New and forthcoming
Lord Carrington was Margaret Thatcher's Foreign Secretary when the Argentinians invaded the Falklands in 1982. Absent in Israel on the eve of the invasion, he promptly resigned since it was, he said, a point of honour. He is seen by many today as the last of his breed in politics, an honourable man committed to public service.
The descendant of a famous banking family, Carrington served as a minister in every Conservative government from Churchill to Thatcher. In this full biography, authorised but not read by the subject, author of This Sceptred Isle Christopher Lee offers a fascinating portrait of a Tory icon whose career is a window into post-war British politics and life as a politician and diplomat.
He could be viewed as a typical Tory grandee, yet he disliked the Party, claiming late in his life that he was no longer a member, and could be fiercely independent. And there were recurring oddities in his career. He was forced to offer his resignation to Churchill for bad judgement over the Crichel Down Affair. As Navy Minister he was caught in the glare of a spy ring, and, though Defence Secretary, kept out of the loop of the military operation which culminated in Bloody Sunday.
Margaret Thatcher said there was something innately reassuring walking into a room where Carrington stood. Was this a barbed compliment? Did he in fact lack the steel required of a modern politician? He certainly represents a bygone era, as this vivid and expert biography shows.
The tale of how the hero Theseus killed the Minotaur, finding his way out of the labyrinth using Ariadne’s ball of red thread, is one of the most intriguing, suggestive and persistent of all myths, and the labyrinth – the beautiful, confounding and terrifying building created for the half-man, half-bull monster – is one of the foundational symbols of human ingenuity and artistry.
Charlotte Higgins, author of the Baillie Gifford-shortlisted Under Another Sky, tracks the origins of the story of the labyrinth in the poems of Homer, Catullus, Virgil and Ovid, and with them builds an ingenious edifice of her own. She follows the idea of the labyrinth through the Cretan excavations of Sir Arthur Evans, the mysterious turf labyrinths of Northern Europe, the church labyrinths of medieval French cathedrals and the hedge mazes of Renaissance gardens. Along the way, she traces the labyrinthine ideas of writers from Dante and Borges to George Eliot and Conan Doyle, and of artists from Titian and Velázquez to Picasso and Eva Hesse.
Her intricately constructed narrative asks what it is to be lost, what it is to find one’s way, and what it is to travel the confusing and circuitous path of a lived life. Red Thread is, above all, a winding and unpredictable route through the byways of the author’s imagination – one that leads the reader on a strange and intriguing journey, full of unexpected connections and surprising pleasures.
'I would follow this man anywhere' Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Awakening and regular Oprah guest, Mark Nepo, presents an empowering guide to the power of community and why it’s essential in our lives, now more than ever.
He investigates what brings us together and what throws us apart. He considers what we have in common as well as what makes us unique. He gathers stories and lessons from across cultures and history to show that, despite the hardships we face, we have the power to create connections and draw strength from one another.
Featuring thought-provoking analysis and practical takeaways, More Together Than Alone will help us inhabit a stronger sense of togetherness in our lives to achieve our highest potential, as individuals, and as communities.
Most politicians write autobiographies to 'set the record straight'. This is a different sort of memoir. Following his life as a self-confessed 'wet European' from parliament to Hong Kong and beyond, Chris Patten creates a meditation on personal and political identity which, in an age of simplification, shows the complexities of both.
'A defence of liberal conservatism ... If old-style centrism is to stage a comeback and reason to supplant stridency and authoritarianism, be it in west or east, the moderates can wave Patten's book on their way to their barricades' Jonathan Fenby, Financial Times
'Vivid, very well-written, First Confession joins the highest tier of recent works by British politicians' Paschal Donohoe, Irish Times
'Draws on his experience of four controversial institutions - the Tory party, the Vatican, the Chinese government and the BBC - to swell the tiny list of intelligent and cultured memoirs by front-line politicians' Mark Lawson, New Statesman, Books of the Year