By Alex Perry
Taking the Great Rift Valley - the geological fault that will eventually tear Africa in two - as his central metaphor, Alex Perry explores the split between a resurgent Africa and a world at odds with its rise. Africa has long been misunderstood - and abused - by outsiders. Perry travelled the continent for most of a decade, meeting with entrepreneurs and warlords, professors and cocaine smugglers, presidents and jihadis, among many others.Opening with a devastating investigation into a largely unreported war crime in Somalia in 2011, he finds Africa at a moment of furious self-assertion. This is a remade continent, defiantly rising from centuries of oppression to become an economic and political titan: where cash is becoming a thing of the past, where astronomers are unlocking the origin of life and where, twenty-five years after Live Aid, Ethiopia's first yuppies are traders on an electronic food exchange. Yet, as Africa finally wins the substance of its freedom, it must confront the three last false prophets of Islamists, dictators and aid workers, who would keep it in its bonds.
Blood and Silk
By Michael Vatikiotis
'A lively and learned guide to the politics, personalities and conflicts that are shaping a dynamic group of countries' FINANCIAL TIMES'A fascinating and many-layered portrait of Southeast Asia' THANT MYINT-UThought-provoking and eye-opening, BLOOD AND SILK is an accessible, personal look at modern Southeast Asia, written by one of the region's most experienced outside observers. This is a first-hand account of what it's like to sit at the table with deadly Thai Muslim insurgents, mediate between warring clans in the Southern Philippines and console the victims of political violence in Indonesia - all in an effort to negotiate peace, and understand the reasons behind endemic violence.Peering beyond brand new shopping malls and shiny glass towers in Bangkok and Jakarta, Michael Vatikiotis probes the heart of modern Southeast Asia. Why are the region's richest countries such as Malaysia riddled with corruption? Why do Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines harbour unresolved violent insurgencies? How do deepening religious divisions in Indonesia and Malaysia and China's growing influence affect the region and the rest of the world?Vatikiotis tells the story of modern Southeast Asia using vivid portraits of the personalities who pull the strings, mixed with revealing analysis that is underpinned by decades of experience in the countries involved, from their silk-sheathed salons to blood-spattered streets. The result is a fascinating study of the dynamics of power and conflict in one of the world's fastest growing regions.
Outside the Asylum
By Lynne Jones
What happens if the psychiatric hospital in which you have lived for ten years is bombed and all the staff run away? What is it like to be a twelve-year-old and see all your family killed in front of you? Is it true that almost everyone caught up in a disaster is likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder? What can mental health professionals do to help? How does one stay neutral and impartial in the face of genocide? Why would a doctor support military intervention?Outside the Asylum is Lynne Jones's personal exploration of of humanitarian psychiatry and the changing world of international relief; a memoir of more than twenty-five years as a practising psychiatrist in war and disaster zones around the world. From her training in one of Britain's last asylums, to treating traumatised soldiers in Gorazde after the Bosnian war, helping families who lost everything in the earthquake in Haiti, and learning from traditional healers in Sierra Leone, Lynne has worked with extraordinary people in extraordinary situations. This is a book that shines a light on the world of humanitarian aid, and that shows us the courage and resilience of the people who have to live, work and love in some of the most frightening situations in the world.
Stiff Upper Lip
By Alex Renton
'A brave and necessary book' GUARDIAN'Shocking, gripping and sobering' SUNDAY TELEGRAPHThis is the story of generations of parents, Britain's richest and grandest, who believed that being miserable at school was necessary to make a good and successful citizen. Childish suffering was a price they accepted for the preservation of their class, and their entitlement. The children who were moulded by this misery and abuse went on - as they still do - to run Britain's public institutions and private companies.Confronting the truth of his own schooldays and the crimes he witnessed, Alex Renton has revealed a much bigger story. It is of a profound malaise in the British elite, shown up by tolerance of the abuse of its own children that amounts to collusion. This culture and its traditions, and the hypocrisy, cronyism and conspiracy that underpin them, are key to any explanation of the scandals over sexual abuse, violence and cover-up in child care institutions that are now shocking the nation.As Renton shows, complicity in this is the bleak secret at the heart of today's British elite.
