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.
"Q. Who really runs Britain? A. It isn't you!"
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.
As one of the last remaining survivors of the Great Depression and the Second World War, I will not go gently into that good night. I want to tell you what the world looks like through my eyes, so you can help change it.... In November 2013, 91-year-old Yorkshireman, RAF veteran, and ex-carpet salesman Harry Leslie Smith's Guardian article - "This year, I will wear a poppy for the last time" - was shared almost 60,000 times on Facebook and started a huge debate about the state of society.
Red Notice is a searing expose of the wholesale whitewash by Russian authorities of Magnitsky's imprisonment and murder, slicing deep into the shadowy heart of the Kremlin to uncover its sordid truths.
"Corruption Laid Bare"
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.
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....
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.
"Scary but informative"
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.
Considering the role of justice in our society and our lives, Michael Sandel reveals how an understanding of philosophy can help to make sense of politics, religion, morality - and our own convictions. Breaking down hotly contested issues - from abortion, euthanasia, and same-sex marriage to patriotism, dissent, and affirmative action - Sandel shows how the biggest questions in our civic life can be broken down and illuminated through reasoned debate.
"An accessible introduction to political philosophy"
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"
Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees "a fortune beyond counting" in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption.
"Vibrant tale of life in a Mumbai shanty slum"
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.
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.
In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn't just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It's an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies.
Noam Chomsky's backpocket classic on wartime propaganda and opinion control begins by asserting two models of democracy - one in which the public actively participates, and one in which the public is manipulated and controlled. According to Chomsky, "propaganda is to democracy as the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state", and the mass media is the primary vehicle for delivering propaganda in the United States.
Ferguson's most revolutionary and popular work, this is a major reinterpretation of the British Empire as one of the world's greatest modernising forces. Based on the Channel Four series that will be aired simultaneously with the book, it shows on a vast canvas how the British Empire in the 19th century spearheaded real globalisation with steampower, telegraphs, guns, engineers, missionaries, and millions of settlers.
George Friedman has forecasted the coming trends (politics, technology, population, and culture) of the next century in The Next 100 Years, and focused his predictions on the coming ten years in The Next Decade. Now, in Flashpoints, Friedman zooms in on the region that has, for 500 years, been the cultural hotbed of the world - Europe - and examines the most basic and fascinating building block of the region: culture.
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.
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"
Andrew Marr's first book tells the distinctive story of Scottish politics - now updated with a new introductory chapter. "We may be about to see a new country - indeed, two new countries, emerging on these islands. Half a lifetime ago, I sat down to write this book as a work of history. As it's aged, it's become current affairs."
"Criminally Out Of Date"
If there was one technological group that has been in the news a relentless amount of times, it could be identified as the group dubbed the N.S.A. Technology involves not only software, hard drives, and networks, but also the ethical and moral characteristics intertwined with the use of technology.
This article compares Dr. Ben Carson to US President Ronald Reagan. Carson has several intriguing similarities to the former President - similarities that could be critical if he decides to run for President in 2016. Find out what traits the two have in common, and why it matters.
The African-American community represents a paradox of sorts. While collective success has been achieved in many areas, African-Americans still disproportionately suffer from a variety of social ills. The residual impact of years of slavery and exclusion from the major institutions of American life are still trenchant. Yet there is hope. As we move forward into a new millennium, our greatest answers can be found by exploring the past.
Terrorism expert Erick Stakelbeck pulls back the curtain on ISIS, the violent terrorist organization spreading death and hate in the Middle East. The rise of ISIS took the White House by complete surprise: President Obama called the group "JV" then was forced to reassess when ISIS began executing innocent American journalists. Now radicalized Americans and Europeans are joining ISIS' ranks.
"70% About ISIS 30% Anti Obama rubbish"
"Grand strategy" is one of the most widely used and abused concepts in the foreign policy lexicon. In this important book, Hal Brands explains why grand strategy is a concept that is so alluring - and so elusive - to those who make American statecraft. He explores what grand strategy is, why it is so essential, and why it is so hard to get right amid the turbulence of global affairs and the chaos of domestic politics.
Despite numerous warnings from intelligence services, ISIS' rise to power has left countries around the world floundering for solutions. Today we face a threat that is more violent, more powerful, and financially stronger than ever before. In this audiobook journalist Benjamin Hall will provide insights by answering the basic questions we still don't have the answers to: Who are they? Where did they come from? How are they so successful so quickly? How can they be stopped?
Forty years ago, a majority of Americans were highly engaged in issues of war and peace. Whether to go to war or keep out of conflicts was a vital question at the heart of the country's vibrant, if fractious, democracy. But American political consciousness has drifted. In the last decade, America has gone to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, while pursuing a new kind of warfare in Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Pakistan.
There is an underserved movement budding among young conservatives in which fiscal responsibility and controlled government spending remain crucial tenets, but issues like gay marriage and drug control are approached with a libertarian bent. The ideas of this growing wave need a public, nuanced voice. The implications for the Republican Party if this philosophy is more widely adopted may not only spur major change within the party but could also revitalize its chances of claiming more power in our government.
