The Writing On The Wall: China And The West In The 21St Century
By Will Hutton
China constitutes a fifth of the world's population. Over the last twenty years its economy has doubled to make it the fifth largest economy in the world; if the pace is repeated over the next twenty it is set to become second only to the US. The speed of its development is stunning, a combination of cheap labour and commitment to science and technology that has never been matched by a developing country. The Pearl River Delta, Shanghai and Beijing have become city-regions whose growth and embrace of modernity strike the visitor with awesome force. This is a continent on the move, recovering the world position and wealth it once had.The re-emergence of China as a superpower constitutes the biggest challenge the world has had for more than a century. Never before in modern times has the financial, trade, economic and diplomatic world pecking order been so profoundly reconstituted with the challenger country itself in the grips of incredible ideological and political change. This is a transition both internally in China and externally in the world beyond beset by hazard and risk. The world's peace and prosperity depends upon it being executed successfully.
By Primo Levi
'This is not a book for journalists. Civil servants, too, will feel uneasy while reading it, and as for lawyers, they will never sleep again. For it is about a man in his capacity as homo faber, a maker of things with his hands, and what has any of us ever made but words. I say it is "about" the man who makes; truly, it is more a hymn of praise than a description, and not only because the toiler who is the hero of the book is a hero indeed - a figure, in his humanity, simplicity, worthy of inclusion in the catalogue of mythical giants alongside Hercules, Atlas, Gargantua and Orion. He is Faussone, a rigger' Bernard Levin, The Times
Worse Than War
By Daniel Jonah Goldhagen
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen brings us now an original and important study of genocide that reconceives its very nature. He does so not by examining a series of genocides but by exploring the nature of mass killing itself. Our failure to clearly describe, explain, and understand the mechanisms of genocide has made it difficult to prevent, and this book will change that. Through exhaustive research, he brilliantly lays out the roots and motivations of mass slaughter, exploring such questions as: Why do genocides occur? What makes people willing to slaughter others? Based on his thoroughgoing reconceptualization of genocide, Goldhagen proposes novel, sensible, and effective measures to put an end to this scourge of humanity, which is worse, even, than war.
The World We're In
By Will Hutton
THE STATE WE'RE IN, Will Hutton's explosive analysis of British society, was the biggest selling politico-economic work since the Second World War. Now, as the world realigns itself in the wake of September 11, Hutton turns his attention to the global picture, and the ways in which the new world should be ordered.To understand the global economy, Hutton argues, one must first understand the United States where, over the past 30 years, the forces of conservatism have achieved such supremacy as to reduce liberalism to a term of abuse. The results have been dire: America is a weaker, fragmented society, and its economic strenths are oversold and misunderstood.But Britain and Europe are different: our attitudes towards property, equality, social solidarity and the public realm are strikingly distinct from Amerrica's current conservative leanings. Europe should not be afraid to stand up against the American version of globalisation, and champion the cause of a reinvigorated international society - taking over the mantle now abandoned by the US.
World Gone By
By Dennis Lehane
'The best gangster novel since The Godfather' Stephen KingJoe Coughlin is untouchable. Once one of America's most feared and prominent gangsters, he now moves effortlessly between the social elite, politicians, police and the mob. He has everything he could possibly want; money, power, a beautiful mistress, and anonymity. But in a town that runs on corruption, vengeance and greed, success can't protect Joe from the dark truth of his past -- and ultimately, the wages of a lifetime of sin will finally be paid in full . . .Chilling, heart-breaking and gripping, this is the most complex and powerful novel to date from Dennis Lehane, writer on The Wire and author of modern classics such as Shutter Island, Gone, Baby, Gone and The Given Day.
