The Retreat of Western Liberalism
By Edward Luce
'A panorama of the unravelling world order as riveting as any beach read' New Yorker'Read this book: in the three hours it takes you will get a new, bracing and brilliant understanding of the dangers we in the democratic West now face. Luce is one of the smartest journalists working today, and his perceptions are priceless' Jane Mayer, staff writer on the New Yorker'No one was more prescient about the economic malaise and popular resentment that has hit the United States than Ed Luce in his previous book, Time to Start Thinking. His new book, Retreat of Western Liberalism, broadens that picture to cover the Western world. It is a must read for anyone trying to make sense of the waves of populism and nationalism we face today' Liaquat AhamedIn 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 Retreat 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.
The Riviera Set
By Mary S. Lovell
'I loved every word' - Sarra Manning, Red'[A] blissful book - it's like basking in the warm Med' - Rachel Johnson, Mail on SundayThe Riviera Set is the story of the group of people who lived, partied, bed-hopped and politicked at the Château de l'Horizon near Cannes, over the course of forty years from the time when Coco Chanel made southern French tans fashionable in the twenties to the death of the playboy Prince Aly Khan in 1960. At the heart of this was the amazing Maxine Elliott, the daughter of a fisherman from Connecticut, who built the beautiful art deco Château and brought together the likes of Noel Coward, the Aga Khan, the Windsors and two very saucy courtesans, Doris Castlerosse and Daisy Fellowes, who set out to be dangerous distractions to Winston Churchill as he worked on his journalism and biographies during his 'wilderness years' in the thirties.After the War the story continued as the Château changed hands and Prince Aly Khan used it to entertain the Hollywood set, as well as launch his seduction of and eventual marriage to Rita Hayworth.'Lovell dissects their lives and curates the interesting parts, bringing together the creme of high society. A sparkling group biography that brings to life a bygone era' - The Lady
The Revolving Door of Life
By Alexander McCall Smith
For seven-year-old Bertie Pollock, life in Edinburgh's most celebrated fictional street has just got immeasurably better. The enforced absence of his endlessly pushy mother Irene - currently consciousness-raising in a Bedouin harem (don't ask) - has manifold and immediate blessings: no psychotherapy, no Italian lessons and no yoga classes. Bliss.For Scotland Street's grown-ups, life throws up some new dilemmas. Matthew makes a discovery that could make him even richer but also leaves him worried. Pat makes one that could make her poorer and her father miserable - unless that uber-narcissist, Bruce, can help her out. And the Duke of Johannesburg, we discover, isn't exactly who he says he is.From what happens behind Edinburgh Airport's luggage carousel to Machiavellian manoeuvrings at the Association of Scottish Nudists, Alexander McCall Smith guides us through the brighter, lighter and frankly unexpected side of Edinburgh life. As ever with his 44 Scotland Street series, his readers will make their own discovery: that its blend of wit and wisdom mark it out as a comedic tour de force.
By John Kampfner
From the Orwell Prize shortlisted author of Freedom for Sale, The Rich is the fascinating history of how economic elites from ancient Egypt to the present day have gained and spent their money.Starting with the Romans and Ancient Egypt and culminating with the oligarchies of modern Russia and China, it compares and contrasts the rich and powerful down the ages and around the world. What unites them? Have the same instincts of entrepreneurship, ambition, vanity, greed and philanthropy applied throughout?As contemporary politicians, economists and the public wrestle with the inequities of our time - the parallel world inhabited by the ultra-wealthy at a time of broader hardship - it is salutary to look to history for explanations. This book synthesises thousands of years of human behaviour and asks the question: is the development of the globalised super-rich over the past twenty years anything new?
