John Preston - Author

About the Author

John Preston is a former Arts Editor of the Evening Standard and the Sunday Telegraph. For ten years he was the Sunday Telegraph's television critic and one of its chief feature writers. He is the author of a travel book and four novels. His most recent novel, The Dig, was published to great acclaim in 2007.

Featured books by John Preston

Fall

Fall

Author: John Preston Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/10/2021

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE 2021 A dramatic, gripping account of the rise and fall of the notorious business tycoon Robert Maxwell from the acclaimed author of A Very English Scandal Robert Maxwell was a very British success. Born an Orthodox Jew, he escaped the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, fought in the Second World War, and was decorated for his heroism with the Military Cross. He went on to become a Labour MP and an astonishingly successful businessman, owning a number of newspapers and publishing companies. But after his dead body was discovered floating in waters around his superyacht, his empire fell apart as long-hidden debts and unscrupulous dealings came to light. Within a few days, Maxwell was being reviled as the embodiment of greed and corruption. What went so wrong? How did a man who had once laid such store on the importance of ethics and good behaviour become reduced to a bloated, amoral wreck? In this gripping book, John Preston delivers the definitive account of Maxwell's extraordinary rise and scandalous fall. 'I have a shelf full of books about frauds, but this one is by far the most enjoyable' Craig Brown, author of Ma'am Darling

A Very English Scandal Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment

A Very English Scandal Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment

Author: John Preston Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/05/2016

The shocking true story of the first British politician to stand trial for murder Behind oak-panelled doors in the House of Commons, men with cut-glass accents and gold signet rings are conspiring to murder. It's the late 1960s and homosexuality has only just been legalised, and Jeremy Thorpe, the leader of the Liberal party, has a secret he's desperate to hide. As long as Norman Scott, his beautiful, unstable lover is around, Thorpe's brilliant career is at risk. With the help of his fellow politicians, Thorpe schemes, deceives, embezzles - until he can see only one way to silence Scott for good. The trial of Jeremy Thorpe changed our society forever: it was the moment the British public discovered the truth about its political class. Illuminating the darkest secrets of the Establishment, the Thorpe affair revealed such breath-taking deceit and corruption in an entire section of British society that, at the time, hardly anyone dared believe it could be true.

eBooks of the Month

Other books by John Preston

Fall

Fall

Author: John Preston Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/02/2021

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE 2021 'The best biography yet of the media magnate Robert Maxwell - by turns engrossing, amusing and appalling' Robert Harris, Sunday Times 'Electrifying... the supreme chronicler of modern British scandals' Mail on Sunday From the bestselling author of A Very English Scandal, the jaw-dropping life story of the notorious business tycoon Robert Maxwell. In February 1991, the media mogul and former MP Robert Maxwell made a triumphant entrance into Manhattan harbour aboard his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, to complete his purchase of the ailing New York Daily News. Crowds lined the quayside to watch his arrival, taxi drivers stopped their cabs to shake his hand and children asked for his autograph. But just ten months later, Maxwell disappeared from the same yacht off the Canary Islands, only to be found dead in the water soon afterward. Maxwell was the embodiment of Britain's post-war boom. Born an Orthodox Jew, he had escaped the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, fought in World War 2, and was decorated for his heroism with the Military Cross. He went on to become a Labour MP and an astonishingly successful businessman, owning a number of newspapers and publishing companies. But on his death, his empire fell apart, as long-hidden debts and unscrupulous dealings came to light. Within a few days, Maxwell was being reviled as the embodiment of greed and corruption. No one had ever fallen so far and so quickly. What went so wrong? How did a war hero and model of society become reduced to a bloated, amoral wreck? In this gripping book, John Preston delivers the definitive account of Maxwell's extraordinary rise and scandalous fall. 'Preston is a natural storyteller' The Times

Integrated Transport Policy

Integrated Transport Policy

Author: John Preston Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/11/2019

This title was first published in 2000. With an emphasis on land-based passenger transport - particularly rail and road - this collection assesses the implications for regulation and competition of integrated transport policies. Contributions to the volume trace the evolution of transport policy, focus on the pricing of infrastructure, examine the effectiveness of competition and the adequacy of the regulatory framework in the United Kingdom.

Grenfell Tower

Grenfell Tower

Author: John Preston Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/08/2018

The Grenfell Tower fire of June 2017 is one of the most tragic political events in British history. This book argues that preparedness for disasters has always been designed in the interests of the State and Capital rather than citizens. This was exemplified by the 'stay put' strategy at Grenfell Tower which has historically been used to socially control racialised working class groups in a disaster. 'Stay put', where fire safety is compromised along with strategic ambiguity, probabilistically eliminates these groups. Grenfell Tower is a purposive part of 'Disaster Capitalism', an asocial racial and class eliminationism, where populations have become unvalorisable and disposable. We have reached a point where even the ruling class are fleeing from the disasters and chaos they have inflicted on the world, retreating to their billionaire bunkers. This timely book will be of interest to sociologists, social theorists and activists in understanding the racialised, classed and capitalist nature of contemporary disasters.

Competence Based Education and Training (CBET) and the End of Human Learning

Competence Based Education and Training (CBET) and the End of Human Learning

Author: John Preston Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/07/2018

This book radically counters the optimism sparked by Competence Based Education and Training, an educational philosophy that has re-emerged in Schooling, Vocational and Higher Education in the last decade. CBET supposedly offers a new type of learning that will lead to skilled employment; here, Preston instead presents the competency movement as one which makes the concept of human learning redundant. Starting with its origins in Taylorism, the slaughterhouse and radical behaviourism, the book charts the history of competency education to its position as a global phenomenon today, arguing that competency is opposed to ideas of process, causality and analog human movement that are fundamental to human learning.

A Very English Scandal

A Very English Scandal

Author: John Preston Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/04/2017

The bestselling book that inspired the Bafta-winning BBC drama Corruption. Blackmail. Conspiracy to murder. A Very English Scandal has all the hallmarks of a classic thriller with one difference. It's all true. In the late 1960s Jeremy Thorp, the charismatic leader of the Liberal Party, was at the height of his political career. But homosexuality had only just been legalized, and a former relationship with a younger man named Norman Scott threatened to destroy Thorp's carefully curated facade. Helped by fellow politicians, Thorpe schemed, deceived and embezzled until he saw only one way to silence his ex-lover for good. Meticulously researched and endlessly extraordinary, Thorp's trial captured the moment that British society discovered the truth about its political class - and learned just how far the Establishment will go to protect its own. 'Gripping. A story of cack-handed assassins, buffoonish policemen, dodgy Home Secretaries' Daily Telegraph 'I loved it; eccentric, dark, humane and English in the very best sense' Alain de Botton 'Retold with masterful skill . . . It grips like a detective story' Daily Mail, Book of the Week JOHN PRESTON'S NEXT BOOK, FALL: THE MYSTERY OF ROBERT MAXWELL, IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW

Very English Scandal

Very English Scandal

Author: John Preston Format: Ebook Release Date: 11/10/2016

A behind-the-scenes look at the desperate, scandalous private life of a British MP and champion manipulator, and the history-making trial that exposed his dirty secretsAs a member of Parliament and leader of the Liberal Party in the 1960s and '70s, Jeremy Thorpe's bad behavior went under the radar for years. Police and politicians alike colluded to protect one of their own. In 1970, Thorpe was the most popular and charismatic politician in the country, poised to hold the balance of power in a coalition government.But Jeremy Thorpe was a man with a secret. His homosexual affairs and harassment of past partners, along with his propensity for lying and embezzlement, only escalated as he evaded punishment. That is, until a dark night on the moor with an ex-lover, a dog, and a hired gun led to consequences that even his charm and power couldn't help him escape. Dubbed the "e;Trial of the Century,"e; Thorpe's climactic case at the Old Bailey in London was the first time that a leading British politician had stood trial on a murder charge, and the first time that a murder plot had been hatched in the House of Commons. And it was the first time that a prominent public figure had been exposed as a philandering gay man in an era when homosexuality had only just become legal. With the pace and drama of a thriller, A Very English Scandal is an extraordinary story of hypocrisy, deceit, and betrayal at the heart of the British establishment.

