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The Road to Wigan Pier

George Orwell (Author)

A searing account of George Orwell's observations of working-class life in the bleak industrial heartlands of Yorkshire and Lancashire in the 1930s, The Road to Wigan Pier is a brilliant and bitter polemic that has lost none of its political impact over time. His graphically unforgettable descriptions of social injustice, cramped slum housing, dangerous mining conditions, squalor, hunger and growing unemployment are written with unblinking honesty, fury and great humanity. It crystallized the ideas that would be found in Orwell's later works and novels, and remains a powerful portrait of poverty, injustice and class divisions in Britain.

Published with an introduction by Richard Hoggart in Penguin Modern Classics.

'It is easy to see why the book created and still creates so sharp an impact ... exceptional immediacy, freshness and vigour, opinionated and bold ... Above all, it is a study of poverty and, behind that, of the strength of class-divisions'
Richard Hoggart

Nineteen Eighty-four

George Orwell (Author)

Renowned urban artist Shepard Fairey's new look for Orwell's classic dystopian tale

One of Britain's most popular novels, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is set in a society terrorised by a totalitarian ideology propagated by The Party.

Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster, the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards conspiracy. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent - even in the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101. . .

Nineteen Eighty-Four is George Orwell's terrifying vision of a totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is slave to a tyrannical regime. The novel also coined many new words and phrases which regular appear in popular culture, such as 'Big Brother', 'thoughtcrime', 'doublethink' and 'Newspeak'.

Orwell and Politics

George Orwell (Author) , Peter Davison (Edited by)

Orwell's classic satire ANIMAL FARM continues to be an international best seller. For the first time ever, ORWELL AND POLITICS brings this major work together with the author's other works exploring the nature of politics and the Second World War.

Orwell and the Dispossessed

George Orwell (Author) , Peter Davison (Edited by)

This volume brings together Orwell's powerful writings of his personal exepriences of poverty and life outside mainstream society. The complete texts of DOWN AND OUT IN PARIS AND LONDON is included.

Down and Out in Paris and London

George Orwell (Author)

George Orwell's vivid memoir of his time living among the desperately poor and destitute, Down and Out in Paris and London is a moving tour of the underworld of society.

'You have talked so often of going to the dogs - and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them.'

Written when Orwell was a struggling writer in his twenties, it documents his 'first contact with poverty'. Here, he painstakingly documents a world of unrelenting drudgery and squalor - sleeping in bug-infested hostels and doss houses of last resort, working as a dishwasher in Paris's vile 'Hôtel X', surviving on scraps and cigarette butts, living alongside tramps, a star-gazing pavement artist and a starving Russian ex-army captain. Exposing a shocking, previously-hidden world to his readers, Orwell gave a human face to the statistics of poverty for the first time - and in doing so, found his voice as a writer.

The Road to Wigan Pier

George Orwell (Author) , Richard Hoggart (Introducer) , Peter Davison (Notes by)

A searing account of George Orwell's observations of working-class life in the bleak industrial heartlands of Yorkshire and Lancashire in the 1930s, The Road to Wigan Pier is a brilliant and bitter polemic that has lost none of its political impact over time. His graphically unforgettable descriptions of social injustice, cramped slum housing, dangerous mining conditions, squalor, hunger and growing unemployment are written with unblinking honesty, fury and great humanity. It crystallized the ideas that would be found in Orwell's later works and novels, and remains a powerful portrait of poverty, injustice and class divisions in Britain.

Published with an introduction by Richard Hoggart in Penguin Modern Classics.

'It is easy to see why the book created and still creates so sharp an impact ... exceptional immediacy, freshness and vigour, opinionated and bold ... Above all, it is a study of poverty and, behind that, of the strength of class-divisions'
Richard Hoggart

The Benn Diaries

Tony Benn (Author)

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 of The Benn Diaries is the definitive legacy of the best political diarist of our times.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Road To Delphi

Michael Wood (Author)

In this fascinating and highly original book Michael Wood combines vivid story-telling and acutely perceptive analysis to give a sympathetic and entertaining account of humanity's persistent belief in 'signs'. He begins with the oracles of ancient Greece, explaining how people consulted them when they had to make crucial choices. Yet the key point was that the oracles spoke in riddles and gave ambiguous answers - it was up to humans to interpret what they said. Like horoscopes today, this allowed the hearers to fit the message to what they wanted, and sometimes, as in the disastrous tale of the Persian general Xerxes, or in the great drama of Oedipus and the riddle of the Sphinx, - and much later in Shakespeare's tale of Macbeth and the witches' prophesy - the listeners have got things horribly wrong. Michael Wood does not only look at Europe - he considers oracles in the old civilisations of the East, and particularly in pre-Hispanic America. He also explores modern examples, like the puzzles in the Kafka's fiction. And he brings the story up into our own lives, examining oracles in the film The Matrix and looking at the way we 'interpret' authorities we don't quite understand - as in the doctor's consulting room - or avidly puzzle out the meaning of astrology columns of the press. Lively, engaging and revealing, full of warmth and humanity as well as scholarship, The Road to Delphi is a book that sticks in the mind. It is remarkable both for the stories it tells, and the way it makes us think again about our dangerous longing to trust in signs - just as long as we have that tiny bit of freedom to twist them to promise what we hope for.

Churchill's Wit

Richard M. Langworth (Author)

Charismatic, erudite and often controversial Winton Churchill was one of the most inspiring leaders of the 20th century, and one of its greatest wits. His much-celebrated sense of fun and mischief has led to many of his jokes and ripostes becoming almost as well known as his famous wartime speeches. Gloriously definitive, Richard Langworth includes all Churchill's most famous quips and witticisms, as well as little known asides and observations. The only book of its kind to be sanctioned by the Churchill estate, it captures the great statesman at his most eloquent, witty, and engaging, Churchill's Wit celebrates the humour and humanity of this most imposing man.

'My dear young man, thought is the most dangerous process known to man.'

'I believe I am the only man in the world to have received the head of a nation naked.'

'[A politician] is asked to stand, he wants to sit and he is expected to lie.'

'-Winston, you are drunk, and what's more you are disgustingly drunk.
-Bessie, my dear, you are ugly, and what's more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly.'

De Valera

Tim Pat Coogan (Author)

The history of Ireland for much of the Twentieth century is the history of Eamon De Valera.

From the 1916 Rising, the troubled Treaty negotiations and the Civil War, right through to his retirement after longer in power than any other twentieth century leader, de Valera has both defined and divided Ireland. He was directly responsible for the Irish Constitution, Fianna Fail (the largest Irish political party) and the Irish Press Group.

He helped create a political church-state monolith with continuing implications for Northern Ireland, the social role of women, the Irish language and the hole concept of an Irish nation. Many of the challenges he confronted are still troubling the peace of Ireland and of Britain, and some of the problems are his legacy.

For de Valera was a world figure who attempted to confine his nation of disciples to the narrowest of cultural and intellectual horizons.

Walden

Henry Thoreau (Author) , Verlyn Klinkenborg (Introducer)

In this classic of American literature, Thoreau gives an account of his two years’ experience of the ‘simple life’ in the woods, telling how he sought and found material and spiritual sustenance in the solitude of the cabin which he built for himself on the shore of Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts.

Truth

Felipe Fernandez-Armesto (Author)

We need a history of truth - though until now no-one has tried to write one. We need it to test the claim that truth is just a name for opinions which suit the demands of society or the convenience of élites. We need to be able to tell whether truth is changeful or eternal, embedded in time or outside it, universal or varying from place to place.

We need to know how we have got to where we are in the history of truth - how our society has come to lose faith in the reality of it and lose interest in the search for it. We need a history of truth to illuminate the unique predicament of our times and - Felipe Fernández-Armesto argues - help us escape from it. He shows how - at different times, in different societies - people have tried to tell the difference between truth and falsehood. And he exposes the concepts of truth which have underpinned those techniques.

All truth-finding can be reduced, he argues, to a few basic types, which have always been available but which have been combined in varying proportions. They are still useful. They can still help us survive contemporary uncertainty and rebuild life after doubt.

This is a book of unusual audacity: short, clear, readable, opinionated - but uncompromising in raising big issues, using rich language and embracing a vast range.

Te-Tao Ching

Robert G Henricks (Author)

Lao-tzu's Te-Tao Ching has been treasured for thousands of years for its poetic statement of life's most profound and elusive truths. Although the Te-Tao Ching is widely read, the author's enigmatic style and the less than perfect condition of the Chinese originals make many of its verses difficult to understand.

This ground-breaking translation is based on the Ma-wang-tui texts discovered in 1973, which were preserved in the tomb of an official’s son and found to date to 168 BC - making the texts more than five centuries older than any others known. In this important edition of the classic work, Professor Henricks corrects many defects of the later versions and reevaluates traditional interpretations in his enlightening commentary.

In addition, Professor Henricks explains the basics of Taoism and discusses many other important finds from Ma-wang-tui.

Mafia State

Luke Harding (Author) , Luke Harding (Read by)

In 2007 Luke Harding arrived in Moscow to take up a new job as a correspondent for the British newspaper the Guardian. Within months, mysterious agents from Russia's Federal Security Service - the successor to the KGB - had broken into his flat. He found himself tailed by men in cheap leather jackets, bugged, and even summoned to Lefortovo, the KGB's notorious prison.

The break-in was the beginning of an extraordinary psychological war against the journalist and his family. Vladimir Putin's spies used tactics developed by the KGB and perfected in the 1970s by the
Stasi, East Germany's sinister secret police. This clandestine campaign burst into the open in 2011 when the Kremlin expelled Harding from Moscow - the first western reporter to be deported from Russia since the days of the Cold War.

