Mark Urban - The Edge - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Hardback
    More information
    • ISBN:9781408705834
    • Publication date:02 Apr 2015
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781408705841
    • Publication date:02 Apr 2015

The Edge

Is the Military Dominance of the West Coming to an End?

By Mark Urban

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

A groundbreaking and tightly argued polemic about the state of the western world and its defences.

The size of western armed forces, their stocks of weaponry and their readiness for combat are declining. Meanwhile, growing nationalism is hampering international cooperation and fuelling conflict everywhere. The west's will - as well as its capability - to shape the world is ebbing away.

Beset by economic woes, western countries are continuing the post-Cold War process of disarmament at the very moment that many believe a new Cold War is starting. NATO members have compared Vladimir Putin's foreign policy to that of Adolf Hitler, newly empowered groups such as ISIS, not to mention some governments, are tearing up the rulebook of acceptable international behaviour, and the military prowess that the western world once regarded as its prerogative is being dwarfed by countries like India and China.

Tightly argued by Newsnight's diplomatic and defence editor Mark Urban, THE EDGE is a sharp polemic that breaks new ground in examining the workings and consequences of these geo-political tectonics, and shows just how rapidly the balance of power has been upended.

Biographical Notes

Mark Urban is Diplomatic and Defence Editor for Newsnight and the author of The Tank War and the Number One Sunday Times bestseller, Task Force Black.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349140513
  • Publication date: 05 Nov 2015
  • Page count: 176
  • Imprint: Abacus
One of the best commentators on defence and diplomacy . . . always a reliably authoritative presence . . . Concise and cogently argued, Urban's book deserves a wide readership, as it makes an excellent starting point for a debate that should range way beyond the usual defence interest suspects — Michael Burleigh, The Times
In clear and concise prose, Urban lays out the way in which an entire continent has chosen the path of wholesale disarmament. It is impossible to read this authoritative book without feeling a deep sense of alarm, indeed of wonder, that our leaders have chosen to take such breathtaking risks . . . Urban delivers a compelling message — Daily Telegraph
This slim, compelling study argues that the West is foolish to let its strategic muscle weaken — Sunday Telegraph
My own professional experience tells me we should be listening very carefully to what he has to say — Richard Dearlove, former Head of MI6, Prospect
An essential alarm bell about Western military weakness — Telegraph
Orbit

The Stiehl Assassin: Book Three of the Fall of Shannara

Terry Brooks
Authors:
Terry Brooks

'TERRY'S PLACE IS AT THE HEAD OF THE FANTASY WORLD' Philip PullmanFollowing The Black Elfstone and The Skaar Invasion comes the third book in the triumphant four-part conclusion to the Shannara series, from one of the all-time masters of fantasy.The Skaar have arrived in the Four Lands, determined to stop at nothing less than all-out conquest. They badly need a new home, but peaceful coexistence is not a concept they understand. An advance force under the command of princess Ajin has already established a foothold, but now the full Skaar army is on the march - and woe betide any who stands in its way.But perhaps the Skaar victory is not a foregone conclusion. The Druid Drisker Arc has freed both himself and Paranor from exile. Drisker's student, Tarsha Kaynin, has been reunited with the chief defender of the Druid order, and is learning to control her powerful Wishsong magic. If they can only survive Tarsha's brother and the Druid who betrayed Drisker Arc, they might stand a chance of defeating the Skaar. But that is a very big if . . . as Tarsha's brother now carries the Stiehl - one of the most powerful weapons in all the Four Lands - and is determined to take his revenge on everyone who has wronged him.Praise for Terry Brooks:'I can't even begin to count how many of Terry Brooks's books I've read (and re-read) over the years' Patrick Rothfuss'I would not be writing epic fantasy today if not for Shannara' Peter V. Brett'A master of the craft . . . required reading' Brent Weeks

