Politics and government

The Life of an MP

The Life of an MP

Author: Jess Phillips Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/2022

'This book is here to take you inside the daily realities of Westminster. I don't mean that it's going to bore you to death with a blow by blow account of what it's like to sit on the Statutory Instrument Debate on Naval regulations 1968-2020 - but to demystify the places and practice of politics.' From agonising decisions on foreign air strikes to making headlines about orgasms, from sitting in on history-making moments at the UN to eating McCain potato smiles at a black-tie banquet in China, the life of a politician is never dull. And it's also never been more important. But politics is far bigger than Westminster, and in this book Jess Phillips makes the compelling case for why now, more than ever, we all need to be a part of it. With trademark humour and honesty, Jess Phillips lifts the lid on what a career in politics is really like and why it matters - to all of us. This is the inside story of what's really going on.

In the Thick of It

In the Thick of It

Author: Alan Duncan Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2022

As Minister of State at the Foreign Office, Alan Duncan was once described as Boris Johnson's 'pooper-scooper'. For two years, he deputised for the then Foreign Secretary, now Prime Minister. Few are more attuned to Boris's strengths and weaknesses as a minister and his suitability for high office than the man who helped clear up his mistakes. Riotously candid, these diaries cover the most turbulent period in recent British political history - from the eve of the referendum in 2016 to the UK's eventual exit from the EU. As two prime ministers fall, two general elections unfold and a no-confidence vote is survived, Duncan records a treasure-trove of insider gossip, giving biting and often hilarious accounts of petty rivalries, poor decision-making, big egos, and big crises. Nothing escapes Alan's acerbic gaze. Across these unfiltered daily entries, he builds a revealing and often profound picture of UK politics and personalities. A rich seam of high politics and low intrigue, this is an account from deep inside the engine room of power.

Queen of Our Times

Queen of Our Times

Author: Robert Hardman Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/03/2022

The definitive biography of Her Majesty The Queen by one of Britain’s leading royal authorities. With original insights from those who know her best, new interviews with world leaders and access to unseen papers, bestselling author Robert Hardman explores the full, astonishing life of our longest reigning monarch in this compellingly authoritative yet intimate biography. Elizabeth II was not born to be queen. Yet from her accession as a young mother of two in 1952 to the age of Covid-19, she has proved an astute and quietly determined figure, leading her family and her people through more than seventy years of unprecedented social change. She has faced constitutional crises, confronted threats against her life, rescued the Commonwealth, seen her prime ministers come and go, charmed world leaders, been criticised as well as feted by the media, and steered her family through a lifetime in the public eye. Queen of Our Times is a must-read study of dynastic survival and renewal, spanning abdication, war, romance, danger and tragedy. It is a compelling portrait of a leader who remains as intriguing today as the day she came to the throne aged twenty-five.

Hard Choices

Hard Choices

Author: Peter Ricketts Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2022

The international order put in place after World War II is rapidly coming to an end. Disastrous foreign wars, global recession, the meteoric rise of China and India, and the Covid-19 pandemic have undermined the power of the West's institutions and unleashed the forces of nationalism and protectionism around the world. Britain faces unprecedented dilemmas: how do we influence events outside the EU? Can we protect ourselves from cyber attacks and terrorism? Will we accept our diminished role in the international arena? In this lucid and wide-ranging book, one of Britain's most experienced senior diplomats explores how the country moves forward, arguing that international co-operation and solidarity are the surest ways to prosper in a world more dangerous than ever.

Growing Out

Growing Out

Author: Barbara Blake Hannah Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2022

'A gorgeously exuberant account. . . writing that is natural and vivacious . . . a fascinating and hugely enjoyable read.' Bernardine Evaristo, from the Introduction Travelling over from Jamaica as a teenager, Barbara's journey is remarkable. She finds her footing in TV, and blossoms. Covering incredible celebrity stories, travelling around the world and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Germaine Greer and Michael Caine - her life sparkles. But with the responsibility of being the first black woman reporting on TV comes an enormous amount of pressure, and a flood of hateful letters and complaints from viewers that eventually costs her the job. In the aftermath of this fallout, she goes through a period of self-discovery that allows her to carve out a new space for herself first in the UK and then back home in Jamaica - one that allows her to embrace and celebrate her black identity, rather than feeling suffocated in her attempts to emulate whiteness and conform to the culture around her. Growing Out provides a dazzling, revelatory depiction of race and womanhood in the 1960s from an entirely unique perspective. A title in the Black Britain: Writing Back series - selected by Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, this series rediscovers and celebrates pioneering books depicting black Britain that remap the nation.

Britons Through Negro Spectacles

Britons Through Negro Spectacles

Author: ABC Merriman-Labor Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2022

'We shall therefore confine our walk to Central London where people meet on business during the day, and to West London where they meet for pleasure at night. If you will walk about the first City in the British Empire arm in arm with Merriman-Labor, you are sure to see Britons in merriment and at labour, by night and by day, in West and Central London.' In Britons Through Negro Spectacles Merriman-Labor takes us on a joyous, intoxicating tour of London at the turn of the 20th century. Slyly subverting the colonial gaze usually placed on Africa, he introduces us to the citizens, culture and customs of Britain with a mischievous glint in his eye. This incredible work of social commentary feels a century ahead of its time, and provides unique insights into the intersection between empire, race and community at this important moment in history. Selected by Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, this series rediscovers and celebrates pioneering books depicting black Britain that remap the nation.

