Tom Cruise and John Travolta say the Church of Scientology is a force for good. Others disagree. Award-winning journalist John Sweeney investigated the Church for more than half a decade. During that time he was intimidated, spied on, and followed, and the results were spectacular: Sweeney lost his temper with the Church's spokesman on camera, and his infamous 'exploding tomato' clip was seen by millions around the world.
"Brilliant, funny and scary"
If in the year 1411 you had been able to circumnavigate the globe, you would have been most impressed by the dazzling civilizations of the Orient. The Forbidden City was under construction in Ming Beijing; in the Near East, the Ottomans were closing in on Constantinople. By contrast, England would have struck you as a miserable backwater ravaged by plague, bad sanitation and incessant war. The other quarrelsome kingdoms of Western Europe - Aragon, Castile, France, Portugal and Scotland - would have seemed little better.
"Very entertaining, interesting and informative"
We are constantly bombarded with inaccurate, contradictory and sometimes misleading information - until now. Ben Goldacre masterfully dismantles the dubious science behind some of the great drug trials, court cases and missed opportunities of our time. He also shows us the fascinating story of how we know what we know, and gives us the tools to uncover bad science for ourselves.
"Making science truly entertaining"
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.
"Satirical humour highlights the true terror"
Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays showcases the Hitchens rejection of consensus and cliché, whether he's reporting from abroad in Indonesia, Kurdistan, Iraq, North Korea, or Cuba, or when his pen is targeted mercilessly at the likes of William Clinton, Mother Theresa ("a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud"), the Dalai Lama, Noam Chomsky, Mel Gibson, and Michael Bloomberg.
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.
"Gripping account of a special forces op"
Twenty year-old "Melodie", a recent convert to Islam, meets the leader of an Islamist brigade on Facebook. In 48 hours he has "fallen in love" with her, calls her day and night, urges her to marry him, join him in Syria to enjoy a life of paradise - and join his jihad. Discover how ISIS entraps people such as the teenage girls from Bethnal Green.
"Good read, didn't put it down for long."
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"
Written and read by the author. In November 2011, Mona Eltahawy came to worldwide attention when she was assaulted by police during the Egyptian Revolution. She responded by writing a groundbreaking piece in foreign policy entitled 'Why Do They Hate Us?'; 'They' being Muslim men, 'Us' being women. It sparked huge controversy. In Headscarves and Hymens, Eltahawy takes her argument further.
"A religious fundamentalist, a political operative, a primitive sermonizer, and an accomplice of worldly secular powers. Her mission has always been of this kind. The irony is that she has never been able to induce anybody to believe her. It is past time that she was duly honored and taken at her word." Among his many books, perhaps none have sparked more outrage than The Missionary Position, Christopher Hitchens's meticulous study of the life and deeds of Mother Teresa.
"Illuminating (with a not so saintly light)"
Killing Pablo is the inside story of the brutal rise and violent fall of Colombian cocaine cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar.
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.
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 ...?"
World politics is entering a new phase, in which the great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of international conflict will be cultural.
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"
How is it that our favourite brands can import billions of pounds' worth of goods from the developing world every year, and yet leave the people who produce them barely scraping a living? In Unfair Trade Conor Woodman travels across the world, tracing a range of products back to their source to uncover who precisely is benefitting and who is losing out. In the process, he tests accepted economic wisdom on the best way to create a fairer world - and suggests a simpler but potentially far more radical solution.
Everything we know about solving the world's problems is wrong. Out: Plans, experts and above all, leaders. In: Adapting - improvise rather than plan; fail, learn, and try again. In this groundbreaking new book, Tim Harford shows how the world's most complex and important problems - including terrorism, climate change, poverty, innovation, and the financial crisis - can only be solved from the bottom up by rapid experimenting and adapting.
"A rising star"
The world at the beginning of the 20th century seemed, for most of its inhabitants, stable and relatively benign. Globalizing, booming economies married to technological breakthroughs seemed to promise a better world for most people. Instead, the 20th century proved to be overwhelmingly the most violent, frightening and brutalized in history with fanatical, often genocidal warfare engulfing most societies between the outbreak of the First World War and the end of the Cold War.
"Brilliant and Eye Opening"
In No One Left to Lie to, a New York Times best seller, Christopher Hitchens casts an unflinching eye on the Clinton political machine and offers a searing indictment of a president who sought to hold power at any cost. With blistering wit and meticulous documentation, Hitchens masterfully deconstructs Clinton's abject propensity for pandering to the Left while delivering to the Right.
"Great book - slightly soporific reading!"
A million listeners bought The Undercover Economist to get the lowdown on how economics works on a small scale, in our everyday lives. Since then, economics has become big news. Crises, austerity, riots, bonuses - all are in the headlines all the time. But how does this large-scale economic world really work? What would happen if we cancelled everyone's debt? How do you create a job? Will the BRIC countries take over the world?