Little, Brown

A Shadow Intelligence

Oliver Harris
Authors:
Oliver Harris

A BRILLIANT NEW ESPIONAGE THRILLER FOR FANS OF JOHN LE CARREThe intelligence service puts two years and over £100k into the training of new field officers. You're shown how to steal cars, strip weapons, hack bank accounts. There are courses on the use of blackmail and improvised explosives, two workshops solely dedicated to navigating by the stars. But nothing about what I had heard one old spy call whiplash. No one tells you how to go home.There is a dark side to MI6 that needs men like Elliot Kane - mercurial, inquisitive, free floating. He's spent fifteen years managing events overseas that never make the papers, deniable and deeply effective. Kane is a ghost in his own life, picking up and dropping personalities as each new cover story comes into play. But when a woman he loves, Joanna Lake, vanishes without a trace in Kazakhstan, he is forced centre stage in his own life. Drawn ever deeper into a realm of deception, Kane moves from merely infiltrating events to steering them. He's used to a new mode of hybrid psychological warfare - but snowbound Kazakhstan presents unique challenges. Poised between China, Russia and the West, dictatorship and democracy, state intelligence and an increasingly powerful world of private agencies, it's impossible to work out who is manipulating who. And Kane's not the only one trying to figure out where Joanna Lake has gone or what she learned before disappearing.Unable to trust anyone, hunted by his own colleagues, and with the life of someone he loves at stake, Kane needs to work out who is driving events, and why...

Basic Books

Fierce Enigmas

Srinath Raghavan
Authors:
Srinath Raghavan

In Fierce Enigmas, prize-winning historian Srinath Raghavan argues that we cannot understand the US's entanglement in South Asia without first understanding the long sweep of American interaction with the nations and peoples who comprise it. Starting with the first attempts by Americans in the late eighteenth century to gain a foothold in the India trade, Raghavan narrates the forgotten role of American merchants, missionaries, and travelers in the history of region. For these early adventurers and exploiters, South Asia came to be seen not just as an arena of trade and commerce, but also as a site for American efforts-religious and secular-to remake the world in its own image. By the 1930s, American economic interests and ideals had converged in support for decolonization; not only should the peoples of the region be free to determine their own governments and futures, but they should be fully integrated into a liberal capitalist global order. These dreams were partially realized after the Second World War, with Indian Independence and Partition in 1947-and with Britain no longer in the picture, US involvement in the region steadily increased, in the form of short-sighted and ultimately counterproductive policies. In the 1950s, the Truman administration centered its approach to South Asia on the containment of communism, thereby helping split the region in two: while Pakistan was eager for American weapons and military support, India's Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru refused to align with either the US or the Soviet Union. In the 1970s, the US chose to support Islamists in Afghanistan, seeing them as a bulwark against communist advance. Yet Pakistan would become a formidable adversary for the US, while the militants in Afghanistan would eventually be using their arms against American troops. Time and time again, India, Pakistan, and to a lesser extent Afghanistan have each managed to extract commitments and concessions from the US that have served mostly to fuel the fires of nationalism and sectarianism, even as signs of liberalization have continued to entice American policymakers. Drawing on a vast and diverse array of official documents and private correspondence, Raghavan has written a sweeping, definitive history of the US in South Asia that at the same time suggests the many challenges ahead.

Robinson

Empty Planet

Darrell Bricker, John Ibbitson
Authors:
Darrell Bricker, John Ibbitson

'Riveting and vitally important' - Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment NowA radical, provocative argument that the global population will soon begin to decline, dramatically reshaping the social, political and economic landscape.For half a century, statisticians, pundits and politicians have warned that a burgeoning planetary population will soon overwhelm the earth's resources. But a growing number of experts are sounding a different kind of alarm. Rather than growing exponentially, they argue, the global population is headed for a steep decline. Throughout history, depopulation was the product of catastrophe: ice ages, plagues, the collapse of civilizations. This time, however, we're thinning ourselves deliberately, by choosing to have fewer babies than we need to replace ourselves. In much of the developed and developing world, that decline is already underway, as urbanisation, women's empowerment, and waning religiosity lead to smaller and smaller families. In Empty Planet, Ibbitson and Bricker travel from South Florida to Sao Paulo, Seoul to Nairobi, Brussels to Delhi to Beijing, drawing on a wealth of research and firsthand reporting to illustrate the dramatic consequences of this population decline - and to show us why the rest of the developing world will soon join in. They find that a smaller global population will bring with it a number of benefits: fewer workers will command higher wages; good jobs will prompt innovation; the environment will improve; the risk of famine will wane; and falling birthrates in the developing world will bring greater affluence and autonomy for women. But enormous disruption lies ahead, too. We can already see the effects in Europe and parts of Asia, as aging populations and worker shortages weaken the economy and impose crippling demands on healthcare and vital social services. There may be earth-shaking implications on a geopolitical scale as well. Empty Planet is a hugely important book for our times. Captivating and persuasive, it is a story about urbanisation, access to education and the empowerment of women to choose their own destinies. It is about the secularisation of societies and the vital role that immigration has to play in our futures.Rigorously researched and deeply compelling, Empty Planet offers a vision of a future that we can no longer prevent - but that we can shape, if we choose to.