Freedom

Freedom

Author: Nathan Law, Evan Fowler Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/11/2021

What does it mean to be truly free? And can any of us be free until all of us are? Nobel Peace Prize nominee Nathan Law has experienced first-hand the shocking speed with which our freedom can be taken away from us, as an elected politician arrested simply for speaking his mind. He remembers what it is like to lack freedom - and his father's precarious three-day escape from China in a small rowing boat. When authoritarianism makes gains around the world, demanding our silence as the price of doing business, it poses a challenge to democracy everywhere. In this passionate rallying cry, Law argues that we must defend our freedom now or face losing it for ever. 'Now we all need to stand firm to defend our freedoms, to ensure truth is not determined by dictators. We are born free and as equals. As long as we believe in that, no one can take it away from us.'

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

Free

Free

Author: Lea Ypi Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/10/2021

'I never asked myself about the meaning of freedom until the day I hugged Stalin. From close up, he was much taller than I expected.' Lea Ypi grew up in one of the most isolated countries on earth, a place where communist ideals had officially replaced religion. Albania, the last Stalinist outpost in Europe, was almost impossible to visit, almost impossible to leave. It was a place of queuing and scarcity, of political executions and secret police. To Lea, it was home. People were equal, neighbours helped each other, and children were expected to build a better world. There was community and hope. Then, in December 1990, a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, everything changed. The statues of Stalin and Hoxha were toppled. Almost overnight, people could vote freely, wear what they liked and worship as they wished. There was no longer anything to fear from prying ears. But factories shut, jobs disappeared and thousands fled to Italy on crowded ships, only to be sent back. Predatory pyramid schemes eventually bankrupted the country, leading to violent conflict. As one generation's aspirations became another's disillusionment, and as her own family's secrets were revealed, Lea found herself questioning what freedom really meant. Free is an engrossing memoir of coming of age amid political upheaval. With acute insight and wit, Lea Ypi traces the limits of progress and the burden of the past, illuminating the spaces between ideals and reality, and the hopes and fears of people pulled up by the sweep of history.

Value(s)

Value(s)

Author: Mark Carney Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/10/2021

We are at a pivotal moment in the fight against climate change - with the ultimate opportunity to reassess what society values and how we can better respond to future crises. This book asks why it is that the things we value most - from the environment to frontline workers to keeping children well fed and educated - are so often neglected by the market. In Value(s), one of the great global thinkers of our time examines how what we value has become misaligned and how we can rethink and rebuild before it is too late. Drawing on a truly international perspective, this book offers a blueprint for how we can channel the dynamism of the market to transform intractable global problems into opportunities. And in so doing build a better world for all.

Renegades

Renegades

Author: Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/10/2021

Two long-time friends share an intimate and urgent conversation about life, music and their enduring love of America, with all its challenges and contradictions, in this stunningly-produced expansion of their ground-breaking Higher Ground podcast, featuring more than 350 photographs, exclusive bonus content, and never-before-seen archival material. Renegades: Born in the USA is a candid, revealing, and entertaining dialogue between President Barack Obama and legendary musician Bruce Springsteen that explores everything from their origin stories and career-defining moments to their country's polarized politics and the growing distance between the American Dream and the American reality. Filled with full-colour photographs and rare archival material, it is a compelling and beautifully illustrated portrait of two outsiders-one Black and one white-looking for a way to connect their unconventional searches for meaning, identity, and community with the American story itself. It includes: · Original introductions by President Obama and Bruce Springsteen · Exclusive new material from the Renegades podcast recording sessions · Obama's never-before-seen annotated speeches, including his "Remarks at the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches · Springsteen's handwritten lyrics for songs spanning his 50-year-long career · Rare and exclusive photographs from the authors' personal archives · Historical photographs and documents that provide rich visual context for their conversation. In a recording studio stocked with dozens of guitars, and on at least one Corvette ride, Obama and Springsteen discuss marriage and fatherhood, race and masculinity, the lure of the open road and the call back to home. They also compare notes on their favourite protest songs, the most inspiring American heroes of all time, and more. Along the way, they reveal their passion for-and the occasional toll of-telling a bigger, truer story about America throughout their careers, and explore how their fractured country might begin to find its way back toward unity.

The Book of Change

The Book of Change

Author: Stephen Ellcock Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/10/2021

An absolute wow of a book which offers and encourages new thoughts and feelings. I follow Stephen Ellcock on social media, he collates images and celebrates the beautiful, different, weird and wonderful and I often stop, pause, and ponder as I scroll. His first book All Good Things, was totally gorgeous, and a LoveReading Star Book. In The Book of Change Stephen states: “I am continually driven by an overwhelming, gnawing frustration at the injustices of the world and an intense desire for something better”. He goes on to explain that this book is a response to his lifelong feeling of alienation and dislocation, and the current situation we find ourselves in 2021. His introduction sings of his wish for justice, equality, and peace for all. He looks into the past, observes the present, and reaches out to the future, to information, mass media, and power, and he addresses the issues that are plaguing our planet. He offers seven sections, starting with Source, and ending with Hope, and boy, did the images contained within evoke my emotions. I found myself being drawn into each one, sometimes caught by the obvious, sometimes looking past and through into the hidden, the darkness, the suggestive heart. At times I felt uncomfortable, I was definitely challenged, and was left feeling that this book had taken on a life of its own within my thoughts and feelings. The Book of Change, so darkly beautiful and provocative, has been chosen as a LoveReading Star Book. 

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