LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE Through the story of his own family's history as slave and plantation owners, Alex Renton looks at how we owe it to the present to understand the legacy of the past. When British Caribbean slavery was abolished across most of the British Empire in 1833, it was not the newly liberated who received compensation, but the tens of thousands of enslavers who were paid millions of pounds in government money. The descendants of some of those slave owners are among the wealthiest and most powerful people in Britain today. A group of Caribbean countries is calling on ten European nations to discuss the payment of trillions of dollars for the damage done by transatlantic slavery and its continuing legacy. Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter and other activist groups are causing increasing numbers of white people to reflect on how this history of abuse and exploitation has benefited them. Blood Legacy explores what inheritance - political, economic, moral and spiritual - has been passed to the descendants of the slave owners and the descendants of the enslaved. He also asks, crucially, how the former - himself among them - can begin to make reparations for the past.
'A brave and necessary book' GUARDIAN 'Shocking, gripping and sobering' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH No other society sends its young boys and girls away to school to prepare them for a role in the ruling class. Beating, bullying, fagging, cold baths, vile food and paedophile teachers are just some of the features of this elite education, and, while some children loved boarding school, others now admit to suffering life-altering psychological damage. Stiff Upper Lip exposes the hypocrisy, cronyism and conspiracy that are key to understanding the scandals over abuse and neglect in institutions all over the world. Award-winning investigative journalist Alex Renton went to three traditional boarding schools. Drawing on those experiences, and the vivid testimony of hundreds of former pupils, he has put together a compelling history, important to anyone wondering what shaped the people who run Britain in the twenty-first century.
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. 60% 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. In the US, each citizen eats on average 120kg of meat per year. And they're not alone. Our insatiable desire for meat has defined how we use our planet.But cheap meat comes at a price. Planet Carnivore gets under the skin of the health problems that over-consumption brings; of modern farming's destructive use of resources; and of the stretched and strained farms and abattoirs that lead to horsemeat in beef burgers and challenging moral questions about our relationship with our food.Alex Renton's brilliantly researched, utterly compelling Guardian Short serves up the grisly stories, and also looks at how we are beginning to try and pay the cheap meat bill, from innovative twists on current techniques to cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs.