The Tudor monarchs were constantly surrounded by an army of attendants, courtiers and ministers. Even in their most private moments, they were accompanied by a servant specifically appointed for the task. A groom of the stool would stand patiently by as Henry VIII performed his daily purges, and when Elizabeth I retired for the evening, one of her female servants would sleep at the end of her bed. These attendants knew the truth behind the glamorous exterior.
Behind our democracy lurks a powerful but unaccountable network of people who wield massive power and reap huge profits in the process. In exposing this shadowy and complex system that dominates our lives, Owen Jones sets out on a journey into the heart of our Establishment, from the lobbies of Westminster to the newsrooms, boardrooms, and trading rooms of Fleet Street and the City.
"An alternative way"
As David Cameron's director of politics and communications, Craig Oliver was in the room at every key moment during the EU referendum - the biggest political event in the UK since World War II. Craig Oliver worked with all the players, including David Cameron, George Osbourne, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Jeremy Corbyn, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Theresa May and Peter Mandelson.
In 1979, a secret unit was established by the most gifted minds within the US Army. Defying all known accepted military practice - and indeed, the laws of physics - they believed that a soldier could adopt the cloak of invisibility, pass cleanly through walls and, perhaps most chillingly, kill goats just by staring at them. Entrusted with defending America from all known adversaries, they were the First Earth Battalion. And they really weren't joking. What's more, they're back and fighting the War on Terror.
"Compelling Ronson at his best"
Killing Pablo is the inside story of the brutal rise and violent fall of Colombian cocaine cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar.
In this short book, Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz invite you to join an urgently needed conversation: Is Islam a religion of peace or war? Is it amenable to reform? Why do so many Muslims seem drawn to extremism? What do words like Islamism, jihadism, and fundamentalism mean in today's world? Remarkable for the breadth and depth of its analysis, this dialogue between a famous atheist and a former radical is all the more startling for its decorum. Harris and Nawaz have produced something genuinely new: they engage one of the most polarizing issues of our time - fearlessly and fully - and actually make progress.
"Essential, both for the listener and humanity."
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.
"attempt at geordie accent terrible but great book."
Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?
"History made science"
Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of World Order by Henry Kissinger, read by Nicholas Hormann. World Order is the summation of Henry Kissinger's thinking about history, strategy and statecraft. As if taking a perspective from far above the globe, it examines the great tectonic plates of history and the motivations of nations, explaining the attitudes that states and empires have taken to the rest of the world from the formation of Europe to our own times.
"Exceptional history of the modern state system."
In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding. His starting point is moral intuition - the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong. Haidt shows us how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right.
In July 2004, Barack Obama electrified the Democratic National Convention with an address that spoke to Americans across the political spectrum. Now, in The Audacity of Hope, he calls for a different brand of politics: a politics for those weary of bitter partisanship and alienated by the "endless clash of armies" we see in Congress and on the campaign trail; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of "our improbable experiment in democracy".
"Much better than its title."
Listeners to Dr. Savage's top-rated radio talk show, The Savage Nation, know him to be an articulate and engaged spokesman for traditional American values of borders, language, and culture. Now, after eight divisive years of Barack Obama, Dr. Savage lays out an irrefutable case for how our nation has been undermined by terrorists from without, by anarchists from within, by a president and politicians with contempt for the Constitution and the law, and by a complicit liberal media.
In Data and Goliath, Schneier reveals the full extent of surveillance, censorship, and propaganda in society today, examining the risks of cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and cyberwar. He shares technological, legal, and social solutions that can help shape a more equal, private, and secure world. This is an audiobook to which everyone with an Internet connection - or bank account or smart device or car, for that matter - needs to listen.
"one of best I have read(listen)"
Five years in the making, Cameron at 10 is the gripping inside story of the Cameron premiership, based on over 300 in-depth interviews with senior figures in 10 Downing Street, including the Prime Minister himself. As dusk descended on 11 May 2010, David Cameron entered 10 Downing Street as the youngest prime minister since Lord Liverpool in 1812. He stood at the head of the first Coalition government in 65 years, with the country in dire economic straits following a deep financial crisis.