Dig

Dig

Author: John Preston Format: Ebook Release Date: 05/04/2016

Reimagining the Sutton Hoo dig, the greatest Anglo-Saxon archaeological discovery on British soil, John Preston brilliantly dramatizes three months of intense activity on a small estate when locals fought outsiders, professionals thwarted amateurs, and love and rivalry flourished in equal measure.In the long hot summer of 1939, Britain is preparing for war, but on a riverside farm in Suffolk there is excitement of another kind. Mrs. Pretty, a widowed farmer, has had her hunch proved correct that the strange mounds on her land hold buried treasure. As an archaeological dig proceeds against a background of mounting national anxiety, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary find, and the discovery leads to a host of jealousies and tensions.Elegantly crafted with great tenderness and a poignant attention to detail, The Dig is more than a novel about archaeology. At its very core, this is a novel about the traces of life we all leave behind.

Ein Fest fur den Meister

Ein Fest fur den Meister

Author: John Preston Format: Ebook Release Date: 27/03/2015

Uber eine ungewohnliche Annonce sucht ein Meister nach willigen Sklaven fur eine exklusive S/M-Party - und sie melden sich zuhauf: Da ist etwa Carl, ein ehemaliger Marine und Stiefellecker, oder Christopher, ein bisexueller Bodybuilder, der ohne zu zogern auf seinem Geschaftspapier die Antwort verfasst. Doch bevor sie die Ehre haben, dem Meister zu dienen, mussen sie eindringlich befragt und inspiziert werden ...

City Evacuations: An Interdisciplinary Approach

City Evacuations: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Author: John Preston Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/08/2014

Evacuating a city is a complex problem that involves issues of governance, preparedness education, warning, information sharing, population dynamics, resilience and recovery. As natural and anthropogenic threats to cities grow, it is an increasingly pressing problem for policy makers and practitioners. The book is the result of a unique interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers in the physical and social sciences to consider how an interdisciplinary approach can help plan for large scale evacuations. It draws on perspectives from physics, mathematics, organisation theory, economics, sociology and education. Importantly it goes beyond disciplinary boundaries and considers how interdisciplinary methods are necessary to approach a complex problem involving human actors and increasingly complex communications and transportation infrastructures. Using real world case studies and modelling the book considers new approaches to evacuation dynamics. It addresses questions of complexity, not only in terms of theory, but examining the latest challenges for cities and emergency responders. Factors such as social media, information quality and visualisation techniques are examined to consider the 'new' dynamics of warning and informing, evacuation and recovery.

Die Liebe eines Meisters (Klassiker der schwulen SM-Literatur)

Die Liebe eines Meisters (Klassiker der schwulen SM-Literatur)

Author: John Preston Format: Ebook Release Date: 06/06/2014

Marc und Tim, zwei junge Manner vom Land, verbindet ein geheimer Wunsch: Sie wollen sich ganz und gar hingeben, dominiert werden - Sklaven fur einen anderen Mann sein. Als ihnen ein erfahrener Meister anbietet, sie abzurichten, trennen sich ihre Wege. Wahrend Tim entschlossen ist, Korper und Seele auf dem Sklavenmarkt feilzubieten und sich in die Hande des alteren Mannes begibt, schreckt Marc zunachst vor seinem eigenen Verlangen zuruck. Ein Klassiker des Meisters der schwulen SM-Literatur - zum ersten Mal auf Deutsch.

