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"
Cyberspace is the 21st century's greatest engine of change. Telecommunications, commercial and financial systems, government operations, food production - virtually every aspect of global civilization now depends on interconnected cyber systems to operate; systems that have helped advance medicine, streamline everyday commerce, and so much more.
"Informative and entertaining"
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"
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"
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"
"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 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"
Volume Three of David Reynolds' award-winning BBC Radio 4 series runs from the origins of the Cold War to the inauguration of Barack Obama This epic narrative tells the saga of the United States through the voices of those who lived it, exploring three abiding national themes: empire, liberty and faith.
"Great way to learn American history"
May 2006. Pilot Ed Macy arrives in Afghanistan with a contingent of Apache AH Mk1. It's the first operational tour for the deadly, difficult machines and confidence in the cripplingly expensive attack helicopter is low. It doesn't help that for their first month 'in action', Ed and his mates see little more than the back-end of a Chinook.
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"
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!"
Start-Up Nation addresses the trillion dollar question: How is it that Israel - a country of 7.1 million, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources - produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada, and the UK?
In The Next 100 Years, Friedman turns his eye on the future. Drawing on a profound understanding of history and geopolitical patterns dating back to the Roman Empire, he shows that we are now, for the first time in half a millennium, experiencing the dawn of a new historical cycle.
"American-centric but interesting"
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.
"Economic hit men," John Perkins writes, "are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder."
"Self-indulgent and unsurprising"
In this urgent new book, Noam Chomsky examines the dangers and prospects of our early 21st century. Exploring challenges such as the growing gap between North and South, American exceptionalism (including under President Obama), the fiascos of Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S.-Israeli assault on Gaza, and the recent recent financial bailouts, he also sees hope for the future. Chomsky surveys the democratic wave in Latin America and the growing global solidarity movements.
Tower of Basel is the first investigative history of the world's most secretive global financial institution. Based on extensive archival research in Switzerland, Britain, and the United States, and in-depth interviews with key decision-makers including Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve; Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England; and former senior Bank for International Settlements managers and officials.
"Incredible story about the Bank no-one knows"
From Anna Akhmatova to Stefan Zweig, via Charles de Gaulle, Hitler, Thomas Mann and Charlie Chaplin, this varied and unfailingly absorbing book is both story and history, both public memoir and personal record - and provides an essential field-guide to the vast movements of taste, intellect, politics and delusion that helped to prepare the times we live in now.
"Another great clearing in the jungle from CJ"
A moving and surprising memoir of an ordinary soldier in the First World War. 'Ella darling, There are things I have concealed from you up till now that I think you ought to know; things that have turned me from a different person from the Ronald you know.' So, in April 1918, Ronald Skirth, a non-commissioned officer in the Royal Artillery, wrote to his sweetheart, back in England. A year before, Skirth, then just nineteen years old, had been sent to fight on the Western Front.
"The Reluctant Tommy"
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.
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 middle-class white woman in rural America and war-affected children in Africa find common ground in their journeys from brokenness to redemption. Author and psychologist Bethany Haley shares how her own emotional healing led her into treacherous war zones, where she provides care to former child soldiers and young girls used as sex slaves.
The Chinese New Year is certainly an interesting time of year, not just for those that celebrate it first-hand but for anyone to witness or observe as an important global phenomenon. The changing date of the holiday fluctuates from January to February on today's calendar because, as with all traditional Chinese holidays, it follows the lunar calendar. This tradition can be seen throughout parts of Asia and is not limited to just the mainland of China.
The destruction of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-16 was the greatest atrocity of World War I. Around one million Armenians were killed, and the survivors were scattered across the world. Although it is now a century old, the issue of what most of the world calls the Armenian Genocide of 1915 is still a live and divisive issue that mobilizes Armenians across the world, shapes the identity and politics of modern Turkey, and has consumed the attention of U.S. politicians for years.
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.
How do restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America? And how do poor working conditions--discriminatory labor practices, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens--affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables? Saru Jayaraman, who launched the national restaurant workers' organization Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, sets out to answer these questions by following the lives of restaurant workers...
A lot of people have misguided views on the hemp plant. These misguided views deal with people associating the hemp plant with its sister plant, which is known to get people high. The hemp plant is unable to get a person high and has what seems to be an infinite amount of uses. Yes, hemp could even fuel a diesel engine. Burning plants to fuel our cars without any toxic footprint? Yes, please.