Franklin Delano (January 30, 1882 - April 12, 1945), commonly known by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States. A Democrat, he won a record four elections and served from March 1933 to his death in April 1945. He was a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic depression and total war.
Across the world governments proclaim they will never "negotiate with evil". And yet they always have done and always will. Why then do we ignore the lessons of this history of clandestine communication, often with devastating consequences? Jonathan Powell has spent nearly two decades mediating between governments and terrorist organisations. Here he argues that with attention to the lessons of the past, patience, and above all political leadership, these conflicts can be solved.
Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. In The Social Contract, Rousseau explores the concept of freedom and the political structures that may enable people to acquire it. He argues that the sovereign power of a state lies not in any one ruler but in the will of the general population. Rousseau argues that the ideal state would be a direct democracy where executive decision making is carried out by citizens who meet in assembly, as they would in the ancient city-state of Athens.
A prominent conservative scholar traces the post-1960s divisions between the Right and the Left, taking aim at liberals' victimization of African Americans and their failure to offer a viable way forward for American society. The United States today is hopelessly polarized; the political Right and Left have hardened into rigid and deeply antagonistic camps, preventing any sort of progress.
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. (July 4, 1872-January 5, 1933) was the thirtieth president of the United States (1923-1929). A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state. His response to the Boston police strike of 1919 thrust him into the national spotlight and gave him a reputation as a man of decisive action.
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower (October 14, 1890-March 28, 1969) was the thirty-fourth president of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II and served as supreme commander of the Allied Forces in Europe; he had responsibility for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942-43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944-45 from the Western Front.
Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 - April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. Nixon made his resignation speech to the nation on August 8th, 1974. The following day, before climbing into a helicopter, he addressed the White House staff one last time.
From the American Revolution through the Civil Rights movement, Americans have long mobilized against political, social, and economic privilege. Hierarchies based on inheritance, wealth, and political preferment were treated as obnoxious and a threat to democracy. Mass movements envisioned a new world supplanting dog-eat-dog capitalism. But over the last half-century that political will and cultural imagination have vanished. Why? The Age of Acquiescence seeks to solve that mystery.
Enough of the imbalance that is causing the degradation of our environment, the demise of our democracies, and the denigration of ourselves. Enough of the pendulum politics of left and right and paralysis in the political center. We require an unprecedented form of radical renewal. In this book Henry Mintzberg offers a new understanding of the root of our current crisis and a strategy for restoring the balance so vital to the survival of our progeny and our planet.
The Occupy Wall Street movement named the core issue of our time: the overwhelming power of Wall Street and large corporations-something the political establishment and most media have long ignored. But the movement goes far beyond this critique. In this volume, the editors of YES! magazine bring together voices from inside and outside the protests to convey the issues, possibilities, and personalities associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
"Prophetic and visionary preaching"
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?
Our age is obsessed by the idea of conspiracy. We see it everywhere - from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, from the assassination of Kennedy to the death of Diana. In this age of terrorism we live in, the role of conspiracy is a serious one - one that can fuel radical or fringe elements to violence. For award-winning journalist David Aaronovitch, there came a time when he started to see a pattern among these inflammatory theories.
"Not what I wanted"
Does the number of children gunned down double each year? Does anorexia kill 150,000 young women annually? Do white males account for only a sixth of new workers? Startling statistics shape our thinking about social issues. But all too often, these numbers are wrong. This book is a lively guide to spotting bad statistics and learning to think critically about these influential numbers. Damned Lies and Statistics is essential listening for everyone who reads or listens to the news....
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"
Beijing presents a clear and gathering threat to Washington, but not for the reasons you think. China's challenge to the West stems from its transformative brand of capitalism and an entirely different conception of the international community.
"Worth the listen!"
Today, most people think of socialism as an outdated ideology. In this Very Short Introduction, Michael Newman seeks to place the idea of socialism in a modern context for today's listeners. He explains socialist ideas in the framework of its historical evolution, from the French Revolution to the present day, and examines practical attempts to implement socialism.
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"
Making the Future presents more than 50 concise and persuasively argued commentaries on U.S. politics and policies, written between 2007 and 2011. Taken together, Chomsky's essays present a powerful counter-narrative to official accounts of the major political events of the past four years: the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; the U.S. presidential race; the ascendancy of China; Latin America's leftward turn; the threat of nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea; Israel's invasion of Gaza and more.
In this provocative but balanced audiobook, Kenneth Minogue discusses the development of politics from the ancient world to the twentieth century. He prompts us to consider why political systems evolve, how politics offers both power and order in our society, whether democracy is always a good thing, and what future politics may have in the twenty-first century.
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 ...?"
French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre said that "words are loaded pistols". In the hands of Russ Baker, they are hydrogen bombs. On each and every page of his masterpiece, Family of Secrets, he explodes the myths and lies that powerful forces have perpetrated on the American consciousness. He digs beneath the surface in a form of journalistic archeology to reveal the hidden history of one of America's most powerful families, leaving no stone unturned.
In this compelling new book, relying on original reporting from the most dangerous corners of Rio to the halls of power in Washington, DC, Dave Zirin examines how sports and politics are colliding in remarkable fashion in Brazil, opening up an international conversation on the culture, economics, and politics of sports.