The Dalai Lama is one of the best-known and respected public figures of modern times. A Nobel Peace Prize Winner, advocate for peace and campaigner for compassion, he regularly speaks at sell-out arena tours across the globe.
In this new biography, Alexander Norman reveals the complex and compelling character of the Dalai Lama in more detail than ever before. Drawing on his long friendship with His Holiness and with his full support, Norman gives unparalled insights into the Dalai Lama's life, from being chosen as a young boy, his exile from Tibet and his involvement in political negotiations, to the present day. Uniquely, however, this book also reveals the private life of a very public man, including his personal spiritual experiences, daily Buddhist practice and the issues that are closest to his heart. Norman also explains how the turbulent history of Tibet has shaped the Dalai Lama's thinking and personality and corrects the myths that have built up around him.
Illuminating, surprising and fascinating, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the Dalai Lama.
On 15 October 1838, the body of a thirty-six-year-old woman was found in Cape Coast Castle, West Africa, a bottle of Prussic acid in her hand. She was one of the most famous English poets of her day: Letitia Elizabeth Landon, known by her initials ‘L.E.L.’
What was she doing in Africa? Was her death an accident, as the inquest claimed? Or had she committed suicide, or even been murdered?
To her contemporaries, she was an icon, hailed as the ‘female Byron’, admired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Heinrich Heine, the young Brontë sisters and Edgar Allan Poe. However, she was also a woman with secrets, the mother of three illegitimate children whose existence was subsequently wiped from the record. After her death, she became the subject of a cover-up which is only now unravelling.
Too scandalous for her reputation to survive, Letitia Landon was a brilliant woman who made a Faustian pact in a ruthless world. She embodied the post-Byronic era, the ‘strange pause’ between the Romantics and the Victorians. This new investigation into the mystery of her life, work and death excavates a whole lost literary culture, in which the legacy of Keats and Shelley turned toxic.
You have money burning a hole in your pocket. You have more free time than you know what to do with. And your whole life is geared around winning. What do you do with your cash? For former premier league footballer Matt Etherington, he, like many of his peers, gambled. But what started as harmless entertainment spiralled into a vortex of depression and debt, almost destroying his marriage, his career and himself. Exposing the intense pressures of the premiership in a way that's never before been shared, Matt's story also shows how, in life, there's always a second half.
In 1954, the 28-year-old David Attenborough seized the opportunity to travel the world in search of rare animals for London Zoo’s collection, and to film these fascinating expeditions for the BBC. The result was the successful television series, Zoo Quest.
In Guyana the adventure begins with an encounter with a caiman, a visit to the River Mazaruni waterfalls, and an extraordinary painted cliff revealing a sequence of handprints and animal drawings not unlike France’s Palaeolithic caves.
Later, we are transported to Indonesia where he sets out, nervously, to capture an eighteen foot long python.
In Argentina David Attenborough comes across the rhea - a creature not unlike the ostrich – and observes its amusing courting and mating rituals. Then there is the issue of where to keep the collected animals…
Told with Attenborough’s trademark charm, these remarkable stories give us an insight into the early adventures of our most beloved naturalist.
The long-awaited memoir from legendary rapper Nas, one of the most famous - and enigmatic - stars of the hip-hop generation.
With the release of his 1994 debut album, Illmatic, Nas was immediately lauded as rap royalty. After over two decades he remains one of the most admired, successful, and misunderstood figures in the business.
In It Ain’t Hard to Tell, Nas tells his life story for the first time - including his early days growing up in Queens as the son of a jazz musician and his immersion in street culture to his emergence on the scene in the early 1990s. He recounts his private and public struggles, including the media-hyped feud with Jay-Z, finally resolved in 2005, and his battle to assert himself as King of East Coast rap.
Over the course of eleven solo albums Nas has accrued millions of fans around the globe and collaborated with the greatest talents in music, and he charts his evolution from the brash, arrogant “Nasty Nas” to a mature but still provocative artist. It Ain’t Hard to Tell finally reveals the man behind the rhymes in a memoir as outspoken and uncompromising as fans could hope for.
