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Thu, 25 Mar 2010 07:27
The longlist for the Orwell Prize has been announced. The Orwell Prize is the pre-eminent British prize for political writing:
Andy Beckett: When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies
The seventies are probably the most important and fascinating period in modern British political history. They encompass strikes that brought down governments, shock general election results, the rise of Margaret Thatcher and the fall of Edward Heath, the IMF crisis, the Winter of Discontent and the three-day week. But the seventies have also been frequently misunderstood...
Brian Chikwava: Harare North
When he lands in Harare North, our unnamed protagonist carries nothing but a cardboard suitcase full of memories and an email address for his childhood friend, Shingi. Finessing his way through immigration, he spends a few restless weeks as the very unwelcome guest in his cousin's home before tracking down Shingi in a Brixton squat...
By the summer of 2007, Britain was close to crashing. A few onlookers realised the danger, but Britain's political leaders were not among them. Politicians and civil servants boasted that the City's economy was booming because of their 'light-touch regulation' of workers in financial services whose number included potential frauds...
Christopher de Bellaigue: Rebel Land: Among Turkey's Forgotten Peoples
What is the meaning of love and death in a remote, forgotten, impossibly conflicted part of the world? In Rebel Land the acclaimed author and journalist Christopher de Bellaigue journeys to Turkey's inhospitable eastern provinces to find out...
Ruth Dudley Edwards: Aftermath: The Omagh Bombing and the Families' Pursuit of Justice
It was a very domestic atrocity. In Omagh, on Saturday, 15 August 1998, a massive bomb placed by the so-called Real IRA murdered unborn twins, six men, twelve women and eleven children, of whom two were Spanish and one English: the dead included Protestants, Catholics and a Mormon...
Petina Gappah: An Elegy for Easterly
A woman in a township in Zimbabwe is surrounded by throngs of dusty children but longs for a baby of her own; an old man finds that his job making coffins at No Matter Funeral Parlour brings unexpected riches; a politician's widow quietly stands by at her husband's funeral watching his colleagues bury an empty coffin...
David Gardner: Last Chance: The Middle East in the Balance
As Barack Obama seeks to chart a new course in American foreign policy, one of the English language media's most respected authorities on the Arab world, David Gardner, addresses the controversial but urgent question: why is the Middle East so dysfunctional?
Andrea Gillies: Keeper
Three years ago, Andrea Gillies made the decision to take on the full-time care of her mother-in-law, Nancy, an Alzheimer's sufferer. With her family, she moved to a remote peninsula in northern Scotland to a house with sufficient space to accommodate Nancy and her elderly husband Morris and there embarked on an extraordinarily challenging journey...
Friedrich Engels is one of the most attractive and contradictory figures of the nineteenth century. Born to a prosperous mercantile family in west Germany, he spent his career working in the Manchester cotton industry, riding to the Cheshire hounds, and enjoying the comfortable, middle-class life of a Victorian gentleman. Yet Engels was also the co-founder of international communism...
John Kampfner: Freedom For Sale: How We Made Money and Lost Our Liberty
Governments around the world -- whether they fall into the authoritarian or the democratic camp -- have drawn up a new pact with their peoples. These are its terms: repression is selective, confined to those who openly challenge the status quo, who publicly go out of their way to 'cause trouble'. The number of people who fall into that category is actually very few...
When a thousand Muslim protestors paraded through a British town with a copy of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses before ceremoniously burning the book, it was an act motivated by anger and offence as well as one calculated to shock and offend. It did more than that: the image of the burning book became an icon of the Muslim anger...
Vesna Maric: Bluebird: A Memoir
Vesna Maric left Bosnia the beginning of the war, at the age of 16, on a convoy of coaches carrying refugees to Penrith, in the north of England. This title is Vesna's memoir of the experience, from the beginning of the war through to her eventual return to Bosnia, years later...
Between 1995 and 2007, the Republic of Ireland was the worldwide model of successful adaptation to economic globalisation. The success story was phenomenal: a doubling of the workforce; a massive growth in exports; a GDP that was substantially above the EU average. Ireland became the world's largest exporter of software and manufactured the world's supply of Viagra...
Nigeria is a country where petroleum prices and polio are both booming, where small villages challenge giant oil companies, and scooter drivers run their own mini-state. The oil-rich Delta region at the heart of it all is, as Peel shows us, a troublespot as hot as the local pepper soup. Through a host of characters, from the prostitutes of Port Harcourt to the Area Boys of Lagos, from the militants in their swamp forest hide-outs to the oil company executives in London, Peel tells the story of this extraordinary country, which grows ever more wild and lawless by the day as its crude oil pumps through our cities...
Sara Wheeler: The Magnetic North: Notes From the Arctic Circle
Smashing through the Arctic Ocean with the crew of a Russian icebreaker, herding reindeer across the tundra with Lapps and shadowing the Trans-Alaskan pipeline with truckers, Sara Wheeler uncovers the beautiful, brutal reality of the Arctic...
Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett: The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better
It is common knowledge that in rich societies the poor have shorter lives and suffer more from almost every social problem. Large inequalities of income are likewise often regarded as divisive and corrosive. This groundbreaking book, based on thirty years' research, goes an important stage beyond either of these ideas: it demonstrates that more unequal societies are bad for almost everyone within them -- the well-off as well as the poor...
Individual liberty will be the defining issue of the twenty-first century. With fear of terrorism, crime and social chaos putting our ideals of it into retreat in recent years, how do we, as individuals, negotiate the maximum amount of freedom in such a complex world? How can we resist the growth of intrusive authoritarianism without exposing ourselves to those risks?
Michela Wrong: It's Our Turn to Eat: The Story of a Kenyan Whistle Blower
When Michela Wrong's Kenyan friend John Githongo appeared one cold February morning on the doorstep of her London flat, carrying a small mountain of luggage and four trilling mobile phones he seemed determined to ignore, it was clear something had gone very wrong in a country regarded until then as one of Africa's few budding success stories...
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