The World According To Bertie
By Alexander McCall Smith
Poor put-upon Bertie is still struggling to escape his overbearing mother's influence, his yoga lessons and his pink bedroom while wondering why new baby brother Ulysses looks uncomfortably like his psychotherapist. The insufferably handsome Bruce has returned from London to land, on his feet and rent-free, in the arms of heiress Julia Donald. But all is not well among the residents of 44 Scotland Street: Angus's dog and constant companion Cyril is under threat of execution, victim of a miscarriage of justice, while pretty, indecisive Pat and hopeless romantic Matthew are on the verge of making the most terrible mistake of their lives . . . Big Lou finds a new man, Matthew and Pat edge their relationship towards something more permanent - although this development is not without complications, when a glimpse of someone who just might be her handsome, caddish ex-flatmate Bruce sets Pat's pulse racing - and Domenica's friendship with Antonia is tested to the limit when an assortment of her belongings mysteriously appear in Antonia's new flat.
Works On Paper
By Michael Holroyd
Michael Holroyd opens with a startling attack on biography, which is answered by two essays on the ethics and values of non-fiction writing. The book then examines the work of several contemporary biographers, the place of biography in fiction and of fiction in biography, and the revelations of some extravagant autobiographers, from Osbert Sitwell to Quentin Crisp - to which he adds some adventures of his own, in particular an important and unpublished piece THE MAKING OF GBS, a riveting story of deadly literary warfare. The book ends with a series of satires, celebrations, apologias and polemics which throw light not only on Michael Holroyd's progress as a biographer, but also his record as an embattled campaigner in the field of present-day literary politics.
The Word Detective
By John Simpson
Language is always changing. No one knows where it is going but the best way to future-cast is to look at the past. John Simpson animates for us a tradition of researching and editing, showing us both the technical lexicography needed to understand a word, and the careful poetry needed to construct its definition. He challenges both the idea that dictionaries are definitive, and the notion that language is falling apart. With a sense of humour, an ability to laugh at bureaucracy and an inclination to question the status quo, John Simpson gives life to the colourful characters at the OED and to the English language itself. He splices his stories with entertaining and erudite diversions into the history and origin of words such as 'kangaroo', 'hot-dog' , 'pommie', 'bicycle' , not ignoring those swearwords often classed as 'Anglo-Saxon' ! The book will speak to anyone who uses a dictionary, 'word people' , history lovers, students and parents.
By Coerte V.W. Felske
Heyward Hoon is a young screenwriter whose work consistently falls in the honourable category of good-but-not-commercial-enough. About the only thing that keeps him going in LA (or Hell-A, as he calls it) is his enviable social life - good-looking and charming, he has an extremely wide circle of friends, many of them female. This is what makes him attractive to Sydney Swinburn, a heavyweight, studio-running movie mogul who has recently come out of a messy divorce and who, despite his money and status, has suddenly found his social life wanting. They meet at a party and reach a kind of unspoken agreement: Sydney will help Heyward with his career if Heyward helps Sydney get some dates. But as with all dodgy pacts, this one soon begins to founder. Heyward's reputation takes a nose-dive as people start to regard him as little more than Sydney's pimp, and active help with his career is always promised but never received. As the artificial world they had constructed comes crashing down around them, Heyward is forced to reassess his life and what he wants from it . . .
By Danny Sugerman
At the age of thirteen, Danny Sugerman- the already wayward product of Beverley Hills wealth and privilege- went to his first Doors concert. He never looked back. He became Jim Morrison's protégé and- still in his teens- manager of the Doors and then Iggy Pop. He also plunged gleefully into the glamorous underworld of the rock 'n' roll scene, diving headfirst into booze, sex and drugs: every conceivable kind of drug, ever day, in every possible permutation. By the age of twenty-one he had an idyllic home, a beautiful girlfriend, the best car in the world, two kinds of hepatitis, a diseased heart, a $500 a day heroin habit and only a week to live. He lived.This is his tale. Excessive, scandalous, comic, cautionary and horrifying, it chronicles the 60s dream gone to rot and the early life of a Hollywood Wild Child who was just brilliant at being bad.
