02 February 2016 UK Non-fiction

February 2016 : New Titles

Cover 9781849549769

Thom Brooks | Becoming British – UK Citizenship Examined | Biteback 9781849549769 | £14.99 | 23rd

Becoming British explores the big questions rarely answered by the politicians. UK citizenship has undergone substantial changes in recent decades and a clear up-to-date examination of what UK citizenship actually means, who has access to it and on what terms, is long overdue.

Immigration receives widespread attention, but less attention is paid to the major increase in the number of  people becoming British citizens. This book explains the immigration problems that modern UK citizenship was meant to solve, what the major challenges are today and how they can be met.

Thom Brooks examines the relationship between immigration and citizenship in order to challenge the popular and political myths that surround this topic. This is a must-read for anyone interested in UK citizenship, policy makers and anyone working in the area.

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Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen | Forces of Nature | HarperCollins 9780007488827 | £25 | 25th

A breathtaking and beautiful exploration of our planet. This groundbreaking book, which accompanies the new BBC1 TV series, provides the deepest answers to the simplest questions.

‘Why is the sky blue?’
‘Why is the Earth round?’
‘Why is every snowflake unique?’

To answer these and many other questions, Professor Brian Cox will reveal some of the most extraordinary phenomena and events on Earth and in the Universe and beyond.

From the immensity of Earth’s globe to all the world’s myriad snowflakes, the forces of nature shape everything we see. Pushed to extremes, the results are astonishing. From the realm of auroras to the heart of our planet, the ingredients that make everything on Earth connect each one of us in an eternal cycle of life. Brian will reveal why Earth is the most colourful world we know, exploring the white light of the sun as it travels through the darkness of space until it hits Earth’s atmosphere where it begins a new journey, splitting into a rainbow of colours.

From the great plains of the Serengeti, the volcanoes of Indonesia and the precipitous cliffs in Nepal, to the humpback whales of the Caribbean and the northern lights of the Arctic, Brian will give inspiring answers to our most searching questions that will illuminate our understanding of the planet like never before.

Think you know our planet?

Think again.

The Lunchbox Book - primary image

Katerina Dimitriadis | The Lunchbox Book | Dorling Kindersley 9780241248386 | £9.99 | 1st

Are you bored of pre-packed sandwiches and soggy salads? Reclaim your lunch hour as The Lunchbox Book shows you how to liven up your lunch box.

With more than 100 easy, healthy and varied lunch ideas from around the world such as Mexican Schnitzel Burritos, Layered Orzo Salad and Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins, you can change the way you think about your packed lunch. The clever weekly lunch planners will help you save time, save money and reduce food waste. Includes vegetarian options plus fun ideas for communal office lunches, sweet treats, grab-and-go breakfasts, seasonal recipes, using up leftovers and more.

With advice on preparation, storing, transportation and time-saving make-ahead ideas, The Lunchbox Book will ensure your lunch is truly grab-and-go.

Easily Swayed jacket cover

James Garvey | The Persuaders – The Hidden Industry That Wants to Change Your Mind | Icon 9781848316607 | £12.99 | 4th

Almost every hour of every day, people will try to change your mind – and they don’t want you to notice, because none of it consists in giving you good reasons.

You are nudged, anchored, and incentivised. Products are designed with the help of neuromarketing to appeal to unconscious minds; the taste of food is improved merely by brand association. Covert PR can start wars – the emotional testimony of fifteen year-old Nayirah which helped the case for the first Gulf War was assembled by PR firm Hill & Knowlton. Book covers adorned with favourable quotes are a powerful ‘social proof’, whether the quotes are real or bogus.

These hidden techniques for changing our minds are everywhere, once we know how to spot them.
Philosopher James Garvey presents not just a requiem for rationality, but a call to think again about the way we think now.

George Goodwin | Benjamin Franklin in London | Weidenfeld 9780297871538 | £25 | 11th

A great man on an even greater stage: Benjamin Franklin arrives in London at the very moment it becomes the epicentre of the greatest power in the world.