On 1 February 1995, Richey Edwards, guitarist of the Manic Street Preachers, went missing at the age of 27. On the eve of a promotional trip to America, he vanished from his London hotel room, his car later discovered near the Severn Bridge, a notorious suicide spot.
Over two decades later, Richey’s disappearance remains one of the most moving, mysterious and unresolved episodes in recent pop culture history.
For those with a basic grasp of the facts, Richey's suicide seems obvious and undeniable. However, a closer investigation of his actions in the weeks and months before his disappearance just don’t add up, and until now few have dared to ask the important questions.
Withdrawn Traces is the first book written with the co-operation of the Edwards family, testimony from Richey’s closest friends and unprecedented and exclusive access to Richey’s personal archive. In a compelling real-time narrative, the authors examine fresh evidence, uncover overlooked details, profile Richey's state of mind, and brings us closer than ever before to the truth.
Within minutes of the crash, you land at the scene. But nothing can prepare you for what you now find. So what do you do?
Professor Kevin Fong flies with the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, making split-second, life-or-death decisions in the most extreme circumstances. In this gripping blend of memoir and reportage, he confronts a disturbing truth: sometimes even the best trained expert cannot know the right thing to do.
Telling stories of astonishing skill and catastrophic error, he shows that our ability to move at ever greater speeds in ever greater safety comes with a bitter irony: when something goes wrong – as it must – reacting quickly and effectively enough is now beyond human capability. Reflecting on his own dramatic experiences and those of war medics, pilots and surgeons, Fong considers how we might come to terms with the mess and blur of real decisions made in realtime.
Lady Leshurr - queen of the grime scene - is a voice that needs to be heard.
Lady Leshurr is a rapper with a difference. A woman, from Birmingham, she reigns in a male dominated scene thanks to the strength of her talent and grit. Everything she has achieved, she has done it herself, so she says and does what she wants. Now she brings the attitude and integrity, humour and honesty that underpin her lyrics to a book. Her story includes frank conversation about anxiety, the secrets behind her musical and business success, social media and haters, and, of course, hair.
From her tough start on an estate in Birmingham to the top of the scene, Lady Leshurr has a unique vantage point and The Queen Speaks is as entertaining as it is relevant.
As a student working in the dusty archives of the Sewanee Review, John Jeremiah Sullivan came across an article entitled ‘Lost Utopia of the American Frontier’ and was immediately hooked on the dramatic story of a lost book, an alternative history of the South, a white Indian. It was a story he’d chase for the next two decades.
In 1735, a charismatic German lawyer and accused atheist named Christian Gottlieb Priber fled Germany under threat of arrest, bound for colonial South Carolina. In the Cherokee village of Grand Tellico, he created a Utopian society that he named Paradise.
For six years, Paradise was governed by a set of revolutionary ideas that included racial equality, sexual freedom, and a lack of private property, ideas which he chronicled in a mysterious manuscript he called Paradise.
Priber’s ideas were so subversive that he was hunted for half a decade and eventually captured by the British – making headlines across the world – and imprisoned until his death. The only copy of Paradise was apparently destroyed.
Now, in a rare combination of ground-breaking research and stunning narrative skill, award-winning writer John Jeremiah Sullivan brings that lost history vividly to life.
It's not enough to save yourself -- you have to go back for those left behind.
You’ve probably never heard of the Polish freedom fighter Witold Pilecki, but he is one of the greatest heroes of the Second World War.
As the only person who ever volunteered to be sent to Auschwitz, Pilecki led a campaign of sabotage and assassination of Nazi guards for years before making a dramatic escape, smuggling evidence of the Holocaust to the Western powers and alerting them to the atrocities of Nazi death camps.
All evidence of Pilecki had been lost, until 2012, when his incredible eye-witness account was discovered in a dusty archive. This is the first full story of his amazing journey, drawing on exclusive family papers and recently declassified files as well as unpublished accounts from the camp’s fighters to show how he saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
This is an untold, real-life story of escape and heroism, set against the horrors of WWII and the Auschwitz, and the power of one man to change the course of history.