PublicAffairs

The Empty Throne

Ivo H. Daalder, James M. Lindsay
Authors:
Ivo H. Daalder, James M. Lindsay

American foreign policy is adrift. For seventy years, the world order that the United States fashioned out of the ruins of World War II produced unprecedented global stability, prosperity, and democratic consensus. Critics argue that Donald Trump's America First policy threatens this world order. What Trump's staunchest critics fail to realize, though, is this order has been fraying for years. Ivo Daalder, former ambassador to NATO and the president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and James Lindsay, a senior vice president at the Council of Foreign Relations, give us a chilling account of why things are worse than they seem. At its core the U.S.-led world order has been a victim of its own success, well before Trump even campaigned for office. The unprecedented period of peace at the end of the 20th century produced record economic growth. Once poor countries like China, India, and Brazil prospered, and as they grew richer, they increasingly contested both the rules and America's privileged position within the order. At the same time, as the costs grew, many Americans soured on the benefits of global leadership, especially as their own prospects for a better life dimmed. Now that Trump sits in the Oval Office, optimists hope that his advisers will curb Trump's taste for foreign policy disruption. But even if this does occur, neither Trump nor his advisers have a strategy for addressing the fundamental challenge for American foreign policy: how to revitalize the world order on which America's security and prosperity rests. Daalder and Lindsay are sure Trump will damage that order; he may well finish it off for good.

Abacus

1983

Taylor Downing
Authors:
Taylor Downing
PublicAffairs

Fight for Liberty

Mark Lasswell
Authors:
Mark Lasswell
PublicAffairs

Not for the Faint of Heart

Wendy R. Sherman
Authors:
Wendy R. Sherman

The art of diplomacy requires courage, persistence, and above all, authenticity. In Not for the Faint of Heart, Ambassador Wendy Sherman argues that we can all learn to put these qualities to work in our lives. In this book, Sherman shares stories of her time in the State Department negotiating the most sensitive issues of our time (often as the lone woman in the room), along with personal stories that show how our private experiences affect our professional lives. She argues that we negotiate best when we are our authentic selves, not reliant on stratagems or manipulation but on all of the skills we've gained through our experiences.Not for the Faint of Heart brings readers inside the world of international diplomacy and into the mind of one of our most effective diplomatic negotiators, revealing that success takes courage, the ability to forge common ground, and an understanding of the nature and use of power.

Robinson

Rule Makers, Rule Breakers

Michele J. Gelfand
Authors:
Michele J. Gelfand

'A groundbreaking analysis of what used to be an impenetrable mystery: how and why do cultures differ? ... Anyone interested in our cultural divides will find tremendous insight in Rule Makers, Rule Breakers' - Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Enlightenment NowWhy are clocks in Germany always correct, while those in Brazil are frequently wrong? Why are Singaporeans jailed for selling gum? Why do women in New Zealand have three times the sex of females worldwide? Why was the Daimler-Chrysler merger ill-fated from the start? And why does each generation of Americans give their kids weirder and weirder names? Curious about the answers to these and other questions, award-winning social psychologist Michele Gelfand has spent two decades studying both tight societies (with clearly stated rules and codes of ethics) and loose societies (more informal communities with weak or ambiguous norms). Putting each under the microscope, she conducted research in more than fifty countries and collaborated with political scientists, neuroscientists, computer scientists, anthropologists, and archaeologists. Her fascinating conclusion: behaviour seems largely dependent on perceived threats. It's why certain nations seem predisposed to tangle with others; some American states identify as "Red" and others as "Blue"; and those attending a sports contest, health club, or school function behave in prescribed ways. Rule Makers, Rule Breakers reveals how to predict national variations around the globe, why some leaders innovate and others don't, and even how a tight vs. loose system can determine happiness. Consistently riveting and always illuminating, Michele Gelfand's book helps us understand how a single cultural trait dramatically affects even the smallest aspects of our lives.'Fascinating and profound...It's quite possibly this year's best book on culture' - Roy F. Baumeister, bestselling co-author of Willpower and author of The Cultural Animal'This brilliant book is full of well-documented insights that will change the way you look at yourself and at the world around you' - Barry Schwartz, bestselling author of The Paradox of Choice, Practical Wisdom, and Why We Work

