Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics


Richard Seymour - 2016
    With a landslide in the first round, this unassuming antiwar socialist crushed the opposition, particularly the Blairite opposition.For the first time in decades, socialism is back on the agenda--and for the first time in Labour's history, it controls the leadership. The party machine couldn't stop him. An almost unanimous media campaign couldn't stop him. It is as if their power, like that of the Wizard of Oz, was always mostly illusion. Now Corbyn has one chance to convince the public to support his reforming ambitions.Where did he come from, and what chance does he have? This book tells the story of how Corbyn's rise was made possible by the long decline of Labour and a deep crisis of British democracy. It surveys the makeshift coalition of trade unionists, young and precarious workers, and students, who rallied to Corbyn. It shows how a novel social media campaign turned the media's "Project Fear" on its head, making a virtue of every accusation they threw at him. And finally it asks, with all the artillery that is still ranged against Corbyn, and given the crisis-ridden Labour Party that he has inherited, what it would mean for him to succeed.

Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain's Far Right


Daniel Trilling - 2012
    Taking aim at asylum seekers, Muslims, ‘enforced multiculturalism’ and benefit ‘scroungers’, these groups have been working overtime to shift the blame for the nation’s ills onto the shoulders of the vulnerable. What does this extremist resurgence say about the state of modern Britain?Drawing on archival research and extensive interviews with key figures, such as BNP leader Nick Griffin, Daniel Trilling shows how previously marginal characters from a tiny neo-Nazi subculture successfully exploited tensions exacerbated by the fear of immigration, the War on Terror and steepening economic inequality.Mainstream politicians have consistently underestimated the far right in Britain while pursuing policies that give it the space to grow. Bloody Nasty People calls time on this complacency in an account that provides us with fresh insights into the dynamics of political extremism.

Fidel Castro: A Biography


Volker Skierka - 2001
    He was the first Cuban Caudillo - the man who freed his country from dependence on the USA and who lead his people to rediscover their national identity and pride. Castro has outlived generations of American presidents and Soviet leaders. He has survived countless assassination attempts by the CIA, the Mafia, and Cubans living in exile. He has become one of the greatest politicians of the 20th Century. His biography, and the history of his country exemplify the tensions between East and West, North and South, rich and poor. As Castro's life draws to a close, the question as to what will become of Cuba is more important that ever. Will Castro open Cuba to economic reform and democratization, or stick to his old slogan socialism or death?In this remarkable, up-to-date reconstruction of Castro's life, Volker Skierka addresses these questions and provides an account of the economic, social, and political history of Cuba since Castro's childhood. He draws on a number of little-known sources, including material from the East German communist archives on Cuba, which were until recently inaccessible.This is an exciting, painstakingly researched, and authortiative account of the life of one of the most extraordinary political figures of our time.

Cameron at 10: The Inside Story 2010–2015


Anthony Seldon - 2015
    He stood at the head of the first Coalition government in 65 years, with the country in dire economic straits following a deep financial crisis.From the early heady days of the Rose Garden partnership with the Liberal Democrats to the most bitterly contested general election in years, ‘Cameron at 10’ highlights forty dramatic moments in an exceptionally turbulent period in British politics. The book contains all the highs and lows on the domestic front as well as providing revealing insights into the Prime Minister’s relationships with foreign leaders, particularly the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama.With unprecedented access to the ‘inner circle’ of politicians and civil servants that surround the Prime Minister, from Chancellor George Osborne and former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to all of Cameron’s personal team, this is the most intimate account of a serving prime minister that has ever been published.

5 Days in May: The Coalition and Beyond


Andrew Adonis - 2013
    The talks ultimately resulted in failure for Labour amid recriminations on both sides and the accusation that the Lib Dems had conducted a dutch auction, inviting Labour to outbid the Tories on a shopping list of demands. Despite calls for him to give his own account of this historic sequence of events, Adonis has kept his own counsel until now. Published to coincide with the third anniversary of the general election that would eventually produce an historic first coalition government since the Second World War, 5 Days In May is a remarkable and important insider account of the dramatic negotiations that led to its formation. It also offers the author's views on what the future holds as the run-up to the next election begins. 5 Days in May presents a unique eyewitness account of a pivotal moment in political history.

