New and forthcoming

Be More Pirate

Sam Conniff Allende

Have you ever wanted to make your mark on the world and wondered how?
Have you ever wanted to stand up to the system, break it, or make it better?
Have you ever wondered how to find success amidst unpredictability ?

The answer? Be More Pirate.

In Be More Pirate, award-winning social entrepreneur Sam Conniff Allende reveals how the game-changing innovations, strategies and purpose of pirates can provide a blueprint for anyone embarking on their own personal adventure.

From creating the world's most iconic brand 150 years before Coca-Cola to championing free trade and fair pay, pirates were the true pioneers of their day. Drawing on the original eighteenth century pirate code and looking to 'modern day pirates' like Banksy, Elon Musk and Malala for inspiration, Conniff Allende reveals how to stand up to the status quo and create a personal manifesto that will ensure you find success in uncertain times.

Whatever your ideas or the scale of your ambitions, Be More Pirate will revolutionise the way you think, work and live.

Sam Conniff Allende is the founder and former CEO of Livity, a multi-award-winning youth marketing agency. Conniff Allende has led the unlikeliest collaborations between brands and bright young people on the edges of society, resulting in real innovation. He has worked with Google, Unilever, PlayStation and Dyson, and regularly speaks at these industry-leading companies.

Dark Mirror

Barton Gellman

Barton Gellman’s informant called himself ‘Verax’ – the truth-teller. It was only later that Verax unmasked himself as Edward Snowden. By that point he had already shared thousands of files with Gellman.

Dark Mirror is the ultimate inside account of the vast, global surveillance network that now pervades all our lives. Gellman’s primary role in bringing Snowden’s revelations to light, for which he shared the Pulitzer prize, is only the beginning of this gripping real-life spy story. Snowden unlocked the door: here Gellman describes what he found on the other side over the course of a years-long journey of investigation. It is also the story of his own escalating battle against unknown digital adversaries after he discovered his own name on a file in the NSA document trove and realised that he himself was under attack.

Through a gripping narrative of paranoia, clandestine operations and jaw-dropping revelations, Dark Mirror delineates in full for the first time the hidden superstructure that connects government espionage with Silicon Valley and the most powerful corporation whose name you’ve never heard. Who is spying on us and why? Here are the answers.

Give People Money

Annie Lowrey

Surely just giving people money couldn't work. Or could it?

Imagine if every month the government deposited £1000 in your bank account, with no strings attached and nothing expected in return. It sounds crazy, but Universal Basic Income (UBI) has become one of the most influential policy ideas of our time. The founder of Facebook, Obama's chief economist, governments from Canada to Finland are all seriously debating some form of UBI.

In this sparkling and provocative book, economics writer Annie Lowrey looks at the global UBI movement. She travels to Kenya to see how UBI is lifting the poorest people on earth out of destitution, India to see how inefficient government programs are failing the poor, South Korea to interrogate UBI’s intellectual pedigree, and Silicon Valley to meet the tech titans financing UBI pilots in expectation of a world with advanced artificial intelligence and little need for human labour. She also examines at the challenges the movement faces: contradictory aims, uncomfortable costs, and most powerfully, the entrenched belief that no one should get something for nothing.

The UBI movement is not just an economic policy -- it also calls into question our deepest intuitions about what we owe each other and what activities society rewards and values.

On the Edge

Richard Davies

To understand how humans react and adapt to change we need to study people who live in harsh environments. From the death-row prisoners trading in prisons where money is banned to the stateless ethnic Russians shut out of Estonia’s hyper-modern economy, every life in this book has been hit by a seismic shock, violently broken or damaged in some way.
People living in these odd and marginal places are ignored by number crunching economists and political pollsters alike. Science suggests this is a mistake.
This book tells the personal stories of humans living in extreme situations. 'Extreme' does not mean the familiar stock market crashes, housing crises, or banking scandals of the financial pages. The book takes the reader to really odd places, the places that no-one visits. Places where part of the economy has been repressed, removed, destroyed or turbocharged. By travelling to each of them and discovering what life is really like, On the Edge tells small stories that shed light on today’s biggest economic questions.

Tyrant

Stephen Greenblatt

How does a truly disastrous leader – a sociopath, a demagogue, a tyrant – come to power? How, and why, does a tyrant hold on to power? And what goes on in the hidden recesses of the tyrant's soul?

As an aging, tenacious Elizabeth I clung to power, a talented playwright probed the social and psychological roots and the twisted consequences of tyranny. What he discovered in his characters four hundred years ago remains remarkably relevant today. For help in understanding our most urgent contemporary dilemmas, William Shakespeare has no peer. With uncanny insight, he shone a spotlight on the infantile psychology and unquenchable narcissistic appetites of demagogues and imagined how they might be stopped.

In Tyrant, Stephen Greenblatt examines the themes of power and tyranny in some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. From the dominating figures of Richard III, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth, and Coriolanus to the subtle tyranny found in Measure for Measure and The Winter's Tale amongst others, Greenblatt expertly guides us through the enduring lessons in Shakespeare’s drama.

Tyrant is a short, highly relevant exploration of Shakespeare’s work that sheds new light on the workings of power.

