Compelling Ideas Expressed at Their Natural Length
In the waning days of South Africa’s Apartheid era, Cobus Steyn is on patrol, searching for insurgents. With memories of his own brutal treatment as a conscript in the South African Defence Force, Cobus finds himself torn between love of his homeland and detestation of its cruel regime. Then something snaps…
Two historic battles, a century apart, each saving a nation from destruction. Had the Union lost at Gettysburg, the United States would not exist today; if the battle for Golan had not been won, the state of Israel would have been overrun by its enemies. Lieutenant Colonel Barry Spielman explores the remarkable similarities between the two battles in a gripping blow-by-blow account. Highly recommended.
Arthur Charles was a POW of the Japanese on the island of Java in World War II. In this personal account of his captivity, he describes the amazing resilience of his fellow prisoners, and their stoicism, humour, and quiet defiance in the face of mistreatment and constant humiliation. Charles himself suffered terribly, and only just escaped death from a firing squad. A remarkable memoir.
Kindle Single: Reporting Low-stakes poker players can still have high-stake dreams. So when the chance came to play in an international tournament in a famous French resort, the author could not resist the collision of old-world glamour and a big money game. A fascinating account of a bitter-sweet exposure to poker’s big time.
The great philosopher Plato never had the chance to put his ideas into action –until he was persuaded to travel to Syracuse and counsel Dionysius the Younger, feckless heir to a crumbling empire. During the ensuing years, Plato made further trips to help his headstrong pupil, but turning ideals into reality proved agonizingly difficult – and dangerous. A remarkable account of a little-known historical episode. Highly recommended.
Society Immigration tops the British political agenda, with all the parties competing to talk tough. Barbara Roche, a former Immigration Minister, and the writer Robert Winder take a different approach, arguing that immigration constitutes a lifeline for the British economy, and a welcome infusion of new blood for British society. A thought-provoking account that sees immigration as an opportunity rather than a problem.
Essays & Ideas
If we judged the Developed World by the state of its families, the verdict would be guilty as charged. And the victims, increasingly, are our children. The authors of this invigorating Kindle Single are not seeking a return to a mythical world of two parents, two children (and sometimes a dog), but instead propose steps by which the ‘New Family’ can make sure it doesn’t leave the kids behind.
What is Christmas like for the Queen? What kind of presents does she get, and who receives her Christmas cards? Does she wear a silly hat at lunch or pull crackers with her guests–and does she watch herself address the nation on television after lunch? The veteran royal correspondent Brian Hoey supplies the answers in a fascinating account of Christmas with the Royals.
The World Stage
Kindle Single: The World Stage After the fall of Communism twenty-five years ago, a new world started to take shape, especially in the Middle East. Attempts to explain why democracy is failing to take root there are doomed without an understanding of asabiyyah, the "group feeling" defined six centuries ago by the Arab historian Ibn Khaldun as the necessary building block for human progress. A fascinating analysis of Islam and democracy, and the damaging misunderstandings between the two.
The Sciences The 1960s remain famous for their social and cultural revolutions, but colossal changes were also occurring in science. The writer Tim Radford describes how little-known advances in plate tectonics, cosmology (proof of the Big Bang), satellite communications, and the development of smallpox vaccines transformed the world–and our understanding of it. A fascinating account of a 'hidden revolution.'
Arts & Entertainment
By 1965 the Beatles had become the biggest act on earth. As they started a third tour of America, they played their inaugural concert in an unprecedented venue – New York’s Shea Stadium – before thousands of near-hysterical fans. The Shea concert became a watershed of the 1960s, as James Woodall describes in this fascinating account of a climactic year for the greatest pop band the world has known.
Anne Frank died anonymously in 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp, but seventy years later she is one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust. Her diary has long been an international bestseller, and for young and old readers alike, Frank’s writing remain a powerful symbol of humanity struggling to survive in an inhumane time. Emma J Saunders describes Frank’s short but remarkable life, and its enduring legacy.