The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power


James Traub - 2006
    Indeed, both Annan and the institution he incarnates were so deeply shaken after the Bush Administration went to war in Iraq in the face of opposition from the Security Council that critics, and even some friends, began asking whether this sixty-year-old experiment in global policing has outlived its usefulness. Do its failures arise from its own structure and culture, or from a clash with an American administration determined to go its own way in defiance of world opinion? James Traub, a "New York Times Magazine" contributor who has spent years writing about the UN and about foreign affairs, delves into these questions as no one else has done before. Traub enjoyed unprecedented access to Annan and his top aides throughout much of this traumatic period. He describes the despair over the Oil-for-Food scandal, the deep divide between those who wished to accommodate American critics and those who wished to confront them, the failed attempt to goad the Security Council to act decisively against state-sponsored ethnic cleansing in Sudan. And he recounts Annan's effort to respond to criticism with sweeping reform--an effort which ultimately shattered on the resistance of U.S. Ambassador John Bolton. In "The Best Intentions," Traub recounts the dramatically entwined history of Kofi Annan and the UN from 1992 to the present. In Annan he sees a conscientious idealist given too little credit for advancing causes like humanitarian intervention and an honest broker crushed between American conservatives and Third World opponents--but also a UN careerist who has absorbed that culture and can not, in the end, escape its limitations.

Right from the Beginning


Patrick J. Buchanan - 1988
    Nixon to eventually being encouraged to make his own bid for the presidency

The Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth II


Ben Pimlott - 1996
    -- The Independent One of the many merits of Ben Pimlott's superbly judicious biography of Elizabeth II is that it understands this connection between monarchy and masses, and carefully evokes its political importance. -- The New York Times Book Review The best all-around study of the Queen so far, showing understanding as well as amused irony. -- Sunday Telegraph Written by Ben Pimlott, considered Britain's most respected political biographer, The Queen brings us the most authentic life yet of the reigning monarch. For the first time, Buckingham Place opened its doors and those closest to the queen provided compelling new information into Elizabeth's life and reign. New sources include the unpublished diaries of Jock Colville, public secretary to both Churchill and Elizabeth, as well as interviews with Princess Margaret, Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Runcie, and longtime private secretary Lord Charteris.

Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life


Bill Minutaglio - 2009
    Presidents and senators called her for advice; her column ran in 400 newspapers; her books, starting with Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?, were bestsellers. But despite her fame, few people really knew her: what her background was, who influenced her, how her political views developed, or how many painful struggles she fought.Molly Ivins is a comprehensive, definitive narrative biography, based on intimate knowledge of Molly, interviews with her family, friends, and colleagues, and access to a treasure trove of her personal papers. Written in a rollicking style, it is at once the saga of a powerful, pugnacious woman muscling her way to the top in a world dominated by men; a fascinating look behind the scenes of national media and politics; and a sobering account of the toll of addiction and cancer. Molly Ivins adds layers of depth and complexity to the story of an American legend--a woman who inspired people both to laughter and action.

They Said This Day Would Never Come: Chasing the Dream on Obama's Improbable Campaign


Chris Liddell-Westefeld - 2020
    Hundreds of young people from all over the country began assembling first in Iowa. These "kids" became the foundation of one of the most improbable presidential campaigns of the modern era.Chris Liddell-Westefeld was one of those kids. He and thousands of other staff and volunteers dedicated every minute of their time, intelligence, and resources to help elect Barack Obama, as what started in the midwest spread nationwide. Drawn from more than 200 interviews with alumni including David Axelrod, David Plouffe, Alyssa Mastromonaco, Dan Pfeiffer, Valerie Jarrett, Josh Earnest, Tommy Vietor, Jon Favreau, and President Obama himself, They Said This Day Would Never Come takes readers deep inside the most inspirational presidential campaign in recent history.

Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court


Mollie Hemingway - 2019
     The Trump presidency opened with the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to succeed the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. But the following year, when Trump drew from the same list of candidates for his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the justice being replaced was the swing vote on abortion, and all hell broke loose. The judicial confirmation process, on the point of breakdown for thirty years, now proved utterly dysfunctional. Unverified accusations of sexual assault became weapons in a ruthless campaign of personal destruction, culminating in the melodramatic hearings in which Kavanaugh’s impassioned defense resuscitated a nomination that seemed beyond saving. The Supreme Court has become the arbiter of our nation’s most vexing and divisive disputes. With the stakes of each vacancy incalculably high, the incentive to destroy a nominee is nearly irresistible. The next time a nomination promises to change the balance of the Court, Hemingway and Severino warn, the confirmation fight will be even uglier than Kavanaugh’s. A good person might accept that nomination in the naïve belief that what happened to Kavanaugh won’t happen to him because he is a good person. But it can happen, it does happen, and it just happened. The question is whether America will let it happen again.

Hobbes: A Very Short Introduction


Richard Tuck - 1989
    Richard Tuck shows that while Hobbes may indeed have been an atheist, he was far from pessimistic about human nature, nor did he advocate totalitarianism. By locating him against the context of his age, we learn that Hobbes developed a theory of knowledge which rivaled that of Descartes in its importance for the formation of modern philosophy.

The Silence and the Scorpion: The Coup Against Chavez and the Making of Modern Venezuela


Brian A. Nelson - 2009
    Led by Pedro Carmona and Carlos Ortega, the opposition represented a cross-section of society furious with Chavez's economic policies, specifically his mishandling of the Venezuelan oil industry. But as the day progressed the march turned violent, sparking a military revolt that led to the temporary ousting of Chavez. Over the ensuing, turbulent seventy-two hours, Venezuelans would confront the deep divisions within their society and ultimately decide the best course for their country —and its oil—in the new century.An exemplary piece of narrative journalism, The Silence and the Scorpion provides rich insight into the complexities of modern Venezuela.

Queen Elizabeth II: Her Life in Our Times


Sarah Bradford - 2011
    Elizabeth II has lived through the Abdication, the Blitz and World War Two, the sex and spy scandals of the swinging sixties, the Cold War and the nuclear threat and the Fall of the Berlin Wall. She has known 11 US Presidents including JFK and Ronald Reagan, and other world leaders like President Mandela and Pope John XXII. Her Prime Ministers have ranged from Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher to David Cameron, the last only ten years older than her grandson. Her own family experiences, a mixture of happiness and crisis, weddings and divorces, and, in the case of Diana, violent death, have been lived in the glare of tabloid headlines. More than 2 billion people watched the wedding of her grandson Prince William to Catherine Middleton in 2010 shortly before she made the first State Visit to Ireland by a British monarch for 100 years. Our world has changed more in her lifetime than in any of her predecessors': the Queen has remained a calm presence at the centre, earning the respect of monarchists and republicans. How has she done it? 'Bradford has a real grasp of history and the ability to make it spark into new life' Sunday Telegraph 'Bradford's forte, ever since she was a history-mad girl, is thinking herself into other lives' Daily Telegraph Sarah Bradford is a historian and biographer. Her books include Cesare Borgia (1976), Disraeli (1982), winner of the New York Times Book of the Year, Princess Grace (1984), Sacherevell Sitwell (1993), Elizabeth: A Biography of Her Majesty the Queen (1996), America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (2000), Lucrezia Borgia (2005) and Diana (2007). She frequently appears on television as an authority on her biographical subjects and as a commentator on notable royal events. She is currently working on a full scale biography of Queen Victoria. She lives in London.

Fidel Castro


Robert E. Quirk - 1994
    The story provides a new account of Castro's relations with the United States and the Soviet Union, including the Bay of Pigs invasion and the 1962 Missile Crisis, and an analysis of the successes and failures of his regime to the present day.In its breadth and drama, Fidel Castro is more than the story of one ambitious man steering his nation on a dangerous and doomed course. It is also a parable of a small country caught up in the throes of international rivalries and world revolution.