New and forthcoming
Tony Benn was one of the twentieth century's most charismatic politicians. The Benn Diaries, kept for almost seventy years, are a uniquely authoritative, fascinating and readable record of the political life of our times.
This single-volume edition is the selected highlights of the complete diaries from Tony's schooldays in the 1940s until he ceased keeping a record of his day-to-day thoughts in 2009.
The narrative starts with Tony as a schoolboy and takes the reader through his experience as a trainee pilot during the war, his tentative first days as a backbencher in Atlee's post-war government, through his battle to remain in the Commons after the death of his father. From cabinet posts and leadership battles, through election highs ands lows to becoming a retired widower. Tony Benn was a consistently radical voice campaigning for the causes he was passionate about.
This volume is the definitive legacy of the best political diarist of our times.
In 2006, an oddball group of bankers, traders and brokers from some of the largest financial institutions made a startling realization: Libor—the London interbank offered rate, which determines the interest rates on trillions in loans worldwide—was set daily by a small group of easily manipulated administrators, and that they could reap huge profits by nudging it fractions of a percent to suit their trading portfolios. Tom Hayes, a brilliant but troubled mathematician, became the lynchpin of a wild alliance that included a prickly French trader nicknamed “Gollum”; the broker “Abbo,” who liked to publicly strip naked when drinking; a nervous Kazakh chicken farmer known as “Derka Derka”; a broker known as “Village” (short for “Village Idiot”) who racked up huge expense account bills; an executive called “Clumpy” because of his patchwork hair loss; and a broker uncreatively nicknamed “Big Nose” who had once been a semi-professional boxer. This group generated incredible riches —until it all unraveled in spectacularly vicious, backstabbing fashion.
With exclusive access to key characters and evidence, The Spider Network is not only a rollicking account of the scam, but also a provocative examination of a financial system that was crooked throughout.
In early 2014, after many years living abroad, Sam Miller returned to his childhood home in London. His father was dying.
When the editor, writer, critic and academic Karl Miller died later that year, the obituaries spoke of his brilliance and influence, of how he founded the London Review of Books, and how he had shaped the careers of some of the finest writers and poets of the second half of the twentieth century. But they gave little sense of Karl Miller beyond the world of work: the warm, funny, football-loving family man so adored by his children and grandchildren.
In the months after his death, Sam began to write about his father. He had been told, long ago, a family secret involving his parents and a close friend. Now, by reading his father’s papers and with the help of his mother, he was able to piece together a remarkable story.
Fathers is the result: a tender, thoughtful exploration of childhood and parenthood, of friendship, love and loyalty.
'A clarion call to all of us that we should not give up. Somewhere there is a voice in the wreckage.' Michael Palin
Since ISIS occupied Raqqa in eastern Syria, it has become one of the most isolated and fear-ridden cities on earth.
The sale of televisions has been banned, wearing trousers the wrong length is a punishable offence, and using a mobile phone is considered an unforgivable crime.
No journalists are allowed in and the penalty for speaking yo the western media is death by beheading.
Despite this, after several months of nervy and often interrupted conversations, the BBC was able to make contact with a small activist group, Al-Sharqiya 24. Finally, courageously, one of their members agreed to write a personal diary about his experiences.
Having seen friends and relatives butchered, his community's life shattered and the local economy ruined by these hate-fuelled extremists, Samer is fighting back in the only way he can: by telling the world what is happening to his beloved city.
This is Samer's story.
In 1939 Annie Jarman and her six young daughters were evacuated from their south London home and sent to the Sussex countryside to wait out the war. Refusing to be parted, they faced the unknown together, never imagining just how much their lives would change.
From the trials and tribulations of leaving London, the destructive horror of the Blitz and terrible family tragedy to dances, romances and the triumph of making a new life in the country, The Sisters of Battle Road is the compelling true story of six ordinary girls in extraordinary wartime circumstances.