Close But No Cigar
By Stephen Purvis
'In its tragic absurdity, Close but No Cigar reads like a Graham Greene story, with a cast of characters to make Hemingway proud ... [This] tale should be read by anyone who wants to understand what lies beyond the beaches and Bacardi [of Cuba]' DAILY TELEGRAPHFor over a decade Stephen Purvis had been a pillar of Havana's expat community, one of many foreign businessmen investing in Cuba's crawl from Cold War communism towards modernity. But for reasons unknown to him he was also under State Security's microscope. One morning during the height of President Raúl Castro's purges in 2012, while his family slept the unmarked Ladas of State Security arrived at his home and he was taken away into the absurd and brutal world of Cuban justice.In this engrossing memoir, Purvis recounts his fifteen-month ordeal. Accused at first of selling state secrets, he is taken to the notorious interrogation centre Villa Marista, where he endures brutal conditions designed by the KGB and Stasi to break the bodies and minds of spies and political prisoners, and resists the paranoia and incompetence of his jailers. Later, held in a maximum-security prison, he finds himself surrounded by a motley crew of convicts: people-smugglers and drug-runners together with a handful of confused businessmen also awaiting formal charges.From his arrest to his farcical secret trial and sudden release, Purvis exposes the madness of modern Cuba with wit, grit and a sharp eye for character. As tourists flock to Havana to marvel at a city frozen in time, he shows that despite reforms and international reconciliation the Castro regime remains a corrupt, dictatorial relic. CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR is part thriller, part comedy and part morality tale, but most of all a true story that takes the reader into a dark side of a sunny place that remains an enigma.
By Anastasia Catris
'Winners aren't losers!'Can you spot the Donald?In an array of crowded scenes, from building a wall around Mexico to carving his face into Mount Rushmore, at a Trump wrestling match, a golf course in Scotland and having fun at a Tea Party rally, search for Donald J. Trump amongst the masses. With tons of in-jokes and bonus material to find (including Obama's birth certificate and his trademark toupee), plus cameo appearances from Sarah Palin and other high-flying pals, this book provides hours of fun for the haters (and lovers) of the all-American phenomenon that is TRUMP.A classic and fun gift book, tracking Trump around the world will be endless amusement for all the family.
By Gordon Corera
The computer was born to spy, and now computers are transforming espionage. But who are the spies and who is being spied on in today's interconnected world? This is the exhilarating secret history of the melding of technology and espionage. Gordon Corera's compelling narrative, rich with historical details and characters, takes us from the Second World War to the internet age, revealing the astonishing extent of cyberespionage carried out today. Drawing on unique access to intelligence agencies, heads of state, hackers and spies of all stripes, INTERCEPT is a ground-breaking exploration of the new space in which the worlds of espionage, geopolitics, diplomacy, international business, science and technology collide. Together, computers and spies are shaping the future. What was once the preserve of a few intelligence agencies now matters for us all.
By Parag Khanna
Which lines on the map matter most?It is time to reimagine how life is organized on Earth. We're accelerating into a future shaped less by countries than by connectivity. A world in which the most connected powers, and people, will win.In Connectography, Parag Khanna guides us through the emerging global network civilization in which mega-cities compete over connectivity and borders are increasingly irrelevant. He travels from Ukraine to Iran, Mongolia to North Korea, London to Dubai and the Arctic Circle to the South China Sea - all to show how twenty-first-century conflict is a tug-of-war over pipelines and internet cables, advanced technologies and market access.Yet Connectography offers a hopeful vision of the future. Khanna argues that new energy discoveries and innovations have eliminated the need for resource wars, global financial assets are being deployed to build productive infrastructure that can reduce inequality, and frail regions such as Africa and the Middle East are unscrambling their fraught colonial borders through ambitious new transportation corridors and power grids.Beneath the chaos of a world that appears to be falling apart is a new foundation of connectivity pulling it together.