"The perfect book for that business flight"
How could things have gone so badly wrong? Writing with customary calmness and clarity, and drawing on unrivaled experience as a reporter in the region, Cockburn analyzes the unfolding of one of the West's greatest foreign policy debacles and the rise of the new jihadis.
Last year was a "blood year" in the Middle East - massacres and beheadings, fallen cities, collapsed and collapsing states, the unravelling of a decade of Western strategy. We saw the rise of ISIS, the splintering of government in Iraq, and foreign fighters - many from Europe, Australia and Africa - flowing into Syria at a rate ten times that during the height of the Iraq War. What went wrong?In Blood Year, David Kilcullen calls on twenty-five years' experience to answer that question.
Early on the morning of September 1, 1996, the Israeli military began preparing for a war with Syria they were convinced was imminent. The Israelis had received top-secret intelligence from a Syrian general and informant code-named Red Falcon, recruited 23 years earlier by Mossad spy Yehuda Gil - himself known as "the man of a thousand faces." Gil had been the general's sole handler, the conduit of decades of critical intelligence. But now, on the brink of war, questions arose about who exactly was handling whom. What information was real and what was a lie?
Michael Oren served as the Israeli ambassador to the United States from 2009 to 2013. An American by birth and a historian by training, Oren arrived at his diplomatic post just as Benjamin Netanyahu, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton assumed office. During Oren's tenure in office, Israel and America grappled with the Palestinian peace process, the Arab Spring, and existential threats to Israel posed by international terrorism and the Iranian nuclear program.
Many see China's rise as a threat to US leadership in Asia and beyond. Thomas J. Christensen argues instead that the real challenge lies in dissuading China from regional aggression while eliciting its global cooperation. Drawing on decades of scholarship and experience as a senior diplomat, Christensen offers a deep perspective on China's military and economic capacity. Assessing China's political outlook and strategic goals, Christensen shows how nationalism and the threat of domestic instability influence the party's decisions about regional and global affairs.
The events of the Arab Spring have come to be overshadowed by the civil war in the Arabic-speaking nation of Syria, which has been ruled throughout the 21st century by Bashar al-Assad. Though he had not planned on ruling Syria, several events conspired to make Bashar the successor of his father, Hafez. Though the West frequently looked for signs that Bashar might be a reformer, due in part to his formerly popular Western wife, Assad remained part of a critical alliance with Iran and the sub-state groups Hamas and Hezbollah.
The continuing crisis in Syria has raised a question mark over the common perception of Middle Eastern affairs as an offshoot of global power politics. To Western intellectuals, foreign-policy experts, and politicians, "empire" and "imperialism" are categories that apply exclusively to the European powers and more recently to the United States of America. Lacking an internal dynamic of its own, the view of such people is that Middle Eastern history is the product of its unhappy interaction with the West.
The case first begins with tens of thousands of Muslims protesting against cartoon characters of Muhammad that was published in a Danish newspaper.
Charles E. Lauriat, Jr., was an American who survived the sinking of the great ship. This is his eyewitness account of that disaster that helped bring America into WWI, narrated by award-winning audiobook narrator Mike Vendetti.
Going Nuclear focuses on one of the most critical negotiations in recent memory, the efforts to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. It offers a unique perspective on the negotiations and potential repercussions based on important findings and lessons from psychology, neuroscience, and decision making. It explores the influence of history and hindsight bias on Russia, China, Iran, Israel, and Sunni Arab countries, and the implications for the United States and its Western partners.
He was the Western convert who would plunge deep inside al-Qaeda. He named his first son Osama after 9/11 and became a Jihadist. But then - after a sudden loss of faith - Morten Storm made a life-changing decision. He became a double agent and joined the CIA, MI6 and MI5. Filled with hair-raising close calls and deception, Storm's story builds to the climactic finale when he must betray his friend and mentor al-Awlaki - al-Qaeda's biggest threat to the West.
Online news articles, television news channels, and your local newspaper have probably mentioned ISIS at least once throughout the group's existence. ISIS is viewed as a terrorist organization by some countries, but to other countries it is seen as people's only hope for having their religion protected from foreign and domestic influences. Before you go siding with ISIS or become an antagonist, understand how ISIS was created and their purpose for existing.
The end time is fast approaching. This audiobook reveals the secrets of the Illuminati and how they are working double-time to achieve their goal, which is to form a one world government. It's important that many people, not just Christians, hear the dark secrets of the Illuminati and how they share their goals with the Bilderberg group. We have exposed everything so everyone can understand the history of the Illuminiati, from day one through today.
The world food system is in crisis. Right now, just over one billion people in the world live in extreme poverty. Food shortages are not limited to third world countries and crops. Maybe genetic modification of food might solve the problem. Some people think this is the be-all and the end-all and cite this as a perfect solution for food shortages. This book takes a look at the economic crisis with special attention to the world food system.
