Related to: 'Democracy: All That Matters'

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Morality

Jonathan Sacks
Authors:
Jonathan Sacks
Sceptre

The Delusions of Certainty

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt
Teach Yourself

Philosophy for Life: Teach Yourself

Mel Thompson
Authors:
Mel Thompson

Philosophy For Life is the definitive introduction to the history of Western thought, but more than that, it is a toolkit for using philosophy in your daily life. As you read, you will develop your own critical and creative thinking, exploring the key ideas in Western Philosophy and the arguments that continue to shape our world. You will discover what philosophy is really about, learn to be a sceptic, meet Plato and Aristotle, explore the concept of mind, question free will, use philosophy to be happy, find out about Marx and materialism, see how philosophy relates to everything from comics to coffee, and ask whether god exists. Philosophy is a life-tool, a set of skills for engaging with any subject, and in Philosphy For Life, you will discover a body of wisdom and a way to develop your own critical and creative thinking.ABOUT THE SERIESPeople have been learning with Teach Yourself since 1938. With a vast range of practical, how-to guides covering language learning, lifestyle, hobbies, business, psychology and self-help, there's a Teach Yourself book for whatever you want to do. Join more than 60 million people who have reached their goals with Teach Yourself, and never stop learning.

Sceptre

A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt
Nicholas Brealey Publishing US

SuperHubs

Sandra Navidi
Authors:
Sandra Navidi

A BLOOMBERG BEST BOOK OF THE YEARWINNER - SILVER MEDAL, AXIOM BUSINESS BOOK AWARDS 2018 FOREWORD BY NOURIEL ROUBINISuperHubs is a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the global financial system and the powerful personal networks through which it is run, at the centre of which sit the Elites - the SuperHubs.Combining an insider's knowledge with principles of network science, Sandra Navidi offers a startling new perspective on how the financial system really operates. SuperHubs reveals what happens at the exclusive, invitation-only platforms - The World Economic Forum in Davos, the meetings of the International Monetary Fund, think-tank gatherings, power lunches, charity events, and private parties. This is the most vivid portrait to date of the global elite: the bank CEOs, fund managers, billionaire financiers and politicians who, through their interlocking relationships and collective influence are transforming the future of our financial system and, for better or worse, shaping our world.

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

50 Politics Classics

Tom Butler-Bowdon
Authors:
Tom Butler-Bowdon

Whether you consider yourself to be conservative, liberal, socialist, or Marxist, 50 Politics Classics gives you greater understanding of the key ideas that matter in our politically charged times.From Abraham Lincoln to Nelson Mandela, from Mary Wollstonecraft to George Orwell, 50 Politics Classics distills the essence of the books, pamphlets, and speeches of the major leaders and great thinkers that drive real-world change. Spanning 2,500 years, left and right, thinkers and doers, Tom Butler-Bowdon's new book covers activists, war strategists, visionary leaders, economists, philosophers of freedom, feminists, conservatives and environmentalists, from ancient philosophical texts right up to contemporary classics such as The Spirit Level and No Logo.

Hodder & Stoughton

Democracy: All That Matters

Steven Beller
Authors:
Steven Beller

Democracy is in crisis. This is a crisis of growth on the one hand, with the Arab Spring and possible change in Burma and elsewhere, but also a crisis of alienation and stagnation in the more established democracies, in the United States and in Europe, where apathy and the uncontrolled power exerted by financial markets and the wealthy are threatening the core of democratic effectiveness and democratic values. We can no longer take democracy for granted, if we ever could, because it is both more powerful and widespread than it has ever been, and more under threat. This short book, of about 25,000 words, spells out the basic characteristics of modern-day democracy, its origins, its history, its current practice and problems, and its potential future.

