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Post-Truth

By Evan Davis
Authors:
Evan Davis
'A Malcolm Gladwell-style social psychology/behavioural economics primer' Evening StandardLow-level dishonesty is rife everywhere, in the form of exaggeration, selective use of facts, economy with the truth, careful drafting - from Trump and the Brexit debate to companies that tell us 'your call is important to us'. How did we get to a place where bullshit is not just rife but apparently so effective that it's become the communications strategy of our times? This brilliantly insightful book steps inside the panoply of deception employed in all walks of life and assesses how it has come to this. It sets out the surprising logic which explains why bullshit is both pervasive and persistent. Why are company annual reports often nonsense? Why should you not trust estate agents? And above all, why has political campaigning become the art of stretching the truth? Drawing on behavioural science, economics, psychology and of course his knowledge of the media, Evan ends by providing readers with a tool-kit to handle the kinds of deceptions we encounter every day, and charts a route through the muddy waters of the post-truth age.
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Primitive Rebels

By Eric Hobsbawm
Authors:
Eric Hobsbawm
Social agitation is as essential a part of public life today as it has ever been. In Eric Hobsbawm's masterful study, Primitive Rebels, he shines a light on the origins of contemporary rebellion: Robin Hood, secret societies, revolutionary peasants, Mafiosi, Spanish Civil War anarchy, pre-industrial mobs and riots - all of which have fed in to our notions of dissent in the modern world.Coining now familiar terms such as 'social banditry', Primitive Rebels shows how Hobsbawm was decades ahead of his time, and his insightful analysis of the history of social movements is critical to our understanding of movements such as UK Uncut, Black Lives Matter and the growing international resistance to Donald Trump's presidency.Reissued with a new introduction by Owen Jones, Primitive Rebels is the perfect guide to the revolutions that shaped western civilisation, and the bandits, reformers and anarchists who have fought to change the world.
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  • Precious and Grace

    By Alexander McCall Smith
    Authors:
    Alexander McCall Smith
    One bright morning, Precious Ramotswe - head of Botswana's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - receives a visitor: a woman from Australia. This woman asks Precious to take on a case: to find the nursemaid who raised her during her childhood in Botswana. The woman wants to thank her for being such an important part of her life. Precious has a history of successfully solving cases, but this one proves difficult and throws up a number of surprises and challenges. Back in her office, next door to the Speedy Motors Garage on Twokleng Road, Precious also has a team to manage: Mr Polopetsi, a part-time science teacher and new assistant at the agency; she mentors Charlie, a former apprentice and young man too handsome and charming for his own good - a man who has gotten himself in deep water; and then there is Precious's tumultuous but heart-warming friendship with her co-director, the fiery Grace Makutsi. Precious and Grace is a story about being a detective, the complexities of human nature, as well as lessons about gratitude and obligation.
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    The Perfect Theory

    By Pedro G. Ferreira
    Authors:
    Pedro G. Ferreira
    Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity is possibly the most perfect intellectual achievement in modern physics. Anything that involves gravity, the force that powers everything on the largest, hottest or densest of scales, can be explained by it. From the moment Einstein first proposed the theory in 1915, it was received with enthusiasm yet also with tremendous resistance, and for the following ninety years was the source of a series of feuds, vendettas, ideological battles and persecutions featuring a colourful cast of characters. A gripping, vividly told story, A Perfect Theory entangles itself with the flashpoints of modern history and is the first complete popular history of the theory, showing how it has informed our understanding of exactly what the universe is made of and how much is still undiscovered: from the work of the giant telescopes in the deserts of Chile to our newest ideas about black holes and the Large Hadron Collider deep under French and Swiss soil.
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    Plague and Cholera

