's wars were prepared and conducted and why they led to allegations of war crimes and genocide.
In Reckless Endangerment, Gretchen Morgenson, the star business columnist of The New York Times, exposes how the watchdogs who were supposed to protect the country from financial harm were actually complicit in the actions that finally blew up the American economy.
In January 2007 the young and optimistic soldiers of the 2-16, the American infantry battalion known as the Rangers, were sent to Iraq as part of the surge. Their job would be to patrol one of the most dangerous areas of Baghdad. For 15 months, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Finkel was with them, following them almost every grueling step of the way. The resulting account of that time, The Good Soldiers, is a searing, shattering portrait of the face of modern war.
As hundreds of rescue workers waited on the ground, United Airlines Flight 232 wallowed drunkenly over the bluffs northwest of Sioux City. The plane slammed onto the runway and burst into a vast fireball. The rescuers didn't move at first: nobody could possibly survive that crash. And then people began emerging from the summer corn that lined the runways. Miraculously, 184 of 296 passengers lived. No one has ever attempted the complete reconstruction of a crash of this magnitude.
"Too Much Unecessary Detail"
Exploring the beliefs, history and politics of the ordinary people of Muslim countries, Grieve cuts through the complexities as he examines all aspects of Islam. He also addresses the big issues: Can Islam support true democracy? Is true democracy what the West really wants for Muslim countries or are we merely seeking a cover of legitimacy for a policy of 'might is right'? Paul Grieve is an unbeliever - he is not a born-again Muslim, a proselytizer or a frustrated desert romantic. His aim is to inform.
"Guess its difficult to please everyone"
Surge is an insider's view of the most decisive phase of the Iraq War. Using newly declassified documents, unpublished manuscripts, interviews, author notes, and published sources, Surge explains how President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Ambassador Crocker, General Petraeus, and other U.S. and Iraqi political and military leaders shaped the surge from the center of the maelstrom in Baghdad and Washington.
For more than a decade, Katherine Zoepf has lived in or traveled throughout the Arab world, reporting on the lives of women, whose role in the region has never been more in flux. Only a generation ago, female adolescence as we know it in the West did not exist in the Middle East. There were only children and married women. Today, young Arab women outnumber men in universities, and a few are beginning to face down religious and social tradition in order to live independently, to delay marriage, and to pursue professional goals.
A best seller on both sides of the Atlantic, Fool's Gold is a key commentary on the causes of the recent financial crisis. Taking readers back to the invention of credit-derivative obligations (CDOs) at J. P. Morgan in 1994, and the subsequent exponential growth of that market, Tett explains how credit derivatives seemed a win-win for the financial world, freeing up capital, increasing profits, and diversifying risk.
"Very revealing of corporate greed"
Between 1995 and 2007, the Republic of Ireland was the worldwide model of successful adaptation to economic globalisation. The success story was phenomenal: a doubling of the workforce; a massive growth in exports; a GDP that was substantially above the EU average. Ireland became the world's largest exporter of software and manufactured the world's supply of Viagra. But there were two big problems....
"Measured, balanced and easy listening"
The first major history of the Crash in over a decade, Rainbow's End tells the story of the stock market collapse in a colorful, swift-moving narrative that blends a vivid portrait of the 1920s with an intensely gripping account of Wall Street's greatest catastrophe. The book offers a vibrant picture of a world full of plungers, powerful bankers, corporate titans, millionaire brokers, and buoyantly optimistic stock market bulls.
"From a UK perspective"
Matt Warshaw knows more about surfing than any other person on the planet, as evidenced by The History of Surfing, Warshaw's definitive take on the sport. Now he has honed that book into an abridged and excerpted edition for surfers everywhere. Each spread features a micro essay alongside an image capturing a slice of surf history, from Kelly Slater and the invention of the thruster to shark attacks and localism. A Brief History of Surfing deftly defines surf culture in an entertaining and irresistible volume with wide appeal.
John "Iwan" Demjanjuk was at the center of one of history's most complex war crimes trials. But why did it take almost sixty years for the United States to bring him to justice as a Nazi collaborator? The answer lies in the annals of the Cold War, when fear and paranoia drove American politicians and the U.S. military to recruit "useful" Nazi war criminals to work for the United States in Europe as spies and saboteurs, and to slip them into America through loopholes in U.S. immigration policy.
"Fascinating story badly read."