Today, the six young girls – Mary, Joan, Sheila, Kathleen, Patricia and Ann – are six remarkable women who have lived to tell their tale of sisterhood and its unbreakable bonds in the shadow of World War Two.
The twelve edited volumes of Orwell's non-fiction, collected for the first time in one invaluable ebook.
A rich treasure trove of material, this unique collection includes Orwell's reviews, broadcasts, notebooks, wartime diaries, articles on socialism and censorship, correspondence with luminaries such as Arthur Koestler, Anthony Powell and Evelyn Waugh, and famous essays such as 'Politics and the English Language', 'Why I Write' and 'Some Thoughts on the Common Toad'.
Edited by Professor Peter Davison, the collection encompasses twelve annotated volumes and ranges across the whole of Orwell's writing life, from 1903 to 1950. As well as providing an unparalleled insight into Orwell's life and works, the volume offers a wonderful overview of the social, literary and political events of the thirties and forties. It will be an invaluable resource for fans, students and scholars alike.
A Kind of Compulsion (1903-36)
Facing Unpleasant Facts (1937-39)
A Patriot After All (1940-41)
All Propaganda is Lies (1941-42)
Keeping Our Little Corner Clean (1942-43)
Two Wasted Years (1943)
I Have Tried to Tell the Truth (1943-44)
I Belong to the Left (1945)
Smothered Under Journalism (1946)
It is What I Think (1947-48)
Our Job is to Make Life Worth Living (1949-50)
The Lost Orwell
In this groundbreaking debut essay collection, featuring never-before-seen photos, actress Lily Collins—star of Mortal Instruments and Rules Don’t Apply—is opening a poignant, honest conversation about the things young women struggle with: body image, self-confidence, relationships, family, dating and so much more.
For the first time ever, Lily shares her life and her own deepest secrets, proving that every single one of us experiences pain and heartbreak. We all understand what it’s like to live in the light and in the dark. For Lily, it’s about making it through to the other side, where you love what you see in the mirror and where you embrace yourself just as you are. She's learned that all it takes is one person standing up and saying something for everyone else to realise they’re not alone.
By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Lily’s honest voice will inspire you to be who you are and say what you feel. It’s time to claim your voice! It’s time to live your life unfiltered.
Few can say they’ve seen some of the most significant moments of the twentieth century unravel before their eyes. Marita Lorenz is one of them.
Born in Germany at the outbreak of WWII, Marita was incarcerated in a Nazi concentration camp as a child. In 1959, she travelled to Cuba where she met and fell in love with Fidel Castro. Yet upon fleeing to America, she was recruited by the CIA to assassinate the Fidel. Torn by love and loyalty, she failed to slip him the lethal pills.
Her life would take many more twists and turns — including having a child with ex-dictator of Venezuela, Marcos Pérez Jiménez; testifying about the John G Kennedy assassination; and becoming a party girl for the New York Mafia, as well as a police informant.
Caught up in Cold War intrigue, espionage and conspiracy — this is Marita’s incredible true story of a young girl, turned spy.
Nico was revered as ‘the most beautiful creature who ever lived’. She was Andy Warhol’s femme fatale and the High Preistess of Weird, yet few knew her real name or her wretched origins. When she called herself ‘a Nazi anarchist junkie’, they thought she was joking.
Bob Dylan wrote a song about her, Jim Morrison a poem, Jean Baudrillard an essay, Andy Warhol a film, Ernest Hemingway a story – yet she fought against the idolatry of men to assert her independence as a composer of dissident songs.
Nico’s contribution as an artist (17 films and 7 LPs) was smothered by gossip of her alleged affairs with men and women, whether Jimi Hendrix or Jeanne Moreau, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones or Coco Chanel.
