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"
When award-winning journalist Nick Davies decided to break Fleet Street's unwritten rule by investigating his own colleagues, he found that the business of reporting the truth had been slowly subverted by the mass production of ignorance.
"You'll never buy a newspaper again"
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"
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"
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 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.
At 24 years of age, U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell was named commander of a forty-man elite infantry platoon - a unit that came to be known as the Outlaws - and was tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a mountain valley along Afghanistan's eastern frontier. Parnell and his men assumed they would be facing a ragtag bunch of civilians, but in May 2006 what started out as a routine patrol through the lower mountains of the Hindu Kush became a brutal ambush.
"Awesome just awesome"
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"
Armageddon tells the story of the climatic months of the Second World War and the destruction of Hitler's Germany. In this compelling study, the author addresses the big human and military questions. Why did the Allies not win the war in 1944, when they were vastly stronger than the Germans? Why did the Russians produce the best generals? What was it like to fight the British, American, German and Soviet armies?
"Masterful history. Story telling at its best."
"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)"
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"
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"
"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."
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.
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.
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 Bible predicts that in the last days a charismatic leader will establish a global following in the name of peace. The Qur'an also predicts that a man will rise up to lead the nations, pledging to usher in an era of peace. The man in the Qur'an is called the Mahdi, or Islam's savior. However, the man in the Bible is the Antichrist. Joel Richardson's stunning research and analysis suggest that the Mahdi and the Antichrist are actually one and the same.
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"
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.
"Flying Soldiers reach the 21st Century"
Killing Pablo is the inside story of the brutal rise and violent fall of Colombian cocaine cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar.
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.
The past few weeks have seen a wave of Muslims from all around the world joining the ranks of ISIS. Although most of the attention has been on those coming from the United States and Europe, the bulk of foreign fighters has actually come from places like Turkey, from which the flow of jihadists is particularly puzzling.
Western pundits and nostalgic Muslim thinkers alike have built up a narrative of the caliphate as an enduring institution, central to Islam and Islamic thought between the seventh and 20th centuries. In fact, the caliphate is a political or religious idea whose relevance has waxed and waned according to circumstance.
In each cup of coffee we drink the major issues of the twenty-first century - globalization, immigration, women's rights, pollution, indigenous rights, war and peace, and self-determination - are played out in villages and remote areas around the world. In Javatrekker: Dispatches from the World of Fair Trade Coffee, a unique hybrid of Fair Trade business, adventure travel, and cultural anthropology, brings readers face-to-face with the real people who make our morning coffee ritual possible.
Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, critics say postcommunist reforms have failed. But the evidence says otherwise. Transition states in Europe and Eurasia have become normal countries - no worse, and sometimes better, than other states at comparable levels of development.
Xi Jinping's reforms are designed to produce a corruption-free, politically cohesive, and economically powerful one-party state with global reach: a Singapore on steroids. But there is no guarantee the reforms will be as transformative as the Chinese leader hopes.
With U.S. hegemony waning and no successor waiting to pick up the baton, the current international system will likely give way to a larger number of power centers acting with increasing autonomy. The post-Cold War order is unraveling, and it will be missed.
The president of the Philippines talks to Foreign Affairs about economic reform, political corruption, and Chinese aggression.
Since the early 1990s, a handful of oligarchs has dominated Greece's economy and politics. So long as these elites have a vested interest in keeping things as they are, the country will never fully find its way out of crisis.
Responding to Mearsheimer's controversial essay blaming the West for the Ukraine crisis, McFaul and Sestanovich put the blame back on Putin and his ideological extremism, denying that NATO expansion provoked him. Mearsheimer replies.
After a decade-plus of war, the lessons for the United States are clear: fight fewer, more traditional wars and fight them more decisively. Above all, avoid getting entangled in the politics of chaotic countries.
The ISIS Solution takes a look at the current geopolitical situation, organizational structure of ISIS, and provides new thinking and strategies for dealing with the Islamic State in the Middle East. Its authors and contributors have over 50 years of combined experience in the intelligence, analyst, and Special Operations communities. Leadership and a new philosophical conversation of action is needed to eliminate violent terrorism. This book starts the conversation.
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.
In The Accidental Superpower, international strategist Peter Zeihan examines how geography, combined with demography and energy independence, will pave the way for one of the great turning points in history, and one in which America reasserts its global dominance. No other country has a greater network of internal waterways, a greater command of deepwater navigation, or a firmer hold on industrialization technologies than America.
Fashion is many things. It is self-expression, big business, trend-setting, a lifestyle choice. But however you see fashion, it relies on one simple characteristic: the incredible speed with which clothes make their journey from the drawing board to the High Street hanger. Fashion is fast. Fast fashion influences the types of garments we have in our wardrobes.
Chaplains of the Militia is the extraordinary story of those priests accused of complicity in genocide. Chris McGreal takes us from Rwanda in 1994, where he stood among the bodies at one of the many massacres in churches, to modern day France in pursuit of a priest notorious during the genocide for wearing a gun and selecting victims for the machete-waving militia.
Hundreds of thousands of Kurds were murdered under the tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein. Some four thousand Kurdish villages were destroyed. Betrayed again and again by the nations of the world, the Kurds were as decimated as any people in history. Then came the Kurdish Miracle, that combination of ancient wisdom and modern economic genius that is now making the Kurdish homeland one of the most prosperous places on earth.
In assembling an international coalition to combat ISIS, the United States has looked mostly to the Middle East and Europe, regions that it said face a direct threat from the militant Islamist group. But other parts of the world are just as anxious about ISIS - above all, Southeast Asia.
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!"
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 ...?"
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"
Israel's critics in the West insist that no country founded on a single religion or culture can stay democratic and prosperous - but they're wrong. In The Promise of Israel, Daniel Gordis points out that Israel has defied that conventional wisdom. It has provided its citizens infinitely greater liberty and prosperity than anyone expected, faring far better than any other young nation. Israel's "magic" is a unique blend of democracy and tradition, of unabashed particularism coupled to intellectual and cultural openness.
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.
"Interesting review of latest warfare technology"
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"
There are 59 billion animals alive at any one time, farmed for their meat. The world's domestic cattle weigh 16 times as much as all the wild animals on the planet put together. Sixty percent of the globe's agricultural land is used for beef production, from growing grain to raising cows.Since the early 20th century, industrial farming and global capitalism have worked hand-in-hand to provide meat at an ever-cheaper price. And our appetites, so tempted, have led us to consume more and more animals.
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!"
The Prime Ministers is the first and only insider account of Israeli politics from the founding of the Jewish State to the near-present day. It reveals stunning details of life-and-death decision-making, top-secret military operations and high level peace negotiations. The Prime Ministers brings listeners into the orbits of world figures, including Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, Yasser Arafat, Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana and the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
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"
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 July 1995, San Jose Mercury-News reporter Gary Webb found the Big One - the blockbuster story every journalist secretly dreams about - without even looking for it. A simple phone call concerning an unexceptional pending drug trial turned into a massive conspiracy involving the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, L.A. and Bay Area crack cocaine dealers, and the Central Intelligence Agency.
"Not what I was expecting"
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"
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"
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.
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"