A year after the disappearance and commencement of the international search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, no sign of the plane has been found - no debris, no bodies, no sign of the much-talked-about black box. Richard Belzer, George Noory, and David Wayne want to know why.
Trade restrictions prevent a country from trading with another country. Trade restrictions are needed for various reasons that the average person will not be able to understand. Without trade restrictions, domestic businesses would fail and foreign nations would prosper. In this short audiobook, I provide six reasons for why government needs to amend and enforce international trade restrictions.
For the first time in history, the navies of the world have united against a common enemy - a couple of thousand rag-tag, underfed men and boys in the western Indian Ocean. Crammed into open boats and armed with ancient AK-47s, they range up to a thousand miles from home shores in Somalia. No one knows how many die at sea. But occasionally they hit the jackpot, seizing vessels and crews to be ransomed for millions of dollars.
The monstrous act of terrorism has caused many a grief that they have had to live with throughout their lives. To terrorism, many have lost loved ones, many have had their innocence ripped apart and even faced the harshest brutality that no one would ever believe humans have the capacity to commit. One wonders and many questions then begin to clog the mind as to whether terrorists really do have conscience and whether their happiness is hinged on the grave atrocities they commit on a daily basis.
War-game simulation specialists James F. Dunnigan and Austin Bay have revised their highly regarded analyses, bringing up to date not only the many conventional conflicts around the world today but the new battlegrounds that have emerged since the previous edition was published more than a decade ago - the Global War on Terror, counterinsurgency struggles around the world and the latest frontier of modern combat: cyber war.
James Brabazon is narrating this story of war, violence, and political intrigue. He wanted a war. And, for his sins, he got one. James Brabazon was an ambitious young war reporter when he entered the chaos of the Liberian Civil War in 2002. Running with the infamous LURD rebels, he survived numerous deadly ambushes, the privations of dysentery and a dramatic two hundred-mile escape from Government troops through dense equatorial jungle. He even had a bounty put on his head.
In the post-September 11th arena of growing political tension and unease, it is more important than ever that we understand the changing world of modern international relations. With this comprehensive and accessible book, Paul Wilkinson covers the topics that are essential to our knowledge of this complex subject. He explains the theories and the practices that underlie international relations, and investigates issues ranging from foreign policy, arms control, and terrorism, to the environment and world poverty.
From the science of greenhouse gases to the intricate logic of cap and trade, Broome reveals how the principles that underlie everyday decision making also provide simple and effective ideas for confronting climate change. Climate Matters is an essential contribution to one of the paramount issues of our time.
Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy follows the lives of six North Koreans over 15 years - a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung and the unchallenged rise to power of his son, Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population.
"Great book - dreary reader"
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"
Despite its impressive size and population, economic vitality, and drive to upgrade its military, China remains a vulnerable nation surrounded by powerful rivals and potential foes. Understanding China's foreign policy means fully appreciating these geostrategic challenges, which persist even as the country gains increasing influence over its neighbors. Andrew J. Nathan and Andrew Scobell analyze China's security concerns on four fronts: at home, with its immediate neighbors, in surrounding regional systems, and in the world beyond Asia.
Paul Collier reveals that 50 failed states - home to the poorest one billion people on earth - pose the central challenge of the developing world in the 21st century. The book shines much-needed light on this group of small nations, largely unnoticed by the industrialized West, that are dropping further and further behind the majority of the world's people, often falling into an absolute decline in living standards.
"Thought provoking and inspirational"
In 1949, a newly minted branch of the CIA (the precursor of today's National Clandestine Service), flush with money and burning with determination to roll back the Iron Curtain, embarked on the first paramilitary operation in the history of the agency. They hatched an elaborate plan, coordinated with the British Secret Intelligence Service, to foment popular rebellion and detach Albania, the weakest of the Soviet satellites in Europe, from Moscow's orbit. The operation resulted in dismal failure and was shut down by 1954.
Compelling and accessible, this Very Short Introduction challenges the perception of borders as passive lines on a map, revealing them instead to be integral forces in the economic, social, political, and environmental processes that shape our lives.
"My favourite Very Short Introduction so far"
In captivating detail, Stevenson provides a fast-paced, hour-by-hour narration from the hijacking of Air France Flight 139 to the final 90-minute mission. In addition to discussing the incredible rescue itself, Stevenson also covers the political backdrop behind the hijacking, especially Ugandan President Idi Amin's support for the hijackers, which marked one of the first times a leader of a nation had backed terrorist activities.
A master not only of fiction but also of fiercely controversial political engagement, Martin Amis here gathers 14 pieces that constitute an evolving, provocative, and insightful examination of the most momentous event of our time.
Meet the economic gangster. He's the United Nations diplomat who double-parks his Mercedes on New York City streets at rush hour because the cops can't touch him--he has diplomatic immunity. He's the Chinese smuggler who dodges tariffs by magically transforming frozen chickens into frozen turkeys. The dictator, the warlord, the unscrupulous bureaucrat who bilks the developing world of billions in aid