The Women In Black
By Madeleine St. John
' A pocket masterpiece. A jewel' Hilary MantelOn the second floor of the famous F. G. Goode department store, in Ladies' Cocktail Frocks, the women in black are girding themselves for the Christmas rush. Among the staff are Patty Williams with her wayward husband Frank, the sweet but unlucky Fay, faithful Mrs Jacob of the measuring tape, and Lisa, the new Sales Assistant (Temporary), who is waiting for the results of her Leaving Certificate. Across the floor and beyond the arch, Lisa will meet the glamorous Continental refugee, Magda, guardian of the rose-pink cave of Model Gowns.With the lightest touch and the most tender of comic instincts, Madeleine St John conjures a vanished summer of innocence.
Women at the Ready
By Robert Malcolmson, Patricia Malcolmson
From the summer of 1938, British women from all walks of life joined the Women's Voluntary Services (WVS). This disparate band of women came together for the common good - to help serve and protect their communities. By 1941 a million women had enrolled. These brave and dutiful women played a vital role in Britain's victory. The positive impact of the WVS on wartime society was universally acknowledged. They were instrumental in implementing the large-scale evacuation of children from bomb-targeted cities, in the care of the wounded, and in keeping those in war service fed. Lady Reading, founder and fearless leader, was one of the most influential women in twentieth-century Britain. The story of the WVS has never been fully told before. Social historians Patricia and Robert Malcolmson bring this vital part of the Second World War to life in a vivid and engaging way through the diaries and records of the women serving their country on the Home Front. Women at the Ready promises to be a magnificent saga of sacrifice and determination.
The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine
By Alexander McCall Smith
Mma Ramotswe is not one to sit about. Her busy life as the proprietress of the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency gives her little time for relaxation. Nonetheless, she is persuaded by her co-director Mma Makutsi to take a holiday. But Mma Ramotswe finds it impossible to resist the temptation to interfere with the agency's cases - secretly, she intends . . . This leads her to delve into the past of a man whose reputation has been called into question. It also leads her to an orphan named Samuel. Meanwhile, Violet Sephotho, Mma Makutsi's arch-enemy, has had the temerity to set up a new secretarial college - one that aims to rival that great institution, the Botswana Secretarial College. Will she get her comeuppance? It will be a close-run thing.
The Wit In The Dungeon
By Anthony Holden
He was born in the year Dr Johnson died, and died in the year A.E. Houseman and Conan Doyle were born. The 75 years of Leigh Hunt's life uniquely span two distinct eras of English life and literature. A major player in the Romantic movement, the intimate and first publisher of Keats and Shelley, friend of Byron, Hazlitt and Lamb, Hunt lived on to become an elder statesman of Victorianism, the friend and chamption of Tennyson and Dickens, awarded a sate pension by Queen Victoria. Jailed in his twenties for insulting the Prince of Wales, Hunt ended his long, productive life vainly seeking the Poet Laureatship with fawning poems to Victoria. A tirelessly prolific poet, essayist, editor and critic, he has been described as having no rival in the history of English criticism. Yet Hunt's remarkable life story has never been fully told.Anthony Holden's deeply researched and vibrantly written biography gives full due to this minor poet - but major influence on his great Romantic contempories.
The Wisdom Of Crowds
By James Surowiecki
In this landmark work, NEW YORKER columnist James Surowiecki explores a seemingly counter-intuitive idea that has profound implications. Decisions taken by a large group, even if the individuals within the group aren't smart, are always better than decisions made by small numbers of 'experts'. This seemingly simply notion has endless and major ramifications for how businesses operate, how knowledge is advanced, how economies are (or should be) organised and how nation-states fare. With great erudition, Surowiecki ranges across the disciplines of psychology, economics, statistics and history to show just how this principle operates in the real world. Along the way Surowiecki asks a number of intriguing questions about a subject few of us actually understand - economics. What are prices? How does money work? Why do we have corporations? Does advertising work? His answers, rendered in a delightfully clear prose, demystify daunting prospects. As Surowiecki writes: 'The hero of this book is, in a curious sense, an idea, a hero whose story ends up shedding dramatic new light on the landscapes of business, politics and society'.
