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"
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"
"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."
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 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"
The Shipping Forecast is a curious peace of broadcasting: at once impenetrably baffling yet at the same time reassuringly familiar. But where are these places, and what secrets do they conceal? Charlie Connelly sets off on a journey round the forecast to find out, unearthing the history and culture behind one of Britain's best-loved broadcasting institutions.
"Attention All Shipping"
"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)"
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"
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"
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"
Killing Pablo is the inside story of the brutal rise and violent fall of Colombian cocaine cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar.
Ellis Park in Johannesburg, 24 June 1995. The Springboks versus The All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup final. Nelson Mandela steps onto the pitch wearing a Springboks shirt and, before a global audience of millions, a new country is born. This book tells the incredible story of Mandela's journey to that moment.
"So good, I listened twice."
A gripping day-by-day account of the 1978 Camp David conference, when President Jimmy Carter persuaded Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat to sign the first peace treaty in the modern Middle East, one which endures to this day.
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.
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.
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."
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"
For more than half a century, the United States has been pursuing a grand imperial strategy with the aim of staking out the globe. Our leaders have shown themselves willing, as in the Cuban missile crisis, to follow the dream of dominance no matter how high the risks. Now the Bush administration is intensifying this process, driving us toward the final frontiers of imperial control, toward a choice between the prerogatives of power and a livable Earth.
"History given the voice of fact....unmissable"
The UK's most influential food and drink journalist shoots a few sacred cows of food culture. The doctrine of local food is dead. Farmers' markets are merely a lifestyle choice for the affluent middle classes. And 'organic' has become little more than a marketing label that is way past its sell-by date. That may be a little hard to swallow for the ethically aware food shopper, but it doesn't make it any less true. And now the UK's most outspoken and entertaining food writer is ready to explain why.
"Food, Glorious Food?"
Invariably, armies are accused of preparing to fight the previous war. In Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife, Lieutenant Colonel John A. Nagl-a veteran of both Operation Desert Storm and the conflict in Iraq-considers the now crucial question of how armies adapt to changing circumstances during the course of conflicts for which they are initially unprepared.
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.
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.
As Moscow assumes an aggressive new posture toward NATO, Blackwell argues, Washington must keep tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. Blechman replies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
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"
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 ...?"
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.
An unflinching look at the aspiring city-builders of our smart, mobile, connected future. We live in a world defined by urbanization and digital ubiquity, where mobile broadband connections outnumber fixed ones, machines dominate a new "internet of things," and more people live in cities than in the countryside.
Investigative journalist Scott Carney has spent five years on the ground tracing the lucrative and deeply secretive trade in human bodies and body parts - a vast hidden economy known as the "red market".By turns tragic, voyeuristic, and thought-provoking, The Red Market is an eye-opening, surreal look at a little-known global industry and its implications for all our lives.
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"
In A Nuclear Family Vacation, husband-and-wife journalists Nathan Hodge and Sharon Weinberger hit the road to explore the secretive world of nuclear weaponry. Weaving together first-class travel writing and crack investigative journalism, the pair pursues both adventures and answers: Why are nuclear weapons still on hair-trigger alert? Is there really such a thing as a suitcase nuke? And which nuclear power plants are most likely to be covers for weapons programs?
"Interesting topic but oh my, the reader!"
David Kilcullen is one of the world's most influential experts on counterinsurgency and modern warfare. A senior counterinsurgency advisor to General David Petraeus in Iraq, his vision of war dramatically influenced America's decision to rethink its military strategy in Iraq and implement "the surge."Now, in The Accidental Guerrilla, Kilcullen provides a remarkably fresh perspective on the War on Terror.
"Stop. Please stop!"
Direct democracy can no longer be thought of as something that belongs to the future.... This is the scarcely believable story of how, in just over three years, a political dotcom grew to become one of the most powerful forces in the affairs of a country of 60 million people. At the general election in Italy this year, Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement, which has its headquarters on a website, took a quarter of the vote - more than Silvio Berlusconi's party.
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.
Framed by the author's personal experience with backyard hens, Chickens: Their Natural and Unnatural Histories explores the history of the chicken from its descent from the dinosaurs to the space-age present. En route, Lembke surveys chickens in ancient Greece, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the 19th century, and modern times, including the role of chickens in Jewish and Muslim practices. She also investigates the birds' contributions to science and their jaunty appearances in literature.
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"
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.
On March 11, 2011, an earthquake large enough to knock the earth from its axis sent a massive tsunami speeding toward the Japanese coast and the aging and vulnerable Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power reactors. Over the following weeks, the world watched in horror as a natural disaster became a man-made catastrophe: fail-safes failed, cooling systems shut down, nuclear rods melted.
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.