Mafia State: How one reporter became an enemy of the brutal new Russia is a brilliant and haunting account of the insidious methods used by a resurgent Kremlin against its so-called "enemies" -
human rights workers, western diplomats, journalists and opposition activists. It includes unpublished material from confidential US diplomatic cables, released last year by WikiLeaks, which describe Russia as a "virtual mafia state".

Harding gives a unique, personal and compelling portrait of today's Russia, two decades after the end of communism, that reads like a spy thriller.

Revolution In The Head

Ian Macdonald (Author)

As dazzling as the decade they dominated, The Beatles almost single-handedly created pop music as we know it. Today, their songs are cited as seminal influences by stars like Oasis and Blur. Eloquently giving voice to their time, The Beatles quite simply changed the world.

Fully updated to include material from The Beatles Live at the BBC and the Anthology series, this acclaimed book goes back to the heart of The Beatles - their records. Drawing on a unique resource of knowledge and experience to 'read' their 241 tracks - chronologically from their first amateur efforts in 1957 to 'Real Love', their final 'reunion' recording in 1995 - Ian MacDonald has created an engrossing classic of popular criticism in which the extraordinary songs of The Beatles remain a central and continually surprising presence.

What's The Matter With America?

Thomas Frank (Author)

With his acclaimed wit and acuity, Thomas Frank turns his eye on the 'thirty-year backlash' - the common man's revolt against a supposedly liberal establishment. He charts the Republican Party's success in building the most unnatural of alliances: between blue-collar Midwesterners and Wall Street business interests; between workers and bosses; between populists and right-wingers.

Taking the state of Kansas as a paradigm, Frank describes how a place famous for its radicalism became one of the most conservative states in the union. He also seeks to answer some broader riddles: why do so many Americans vote against their economic and social interests? And whatever happened to middle-American progressivism? Frank reveals the true story, showing how voters have been persuaded to elevate 'values' and down-home qualities above hard questions of policy.

A brilliant analysis, and funny to boot, What's the Matter with America? presents a critical assessment of the state of America today.

Theories Of Everything

John D. Barrow (Author)

The Holy Grail of modern scientists is 'The Theory of Everything', which will contain all that can be known about the Universe - the magic formula that Einstein spent his life searching for and failed to find. In this elegant and exciting book, John D. Barrow challenges the quest for ultimate explanation.

Being British

Matthew d'Ancona (Author) , Gordon Brown (Introducer)

What does being British actually mean today? Depending on your age, it can conjure up imagery of the Battle of Waterloo, Queen Victoria's Empire, the British Lions rugby team or that famous Union Jack dress Geri Halliwell wore at the Brit Awards. In the twenty-first century, Britain - like many Western countries - enjoys a diverse racial mix. Therefore, as with the USA, we need to explore the values and cultural reference points around us to fully understand what it now means to be a British citizen.

Twenty contributions written by well-known individuals representing a cross section of Britain's cultural landscape attempt to offer an insight into, or snapshot of, how Britons today see themselves and their place in the world. Their thoughts will highlight just how divergent our society is and where its strengths and weaknesses lie.

All these views are championed by two unlikely collaborators - Spectator editor Matthew d'Ancona and Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Often politically opposed, they share a passionate interest in exploring what is meant by being British. This unique book will enlighten, inspire and stir up many debates but ultimately it will provide a path for any reader wanting to understand just what it is to be British in the new millennium.

Cover-Up of Convenience

David Ferguson (Author) , John Ashton (Author)

On December 21 1988, 270 people died when Pan Am 103 was blown out of the sky over Lockerbie. It was the worst-ever act of airline terrorism against the United States. It's also been called the world's biggest unsolved murder. Finally, after 11 years of investigation, political stalemate and legal delays, two Libyan men are facing trial for the Lockerbie bombing. But many observers -including legal and law enforcement officials close to the case -say the trial may not produce a satisfying answer to the question of who bombed Pan Am 103. Cover Up of Convenience will answer the questions that the autoritis wish to bury. It will show that the bombing was anything but a straightforward act of terrorism perpetrated against civilised, western nations by an evil dictator. The shocking truth is that the Western intelligence services were complicit in the murders. From the moment the plane went down, a supposedly impartial investigation was distorted in order to conceal this dark reality from the victims' relatives and the public.

The Voice of Hope

Aung San Suu Kyi (Author)

Aung San Suu Kyi is known for her courageous stand for democracy and human rights inside Burma (now Myanmar). Forced to endure many years of house arrest by the military junta, she continues to act as a focus for change inside the country now that she is free. Such is her determined action for the best interests of Burma that she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

One of the very few people she has trusted enough to take her message to the wider world is Alan Clements. The Voice of Hope offers unquestionably the most wide-ranging collection of her views on the political situation inside Burma, her non-violent approach to democracy and human rights, her Buddhist beliefs, her family, and how she keeps a sense of meaning and purpose under the most difficult conditions.

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