Hodder & Stoughton

Political Philosophy: All That Matters

Johanna Oksala
Authors:
Johanna Oksala

What is political philosophy? A philosophical study of political ideas such as authority, freedom, justice and democracy? An inquiry into the best form of government? An attempt to rationally justify forms of authority? Johanna Oksana asks exactly these questions as she opens this brilliant new guide to political philosophy. Rather than attempting to provide the reader with a definite answer, the book invites readers to recognize many of the issues encountered in everyday life as political, the outcome of human practices that incorporate power relations, social norms and obligations. it suggests that political philosophy should be understood as an open-ended, critical project that to some extent concerns everyone.The book employs an original structure which will be a huge help to both students and general readers seeking to understand the topic. Each chapter, which moves chronologically from antiquity to the twentieth century, focuses on selected classic texts in political philosophy, which are briefly introduced and analysed. The texts then function as a springboard for a discussion of central contemporary issues in political philosophy.

Hodder & Stoughton

Political Philosophy: All That Matters

Johanna Oksala
Authors:
Johanna Oksala

What is political philosophy? A philosophical study of political ideas such as authority, freedom, justice and democracy? An inquiry into the best form of government? An attempt to rationally justify forms of authority? Johanna Oksana asks exactly these questions as she opens this brilliant new guide to political philosophy. Rather than attempting to provide the reader with a definite answer, the book invites readers to recognize many of the issues encountered in everyday life as political, the outcome of human practices that incorporate power relations, social norms and obligations. It suggests that political philosophy should be understood as an open-ended, critical project that to some extent concerns everyone. The book employs an original structure which will be a huge help to both students and general readers seeking to understand the topic. Each chapter, which moves chronologically from antiquity to the twentieth century, focuses on selected classic texts in political philosophy, which are briefly introduced and analysed. The texts then function as a springboard for a discussion of central contemporary issues in political philosophy.

Sceptre

Mafia Republic: Italy's Criminal Curse. Cosa Nostra, 'Ndrangheta and Camorra from 1946 to the Present

John Dickie
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Teach Yourself

Political Philosophy: A Complete Introduction: Teach Yourself

Phil Parvin, Clare Chambers
Authors:
Phil Parvin, Clare Chambers

Written by Phil Parvin and Clare Chambers, who are current political philosophy lecturers and leading researchers, Political Philosophy - The Essentials is designed to give you everything you need to succeed, all in one place. It covers the key areas that students are expected to be confident in, outlining the basics in clear jargon-free English, and then providing added-value features like summaries of key thinkers, and even lists of questions you might be asked in your seminar or exam. The book's structure follows that of most university courses on political philosophy, by looking at the essential concepts within political philosophy (freedom, equality, power, democracy, rights, the state, political obligation), and then looking at the ways in which piolitical philosophers have used these fundamental concepts in order to tackle a range of normative political questions such as whether the state has a responsibility to alleviate inequalities, and what interest liberal and demovratic states should take in the cultural or religious beliefs of citizens. Teach Yourself titles employ the 'Breakthrough method', which is designed specifically to overcome problems that students face. - Problem: 'I find it difficult to remember what I've read.'; Solution: this book includes end-of-chapter questions and summaries, - Problem: 'Most books mention important other sources, but I can never find them in time.'; Solution: this book includes key texts and case studies are summarised, complete with fully referenced quotes ready to use in your essay or exam. - Problem: 'Lots of introductory books turn out to cover totally different topics than my course.'; Solution: this book is written by a current university lecturer who understands what students are expected to know.

Hodder & Stoughton

Essential Political Philosophy: Flash

Mel Thompson
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Mel Thompson
Nicholas Brealey Publishing

The Upside of the Downturn

Geoff Colvin
Authors:
Geoff Colvin

Never waste a crisis - the current recession is a turning point into a new economic world, a world full of opportunity for those who understand what's happening, why it's happening, and what it means for them. Some businesses - and some people - will emerge from this downturn stronger and more dominant than when it started. Others will weaken and fade. It all depends on critical choices they make right now. Geoff Colvin, one of world's most respected business journalists, says even the scariest recession has an upside. The best managers know that conventional thinking won't help them win in these tough times. They're taking smart, practical steps that will not only keep them strong, but will also distance them from the pack for years to come. The dozens of top-performing leaders Colvin interviewed reject the common view that slashing costs and firing employees is all that matters. They see the recession as a rich opportunity to restructure, reinvent and reimagine their businesses and lay the groundwork for future growth. Written in Colvin's characteristic reader-friendly style, "The Upside of the Downturn" shows how anyone - from small business owner to global conglomerate CEO - can benefit from his ten solidly grounded strategies. He shows how to find opportunities that will increase your company's competitiveness and build its long-term value. For example: reset priorities. Easy to say, harder to do. Pursuing the lofty goals set in good times can be disastrous now; re-evaluate people and steal some good ones. Mass layoffs are a tempting way to cut costs, but great companies often find smarter alternatives. And if your competitors are unwise enough to fire their best people, grab them; keep investing in the core. Trim the fat from your budgets but not the muscle. The best companies actually increase some spending in a recession, funding the areas that make them unique and valuable; and, price with courage. Many companies assume they must - yet the long-term damage often outweighs the short-term boost. Colvin shows how these strategies really work, using examples of major companies that have applied them with inspiring results and discovered those hidden gems of opportunity and those elusive 'green shoots' of recovery.