The Road to Unfreedom

Timothy Snyder

With the end of the Cold War, the victory of liberal democracy was thought to be final. Observers declared the end of history, confident in a peaceful, globalized future. This faith was misplaced. Authoritarianism returned to Russia, as Putin found fascist ideas that could be used to justify rule by the wealthy. In the 2010s, it has spread from east to west, aided by Russian warfare in Ukraine and cyberwar and information war in Europe and the United States.

Russia found allies among nationalists and oligarchs everywhere, and its drive to dissolve Western institutions, states, and values found resonance within the West itself. The rise of populism, the British vote against the EU, and the election of Donald Trump were all Russian goals, but their achievement reveals the vulnerability of Western societies and the uncertain character of Western political order.

This threat to Western democracy presents an opportunity to better understand the pillars of our own political order. In this forceful and unsparing work of contemporary history, based on vast research as well as personal reporting, Snyder goes beyond the headlines to expose the true nature of the threat to democracy and law. By showcasing the stark choices before us – between equality or oligarchy, individuality or totality, truth and falsehood – Snyder restores our understanding of the basis of our way of life, offering a way forward in a time of terrible uncertainty.

A Spy Named Orphan

Roland Philipps

Donald Maclean is the most infamous of Britain’s twentieth-century spies, a double agent who defected to the Soviet Union, and whose betrayal plunged the Cold War alliance between Britain and the United States into crisis.

Part of the ‘Cambridge Five’, Maclean was a true ideologue and the most complex and compelling character of the group. Making use of previously classified material from the SIS and Foreign Office archives, Roland Philipps unravels the man and his many contradictions: a childhood and upbringing filled with strictures; an adult life of repressions, deceptions and binges; a marriage complicated by secrets of its own; and a looming sense of his fate closing in on him.

Taking us back to the golden age of espionage, A Spy Named Orphan examines the character, motivation and impact of the most ardent, dangerous and enigmatic spy of the twentieth century. At the same time it illuminates the changes in world power after the Second World War, tracing the decline of American and British relations as well as the growing chill of the Cold War that brought us to the verge of catastrophe.

Has the West Lost It?

Kishore Mahbubani

The West's centuries-old status as the centre of global wealth and power is coming to an end. As the new powers - China, India, Africa - rise to the top of the world's pecking order, how should the West react? Kishore Mahbubani argues passionately and provocatively that the West can no longer impose its ideals on the world at large, and - paradoxically - that only by admitting its decline can the West set itself up for strategic success in the long term. Mahbubani examines the myths and self-delusions of Western power with an outsider's critical eye, and the shocking freshness of his geopolitical analysis will give all Westerners and political thinkers pause for thought.

The Long '68

Richard Vinen

1968 saw an extraordinary range of protests across much of the western world. Some of these were genuinely revolutionary - around ten million French workers went on strike and the whole state teetered on the brink of collapse. Others were more easily contained, but had profound longer-term implications - terrorist groups, feminist collectives, gay rights activists could all trace important roots to 1968. Bill Clinton and even Tony Blair are, in many ways, the product of that year.

The Long '68 is a striking and original attempt half a century on to show how these events, which in some ways still seem so current, stemmed from histories and societies which are in practice now extraordinarily remote from our own time. The book pursues the story into the 1970s to show both the ever more violent forms of radicalization that stemmed from 1968 and the brutal reaction that brought the era to an end.

Marx and Marxism

Gregory Claeys

An illuminating overview of Marx's intellectual influence from a leading historian of socialism

Why was Marx so successful as a thinker? Did he have a system and if so, what does it consist of? How did Marxism develop in the twentieth century and what does it mean today?

Karl Marx remains the most influential and controversial political thinker in history. The movements associated with his name have lent hope to many victims of tyranny and aggression but have also proven disastrous in practice and resulted in the unnecessary deaths of millions. If after the collapse of the Soviet Union his reputation seemed utterly eclipsed, a new generation is reading and discovering Marx in the wake of the recurrent financial crises, growing social inequality and an increasing sense of the injustice and destructiveness of capitalism. Both his critique of capitalism and his vision of the future speak across the centuries to our times, even if the questions he poses are more difficult to answer than ever.

In this wide-ranging account, Gregory Claeys, one of Britain's leading historians of socialism, considers Marx's ideas and their development through the Russian Revolution to the present, showing why Marx and Marxism still matter today.

Austerity

Yanis Varoufakis

Selected from the books of Yanis Varoufakis.

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

A series of short books by the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human

Wade in the Water

Tracy K. Smith

Even the men in black armor, the ones
Jangling handcuffs and keys, what else

Are they so buffered against, if not love's blade
Sizing up the heart's familiar meat?

In Wade in the Water, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith's signature voice - inquisitive, lyrical and wry - turns over what it means to be a citizen, a mother and an artist in a culture arbitrated by wealth, men and violence. The various connotations of the title, taken from a spiritual once sung on the Underground Railroad which smuggled slaves to safety in 19th-century America, resurface throughout the book, binding past and present together. Collaged voices and documents recreate both the correspondence between slave owners and the letters sent home by African Americans enlisted in the US Civil War. Survivors' reports attest to the experiences of recent immigrants and refugees. Accounts of near-death experiences intertwine with the modern-day fallout of a corporation's illegal pollution of a major river and the surrounding land; and, in a series of beautiful lyrical pieces, the poet's everyday world and the growth and flourishing of her daughter are observed with a tender and witty eye. Marrying the contemporary and the historical to a sense of the transcendent, haunted and holy, this is a luminous book by one of America's essential poets.