The No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling modern classic: A Bravo Two Zero for the Second Gulf War. They were branded as cowards and accused of being the British Special Forces Squadron that ran away from the Iraqis. But nothing could be further from the truth. Ten years on, the story of these sixty men can finally be told. In March 2003 M Squadron - an SBS unit with SAS embeds - was sent 1,000 kilometres behind enemy lines on a true mission impossible, to take the surrender of the 100,000-strong Iraqi Army 5th Corps.
"Not what I really expected"
The long-awaited follow-up to the global best-seller Liar's Poker, The Big Short tells a story of spectacular, epic folly. It has taken the world's greatest financial meltdown to bring Michael Lewis back to the subject that made him famous. His international best seller Liar's Poker exposed the greed and carnage of the City and Wall Street in the 1980s; he wrote it as a cautionary tale, but people seem to have read it as a how-to guide. Now, he wants to settle accounts.
"Sub-Primes for Dummies"
From the Pulitzer Prize winner and number one international best-selling author of The World Is Flat, an essential and entertaining field guide to thriving in the 21st century. We all sense it - something big is going on. You feel it in your workplace. You feel it when you talk to your children. You can't miss it when you read the newspapers or watch the news. Our lives are speeding up - and it is dizzying.
The downloadable audiobook edition of Andrew Feinstein's powerful exposé, The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade, complete and unabridged and read by the actor Gildart Jackson.
"What an eye-opener"
In Parliament Ltd, investigative journalist Martin Williams reveals the true extent of greed and corruption in Westminster. Containing explosive new revelations about the activities of those at the top, this is a shocking untold tale that goes to the rotten heart of British politics.
"painfully exposing the Parliament"
13 Hours presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. A team of six American security operators fought to repel the attackers and protect the Americans stationed there. Those men went beyond the call of duty, performing extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, to avert tragedy on a much larger scale.
""thank goodness for the operators""
From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.
"An interesting slice of history"
In Concorde, Jonathan Glancey tells the story of this magnificent and hugely popular aircraft anew, taking the reader from the moment Captain Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier in 1947 through to the last commercial flight of the supersonic airliner in 2003. It is a tale of national rivalries, technological leaps, daring prototypes, tightrope politics, and a dream of a Dan Dare future never quite realised.
"Disappointing that so much time is off topic"
Initially dismissed by US President Barack Obama, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has shocked the world by conquering massive territories in both countries and promising to create a vast new Muslim caliphate that observes the strict dictates of Sharia law. In ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, American journalist Michael Weiss and Syrian analyst Hassan Hassan explain how these violent extremists evolved from a nearly defeated Iraqi insurgent group into a jihadi army of international volunteers who have conquered territory equal to the size of Great Britain.
"A brief but well researched history of daish"
Dear Leader contains astonishing new insights about North Korea which could only be revealed by someone working high up in the regime. It is also the gripping story of how a member of the inner circle of this enigmatic country became its most courageous, outspoken critic. Jang Jin-sung held one of the most senior ranks in North Korea's propaganda machine, helping tighten the regime's grip over its people.
What will the world look like in 2020? Paul Cornish and Kingsley Donaldson guide us through a maze of global uncertainty in this fascinating look at the future. With the world already struggling to contain conflicts on several continents, with security and defence expenditure under huge pressure, it's time to think the unthinkable and explore what might happen. As former soldiers now working in defence strategy and conflict resolution, Paul Cornish and Kingsley Donaldson are perfectly qualified to guide us through a credible and utterly convincing 20/20 vision of the year 2020, from cyber security to weapons technology, from geopolitics to undercover operations.
Ellis Park in Johannesburg, 24 June 1995. The Springboks versus The All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup final. Nelson Mandela steps onto the pitch wearing a Springboks shirt and, before a global audience of millions, a new country is born. This book tells the incredible story of Mandela's journey to that moment.
"So good, I listened twice."
The accelerating changes of the past generation have been accompanied by a similarly accelerated amnesia. The 20th century has become "history" at an unprecedented rate. The world of 2007 was so utterly unlike that of even 1987, much less any earlier time, that we have lost touch with our immediate past even before we have begun to make sense of it - and the results are proving calamitous.
"Excellent essays, flawed narration"
On May 2, 2011, at 1:03 a.m. in Pakistan, a satellite uplink was sent from the town of Abbottabad, crackling into the situation room of the White House in Washington, D.C.: "Geronimo, Echo, KIA." These words, spoken by a Navy SEAL, put paid to Osama bin Laden's three-decade-long career of terror.
"GOOD SOLID BOOK"