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"
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"
"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)"
8th April 2009 was just an ordinary day for Richard Phillips, captain of the Maersk Alabama as it headed towards the port of Mombasa. Ordinary that is until, armed Somali pirates attacked and boarded the freighter. Captain Phillips offered himself as a hostage in exchange for the safety of his crew, and so began a tense five-day stand-off, which ended in a daring high-seas rescue by U.S. Navy SEALs.
"Couldn't stop listening"
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"
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"
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"
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"
In this enormously insightful book, correspondent Ahmed Rashid brings the shadowy world of the Taliban, the world's most extreme and radical Islamic organization, into sharp focus. He explains the Taliban's rise to power, its impact on Afghanistan and the region, its role in oil and gas company decisions, and the effects of changing American attitudes toward the Taliban. He also describes the new face of Islamic fundamentalism and explains why Afghanistan has become the world center for international terrorism.
"Sorry I didn't finish the whole audible ..."
Saudi Arabia is a country defined by paradox: it sits atop some of the richest oil deposits in the world, and yet the country's roiling disaffection produced 16 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11. It is a modern state, driven by contemporary technology, and yet its powerful religious establishment would have its customs and practices rolled back to match those of the Prophet Muhammad over a thousand years ago.
"An excellent book"
Ninety-nine elite American soldiers are trapped in the middle of a hostile city. As night falls, they are surrounded by thousands of enemy gunmen. Black Hawk Down drops you into a crowded marketplace in the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia with the U.S. Special Forces - and puts you in the middle of the most intense firefight American soldiers have fought since the Vietnam War.
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"
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.
With The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors and Ship of Ghosts, James D. Hornfischer created essential and enduring narratives about America's World War II Navy, works of unique immediacy distinguished by rich portraits of ordinary men in extremis and exclusive new information. Now he does the same for the deadliest, most pivotal naval campaign of the Pacific war: Guadalcanal.
"How the US Navy fought for Guadalcanal"
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"
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"
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"
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"
Charlie Wilson's War is the untold story behind the last battle of the Cold War and how it fueled the rise of militant Islam. George Crile tells how Charlie Wilson, a maverick congressman from east Texas, conspired with a rogue CIA operative to launch the biggest, meanest, and most successful covert operation in the agency's history.
"An interesting book, very well narrated"
When the 2010 earthquake struck Haiti, Raymond Joseph, the former Haitian ambassador to the United States, found himself rushing back to his beloved country. The earthquake ignited a passion in Joseph, inspiring him to run for president against great competition, including two well-known Haitian pop stars, his nephew Wyclef Jean and Michel Martelly. But he couldn't compete in a democratic system corrupt to the core.
"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.
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.
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.
Lee, the founding father of modern Singapore and its prime minister from 1959 to 1990, has honed his wisdom during more than fifty years on the world stage. Almost single-handedly responsible for transforming Singapore into a Western-style economic success, he offers a unique perspective on the geopolitics of East and West. American presidents from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama have welcomed him to the White House.
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!"
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.
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.
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 ...?"
This Economist book describes emerging military technologies and places them in the larger context of today's politics, diplomacy, business and social issues. It shows how efforts to win wars or keep the peace are driving enormous and multifold technological advances. Broadly speaking, defence technologies will continue to provide enormous advantages to advanced, Western armed forces. For anyone who wants to know just how smart the global war, defence and intelligence machine is, this will be revealing and fascinating reading.
"Nothing new but a miss mash of old articles."
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
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"
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!"
Japan has always seemed a puzzle to most westerners - so modern, so industrialized, yet somehow so different. Japanese Society and History seeks to initiate westerners to the learning process of making Japan seem a little less mysterious and a little more understandable. This book walks readers through some of the important features of Japanese society to help readers begin slowly forming a more complete picture of Japan.
This book charts a path through the outpouring of efforts to understand and explain modern terrorism, by asking what makes terrorism different from other forms of political, military action; what makes it effective; and what can be done about it. It unravels complex central questions such as whether terrorists are criminals, whether terrorism is a kind of war, what kind of threat terrorism represents, how far media publicity sustains terrorism, and whether democracy is especially vulnerable to terrorist attack.
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"
Twenty years ago, the image of burning copies of Salman Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses" held aloft by thousand-strong mobs of protestors became an internationally familiar symbol of anger and offence. Kenan Malik examines how the Rushdie affair transformed the debate worldwide on multiculturalism, tolerance and free speech, helped fuel the rise of radical Islam and pointed the way to the horrors of 9/11 and 7/7.
"Be careful what you campaign for"
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.
The highest-ranking Soviet bloc intelligence official ever to defect to the West, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa is at it again. A quarter century ago, in his international bestseller Red Horizons, Pacepa exposed the massive crimes and corruption of his former boss, Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu, giving the dictator a nervous breakdown and inspiring him to send assassination squads to the U.S. to find his former spy chief and kill him. They failed.