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!"
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.
"Great insight into election"
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.
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"
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.
The relationship between those who wield power and those whose job it is to tell us what they are doing has always been fraught with tension. Politicians now expect to be on camera and facing aggressive questions from the moment they open their front door to the moment they return home at night. Everything they say and do is instantly broadcast and dissected on 24-hour news channels, blogs, and Twitter. It was not always this way. Live from Downing Street takes us on an absorbing journey through the hard-fought battles for the right to tell the public about the decisions taken on their behalf.
"Live from Downing Street"
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"
Worm: The First Digital World War tells the story of the Conficker worm, a potentially devastating piece of malware that has baffled experts and infected more than twelve million computers worldwide. When Conficker was unleashed in November 2008, cybersecurity experts did not know what to make of it. Exploiting security flaws in Microsoft Windows, it grew at an astonishingly rapid rate, infecting millions of computers around the world within weeks.
"An exiting account of a new kind of apocalypse!"
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.
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.
"Makes politics utterly compelling"
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"
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"
"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."
"The middle ground of the extreme perspective"
Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World Bank, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign "aid" organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet's natural resources. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization.
What is the connection between individual freedom and social and political authority? Are human beings fundamentally equal or unequal? In 16 in-depth lectures, Professor Dalton puts the key theories of power formulated by several of history's greatest minds within your reach. These lectures trace two distinct schools of political theory, idealism and realism, from their roots in ancient India and Greece through history and, ultimately, to their impact on the 20th century.
"Enjoyed it immensely"
The history of the Conservative party has, extraordinarily, rarely been written in a single volume for the general reader. There are academic multi-volume accounts and a multitude of smaller books with limited historical scope. But now, Robin Harris, Margaret Thatcher's speechwriter and party insider, has produced this authoritative but lively history book which tells the whole story and fills a gaping hole in Britain's historiographical record.
Number-one best-selling author and radio host Glenn Beck exposes the real truth behind the roots of Islamic extremism in Muslim teaching in this sharply insightful audiobook that debunks commonly held assumptions about Islam and the dream of a renewed caliphate.
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....
"A desperado's attempt to create intrigue."
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.
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.
Between the World and Me is a letter Ta-Nehisi Coates writes to his teenage son, one that describes the tragedy and truth of the black experience, and focuses on what it means to be a child and parent in the black community and how lives are impacted by the inherent racism and societally engrained perspective held by those in power.
The remarkable enterprise that was Moresnet was an unintended consequence of the Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815). Created as a triangle of neutral territory between Prussia and the Netherlands by the Congress of Vienna, Moresnet encapsulates the archetype of market anarchy.
Mel Hurtig turns his attention to the devastating impact that the Stephen Harper government has had on Canada, radically altering the democratic, social, and economic fabric of the country. He shows how Stephen Harper's single-minded pursuit of big oil and the tar sands, at a time when the world must take dramatic action to arrest climate change, has inflicted enormous damage on our country and international reputation.
This audiobook explains the fault lines that have often plagued US efforts to protect its national interests in the region and how these ongoing faults have led to a precipitous decline in American influence. It also includes some recommendations as to how this decline can be reversed.
The American system is broken: our great nation has become corrupt, inefficient, and mired in ideological debate. The United States may be a global superpower, but every day we fail our own citizens. Our children do not learn what they need to in order to compete in the job market; our adults battle mental illness and addiction, and are imprisoned at staggering rates; and our elderly struggle for financial security and affordable healthcare.
Featuring texts by Saul Alinsky, Edmund Burke, Rachel Carson, Carl von Clausewitz, Francis Fukuyama, Mahatma Gandhi, Friedrich Hayek, Thomas Hobbes, Martin Luther King, Niccolo Machiavelli, Karl Marx, J. S. Mill, George Orwell, Thomas Paine, Plato, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Alexis De Tocqueville, Mary Wollstonecraft, and many more.
The Words We Live By takes an entertaining and informative look at America's most important historical document, now with discussions on new rulings on hot button issues such as immigration, gay marriage, gun control, and affirmative action.
A new Threshold title from number-one New York Times best-selling author Mark Levin.
Modern politics has become a zero sum game. You can be a Democrat, and vote for an agenda that is becoming increasingly socialistic in nature. You can be a Republican, and vote for an agenda that is intrusive in the lives of the citizenry in areas concerning privacy, personal rights and the general right to say no to demands placed upon the people by the government.
This book explains why marriage and family are under attack in America and who is to gain from the popularity of the Socialist movement.
The most dominant and technically advanced civilizations throughout history have all prospered by creating extreme power differentials between a ruling elite and masses of workers, to increase productivity and cost efficiency. This is in contrast to how, the greater the concern for fairness and transparency, the more restricted the output from laborers appears to be. Access to cheap, controllable, and interchangeable labor is as critical to the success of corporations and nations today as it was in earlier eras.
In The Liberty Threat, James Tonkowich explores the history of Christian philosophy from the Church's infancy through the birth of America and how it influenced religious liberty. With powerful examples fresh from today's courts, Tonkowich illustrates just how the rigid separation of Church and state has created a world that is hostile to true faith. The Liberty Threat is both a chilling wake-up call and a clear call to action for Christians everywhere.