Rolling Through The Isles
By Ted Simon
From the bestselling author of Jupiter's Travels and Dreaming of Jupiter comes an entertaining and inspiring new journey round Britain.Having crisscrossed the globe twice, Ted returns to the British Isles to rediscover the country of his youth. The result is a revealing portrait of modern Britain and a witty and affectionate journey back to the past, when Ted would hitchhike across the country visiting friends (and girlfriends).He returns to the site of his old school with its astonishing war time history and visits familiar haunts where he did his National Service and got his first job in newspapers. He also visits less-familiar places. Some inspire him (Winchester Cathedral). Others defeat him (a tax office in Nottingham). As he rolls through the Isles, he discovers that a great deal has changed: busier roads, bureaucracy and, worst of all, the dreaded 'Sat Nav'. But there is also much to celebrate and enjoy along the way.Packed with fascinating stories, extraordinary encounters and glorious depictions of the British countryside, Rolling through the Isles takes the reader on an unforgettable trip with a celebrated adventurer and writer.
The Road to Urbino
By Roma Tearne
A story of obsession, love and art set in Tuscany, Sri Lanka and London. Ras, a Sri Lankan who fled his country as a child following the violent death of his mother and his father's disappearance, has committed a crime. Dogged by his past and unable to come to terms with the killing of his mother, he struggles to make a new life for himself in the UK. Alex has loved Dee since he was 19 but failed to realise that it was a love he wouldn't find again. After Dee's marriage, he too struggles to build a meaningful life for himself.But when Ras' and Alex's lives connect, each man takes a new path culminating for Ras in the theft of a della Franceso painting, while Alex comes ever closer to Dee through tragedy in her life. Beautifully written, with a strong narrative, The Road to Urbino is the story of two very different men and their love for the women in their lives, set against the backdrop of the heartbreaking horrors of the long-running conflict in Sri Lanka.
The Road To Nab End
By William Woodruff
William Woodruff had the sort of childhood satirised in the famous Monty Python Yorkshireman sketch. The son of a weaver, he was born on a pallet of straw at the back of the mill and two days later his mother was back at work. Life was extrememly tough for the family in 1920's Blackburn -- a treat was sheep's head or cow heel soup -- and got worse when his father lost his job when the cotton industry started its terminal decline. Woodruff had to find his childhood fun in the little free time he had available between his delivery job and school, but he never writes self-pityingly, leaving the reader to shed the tears on his behalf. At ten his mother takes him on his one and only holiday -- to Blackpool. He never wonders where they get the money to do so, only where she disappears to with strange men in the afternoons, before taking him to the funfair, pockets jingling an hour or two later. NAB END is certainly not all grime and gloom however, there's a cast of great minor characters from an unfrocked vicar to William's indomitable grandmother Bridget who lend some colour and humour -- and all against the strongly rendered social backdrop of the 1920s and 1930s.
The Red Sweet Wine Of Youth
By Nicholas Murray
The poetry that emerged from the trenches of WWI is a remarkable body of work, at once political manifesto and literary beacon for the twentieth century. In this passionate recreation of the lives of the greatest poets to come out of the conflict, Nicholas Murray brilliantly reveals the men themselves as well as the struggle of the artist to live fully and to bear witness in the annihilating squalor of battle.Bringing into sharp focus the human detail of each life, using journals, letters and literary archives, Murray brings to life the men's indissoluble comradeship, their complex sexual mores and their extraordinary courage. Poignant, vivid and unfailingly intelligent, Nicholas Murray's study offers new and finely tuned insight into the - often devastatingly brief - lives of a remarkable generation of men.
The Reign and Abdication of Edward VIII
By Michael Bloch
Michael Bloch gives a new twist to the oft-told story of King Edward's short reign.Drawing on a decade-long study of the King's personality, and on privileged access to his papers, he sees the King's abdication partly as the result of a plot to get rid of him by men who mistrusted his modernity and popular touch, but also explainable by the fact that he did not really want to be king or fight for his throne.
By Anita Shreve
Is love always worth saving - no matter what the cost?The car crash should have killed her. But rookie paramedic Peter Webster takes the emergency call, and helps the young woman, Sheila Arsenault, to survive. After the accident, she haunts his thoughts, despite his misgivings about getting involved with a patient. Soon he is embroiled in an intense love affair and in Sheila's troubled life. Eighteen years later, Sheila is long gone and Peter is raising their daughter, Rowan, alone. But Rowan is veering dangerously off course and for the first time in their quiet life together Peter fears for her future. He seeks out the only person who may be able to help Rowan, although Sheila's return is sure to unleash all the questions Peter has been carefully keeping at bay: Why would a mother leave her family? How did the marriage of two people in love unravel?