For the great majority of his long life, Benjamin Franklin was a loyal British royalist. In 1757, having made his fortune in Philadelphia and established his fame as a renowned experimental scientist, he crossed the Atlantic to live as a gentleman in the heaving metropolis of London. With just a brief interlude, a house in Craven Street was to be his home until 1775.

From there he mixed with both the brilliant and the powerful, whether in London coffee house clubs, at the Royal Society, or on his summer travels around the British Isles and continental Europe. He counted David Hume, Matthew Boulton, Joseph Priestley, Edmund Burke and Erasmus Darwin among his friends, and as an American colonial representative he had access to successive Prime Ministers and even the King.
The early 1760s saw Britain’s elevation to global superpower status with victory in the Seven Years War and the succession of the young, active George III. These two events brought a sharp new edge to political competition in London and redefined the relationship between Britain and its colonies. They would profoundly affect Franklin himself, eventually placing him in opposition with his ambitious son William.
Though Franklin long sought to prevent the break with Great Britain, his own actions would finally help cause that very event. On the eve of the American War of Independence, Franklin fled arrest and escaped by sea. He would never return to London.

With his unique focus on the fullness of Benjamin Franklin’s life in London, George Goodwin has created an enthralling portrait of the man, the city and the age.

 

Cornered Tigers

James Holland | Cornered Tigers | Bantam 9780593075852 | £20 | 11th

Back in February 1944, a rag-taggle collection of clerks, drivers, doctors, muleteers, and other base troops, stiffened by a few dogged Yorkshiremen and a handful of tank crews managed to hold out against some of the finest infantry in the Japanese Army, and then defeat them in what was one of the most astonishing battles of the Second World War.

The Defence of the Admin Box, fought amongst the paddy fields and jungle of Northern Arakan over a fifteen-day period, turned the battle for Burma. Not only was it the first decisive victory for British troops against the Japanese, more significantly, it demonstrated how the Japanese could be defeated. The lessons learned in this tiny and otherwise insignificant corner of the Far East, set up the campaign in Burma that would follow, as General Slim’s Fourteenth Army finally turned defeat into victory.

It is an amazing and thrilling story: more gripping than that of Rorke’s Drift, with a more justifiable enemy, and with every bit as many moments of extreme heroism. In this fifteen-day battle of terrifying violence, there was incredible human drama: bloody-hand-to-hand fighting, daring airborne drops, valiant attempts to break the siege, increasingly desperate and suicidal charges by the Japanese, repeated breakthroughs that needed counter-attacking, tragedy, black humour and the ultimate triumph of the defenders.

John Hughes-Wilson | On Intelligence – The History of Espionage and the Secret World | Constable 9781472113535 | £20 | 18th

An accessible, wide-reaching and readable narrative on intelligence, accompained by the unrivalled professional insight of one of the leading military experts of our time.

From the ancient Greek and Roman origins of human intelligence to its use in the Catholic church to Francis Walsingham’s Elizabethan secret service to the birth of the surveillance state in today’s digital hi-tech age, Colonel John Hughes-Wilson, professional military-intelligence officer and author of the bestselling Military Intelligence Blunders and Cover-Ups, gives an extraordinarily broad and wide-reaching perspective on intelligence, providing an up-to-date analysis of the importance of intelligence historically and in the recent past. Drawing upon a variety of sources, ranging from first-hand accounts to his own personal experience, Hughes-Wilson covers everything from undercover agent handling to photographic reconnaissance to today’s much misunderstood cyber welfare.

This book stands apart from the rest in that it tells the real inside story from a controversial insider’s point of view, lifting the veil on what really happened behind the scenes in the intelligence world during some of the most well-known military events that have shaped our lives. On Intelligence is looking for hard answers – there are some tough lessons to be learned from both intelligence failures and successes – why is crucial intelligence so often ignored, misunderstood or spun by politicians and seasoned generals alike?