She drifted through society like a phantom. Each era celebrated a different Nico – the top covergirl of the Fifties, the Siren of the Sixties (as The Times acclaimed her), the Moon Goddess of the Seventies, and the High Priestess of Punk when rock stars like Siouxsie Sioux and Pattie Smith acknowledged her pre-eminence. Ironically, they did so at the lowest point in her life. For behind the Garbo-esque veneer lived a lonely woman trying to stand autonomous in a fast-changing world, seeking to survive her heroin addiction and to cope with her tormented mother and her troubled son, his existence denied by his film-star father.
In this pioneer biography, which Nico asked the author to write shortly before her outlandish death in 1988, Richard Witts uncovers the reasons for her subterfuge, and examines the facts surrounding her encounters with terrorist Andreas Baader, the Black Panthers, and the Society for Cutting Up Men. Exclusive contributions from artists such as Jackson Browne, Iggy Pop, Viva, John Cale, David Bailey, Siouxsie Sioux – and many others including her relatives, friends and enemies – make this the definitive biography of an icon who was not only a testament to an era but hitherto unrecognised influence on popular music and style.
One needs to be a fox to recognize snares, and a lion to frighten the wolves
Niccolò Machiavelli lived in a fiercely competitive world, one where brute wealth, brazen liars and ruthless self-promoters seemed to carry off all the prizes; where the wealthy elite grew richer at the expense of their fellow citizens. In times like these, many looked to crusading religion to solve their problems, or they turned to a new breed of leaders - super-rich dynasties like the Medici or military strongmen like Cesare Borgia; upstarts from outside the old ruling classes. In the republic of Florence, Machiavelli and his contemporaries faced a choice: should they capitulate to these new princes, or fight to save the city's democratic freedoms?
Be Like the Fox follows Machiavelli's dramatic quest for political and human freedom through his own eyes. Masterfully interweaving his words with those of his friends and enemies, Erica Benner breathes life into his penetrating, comical, often surprising comments on events. Far from the cynical henchman people think he was, Machiavelli emerges as his era's staunchest champion of liberty, a profound ethical thinker who refused to compromise his ideals to fit corrupt times. But he did sometimes have to mask his true convictions, becoming a great artist of fox-like dissimulation: a master of disguise in dangerous times.
Get a fascinating insight into the man behind the glasses in Barry Humphries' one and only autobiography
Because Barry Humphries has deliberately furnished would-be biographers with whimsical fictions and blatant mystifications, the true details of his life are among the best-kept secrets of our time. More Please, prophetically his first utterance, reveals the man behind the actor.
This best-selling book moves from suburban Australia of the 1930s, 40s and 50s to Humphries' international stardom and his revelations and confessions will astonish his vast audience, being so wildly at odds with all that has gone before.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD
SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR AUTOBIOGRAPHY
WINNER OF THE SLIGHTLY FOXED BEST FIRST BIOGRAPHY PRIZE
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES' TOP 10 BOOKS OF 2016
The Return is at once a universal and an intensely personal tale. It is an exquisite meditation on how history and politics can bear down on an individual life. And yet Hisham Matar's memoir isn't just about the burden of the past, but the consolation of love, literature and art. It is the story of what it is to be human.
Hisham Matar was nineteen when his father was kidnapped and taken to prison in Libya. He would never see him again. Twenty-two years later, the fall of Gaddafi meant he was finally able to return to his homeland. In this moving memoir, the author takes us on an illuminating journey, both physical and psychological; a journey to find his father and rediscover his country.
'An absorbing book, beautifully told and with the writer fully in command of a huge body of research' Philip Hensher, Mail on Sunday
There was an epic sweep to Michelangelo's life. At 31 he was considered the finest artist in Italy, perhaps the world; long before he died at almost 90 he was widely believed to be the greatest sculptor or painter who had ever lived (and, by his enemies, to be an arrogant, uncouth, swindling miser). For decade after decade, he worked near the dynamic centre of events: the vortex at which European history was changing from Renaissance to Counter Reformation. Few of his works - including the huge frescoes of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, the marble giant David and the Last Judgment - were small or easy to accomplish. Like a hero of classical mythology - such as Hercules, whose statue Michelangelo carved in his youth - he was subject to constant trials and labours. In Michelangelo Martin Gayford describes what it felt like to be Michelangelo Buonarroti, and how he transformed forever our notion of what an artist could be.