The Rise And Fall Of Modern Medicine
By James Le Fanu
The medical achievements of the post-war years rank as one of the supreme epochs of human endeavour. Advances in surgical technique, new ideas about the nature of disease and huge innovations in drug manufacture vanquished most common causes of early death, But, since the mid-1970s the rate of development has slowed, and the future of medicine is uncertain. How has this happened?James Le Fanu's hugely acclaimed survey of the 'twelve definitive moments' of modern medicine and the intellectual vacuum which followed them has been fully revised and updated for this edition. The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine is both riveting drama and a clarion call for change.
Rabbit Stew And A Penny Or Two
By Maggie Smith-Bendell
Born on a Somerset pea-field in 1941, the second of eight children in a Romani family, Maggie Smith-Bendell has lived through the years of greatest change in the travelling community's long history. As a child, Maggie rode and slept in a horse-drawn wagon, picked hops and flowers, and sat beside her father's campfire on ancient verges, poor but free to roam. As the twentieth century progressed, common land was fenced off and the traditional ways disappeared. Eventually Maggie married a house-dweller and tried to settle for bricks and mortar, but she never lost the restless spirit, the deep love of the land and the gift for storytelling that were her Romani inheritance.Maggie's story is one of hardship and prejudice, but also, unforgettably, it recalls the glories of the travelling life, in the absolute safety of a loyal and loving family.
A Radical History Of Britain
By Edward Vallance
From medieval Runnymede to twentieth-century Jarrow, from King Alfred to George Orwell by way of John Lilburne and Mary Wollstonecraft, a rich and colourful thread of radicalism runs through a thousand years of British history. In this fascinating study, Edward Vallance traces a national tendency towards revolution, irreverence and reform wherever it surfaces and in all its variety. He unveils the British people who fought and died for religious freedom, universal suffrage, justice and liberty - and shows why, now more than ever, their heroic achievements must be celebrated. Beginning with Magna Carta, Vallance subjects the touchstones of British radicalism to rigorous scrutiny. He evokes the figureheads of radical action, real and mythic - Robin Hood and Captain Swing, Wat Tyler, Ned Ludd, Thomas Paine and Emmeline Pankhurst - and the popular movements that bore them. Lollards and Levellers, Diggers, Ranters and Chartists, each has its membership, principles and objectives revealed.
A Reliable Wife
By Robert Goolrick
COUNTRY BUSINESSMAN SEEKS RELIABLE WIFE. COMPELLED BY PRACTICAL REASONS.REPLY BY LETTER.Rural Wisconsin, 1907. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt, a successful industrialist, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered his newspaper advertisement.But when Catherine steps of the train she's not the woman that that Ralph is expecting. She is both complex and devious. And, haunted by a terrible past, she is motivated by greed.Catherine's plan is simple. She will win Ralph's devotion. Later, she will leave him as a wealthy woman.What Catherine has not counted on however is that Ralph might have plans of his own for his new wife . . .
The Remarkable Lives Of Bill Deedes
By Stephen Robinson
Drawing on a rich selection of private papers and hours of interviews with Deedes and his contemporaries, Stephen Robinson charts brilliantly the depths and shallows of the life of the man who inspired Evelyn Waugh's hapless reporter William Boot in Scoop and was the recipient of Private Eye's famous Dear Bill letters. Deedes was also a husband and father of five and Robinson explores the rumour and reality with equal measure to reveal the true character of one of the most extraordinary men to have graced the pages of the British national press.
The Right Attitude To Rain
By Alexander McCall Smith
The key to contentment in the Scottish climate is the right attitude to rain - just as in life the key to happiness lies in making the best of what you have.Bruised in love by her faithless Irish husband, Isabel Dalhousie is a connoisseur of intimate moral issues: she edits a philosophical journal and spends a great deal of her time considering how to improve the lives of those around her. There is her housekeeper Grace, whose future she must secure; her niece Cat, who is embarking on a new relationship with a dubious workaholic mummy's boy; and even an American couple newly arrived in Edinburgh on a tour. And then there is Jamie, Cat's ex-boyfriend, a handsome, gifted musician fourteen years Isabel's junior, with whom she is slowly and hopelessly falling in love.Intensely thoughtful and consistently entertaining, THE RIGHT ATTITUDE TO RAIN is shot through with compassion and unassuming intelligence.