"Fascinating and fast paced"
Top cybersecurity journalist Kim Zetter tells the story behind the virus that sabotaged Iran's nuclear efforts and shows how its existence has ushered in a new age of warfare - one in which a digital attack can have the same destructive capability as a megaton bomb.
"Intriguing story - well told!"
"Forty-four percent of the American population is convinced that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead sometime in the next 50 years," writes Sam Harris. "Imagine the consequences if any significant component of the U.S. government actually believed that the world was about to end and that its ending would be glorious. The fact that nearly half of the American population apparently believes this...should be considered a moral and intellectual emergency."
"A useful summation of Bill Hicks position"
Why is the Atlantic slowly filling with crude petroleum, threatening a millions-of-years-old ecological balance? Why did traders at prominent banks take high-risk gambles with the money entrusted to them by hundreds of thousands of clients around the world, expanding and leveraging their investments to the point that failure led to a global financial crisis that left millions of people jobless and hundreds of cities economically devastated?
"Activism at its finest"
In The Making of Modern Britain, Andrew Marr paints a fascinating portrait of life in Britain during the first half of the twentieth century as the country recovered from the grand wreckage of the British Empire. Between the death of Queen Victoria and the end of the Second World War, the nation was shaken by war and peace. The two wars were the worst we had ever known and the episodes of peace among the most turbulent and surprising.
Just after 10 o'clock on Thursday, 7th May 2015, Nick Robinson stared down the lens of camera five in the BBC's Election Night Studio to explain to millions the significance of an exit poll that shocked the country and heralded an earthquake in British politics. That moment was a personal milestone for the BBC's political editor, who had been discharged from hospital just hours earlier following weeks of treatment for cancer and the loss of his voice after surgery.
The ninth edition of this widely acclaimed text has been extensively revised to reflect the latest scholarship and the most recent events in the Middle East. As an introduction to the history of this turbulent region from the beginnings of Islam to the present day, the book is distinguished by its clear style, broad scope, and balanced treatment.
"clear, comprehensive and informative"
In May 2013, Glenn Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communicating only through heavily encrypted channels. That source turned out to be the 29-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and his revelations about the agency's widespread, systemic overreach proved to be some of the most explosive and consequential news in recent history, triggering a fierce debate over national security....
"good book but might be better as a read"
Human rights, equality, free speech, privacy, the rule of law. These five ideas are vitally important to the way of life we enjoy today. The battle to establish them in law was long and difficult, and Lord Anthony Lester was at the heart of the 30-year campaign that resulted in the Human Rights Act as well as the struggle for race and gender equality that culminated in the Equality Act of 2010. Today, however, our society is at risk of becoming less equal.
"A Compelling Argument and a Timely Warning."
The 1980s was the revolutionary decade of the 20th century. From the Falklands war and the miners' strike to Bobby Sands and the Guildford Four, from Diana and the New Romantics to Live Aid and the 'big bang', from the Rubik's cube to the ZX Spectrum, McSmith's brilliant narrative account uncovers the truth behind the decade that changed Britain forever - politically, economically and culturally.
"So close and yet so far"
In the book that he was born to write, provocateur and best-selling author Christopher Hitchens inspires future generations of radicals, gadflies, mavericks, rebels, angry young (wo)men, and dissidents. Who better to speak to that person who finds him or herself in a contrarian position than Hitchens, who has made a career of disagreeing in profound and entertaining ways.
"Get God is Not Great"
Most people regard tax havens as being relevant only to celebrities, crooks and spivs, and mistakenly believe that the main offshore problems are money laundering and terrorist financing. These are only small parts of the whole picture. The offshore system has been (discreetly) responsible for the greatest ever shift of wealth from poor to rich. It also undermines our democracies by offering the wealthiest members of society escape routes from normal democratic controls.
"To pay, or not to pay tax ...?"
In his 1988 CBC Massey Lecture, Noam Chomsky inquires into the nature of the media in a political system where the population cannot be disciplined by force and thus must be subjected to more subtle forms of ideological control. Specific cases are illustrated in detail, using the U.S. media primarily but also media in other societies.