At the age of 23, with his superiors killed or wounded, Brian Wood was thrust into the front line in Iraq, in the infamous Battle of Danny Boy. Under ambush, he led a bayonet charge across open ground with at least 30 insurgents firing at just three soldiers. On his return, he was awarded the Military Cross.
But Brian's story had only just begun. Struggling to re-integrate into family life, he suffered severe PTSD. Then, five years later, a letter arrived: it accused him of a series of atrocities and prisoner executions.
After five years of public shame, Brian took the stand in the High Court. His powerful testimony was praised by the judge and instantly led to full vindication. Phil Shiner, the corrupt lawyer who made the accusations, was struck off.
In this compelling memoir, Brian speaks powerfully and movingly about the three battles in his life, from being ambushed with no cover, to the mental battle to adjust at home, to being falsely accused of hideous war crimes. It’s a remarkable and dark curve which ends with his honour restored but, as he says, it was too little, too late.
It has been said that more books have been written about Muhammad Ali than anyone in the world. However, not one has ever had the emotional impact and historical bearing that this new book has to offer. At Home With Muhammad Ali is a unique mixture of narrative stories and transcriptions of Muhammad Ali’s personal home recordings. Through audio journals, love letters and cherished memories, Hana tells the story of a very typical and yet fully-unique family – the rise and fall of her parent’s marriage and the struggles they faced as a family surrounding Ali’s loss to Larry Holmes in 1980.
At Home With Muhammad Ali offers a candid look at a man who was trying to find his purpose in the world as he realized he was coming to the end of his lucrative boxing career, all the while trying to balance fatherhood and his worldly and political obligations.
In At Home With Muhammad Ali Hana will share the everyday adventures that the family experienced around the house (so ‘normal’ and yet not, with visitors like Michael Jackson and Clint Eastwood dropping by). And for the first time, Hana’s mother Veronica will share her memories of the 12-year relationship with Muhammad.
Candid and revealing, At Home With Muhammad Ali is more than a family memoir, it’s an intimate portrait of a legend, and a final love letter from a daughter to her father which is certain to become an essential contribution to Ali’s legacy.
The Soviet Union, 1962. Shoemaker Stanislav Suvorov is imprisoned for five years. His crime? Selling his car for a profit, contravening the Kremlin’s strict laws of speculation. Laws which, thirty years later, his daughter Zhanna helps to unravel. In the new Russia, yesterday’s crime is today’s opportunity.
On his release from prison, social shame drives Stanislav to voluntary exile in Siberia, moving his family from a relatively comfortable, continental life in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, to frigid, farthest-flung Krasnoyarsk. For some, it is the capital of the gulag. For others, it is the chance to start over again.
These are the last days of a Soviet Union in which the Communist Party and KGB desperately cling to power, in which foreigners are unwelcome and travel abroad is restricted, where the queues for bread are daily and debilitating and where expressing views in favour of democracy and human rights can get you imprisoned or sent into exile.
The Shoemaker and His Daughter takes in more than eighty years of Soviet and Russian history through the prism of one family – a family author Conor O’Clery knows well: he is married to Zhanna. It paints a vivid picture of a complex part of the world at a seismic moment in its history: of erratic war and uneasy peace; of blind power and its frequent abuse; of misguided ideologies and stifling bureaucracy; of the slow demise of Communism and the chaotic embrace of capitalism. The Suvorovs witness it all. Both intimate and sweeping in scale, this is a story of ordinary lives battered and shaped by extraordinary times.
We are the only species on the face of the planet that deliberately ends its own life. More often than not, it is negative social evaluations - real or imagined - that drive us to such an extreme course of action. So what is it about the human brain that means that we may not only entertain suicidal thoughts but, in some cases, actually act upon them?
