Speak Up! by Laura Coryton

The Blurb On The Back:

What do YOU want to change in the world?

This must-have empowering guide by inspirational Laura Croydon, leader of the incredible international campaign against tampon tax, gives you the tools to find your voice and stand up for what you believe in so that YOU can make a difference.

Channel Laura’s campaigning superpowers with her step-by-step toolkit and create your own successful campaign.  Laura’s experience will give you the confidence to deal with setbacks and internet trolls, and ways to speak up about everyday situations, such as relationships, too.

YOUR VOICE MATTERS.

YOU ARE POWERFUL.

YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.

IT’S TIME TO SPEAK UP!

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The Alt-Right: What Everyone Needs To Know by George Hawley

The Blurb On The Back:

In recent years, the so-called Alt-Right, a white nationalist movement, has grown at an alarming rate.  Taking advantage of high levels of racial polarization, the Alt-Right seeks to normalize explicit white identity politics.  Growing from a marginalized and disorganized group of Internet trolls and propagandists, the Alt-Right became one of the major news stories of the 2016 presidential election, and exploded into public consciousness after its mark through Charlottesville in summer 2017.  Discussions of the Alt-Right are now a regular part of political discourse in the United States and beyond.  In The Alt-Right: What Everyone Needs To Know, George Hawley, one of the world’s leading experts on the conservative movement and right-wing radicalism, provides a clear explanation of the ideas, tactics, history, and prominent figures of one of the most disturbing movements in America today.  Although it presents itself as a new phenomenon, the Alt-Right is just the latest iteration of a longstanding radical right-wing political tradition.  Throughout, Hawley discusses the other primary ideological influences on the Alt-Right: libertarianism, paleoconservatism, neo-reaction, and the Men’s Rights Movement.  Dispassionate and accessible, this is an essential overview for anyone seeking to understand this disruptive and dangerous political movement. 

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The Joy Of Missing Out: The Art Of Self-Restraint In An Age Of Excess by Svend Brinkmann

The Blurb On The Back:

”Because you’re worth it”, proclaims the classic cosmetics ad.  “Just do it!” implores the global sports retailer.  Everywhere we turn, we are constantly encouraged to experience as much as possible, for as long as possible, in as many ways as possible. FOMO – Fear of Missing Out – has become a central preoccupation in a world fixated on the never-ending pursuit of gratification and self-fulfilment.

But this pursuit can become a treadmill leading nowhere. How can we break out of it?  In this refreshing book, bestselling Danish philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann reveals the many virtues of missing out on the constant choices and temptations that dominate our experience-obsessed consumer society.  By cultivating self-restraint and celebrating moderation we can develop a more fulfilling way of living that enriches ourselves and our fellow humans and protects the planet we all share – in short, we can discover the joy of missing out. 

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Against Hate by Carolin Emcke

The Blurb On The Back:

Racism, extremism, anti-democratic sentiment – our increasingly polarized world is dominated by a type of thinking that doubts others’ positions but never its own.

In a powerful challenge to fundamentalism in all its forms, Carolin Emcke, one of Germany’s leading intellectuals, argues that we can only preserve individual freedom and protect people’s rights by cherishing and celebrating diversity.  If we want to safeguard democracy, we must have the courage to challenge hatred and the will to fight for and defend plurality in our societies. Emcke rises to the challenge that identitarian dogmas and populist narratives pose, exposing the way in which they simplify and distort our perception of the world.

Against Hate is an impassioned call to fight intolerance and defend liberal ideals.  It will be of great interest to anyone concerned about the darkening politics of our time and searching for ways forward. 

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Future Politics by Jamie Susskind

The Blurb On The Back:

Politics in the twentieth century was dominated by a single question:

how much of our collective life should be determined by the state, and what should be left to the market and civil society?

Now the debate is different:

to what extent should our lives be directed and controlled by powerful digital systems – and on what terms?

Digital technologies – from artificial intelligence to blockchain, from robotics to virtual reality – are transforming the way we live together.  Those who control the most powerful technologies are increasingly able to control the rest of us.  As time goes on, these powerful entities – usually big tech firms and the state – will set the limit of our liberty, decreeing what may be done and what is forbidden.  Their algorithms will determine vital questions of social justice.  In their hands, democracy will flourish or decay.