Natural resources empower the world's most coercive men. Autocrats like Putin and the Saudis spend oil money on weapons and repression. ISIS and Congo's militias spend resource money on atrocities and ammunition. For decades resource-fueled authoritarians and extremists have forced endless crises on the West - and the ultimate source of their resource money is us, paying at the gas station and the mall.
This is the story of the rise to national power of a desperately poor young man from the Texas Hill Country. The Path to Power reveals in extraordinary detail the genesis of the almost superhuman drive, energy, and ambition that set LBJ apart. It follows him from the Hill Country to New Deal Washington, from his boyhood through the years of the Depression to his debut as Congressman, his heartbreaking defeat in his first race for the Senate, and his attainment, nonetheless, at age 31, of the national power for which he hungered.
"Compelling story of a complex man"
What does it mean to be a conservative in an age so sceptical of conservatism? How can we live in the presence of our 'canonized forefathers' at a time when their cultural, religious and political bequest is so routinely rejected? With soft left-liberalism as the dominant force in Western politics, what can conservatives now contribute to public debate that will not be dismissed as pure nostalgia?
"There's still some sanity in the world ..."
From immigration reform to energy resources, from political paralysis to inequality and extremism, we are beset by a raft of huge and seemingly insurmountable issues. The daily newspapers, the rolling 24-hour television news, portray a world in terminal decline: the rise of IS, the Syrian refugee crisis, Beijing's financial fallibility and Putin's brazen annexing of Crimea.
The struggle between the main political parties has been reduced to an unpopularity contest, in which voters hold their noses and sigh as they trudge to the polls. Peter Hitchens explains how and why British politics has sunk to this dreary level - the takeover of the parties and the media by conventional left-wing dogmas which then call themselves 'the centre ground'. The Tory party under David Cameron has become a pale-blue twin of New Labour, offering change without alteration.
"Very badly written book attacking a straw man"
In a pulls-no-punches essay intended to provoke rational discussion, Stephen King sets down his thoughts about gun violence in America. Anger and grief in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School are palpable in this urgent piece of writing, but no less remarkable are King's keen thoughtfulness and composure as he explores the contours of the gun-control issue and constructs his argument for what can and should be done.
"Sane suggestions, but quite a rant"
Fukuyama examines the effects of corruption on governance, and why some societies have been successful at rooting it out. He explores the different legacies of colonialism in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and offers a clear-eyed account of why some regions have thrived and developed more quickly than others. And he boldly reckons with the future of democracy in the face of a rising global middle class and entrenched political paralysis in the West.
"Succint and ambitious"
Since he left office in 2007, the empire of Tony Blair has grown exponentially. As a businessman he has been unprecedentedly successful for a former public servant, with a large property portfolio and an estimated GBP80 million of earnings accrued in just a few short years. But how has he managed to achieve this? Being an ex-prime minister comes with certain advantages, and besides his excellent state pension and twenty-four-hour security team, Blair enjoys the best contacts that money can buy.
"Dull and laborious"
Among the men and women prominent in the public life of early 20th-century America there are but few whose names are mentioned as often as that of Emma Goldman. Yet the real Emma Goldman is almost quite unknown. Here are powerful, penetrating, prophetic essays on direct action, the role of minorities, prison reform, puritan hypocrisy, and violence.
"A good overview of Emma Goldman's beliefs."
The Prime Ministers is the first and only insider account of Israeli politics from the founding of the Jewish State to the near-present day. It reveals stunning details of life-and-death decision-making, top-secret military operations and high level peace negotiations. The Prime Ministers brings listeners into the orbits of world figures, including Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, Yasser Arafat, Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana and the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
In The War We Never Fought, Hitchens uncovers the secret history of the government's true attitude and the increasing recruitment of the police and courts to covert decriminalisation initiatives and contrasts it with the rhetoric. Whatever and whoever is to blame for the undoubted mess of Britain's drug policy, it is not prohibition or a war on drugs, for neither exists.
"educational and enlightening"
ISIS rocketed onto the world stage seemingly out of nowhere, beheading American hostages, bulldozing international borders, routing the American-trained Iraqi Army, and carving out a new state that rules eight million people and a territory larger than the United Kingdom. But who are they? Where did ISIS come from, and how did they rise to power in so little time? What is driving them - and how can they be stopped?
"Chilling perspective on a complex issue"