Combining cutting-edge scientific research with investigative journalism, psychologist Jesse Bering takes a long hard look at the human fascination with self-slaughter. From the sprawling woods of Aokigahara, better known as the Japanese 'suicide forest' that lies in the shadow of Mount Fuji, to a parasitology lab in New Zealand where researchers are studying how invisible organisms hijack the brains of their rodent hosts and steer them in the path of hungry cats, we go on a sobering search for the scientific bases of suicide.
In dealing with a volatile subject that simultaneously attracts and repulses, A Very Human Ending is guaranteed to jump-start a new conversation about a perennial problem that knows no cultural or demographic boundaries.
All emotions we expect to encounter over our lifetime. But what if this was every day? And what if your ability to manage them was the difference between life and death?
For a doctor in Intensive Care this is part of the job. Fear in the eyes of a terminally ill patient who pleads with you to not let them die. Grief when an elderly person dies alone. Disgust at having to care for a convicted rapist. But there’s also the hope found in the resilience of a family and the joy that comes with a meaningful connection with a patient, however fleeting it may be.
These real stories reveal what a doctor sees of humanity as it comes through the revolving door of the hospital. Told through seven emotions that we can all empathise with, this book from the British Medical Association’s own Secret Doctor gives us a unique window onto the other side of a hospital experience, showing us how it feels to care for a living.
John Auden was a pioneering geologist of the Himalayas. Michael Spender was the first to survey the northern approach to the summit of Mount Everest. While their younger brothers – W.H Auden and Stephen Spender – achieved literary fame, they vied to be included on an expedition that would see an Englishman be the first to reach the summit of Everest, a quest that had become a metaphor for Britain’s struggle to maintain power over India. To this rivalry was added another: in the summer of 1938 both men fell in love with a painter named Nancy Sharp. Her choice would determine each man’s wartime loyalties.
From Calcutta to pre-war London to the snowy slopes of Everest, The Last Englishman tracks a generation obsessed with a romantic ideal. As political struggle rages in Spain, the march to war with Germany seems inevitable, Communist spies expand their ranks and the struggle for Indian independence enters its final bloody act, writers and explorers, Englishmen and Indians must pick their cause.
The Last Englishman is an engrossing story that traces the end of empire and the stirring of a new world order.
Can lollipops reduce anti-social behaviour? Or wizards halt street gambling? Do fake bus stops protect pensioners? Will organising a dog show stop young people killing each other? Stevyn Colgan believes that the answer to all of those questions is 'Yes'. Packed with fascinating anecdotes and important questions, this astonishing book reveals the innovative and imaginative ways Colgan tried to prevent crime during his thirty years on the police force.
Colgan worked for twelve of those years as part of a unique team called The Problem Solving Unit. With no budget and laughable resources, they were given an extraordinary brief – to solve problems of crime and disorder that wouldn't respond to traditional policing. They were told they could try anything as long as it wasn't illegal, wasn't immoral, wouldn't bring the police into disrepute, and didn't cost very much.
With amusing, insightful and sometimes controversial approaches to problem solving, Colgan mixes personal anecdotes from his time on the force with real-world examples of how The Problem Solving Unit helped build communities and prevent recurring crime.
At its core, this book's message is simple: police should direct far more effort towards preventing crime before it happens rather than solving crime after it has happened.
Laura Thompson’s grandmother Violet was one of the great landladies. Born in a London pub, she became the first woman to be given a publican’s license in her own name and, just as pubs defined her life, she seemed to embody their essence.
Laura spent part of her childhood in her grandmother's Home Counties establishment, mesmerised by the landlady's gift for creating the mix of the everyday and the theatrical that defined the pub’s atmosphere, making it a unique reflection of the national character. Her memories of this time are just as intoxicating: beer and ash on the carpets in the morning, the deepening rhythms of mirth at night, the magical brightness of glass behind the bar…
Through them she traces the story of the English pub, asking why it has occupied such a treasured position in our culture. But even Violet, as she grew older, recognised that places like hers were a dying breed, and Laura also considers the precarious future they face. Part memoir, part social history, part elegy, this book pays tribute to an extraordinary woman and the world she epitomized.