Hachette Books

The Plot to Destroy Democracy

Malcolm Nance
Authors:
Malcolm Nance

In the greatest intelligence operation in the history of the world, Donald Trump was made President of the United States with the assistance of a foreign power. For the first time, The Plot to Destroy Democracy reveals the dramatic story of how blackmail, espionage, assassination, and psychological warfare were used by Vladimir Putin and his spy agencies to steal the 2016 U.S. election--and attempted to bring about the fall of NATO, the European Union, and western democracy. It will show how Russia and its fifth column allies tried to flip the cornerstones of democracy in order to re-engineer the world political order that has kept most of the world free since 1945. Career U.S. Intelligence officer Malcolm Nance will examine how Russia has used cyber warfare, political propaganda, and manipulation of our perception of reality--and will do so again--to weaponize American news, traditional media, social media, and the workings of the internet to attack and break apart democratic institutions from within, and what we can expect to come should we fail to stop their next attack.Nance has utilized top secret Russian-sourced political and hybrid warfare strategy documents to demonstrate the master plan to undermine American institutions that has been in effect from the Cold War to the present day. Based on original research and countless interviews with espionage experts, Nance examines how Putin's recent hacking accomplished a crucial first step for destabilizing the West for Russia, and why Putin is just the man to do it. Nance exposes how Russia has supported the campaigns of right-wing extremists throughout both the U.S. and Europe to leverage an axis of autocracy, and how Putin's agencies have worked since 2010 to bring fringe candidate Donald Trump into elections.Revelatory, insightful, and shocking, The Plot To Destroy Democracy puts a professional spy lens on Putin's plot and unravels it play-by-play. In the end, he provides a better understanding of why Putin's efforts are a serious threat to our national security and global alliances--in much more than one election--and a blistering indictment of Putin's puppet, President Donald J. Trump.

Abacus

Saving Britain

Will Hutton, Andrew Adonis
Authors:
Will Hutton, Andrew Adonis

Britain's Brexit voters are right. They have been shamefully neglected. But the answer is to change Britain, not to leave Europe. This book sets out how we can radically improve the lives of people and communities shut out from prosperity.The EU, despite its frailties and strains, is a success story.The advantages of leaving are illusory: no gains in trade from deals with protectionist China and the United States can compensate for what is being lost in Europe. Britain is weakening a pillar of the world's diplomatic and trade order at the same time as weakening itself - an act of self-harm, especially when so many countries are retreating from democracy, free trade and progressive values.In Saving Britain Will Hutton and Andrew Adonis set out a bold plan to transform Britain and fight for Europe as a force for good at home and abroad.

Hachette Audio

Edge of Chaos

Dambisa Moyo
Authors:
Dambisa Moyo

Why our democracies need urgent reform, before it's too lateA generation after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the world is once again on the edge of chaos. Demonstrations have broken out from Belgium to Brazil led by angry citizens demanding a greater say in their political and economic future, better education, heathcare and living standards. The bottom line of this outrage is the same; people are demanding their governments do more to improve their lives faster, something which policymakers are unable to deliver under conditions of anaemic growth. Rising income inequality and a stagnant economy are threats to both the developed and the developing world, and leaders can no longer afford to ignore this gathering storm.In Edge of Chaos, Dambisa Moyo sets out the new political and economic challenges facing the world, and the specific, radical solutions needed to resolve these issues and reignite global growth. Dambisa enumerates the four headwinds of demographics, inequality, commodity scarcity and technological innovation that are driving social and economic unrest, and argues for a fundamental retooling of democratic capitalism to address current problems and deliver better outcomes in the future. In the twenty-first century, a crisis in one country can quickly become our own, and fragile economies produce a fragile international community. Edge of Chaos is a warning for advanced and emerging nations alike: we must reverse the dramatic erosion in growth, or face the consequences of a fragmented and unstable global future.