As Moscow assumes an aggressive new posture toward NATO, Blackwell argues, Washington must keep tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. Blechman replies.
Far from being a "First World problem", mental illness is a global scourge that affects people of all incomes and backgrounds. By 2030, mental disorders will cost the global economy around $6 trillion a year - more than heart disease.
Special Forces training may one of the most brutal training routines that I can think of. They push people beyond their comfort zone to mentally and physically prepare for future tasks at hand. There are a few problems with Special Forces training doesn't fit well with the knowledge and education learned during my personal training certification school. Read this critique and simple fix on how Special Forces training can be that much more efficient at training candidates to be the best they can be.
There has come to exist in the United States, as a result of the Cold War, a body of specialists accustomed to dealing with issues of war and peace, which may be described as a war-peace establishment. It is clear that there are important divisions of viewpoint in the United States, especially among those who have concerned themselves most with it, on the question of what to do about the threat of thermonuclear war. To some, risks must not be run; to others, great risks must be taken; and to still others, we have reached the point of absurdity either way.
Adolf Hitler and hundreds of high ranking Nazis escaped to South America at the end of World War II. New evidence suggests that the Allied governments knew he was still alive and helped conceal the truth that he was living in Argentina with his wife, Eva Braun Hitler. Based on the best-selling book, Hitler in Argentina by Harry Cooper, a renowned WWII expert and researcher who uncovered little known information on the escape of not only Adolf and Eva, but also Martin Bormann, Josef Mengele, Adolf Eichmann, Klaus Barbie, the notorious "Butcher of Lyon", and others.
Today, orphanages are common in many parts of the world. But a look at young people who spent their childhoods in institutions in Romania reveals just how developmentally damaging such places can be.
In a 40-year career as an oil and gas investment analyst and as an investment banker and strategic adviser on petroleum-sector mergers, acquisitions, and financings, Thomas A. Petrie has witnessed dramatic changes in the business. In Following Oil, he shares useful lessons he has learned about domestic and global trends in population and economic growth, a maturing resource base, variable national energy policies, and dynamic changes in geopolitical forces.
CFR Senior Fellow Max Boot, Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies Director Richard Betts, RAND Senior Political Scientist Rick Brennan, Georgetown Professor Daniel Byman and Brookings Fellow Jeremy Shaprio, and former U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan Peter Tomsen debate the lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq.
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.
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.
A paradigm shift is roiling the environmental world. For decades people have unquestioningly accepted the idea that our goal is to preserve nature in its pristine, pre-human state. But many scientists have come to see this as an outdated dream that thwarts bold new plans to save the environment and prevents us from having a fuller relationship with nature. Humans have changed the landscapes they inhabit since prehistory, and climate change means even the remotest places now bear the fingerprints of humanity.
The world has watched stunned at the bloodshed in Mexico. Thirty thousand murdered since 2006; police chiefs shot within hours of taking office; mass graves comparable to those of civil wars; car bombs shattering storefronts; headless corpses heaped in town squares. The United States throws Black Hawk helicopters and drug agents at the problem. But in secret, Washington is confused and divided about what to do. "Who are these mysterious figures tearing Mexico apart?" they wonder.
"Narration is awful!"
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.
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 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.
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"
Imagine a world where a boy's dreams dictate the behavior of warriors in battle; where a young couple's only release from forbidden love is death; where religious extremism, blind hatred, and endemic corruption combine to form a lethal ideology. This is the world of Terrorists in Love. A gifted listener and storyteller, Ken Ballen takes us where no one has dared to go - deep into the secret heart of Islamic fundamentalism.
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"
The task of implementing an effective American policy and cementing Afghan rule is hampered by what Isby sees as separate but overlapping conflicts between terrorism, narcotics, and regional rivalries, each presenting separate yet equally challenging issues to resolve. This book provides the road map to overcoming these obstacles and finding a way forward for the U.S. and the Afghan nation.
"Making sense of the vortex...."
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.
This book offers a stimulating introduction to globalization and its varying impacts across, between, and within societies. It is a highly listenable text that contributes to a better understanding of the crucial aspects and dimensions of the developments and transformations that go by the name of globalization.