    By Patrick Deville
    Authors:
    Patrick Deville
    Paris, May 1940. Nazi troops storm the city and at Le Bourget airport, on the last flight out, sits Dr Alexandre Yersin, his gaze politely turned away from his fellow passengers with their jewels sewn into their luggage. He is too old for the combat ahead, and besides he has already saved millions of lives. When he was the brilliant young protégé of Louis Pasteur, he focused his exceptional mind on a great medical conundrum: in 1894, on a Hong Kong hospital forecourt, he identified and vaccinated against bubonic plague, later named in his honour Yersinia pestis.Swiss by birth and trained in Germany and France, Yersin is the son of empiricism and endeavour; but he has a romantic hunger for adventure, fuelled by tales of Livingstone and Conrad, and sets sail for Asia. A true traveller of the century, he wishes to comprehend the universe. Medicine, agriculture, the engine of the new automobile, all must be opened up, examined and improved. Ceaselessly curious and courageous, Yersin stands, a lone genius,against a backdrop of world wars, pandemics, colonialism, progress and decadence. He is brought to vivid, thrilling life in Patrick Deville's captivating novel, which was a bestseller and shortlisted for every major literary award in France.
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    The Prime Minister's Ironing Board and Other State Secrets

    By Adam Macqueen
    Authors:
    Adam Macqueen
    Stored in Whitehall's archives are everything from blood-chilling warnings of imminent nuclear attack to comical details of daily life in the corridors of power. Concerned notes from ministers on the subject of the Heir to the Throne's potential brainwashing by Welsh terrorists are shelved alongside worries about housemaids 'on the wobble' at Chequers.Detailed and surprising plans for royal funerals sit beside reports on suspected spies in the showbiz world and bawdy poetry about the monkeys on the Rock of Gibraltar. And Mary Whitehouse's complaints about the sex education syllabus nestle next to thank-you notes from prisoner 13260/62, also known as Nelson Mandela.Adam Macqueen, author of the highly acclaimed bestseller Private Eye: The First 50 Years, has searched high and low to present us with some of the most unlikely revelations since the Official secrets act was inaugurated one hundred years ago. Not only about Mrs Thatcher's ironing board, but Ted Heath's car, Harold Macmillan's bedroom carpet, Imelda Marcos and her son Bong Bong's trip to Buckingham Palace and President Eisenhower's particular problem with Winston Churchill's trousers.
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    The People You Are

    By Rita Carter
    Authors:
    Rita Carter
    In THE PEOPLE YOU ARE, Rita Carter - award-winning science writer and international speaker - offers a new and vital understanding of personality. Rita explains that nearly every one of us is a team of personalities, working together, for the most part, to give the impression of a unified self. We are used to thinking of ourselves as one thing or the other - either introvert or extrovert, say - but things are rarely that simple for most of us. That's why we sometimes feel like a different person depending on mood, company and surroundings, why we sometimes suffer unaccountable memory lapses, why we buy something we then decide we didn't want in the first place, or why 'somebody else' turns off the alarm clock in the morning.Importantly, THE PEOPLE YOU ARE is also a practical guide to building a happy 'household' of personalities, explaining how to identify these different versions of ourselves and how to enable them to co-operate so that we can function successfully in life.THE PEOPLE YOU ARE is both an eye-opening and highly practical account of personality.
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    A Place in the Country

    By Sarah Gainham
    Authors:
    Sarah Gainham
    In the aftermath of the Second World War, Vienna is a crucible of fear and superstition, tense with the beginnings of the Cold War and rife with double agents. Robert Inglis, a young British army officer, has been posted to the ruined city to assist in restoring order and control. In the bitter cold of that post-war winter, a mystery railway wagon arrives from the east carrying a cargo of starving, half-dead men, among them the talented journalist Georg Kerenyi. Inglis forms an uneasy friendship with Kerenyi, and it is through him that he meets and is captivated by Julia Homburg, once the star of Vienna's theatre and now hidden away in the Austrian countryside, engaged in her private struggle to overcome the sorrow and devastation of the war.