Nation Books

Fifty Million Rising

Saadia Zahidi
Authors:
Saadia Zahidi

While the news out of the Muslim world has been focused on the threat of extremism from ISIS and Al Qaeda, a quiet but powerful shift has been taking place among women. In the last 10 years alone, nearly 50 million Muslim women have entered the workforce, arming them with more purchasing and earning power and giving them greater autonomy. Saadia Zahidi, a Senior Director at the World Economic Forum, argues that these profound changes will not only empower women; they will also revolutionize and strengthen the economies of their countries. Zahidi documents this revolution through the stories of the remarkable women who are at the forefront of this shift, from McDonald's workers in Pakistan, to middle class software technicians in Egypt, to the heads of global Saudi conglomerates. Zahidi calculates that if female labor participation rose to Western levels, the GDP of many Middle East regions would spike dramatically.The implications are enormous. As businesses learn how to integrate the new female talent pool, their business models will need to adapt to accommodate their new consumers and their new talent. New businesses are already beginning to emerge that cater to women's purchasing power, creating new opportunities for female entrepreneurs, and growing the health, education, food, beverage, and retail sectors that are critical to a diversified, stable economy. At the same time, the new economic and social power of women will force the hands of politicians and policymakers who still consider women second class citizens. Many of these women face a backlash from conservative voices and even members of their families. But because this is an economic revolution, Zahidi argues that it will endure, overcoming cultural mores and forever remaking these societies in ways that we, too, can learn from.

Robinson

Churchill's Confidant

Richard Steyn
Authors:
Richard Steyn
Corsair

Notes on a Foreign Country

Suzy Hansen
Authors:
Suzy Hansen
PublicAffairs

The Hacked World Order

Adam Segal
Authors:
Adam Segal

For more than three hundred years, the world wrestled with conflicts that arose between nation-states. Nation-states wielded military force, financial pressure, and diplomatic persuasion to create "world order." Even after the end of the Cold War, the elements comprising world order remained essentially unchanged. But 2012 marked a transformation in geopolitics and the tactics of both the established powers and smaller entities looking to challenge the international community. That year, the US government revealed its involvement in Operation "Olympic Games," a mission aimed at disrupting the Iranian nuclear program through cyberattacks; Russia and China conducted massive cyber-espionage operations; and the world split over the governance of the Internet. Cyberspace became a battlefield. Cyber conflict is hard to track, often delivered by proxies, and has outcomes that are hard to gauge. It demands that the rules of engagement be completely reworked and all the old niceties of diplomacy be recast. Many of the critical resources of statecraft are now in the hands of the private sector, giant technology companies in particular. In this new world order, cybersecurity expert Adam Segal reveals, power has been well and truly hacked.

Center Street

The Happiness Prayer

Evan Moffic
Authors:
Evan Moffic

At age 30 Evan Moffic became the leader of a large congregation. He had great success. But he couldn't find happiness. Then he found a 2000-year-old prayer. In it were hidden elements of Jewish wisdom. They became a part of his life and those of his congregation and transformed them and him.In the tradition of Rabbi Harold Kushner, Moffic opens up wisdom that has been at the heart Judaism for thousands of years. He distills the "Eilu Devarim" an ancient prayer for happiness found in the Talmud into ten practices that empower us to thrive through setbacks, so nothing can hamper our happiness.The ten practices are simple:* Honor Those Who Gave You Life* Be Kind* Keep Learning* Invite Others into Your Life* Be There When Others Need You* Celebrate Good Times* Support Yourself and Others During Times of Loss* Pray with Intention* Forgive* Look Inside and CommitThe rabbi unpacks these practices of the 2000-year-old prayer with insights for today, that will help you find ways to live with greater happiness and meaning. He draws from interactions with thousands of congregants, as well as his own experience. His conclusion that these actions bring happiness is corroborated by science: people who conduct authentic lives of faith live, on average, seven years longer than others, have more friends and are healthier. Filled with relatable stories of real people, accessible commentary from contemporary psychologists, and warm humor, this rabbi of a new generation sheds light on an enduring prayer that captures the means and meaning of joyous living that will appeal to everyone.