A landmark work of political theory, Future Politics challenges readers to rethink what it means to be free or equal, what it means to have power or property, and what it means for a political system to be just or democratic.  In a time of rapid and relentless changes, it is a book about how we can – and must – regain control. 

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Egypt by Robert Springborg

The Blurb On The Back:

Egypt is one of the few great empires of antiquity that exists today as a nation state.  Despite its extraordinary record of national endurance, the pressures to which Egypt is currently subjected and which are bound to intensify are already straining the ties that hold its political community together, while rendering the task of governing it ever more difficult.

In this timely book, Robert Springborg explains how a country with such a long and impressive history has come to find itself in this parlous condition.  As Egyptians become steadily more divided by class, religion, region, ethnicity, gender, and contrasting views of how, by whom, and for what purposes they should be governed, so their rulers become ever more fearful, repressive, and unrepresentative. Caught in a downward spiral in which poor governance is both cause and consequence, Egypt is facing a future so uncertain that it could end up resembling neighbouring countries that have collapsed under similar loads.  The Egyptian “hot spot”, Springborg argues, is destined to become steadily hotter, with ominous implications for its peoples, the Middle East and North Africa, and the wider world. 

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The Shock Doctrine Of The Left by Graham Jones

The Blurb On The Back:

Shocks, from natural disasters to military catastrophes, have long been exploited by the state to impose privatisation, cuts and rampant free markets.  This book argues that the left can use such moments of chaos to achieve emancipation.

Graham Jones illustrates how everyone can help to exploit these shocks and bring about a new world of compassion and care.  He examines how combining mutually reinforcing strategies of ‘smashing, building, healing and taming’ can become the basis of a unified left.  His vivid personal experience underpins a compelling, practical vision for activism, from the scale of the individual body to the global social movement.

This bold book is a toolkit for revolution for activists and radical millennials everywhere. 

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The Real Politics Of The Horn Of Africa by Alex de Waal

The Blurb On The Back:

The Real Politics Of The Horn Of Africa delves into the business of politics in the turbulent, war-torn countries of north-east Africa.  It is a contemporary history of how politicians, generals and insurgents bargain over money and power, and use violence to achieve their goals.

Drawing on a thirty-year career in Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, including experience as a participant in high-level peace talks, Alex de Waal provides a unique and compelling account of how these countries’ leaders run their governments, conduct their business, fight their wars and, occasionally, make peace.  De Waal shows how leaders operate on a business model, securing funds for their ‘political budgets’, which they use to rent the provisional allegiances of army officers, militia commanders, tribal chiefs and party officials at the going rate.  This political marketplace is eroding the institutions of government and reversing state building – and it is fuelled by oil exports, aid funds and western military assistance for counter-terrorism and peacekeeping.

The Real Politics Of The Horn Of Africa is a sharp and disturbing book with profound implications for international relations, development and peacemaking in the Horn of Africa and beyond.

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Directorate S: The CIA And America’s Secret Wars In Afghanistan And Pakistan, 2001 – 2016 by Steve Coll

The Blurb On The Back:

In the wake of the terrible shock of 9/11, the CIA scrambled to work out how to destroy Bin Laden and his associated. The CIA had long familiarity with Afghanistan and had worked closely with the Taliban to defeat the Soviet Union there. Superficially the invasion was quick and efficient, but Bin Laden’s successful escape, together with that of much of the Taliban leadership, and a catastrophic failure to define the limits of NATO’s mission in a tough, impoverished country the size of Texas, created a quagmire, which has now lasted many years.

At the heart of the problem lay ‘Directorate S’, a highly secretive arm of the Pakistan state, which had been covertly arming and training the Taliban for years as part of a wider competition for global influence, and which assumed that the USA and its allies would soon be leaving.

This remarkable new book tells a powerful, bitter story of just how badly foreign policy decisions can go wrong. 

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A New Politics From The Left by Hilary Wainwright

The Blurb On The Back:

Millions passionately desire a viable alternative to austerity and neoliberalism, but they are sceptical of traditional leftist top-down solutions.

In this urgent polemic, Hilary Wainwright argues that this requires a new politics for the left that comes from the bottom up, based on participatory democracy and the everyday knowledge and creativity of each individual.  Political leadership should be about facilitation and partnership, not expert domination or paternalistic rule.

Wainwright uses lessons from recent movements and experiments to build a radical future vision that will be an inspiration for activists and radicals everywhere. 

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