By Beryl Bainbridge
Quiet and reliable, Douglas Ashburner has never been much of a womaniser. So when he begins an extra-marital affair with Nina, a bossy, temperamental artist with a penchant for risky sex, he finds adultery a terrible strain.He tells his wife that he needs a rest, so she happily packs him off for a fishing holiday in the Highlands. Only, unknown to her, Douglas is actually flying off to Moscow with Nina, as a guest of the Soviet Artists' Union. It is then that things begin to get very complicated indeed...
By Gore Vidal
A boat of the army transportation corps fights through the fierce wind of the williwaw, carrying two officers and a chaplain with its crew. Human nature and the elements move the men through their uncertain destiny. This is Gore Vidal's first novel. Written when he was just seventeen and based very strongly on his own traumatic experiences in the US Navy as WW2 reached its end, this is a compelling story of one young man's bravery under fire.
By Anthony Holden
Who was William Shakespeare? How did the 'rude groom' from Stratford grow up to be the greatest poet the world has known? Not for a generation, since the late Anthony Burgess's SHAKESPEARE (1970), has there been anything approaching a popular, mainstream biography of the greatest and most celebrated writer. Yet Shakespeare's life was as colourful, varied and dramatic as his works: the Warwickshire country boy who 'disappeared' for seven years before fetching up in London as an apprentice actor...whose fellow players could scarcely keep up with the plays he turned out for them...who rapidly became a favourite at the court of Elizabeth I...and returned to Stratford a prosperous 'gentleman', proud to realise his father's dream of a family coat of arms, before his death at 52.Anthony Holden brilliantly interleaves the poets own words with the known facts to breathe new life into a story never before told in such absorbing detail. 'The perfect blend of erudition and accessibility' - the Daily Telegraph's verdict on Holden's life of Tchaikovsky - applies equally to his revealing, very human portrait of Shakespeare.
The Whole Equation
By David Thomson
A book that sees Hollywood as an idea, a trick, a religion even that swept the world, a book that knows what the bosses did, and why and how, but which also feels the impact on the mass audiences in the dark auditoriums. There isn't a book that explains - even at a basic level - how the business, the money, of pictures operates. THE WHOLE EQUATION takes the history and describes the grand panorama so that the reader knows how he or she fitted in, along with Bogart, the Marx Brothers and Daryl Zanuck. The business is the neglected aspect of the story, neglected because its truths threaten the alleged magic, the romance of the movies. Yet, the money is the true sexual secret of Hollywood, and David Thomson leaves the reader quite clear, that amid all the hype and pretension, we should always 'follow the money'.
Who Goes Home?
By Roy Hattersley
Each night when the House of Commons rises, throughout the Palace of Westminster policemen shout, 'Who goes home?', a relic of the days when Members of Parliament were escorted safely to their beds. WHO GOES HOME? is Roy Hattersley's witty and characteristically frank account of a lifetime in the Labour party from schoolboy canvassing in post-war Sheffield through Cabinet office and the wilderness years in Opposition, to the decision to leave Parliament at the dawn of Tony Blair's New Labour. During this period, the Honourable Member for the Sparkbrook constituency of Birmingham never forgot his Yorkshire roots (or his passion for Sheffield Wednesday FC). This memoir is an evocation of the 50-year journey that has taken the Party from Attlee's Welfare State and nationalisation programme to the modernizers of social-ism and New Labour under Tony Blair. For Roy Hattersley, politics was fun while it lasted, even though the joke was often on him. These Scenes from Political Life settle no scores, excuse no mistakes and relive no old triumphs.