Headscarves and Hymens
By Mona Eltahawy
Headscarves and Hymens explodes the myth that we should stand back and watch while women are disempowered and abused in the name of religion. In this laceratingly honest account, Eltahawy takes aim both at attitudes in the Middle East and at the western liberals who mistake misogyny for cultural difference. Her argument is clear: unless political revolution in the Arab world is accompanied by social and sexual revolution, no progress will be made.Headscarves and Hymens is the book the world has been crying out for: a powerful, fearless account of what it really means to be a woman in the Muslim world. 'A fascinating, can't-look-away, whistle-stop tour of the Middle East' Daily Telegraph'Brave and impassioned . . . A shocking book, and one that will make anyone who has seen veiling as a cultural issue think very hard about what is really going on' Mail on Sunday
The Perfect Kill
By Robert Baer
What is the definition of assassination? Robert Baer's boss at the CIA once told him, 'It's a bullet with a man's name on it.' Sometimes assassination is the senseless act of a psychotic, a bloodletting without social value. Other times, it can be the sanest and most humane way to change the course of conflict: one bullet, one death, case closed. Assassination has been dramatised by literature and politicised by infamous murders throughout history, and for Robert Baer, one of the most accomplished agents ever to work for the CIA, it's a source of endless fascination. Over several decades, Baer served as an operative, from Iraq to India and beyond. In THE PERFECT KILL, he takes us on a wildly entertaining narrative adventure through a history of political murder, interweaving his first-hand experience and his decades-long cat-and-mouse hunt for the greatest assassin of the modern age. A true maverick with an undeniably captivating personal story, Baer pulls back the curtain to give a glimpse of the underbelly of world politics, and the quiet murderers who operate on the fringe of our society.
By Michael Gove
Celsius 7/7 analyses how the West's approach to fundamentalism is destined to lead to further atrocities.In his column which appeared in The Times on the morning of 9/11, Michael Gove prophetically argued that the West's policy of appeasement towards terror was destined to provoke yet greater atrocities.In CELSIUS 7/7, Gove explores the roots of Islamic rage, the historical factors which culminated in the current terrorist campaign and the Muslim world's troubled accommodation with modernity. He also analyses the intellectual roots and political appeal of Islamism, explains the factors behind Jihadi violence and places the current fundamentalist challenge in context.Combining a broad historical sweep with character sketches of key figures such as Michel Aflaq, Charles de Gaulle, Sayyid Qutb, Donald Rumsfeld, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Henry Kissinger and Osama bin Laden, as well as a detailed survey of Western political failures, Gove's account is a shrewd and detached analysis that provides powerfully convincing recommendations for future action.
Seven Elements That Have Changed The World
By John Browne
'Fascinating and enjoyable ... enthused with insight' - Brian CoxUranium, carbon, iron, titanium, gold, silver and silicon - former BP CEO John Browne explains how seven elements are shaping the 21st century, for good and for bad.Humans have put the Earth's resources to extraordinary use, but not always for the benefit of humankind. SEVEN ELEMENTS vividly describes how iron, carbon, gold, silver, uranium, titanium and silicon have shaped the world around us - for good and for bad.This book takes you on an adventure of human passion, ingenuity and discovery, but it is a journey that is far from over: we continue to find surprising new uses for each of these seven key elements. Discover how titanium pervades modern consumer society, how natural gas is transforming the global energy sector and how an innovative new form of carbon could be starting a technological revolution.SEVEN ELEMENTS is a unique mix of science, history and politics, interwoven with the author's extensive personal and professional experience.
The Estate We're In
By Nicola Baird
An overview of car culture, addressing questions such as: what is Carhenge? Is the A13 Britain's Route 66? And why are we addicted to fast cars?Whether you are passionate about classic cars, suffer from road rage, know a boy racer or protested against the Newbury bypass, this book is for you. Focusing on the driving forces behind car culture - freedom, speed and the political clout of the motor lobby - it asks the million dollar question: if driving is so much fun, why do we hate every other driver on the road?