PublicAffairs

The Mathematical Corporation

Josh Sullivan
Authors:
Josh Sullivan

The most powerful weapon in business today is the alliance between the mathematical smarts of machines and the imaginative human intellect of great leaders. Together they make the mathematical corporation, the business model of the future.We are at a once-in-a-decade breaking point similar to the quality revolution of the 1980s and the dawn of the internet age in the 1990s: leaders must transform how they run their organizations, or competitors will bring them crashing to earth--often overnight.Mathematical corporations--the organizations that will master the future--will outcompete high-flying rivals by merging the best of human ingenuity with machine intelligence. While smart machines are weapon number one for organizations, leaders are still the drivers of breakthroughs. Only they can ask crucial questions to capitalize on business opportunities newly discovered in oceans of data.This dynamic combination will make possible the fulfillment of missions that once seemed out of reach, even impossible to attain. Josh Sullivan and Angela Zutavern's extraordinary examples include the entrepreneur who upended preventive health care, the oceanographer who transformed fisheries management, and the pharmaceutical company that used algorithm-driven optimization to boost vaccine yields.Together they offer a profoundly optimistic vision for a dazzling new phase in business, and a playbook for how smart companies can manage the essential combination of human and machine.

Piatkus

Little Soldiers

Lenora Chu
Authors:
Lenora Chu

'I couldn't put this book down. Whip smart, hilariously funny and shocking. A must-read'Amy Chua, Yale Law Professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger MotherIn 2009, Lenora Chu, her husband Rob, and toddler Rainey, moved from LA to the Chinese megacity Shanghai. The US economy was spinning circles, while China seemed to be eating the planet's economic lunch. What's more, Shanghai teenagers were top in the world at maths, reading and science. China was not only muscling the rest of the world onto the sidelines, but it was also out-educating the West. So when Rainey was given the opportunity to enroll in Shanghai's most elite public kindergarten, Lenora and Rob grabbed it. Noticing her rambunctious son's rapid transformation - increasingly disciplined and obedient but more anxious and fearful - Lenora begins to question the system. What the teachers were accomplishing was indisputable, but what to make of their methods? Are Chinese children paying a price for their obedience and the promise of future academic prowess? How much discipline is too much? And is the Chinese education system really what the West should measure itself against? While Rainey was at school, Lenora embarked on a reporting mission to answer these questions in a larger context. Through a combination of the personal narratives and thoughts of teachers, parents, administrators and school children, Little Soldiers unpacks the story of education in China.

Little, Brown

The Retreat of Western Liberalism

Edward Luce
Authors:
Edward Luce

In his widely acclaimed book Time to Start Thinking, Financial Times columnist and commentator Edward Luce charted the course of American economic and geopolitical decline, proving to be a prescient voice on our current social and political turmoil.In The Collapse of Western Liberalism, Luce makes a larger statement about the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of democratic liberalism - of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a symptom. Luce argues that we are on a menacing trajectory brought about by ignorance of what it took to build the West, arrogance towards society's losers, and complacency about our system's durability - attitudes that have been emerging since the fall of the Berlin Wall, treated by the West as an absolute triumph over the East. We cannot move forward without a clear diagnosis of what has gone wrong. Luce contrasts Western democratic and economic ideals, which rest on an assumption of linear progress, with more cyclical views of economic strength - symbolized by the nineteenth-century fall and present-day rise of the Chinese and Indian economies - and with the dawn of a new multipolar age.Combining on-the-ground reporting with intelligent synthesis of the vast literature already available, Luce offers a detailed projection of the consequences of the Trump administration and a forward-thinking analysis of what those who believe in enlightenment values must do to defend them from the multiple onslaughts they face in the coming years.