When the AIDS epidemic hit in the early 1980s, Strub was living in New York and soon found himself attending "more funerals than birthday parties". Scared and angry, he turned to radical activism to combat discrimination and demand research. Strub takes you through his own diagnosis and inside ACT UP, the organization that transformed a stigmatized cause into one of the defining political movements of our time.
A riveting, groundbreaking account of how the war on crime has torn apart inner-city communities. Forty years in, the tough-on-crime turn in American politics has spurred a prison boom of historic proportions that disproportionately affects black communities. It has also torn at the lives of those on the outside. As arrest quotas and high-tech surveillance criminalize entire blocks, a climate of fear and suspicion pervades daily life, not only for young men entangled in the legal system but for their family members and working neighbors.
Glaciers: The Politics of Ice is a scientific, cultural, and political examination of the cryosphere - the earth's ice - and the environmental policies that aim to protect it. Jorge Daniel Taillant discusses the debates and negotiations behind the passing of the world's first glacier protection law in the mid-2000s and reveals the tension between the industry experts, politicians, and glacier conservationists.
Adios, America by Ann Coulter is a book centered around immigration in the United States, including the impact immigration has had on US history, government policies, and society in general. Inside this Instaread Key Takeaways & Analysis of Adios, America, you'll find an overview of the book, an introduction to the important people in the book, key takeaways, and analysis of those key takeaways.
In The Obama Doctrine, Colin Dueck analyzes and explains what the Obama Doctrine in foreign policy actually is and maps out the competing visions on offer from the Republican Party. Dueck, a leading scholar of US foreign policy, contends it is now becoming clear that Obama's policy of international retrenchment is in large part a function of his emphasis on achieving domestic policy goals. There have been some successes in the approach, but there have also been costs.
Chanakya (c. 270-380 BCE) was classical India's greatest thinker and teacher. Through his unparalleled ability to devise result-oriented military, political, and administrative strategy, he overthrew one king, crowned another and paved the way for the establishment of India's first great empire. His seminal work, the Arthashastra, arguably the world's first comprehensive treatise on statecraft and governance, was written approximately 2000 years before Machiavelli's The Prince.
As the oldest political party in the United States, the Democratic Party has been one of the nation's major political parties for over 150 years, and diverse men and ideas have fallen under its tent since the 19th century. Today the Democrats are generally viewed as proponents of a strong, centralized federal government, and yet the forerunner of the modern party was none other than Thomas Jefferson, the man most associated with states' rights and limited government.
Andrei Lankov has gone where few outsiders have ever been. A native of the former Soviet Union, he lived as an exchange student in North Korea in the 1980s. He has studied it for his entire career, using his fluency in Korean and personal contacts to build a rich, nuanced understanding. In The Real North Korea, Lankov substitutes cold, clear analysis for the overheated rhetoric surrounding this opaque police state.
"A level headed analysis of a complex topic"
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.
"Harry's last stand"
Prominent English social critic Peter Hitchens writes of the period between the death of Winston Churchill and the funeral of Princess Diana, a time he believes has seen disastrous changes in English life. The Abolition of Britain is bitingly witty and fiercely argued, yet also filled with somber appreciation for what the idea of England has always meant to the West and to the world.
"Though much is taken, much abides;"
A rousing call to arms for a fairer society from the well-loved Guardian political journalist Zoe Williams. Whether we have children or not, we all want the future to be fairer and happier, and Zoe Williams believes we need to make that happen collectively. Get It Together is a rousing call to arms for us all to play our parts in creating a more equal society. Zoe believes it's not enough to sit back and watch as our NHS slides away from us....
"A much-needed antidote to political despair"
Soon after the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Revolution, Leon Trotsky led the Red Army against the counter-revolutionary White armies. Written in the white heat of the Civil War, "Terrorism and Communism" is one of the most potent defences of revolutionary dictatorship of the twentieth century. In his provocative commentary in this new edition, the coruscating critic Slavoj Zizek argues that Trotsky's attack on the illusions of democracy has a vital relevance to today.
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.
This book - the first comprehensive transatlantic history of the rise of neoliberal politics - presents a surprising answer. Based on archival research and interviews with leading participants in the movement, Masters of the Universe traces the ascendancy of neoliberalism from the academy of interwar Europe to supremacy under Reagan and Thatcher and in the decades since. Daniel Stedman Jones argues that there was nothing inevitable about the victory of free-market politics.
Born into the Christian minority in Lebanon and since settled in France, Amin Maalouf claims a unique position in global conversation. His first book, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, was a critical and commercial success and remains in print after 20 years. In Disordered World, Maalouf combines his command of history with a critical perspective on contemporary culture, East and West - joining them with a fierce moral clarity and a propulsive style.
As at home with Galileo and his daughter in Florence as he is with Diderot in Enlightenment France, William and Alice James in fin-de-siècle Boston, or the latest research on the genome, Gerald Weissmann distills the lessons of history to guide us through our troubled age. His message is clear: "Experimental science is our defense-perhaps our best defense-against humbug and the Endarkenment."
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.
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 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"
Turkey occupies a strategic position in today's world: the only predominantly Muslim nation to be a member of NATO and an ally of Israel, it straddles both Europe and Asia. Turkey is the link between Islam and Western democracy, between Europe and the Middle East. In this concise introduction, Andrew Finkel, who has spent twenty years in Turkey writing about the country for publications such as The Economist and Time magazine, unravels Turkey's complexities.
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?