Mr. Benson (Klassiker der schwulen SM-Literatur)

Mr. Benson (Klassiker der schwulen SM-Literatur)

Author: John Preston Format: Ebook Release Date: 16/03/2013

Ein Meilenstein der SM-Literatur: New York, irgendwann in den Siebzigern. Sexuelle Exzesse pragen schwule Kneipen wie das Mineshaft, wo noch erlaubt ist, was gefallt. Mit seinen 25 Jahren und einer knackigen Figur fallt es Jamie nicht schwer, Nacht fur Nacht Manner aufzureien. Bis er eines Abends Mr. Benson begegnet, einem muskelbepackten Lederkerl, der auf Jamies eitles Gehabe nicht hereinfallt. Denn was Mr. Benson sucht, ist ein Sklave - ein Mann, der bereit ist, fur seinen Meister alles aufzugeben, der sich ihm unterwirft und erfahrt, was es heit, die Grenzen zwischen Schmerz, Lust und Liebe zu sprengen.

Disaster Education

Disaster Education

Author: John Preston Format: Ebook Release Date: 11/09/2012

From 'Duck and Cover' in the 1950s, when American schoolchildren were instructed to hide beneath their desks in the event of nuclear attack to contemporary campaigns against pandemic flu, education campaigns have been used to prepare the general public for apocalyptic events. Governments have made use of various media from films, leaflets and television to the internet to inform, inspire and scare populations. Forms of disaster education also permeate popular culture with films and television programmes illustrating survival techniques from dealing with terrorist attacks in '24' to thwarting zombie apocalypse in 'The Walking Dead' and '28 Days Later' . Using critical race theory and whiteness studies the book argues that information about disasters has always, tacitly or overtly, prioritised the survival of certain groups of citizens above others. Drawing on examples from the UK and the US, from past and contemporary disaster education and popular culture, it considers that rather than being kitsch, nave and ephemeral, such campaigns are central to the way in which states define survival, life and death. The book will be of interest to educationalists, historians, sociologists and cultural theorists as well as those working in emergency planning, public health and communications.

The Picture of Yarmouth; Being a Compendious History and Description of All the Public Establishments Within That Borough.

The Picture of Yarmouth; Being a Compendious History and Description of All the Public Establishments Within That Borough.

Author: John Preston Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/03/2011

The Picture of Yarmouth; Being a Compendious History and Description of All the Public Establishments Within That Borough. by John Preston

Whiteness and Class in Education

Whiteness and Class in Education

Author: John Preston Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/03/2009

This pioneering volume applies critical whiteness studies in a variety of educational contexts in the United Kingdom. The author uses ethnographic, biographical and documentary research to show how whiteness 'works' in education. The book also considers policy issues, and discusses how critical whiteness studies might function in anti-racist practice, shows how 'white supremacy' continues to dominate educational discourse and practice and discusses how this can be resisted.

The Dig

The Dig

Author: John Preston Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/05/2008

In the long hot summer of 1939 Britain is preparing for war. But on a riverside farm in Suffolk there is excitement of another kind: Mrs Petty, the widowed farmer, has had her hunch proved correct that the strange mounds on her land hold buried treasure. As the dig proceeds against a background of mounting national anxiety, it becomes clear though that this is no ordinary find ... And pretty soon the discovery leads to all kinds of jealousies and tensions. John Preston's recreation of the Sutton Hoo dig - the greatest Anglo-Saxon discovery ever in Britain - brilliantly and comically dramatizes three months of intense activity when locals fought outsiders, professionals thwarted amateurs, and love and rivaly flourished in equal measure

Wittgenstein and Reason

Wittgenstein and Reason

Author: John Preston Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/05/2008

This volume discusses Wittgenstein's work, as well as his oeuvre in general, and its implications for the nature of reason. Investigates the nature of reason which has always been a topic at the very heart of Western philosophy Analyses how Wittgenstein raised crucial questions about the subject - most notably in his critique of Frazer's Golden Bough , his discussions of various philosophical aspects of religion, and the famous 'rule-following considerations' from his Philosophical Investigations Contributors include prominent Wittgenstein scholars from the UK and continental Europe including Hanjo Glock, Genia Schonbaumsfeld, Severin Schroeder Joachim Schulte and Crispin Wright Contains a translation of an important paper by the French Wittgenstein scholar Jacques Bouveresse, alongside six new papers by other contributors

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