    Private Worlds

    By Sarah Gainham
    Authors:
    Sarah Gainham
    Private Worlds completes Sarah Gainham's masterly trilogy of twentieth-century Austria. Having survived the Second World War and Vienna's lethal post-war political intrigues, Julia Homburg, Vienna's most brilliant actress, and her trusted friend Georg Kerenyi can now return to their private worlds, restore their shattered lives and reaffirm the values that enabled them to transcend the hate, injustice and crimes of those war-torn years. They are determined to seek out the consolation of work, the sweetness of love, the joy of friendship -- but memories of the destruction and suffering they witnessed are not always easily buried . . .

    Property

    By Valerie Martin
    Authors:
    Valerie Martin
    Manon Gaudet is unhappily married to the owner of a Louisiana sugar plantation. She misses her family and longs for the vibrant lifestyle of her native New Orleans, but most of all, she longs to be free of the suffocating domestic situation. The tension revolves around Sarah, a slave girl who may have been given to Manon as a wedding present from her aunt, whose young son Walter is living proof of where Manon's husband's inclinations lie. This private drama is being played out against a brooding atmosphere of slave unrest and bloody uprisings. And if the attacks reach Manon's house, no one can be sure which way Sarah will turn . . .Beautifully written, Property is an intricately told tale of both individual stories and of a country in a time of change, where ownership is at once everything and nothing, and where belonging, by contrast, is all.
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    A Private Place

    By Amanda Craig
    Authors:
    Amanda Craig
    Knotshead is a school catering for the children of the rich, famous, liberal - and deluded. With its progressive curriculum, complacent staff and beautiful grounds, it looks like Paradise. But the clever, the odd and the bookish are relentlessly persecuted as pupils make their own rules in a bubble of privilege and prejudice. When Alice, the Headmaster's intellectual step-daughter, and the much-expelled American millionaire Winthrop T Sheen join forces against the school bully, Grub Viner, a gifted pianist and school "joker", has to choose between love and loyalty, and black comedy escalates to murder.
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    A Place in Italy

    By Simon Mawer
    Authors:
    Simon Mawer
    'You can't go and live there,' a despairing friend remarked, 'it's not even in Rome.' And it certainly wasn't, but still the author and his wife went to Avea, tucked away amongst the woods and gorges of the Lazio countryside.There they found no Colosseum, or Pantheon; there were no Ferraris racing around the Palazzi Navona, Venezia or Farnese. Instead they discovered the true agony and beauty of Italy: the instinctive warmth of the Avea villagers, the camorra, Little Tony - Italy's answer to Elvis - the elegant and sophisticated Colasanti family and a landlord like no other, Pippo, the self-styled Duca di Avea. This is not a story of the high culture of Italy's big cities, instead of how two foreigners learned to eat the Italian way, drive the Italian way, survive the Italian way - even to have a child the Italian way - and how in doing it they came to love this hidden corner of the most visited and least understood country in Europe.

    Point To Point Navigation

    By Gore Vidal
    Authors:
    Gore Vidal
    POINT TO POINT NAVIGATION refers to a form of navigation Gore Vidal resorted to as a first mate in the navy during World War II. As he says, 'As I was writing this account of my life and times since PALIMPSEST, I felt as if I were again dealing with those capes and rocks in the Bering Sea that we had to navigate so often with a compass made inoperable by weather.' It is a beautifully apt analogy for the hazards eluded (mostly) during his eventful life. From his desks in Ravello and the Hollywood Hills, Gore Vidal travels in memory through the arenas of literature, television, film, theatre, politics, and international society, recounting achievements and defeats, friends and enemies made (and on a number of occasions lost). Among the gathering of notables to be found in these pages, Tennessee Williams, Eleanor Roosevelt, Orson Welles, Greta Garbo, and Francis Ford Coppola. Some of the book's most moving pages are devoted to the illness and death of his partner of five decades, Howard Austen, and indeed the book is, among other things, a meditation on mortality, written in the spirit of Montaigne.