'It is a measure of [Michelangelo's] magnitude, and Gayford's skill in capturing it, that you finish this book wishing that Michelangelo had lived longer and created more' Rachel Spence, FT
'One of our most distinguished writers on what makes modern artists tick . . . It is very difficult to cut through the thicket of generations of scholarship and say anything new about David, the Sistine Chapel, The Last Judgement, the Basilica of St Peter's or many of Michelangelo's other masterpieces, but Gayford manages to do so by encouraging us to think - and look - at both the obvious and the overlooked' Sunday Telegraph
'Only the most ambitious biographer can take on the talent of Michelangelo Buonarroti' The Times
The New York Times bestseller
'Wickedly funny, especially poignant' Washington Post
The notorious baby boomers are approaching the end and starting to plan their final moves in the game of life. ‘What was that all about?’ they’re asking. ‘Was it about acquiring things or changing the world? Was it about keeping all your marbles? Or is the only thing that counts after you’re gone the reputation you leave behind?’ In Old Age: a beginner’s guide, Michael Kinsley answers the questions we are all forced to confront sooner or later.
'Irreverent, wise and laugh-out-loud funny about living long enough for your organs to start to betray you' Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal
A luminous memoir from the award-winning author of The Vagrants and A Thousand Years of Good Prayers
'What a long way it is from one life to another. Yet why write if not for that distance?'
Startlingly original and shining with quiet wisdom, this is a memoir of a life lived with books. Written over two years while the author battled suicidal depression, Dear Friend is a painful and yet richly affirming examination of what makes life worth living.
Li grew up in China, her mother suffering from mental illness, and has spent her adult life as an immigrant in a country not her own. She has been a scientist, an author, an immigrant, a mother - and through it all, she has been sustained by a deep connection with the writers and books she loves. From William Trevor and Katherine Mansfield to Kierkegaard and Larkin, Dear Friend is a journey through the deepest themes that bind these writers together.
Interweaving personal experiences with a wide-ranging homage to her most cherished literary influences, Yiyun Li confronts the two most essential questions of her identity: Why write? And why live? Dear Friend is a beautiful, interior exploration of selfhood and a journey of recovery through literature.
Although he styled himself 'His Highness', adopted the court ritual of his royal predecessors, and lived in the former royal palaces of Whitehall and Hampton Court, Oliver Cromwell was not a king - in spite of the best efforts of his supporters to crown him.
Yet, as David Horspool shows in this illuminating new portrait of England's Lord Protector, Cromwell, the Puritan son of Cambridgeshire gentry, wielded such influence that it would be a pretence to say that power really lay with the collective. The years of Cromwell's rise to power, shaped by a decade-long civil war, saw a sustained attempt at the collective government of England; the first attempts at a real Union of Britain; the beginnings of empire; a radically new solution to the idea of a national religion; atrocities in Ireland; and the readmission to England of the Jews, a people officially banned for over three and a half centuries. At the end of it, Oliver Cromwell had emerged as the country's sole ruler: to his enemies, and probably to most of his countrymen, his legacy looked as likely to last as that of the Stuart dynasty he had replaced.
All families have their myths and Juliet Nicolson’s was no different: her flamenco dancing great-great-grandmother Pepita, the flirty manipulation of her great-grandmother Victoria, the infamous eccentricity of her grandmother Vita, her mother’s Tory-conventional background.
A House Full of Daughters takes us through seven generations of women. In the nineteenth-century slums of Malaga, the salons of fin-de-siècle Washington DC, an English boarding school during the Second World War, Chelsea in the 1960s, these women emerge for Juliet as people in their own right, but also as part of who she is and where she has come from.
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