One of the leading military experts of our time, Colonel John Hughes-Wilson skilfully weaves together an accessible and readable narrative on intelligence, accompanied by his unrivalled professional insight.

HOW TO BE AN ALIEN packshot

Angela Kiss | How to be an Alien in England | September 9781910463215 | £8.99 | 18th

In England everything is typical. If your train is late, it is typical. If there are no seats on the upper deck of a bus, it is typical. If its start to rain at five o’clock just before you leave work, it is typical.’

‘The English do not like to be wished “Have a nice day”, because to them it sounds like a command. They think, Who the hell do you think you are to order me to have a nice day?’

Ten years ago, Angela Kiss arrived in the UK without a word of English. All she brought with her was a small bag, a sense of adventure, a desire to work and a copy of George Mikes’ classic 1940s’ humour book about the peculiarities of the British, How to be an Alien.

Through every dodgy flat share, low-paid waitressing job, awkward date and office mishap, Angela held tight to George’s wit and wisdom. With his help she began to understand how to live amongst the English – with their eccentricity, spirit and singing train drivers – and fell in love with a land rich in green spaces, pubs and puddings.

A wry, often affectionate view on the English, and how to navigate our national personality.

Bletchley Park The Secret Archives

Sinclair Mckay | Bletchley Park – The Secret Archives | Aurum Press 9781781315347 | £30 | 4th

This is beautifully slipcased presented collector’s edition of the best selling title, The Lost World of Bletchley Park, a comprehensive illustrated history of this remarkable place, from its prewar heyday as a country estate, its wartime requisition and how it became the place where modern computing was invented and the German Enigma code was cracked, to its post-war dereliction and then rescue towards the end of the twentieth century as a museum.

Removable memorabilia includes:

  • 1938 recruiting memo with a big tick against Turing’s name
  • Churchill’s ‘Action this day’ letter giving code breakers extra resources
  • Handwritten Turing memos
  • Top Secret Engima decryptions, about the sinking of the Bismark, German High Command’s assessment of D-Day threat and  the message announcing Hitler’s suicide
  • A wealth of everyday items such as call-up papers, security notices and propoganda posters

Newly redesigned interiors with 25% new content, high end slipcase package featuring removable facsimile documents, this is an essential purchase for everyone interested and wanting to experience the place where code-breaking helped to win the war.

Jancis Robinson | The 24-Hour Wine Expert | Penguin 9780141981819 | £4.99 | 4th

Wine is now one of the most popular drinks in the world. Many wine drinkers wish they knew more about it without having to understand every detail or go on a wine course.

In The 24-Hour Wine Expert, Jancis Robinson shares her expertise with authority, wit and approachability. From the difference between red and white, to the shape of bottles and their labels, descriptions of taste, colour and smell, to pairing wine with food and the price-quality correlation, Robinson helps us make the most of this mysteriously delicious drink.

Jancis Robinson has been called ‘the most respected wine critic and journalist in the world’ by Decanter magazine. In 1984 she was the first person outside the wine trade to qualify as a Master of Wine. The Financial Times wine writer, she is the author/editor of dozens of wine books, including Wine Grapes (Allen Lane), The Oxford Companion to Wine (OUP) and The World Atlas of Wine (Mitchell Beazley). Her award-winning website, www.JancisRobinson.com has subscribers in 100 countries.

 

 

February 2016 : New Paperbacks

 

Media of Princes at War

Deborah Cadbury | Princes at War | Bloomsbury 9781408845080 | £9.99 | 11th

n 1936, the monarchy faced the greatest threats to its survival in the modern era – the crisis of abdication and the menace of Nazism. The fate of the country rested in the hands of George V’s sorely unequipped sons: Edward VIII abandoned his throne to marry divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson; Prince Henry preferred the sporting life of a country squire; the glamorous and hedonistic Prince George, Duke of Kent, was considered a wild card; and stammering George VI felt himself woefully unprepared for the demanding role of King.