Red Carpets And Other Banana Skins
By Rupert Everett
An element of drama has always attended Rupert Everett, even before he swept to fame with his outstanding performance in 'Another Country'. He has spent his life surrounded by extraordinary people, and witnessed extraordinary events. He was in Moscow during the fall of communism; in Berlin the night the wall came down; and in downtown Manhattan on September 11th. By the age of 17 he was friends with Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger, and since then he has been up close and personal with some of the most famous women in the world: Julia Roberts, Madonna, Sharon Stone and Donatella Versace. Whether sweeping the floor for the Royal Shakespeare Company or co-starring with Faye Dunaway and an orang-utan in 'Dunstan Checks In' (they both took ages to get ready), Rupert Everett always brings as much energy and talent to his life as he does to his career. A superb raconteur and a keen observer of human folly (especially his own), Rupert Everett turns his life into a captivating story of love, fame, glamour, gossip and drama.
By Eric Hobsbawm
Recent years have seen a remarkable growth of interest in revolution and social upheaval. This collection of essays by distinguished historian and long-standing Marxist Eric Hobsbawm is a commentary and critical retrospective on the revolutionary movements and ideas that dominated the twentieth century, and which remain of crucial contemporary relevance. The essays here explore a broad range of related topics including the history of communism, the influence of marxism, insurrection, military coups and guerrilla warfare, and the role of intellectuals. This updated edition presents new thoughts on anti-communist polemics and the Spanish Civil War.Written with clarity and masterly assurance, Eric Hobsbawm's essays are indispensable for a true understanding both of twentieth-century history and of the pattern of events today.
By Tom Holland
'The Book that really held me, in fact, obsessed me, was Rubicon . . . This is narrative history at its best. Bloody and labyrinthine political intrigue and struggle, brilliant oratory, amazing feats of conquest and cruelty' Ian McEwan, Books of the Year, Guardian'Marvellously readable' Niall FergusonThe Roman Republic was the most remarkable state in history. What began as a small community of peasants camped among marshes and hills ended up ruling the known world. Rubicon paints a vivid portrait of the Republic at the climax of its greatness - the same greatness which would herald the catastrophe of its fall. It is a story of incomparable drama. This was the century of Julius Caesar, the gambler whose addiction to glory led him to the banks of the Rubicon, and beyond; of Cicero, whose defence of freedom would make him a byword for eloquence; of Spartacus, the slave who dared to challenge a superpower; of Cleopatra, the queen who did the same.Tom Holland brings to life this strange and unsettling civilization, with its extremes of ambition and self-sacrifice, bloodshed and desire. Yet alien as it was, the Republic still holds up a mirror to us. Its citizens were obsessed by celebrity chefs, all-night dancing and exotic pets; they fought elections in law courts and were addicted to spin; they toppled foreign tyrants in the name of self-defence. Two thousand years may have passed, but we remain the Romans' heirs.
The Real Queen Of France
By Lisa Hilton
The resplendent sex symbol of the splendid century'... The reign of Athenais de Montespan as principal mistress of Louis XIV corresponds with the most glorious period of the Grand Siecle. Athenais was 'the true Queen of France', symbol of a dazzling French culture in the seventeenth century. As a lover, she risked the disgrace of double adultery to conduct an affair which scandalized Europe; as a patron she supported many of the leaders of the cultural renaissance including Moliere and Racine; as a mother she is the ancestor of most of the royal houses of Europe. The greatest beauty of her day, Athenais lived her life publicly and sensationally until accusations of witchcraft forced her from power in the 'Affair of the Poisons', a mystery which remains unsolved. She fascinates not only because she achieved power at a time when it was denied to most women, but because she achieved that power through her manipulation of a prescribed role.