As Hitler’s Third Reich tore up the boundaries of Europe and Britain braced itself for war, the new king struggled to manage internal divisions within the royal family. Drawing on many new sources including from the Royal Archives, Princes at War goes behind the palace doors to tell the thrilling drama of Britain at war.

British Posters of the First World War
John Christopher | British Posters of the First World War | Amberley 9781445655260 | £12.99 | 15th
During the First World War the authorities emulated the simple slogans and strong graphic imagery of advertising posters to create a form of mass communication that was easily and instantly understood by the British public. They were aimed at the mostly illiterate working class who did more than their share to feed the machinery of war. This book looks at the art of these posters and explores the themes that emerged throughout the course of the conflict. For the most part the posters were calls to action, starting with the initial period of voluntary enlistment and leading on to conscription. Psychologically they worked on several levels, appealing to a sense of duty or tapping into feelings of guilt. Patriotic fervour was heightened by the appearance of the Union Jack, the king and, most enduringly perhaps, the iconic image of Lord Kitchener. In addition, propaganda posters heaped on the pressure with scenes of German atrocities, such as the sinking of the Lusitania and the spectre of Zeppelin raids on England. Those not directly involved in the fighting were also urged to do their part; the women in particular by sending their men to the front or working in the munitions factories or on the land. Even children had a part to play – ‘Daddy, what did YOU do in the war?’ Money is another recurring theme, with war savings and bonds financing the war effort and countless charities appealing for funds to care for the wounded and war orphans.

Robert Crawford | Young Eliot | Vintage 9780099554950 | £11.99 | 4th

Published simultaneously in Britain and America to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death of T. S. Eliot, this major biography traces the life of the twentieth century’s most important poet from his childhood in the ragtime city of St Louis right up to the publication of his most famous poem, The Waste Land. Meticulously detailed and incisively written, Young Eliot portrays a brilliant, shy and wounded American who defied his parents’ wishes and committed himself to life as an immigrant in England, authoring work astonishing in its scope and hurt.

Quoting extensively from poetry and prose as well as drawing on new interviews, archives, and previously undisclosed memoirs, Robert Crawford shows how Eliot’s background in Missouri, Massachusetts and Paris made him a lightning conductor for modernity. Most impressively, Young Eliot shows how deeply personal were the experiences underlying masterpieces from ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ to The Waste Land. T. S. Eliot wanted no biography written, but this book reveals him in all his vulnerable complexity as student and lover, stink-bomber, banker and philosopher, but most of all as an epoch-shaping poet struggling to make art among personal disasters.
One Life

 

The Birth of the Pill

Jonathan Eig | The Birth of the Pill | Pan 9781447234814 | £8.99 | 11th

In the winter of 1950, Margaret Sanger, then seventy-one, and who had campaigned for women’s right to control their own fertility for five decades, arrived at a Park Avenue apartment building. She had come to meet a visionary scientist with a dubious reputation more than twenty years her junior. His name was Gregory Pincus.

In The Birth of the Pill, Jonathan Eig tells the extraordinary story of how, prompted by Sanger, and then funded by the wealthy widow and philanthropist Katharine McCormick, Pincus invented a drug that would stop women ovulating. With the support of John Rock, a charismatic and, crucially, Catholic doctor from Boston, who battled his own church in the effort to win public approval for the controversial new drug, he succeeded. Together, these four determined men and women changed the world.Spanning the years from Sanger’s heady Greenwich Village days in the early twentieth century to trial tests in Puerto Rico in the 1950s to the cusp of the sexual revolution in the 1960s, this is a grand story of radical feminism, scientific ingenuity, establishment opposition, and, ultimately, a sea change in social attitudes. Brilliantly researched and vividly written, The Birth of the Pill is a gripping account of a remarkable cultural, social and scientific journey

 

One Life

 

Kate Greville | One Life | Canongate 9781782116875 | £8.99 | 25th

Born to an unhappy marriage and into a deeply sexist society, Nance Russell worked hard for everything she had, and while the world changed around her, she went on to university, to opening businesses and raising a family. One Life is Nance’s story – and many other women’s too – beautifully captured by her daughter, the bestselling novelist Kate Grenville. Kate draws on the tales passed down to her to create an evocative portrait of life in twentieth-century rural Australia, and a deeply intimate and caring homage to a mother.

Stephen Grey | The New Spymasters | Penguin 9780141033983 | £8.99 | 4th

Spying has changed. In this era of email intercepts and drone strikes, spooks are expected to uncover plots buried in mountains of data. Yet this makes the need for trained field operatives who can verify facts and uncover secrets more acute than ever. The human factor endures.

In The New Spymasters, the first real account of how modern espionage works, we follow riveting stories of dramatic missions and the larger-than-life characters who undertook them. These were moments when success – and ultimately life or death – depended on whether the right person was in the right place… at exactly the right time.

Jane Robinson | In the Family Way | Penguin 9780241962916 | £9.99 | 4th

Only a generation or two ago, illegitimacy was one of the most shameful things that could happen in a family.

In the Family Way tells secrets kept for entire lifetimes: long-silent voices from the workhouse, the Magdalene Laundry or the distant mother-and-baby home. Anonymous childhoods are recalled, spent in the care of Dr Barnardo or a Child Migration scheme halfway across the world.

There are sorrowful stories in this book, but it is also about hope: about supportive families who welcomed ‘love-children’ home, or those who were parted and are now reconciled. Most of all, In the Family Way is about finally telling the truth.

Timothy Ryback | Hitler’s First Victims | Vintage 9781784700164 | £9.99 | 4th

At 9am on 13 April 1933 deputy prosecutor Josef Hartinger received a telephone call summoning him to the newly established concentration camp of Dachau, where four prisoners had been shot.

The SS guards claimed the men had been trying to escape. But what Hartinger found convinced him that something was terribly wrong. Hitler had been appointed Chancellor only ten weeks previously but the Nazi party was rapidly infiltrating every level of state power. In the weeks that followed, Hartinger was repeatedly called back to Dachau, where with every new corpse the gruesome reality of the camp became clearer.

Hitler’s First Victims is both the story of Hartinger’s race to expose the Nazi regime’s murderous nature before it was too late and the story of a man willing to sacrifice everything in his pursuit of justice, just as the doors to justice were closing.

Peter Watson | The Age of Nothing | Weidenfeld 9780753828106 | £14.99 | 11th
The closing months of 2008 saw the world’s nations united in financial uncertainty. Amid endless reports of collapsing stock markets, failed banks, fiscal fraud and snowballing unemployment, THE AGE OF NOTHING offers a compelling insight into the demise of capitalism and the beginning of a new era.

Peter Watson’s scintillating thesis argues that the unprecedented credit crunch of 2008 was the result of a fundamental change in the fabric of society – one that became truly visible only as it reached its culmination.

In a commanding narrative, Watson provides a historical perspective on the shift in our attitudes towards capitalism, while exploring the philosophical roots that underpin it. Of central importance in Watson’s theory is Nietzsche’s warning regarding mankind’s responsibility for ‘the death of God’ – and the consequences thereof. Nietzsche’s views on the frailty of human values in a world bereft of religious faith were echoed by writers including Tolstoy, Marx and Kandinsky – and his chilling message went on to resonate with thinkers throughout the 20th century. When Max Weber called the modern world ‘disenchanted’, and argued that society must choose to create a new value system based on knowledge or else surrender and embrace a religious faith, he was the latest in a long line of intellectuals attempting to address the problem Nietzsche had laid bare.

With the arrival of THE AGE OF NOTHING, the line continues. The work fills a crucial gap in our intellectual history and serves as a comprehensive study of society’s current predicament – as well as a timely answer to the question of what to do next.