Teach Yourself

Understand Political Philosophy: Teach Yourself

Mel Thompson
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Mel Thompson

Understand Political Philosophy is an in-depth guide to the philosophers and political ideas who have shaped our society. Quickly and easily get to grips with the key thinkers and theories, from Aristotle to Wollstonecraft, from capitalism to utilitarianism. With exploration of contemporary issues and current debates, this book will put political philosophy in the context of the world we live in today.NOT GOT MUCH TIME?One, five and ten-minute introductions to key principles to get you started.AUTHOR INSIGHTSLots of instant help with common problems and quick tips for success, based on the author's many years of experience.TEST YOURSELFTests in the book and online to keep track of your progress.EXTEND YOUR KNOWLEDGEExtra online articles at www.teachyourself.com to give you a richer understanding of psychology.FIVE THINGS TO REMEMBERQuick refreshers to help you remember the key facts.TRY THISInnovative exercises illustrate what you've learnt and how to use it.

Hodder Paperbacks

In God We Doubt

John Humphrys
Authors:
John Humphrys

'All the erudition and pithy wit you would expect from Humphrys, but there is also a charming, genuine enquiry that shines through' MAIL ON SUNDAY* * * * * *Bestselling author, radio presenter and national treasure John Humphrys tackles the big question of God through his own personal journey and argues that doubt is the only credible belief. Throughout the ages believers have been persecuted - usually for believing in the "wrong" God. So have non-believers who have denied the existence of God as superstitious rubbish. Today it is the agnostics who are given a hard time. They are scorned by believers for their failure to find faith and by atheists for being hopelessly wishy-washy and weak-minded. But John Humphrys is proud to count himself among their ranks. In this book he takes us along the spiritual road he himself has travelled. He was brought up a Christian and prayed every day of his life until his growing doubts finally began to overwhelm his faith. As one of the nation's most popular and respected broadcasters, he had the rare opportunity in 2006 of challenging leaders of our three main religions to prove to him that God does exist. The Radio Four interviews - Humphrys In Search of God - provoked the biggest response to anything he has done in half a century of journalism. The interviews and the massive reaction from listeners had a profound effect on him - but not in the way he expected. Doubt is not the easy option. But for the millions who can find no easy answers to the most profound questions it is the only possible one.

Siri Hustvedt

Siri Hustvedt's first novel, The Blindfold, was published by Sceptre in 1993. Since then she has published The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, What I Loved, The Sorrows of an American, The Summer Without Men and The Blazing World, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2014 and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. She is also the author of the poetry collection Reading To You, and four collections of essays -Yonder, Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting, A Plea for Eros and Living, Thinking, Looking, as well as the memoir The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves. Born in Minnesota, Siri Hustvedt now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She has a PhD in English from Columbia University and in 2012 was awarded the International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities. She delivered the Schelling Lecture in Aesthetics in Munich in 2010, the Freud Lecture in Vienna in 2011 and the opening keynote at the conference to mark Kierkegaard's 200th anniversary in Copenhagen in 2013, while her latest honorary doctorate is from the University of Gutenburg in Germany. She is also Lecturer in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and has written on art for the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph and several exhibition catalogues.

Tom Butler-Bowdon

Tom Butler-Bowdon is recognised as an expert on personal development literature. His 50 Classics series has been hailed as the definitive guide to the literature of possibility, and has won numerous awards including the Benjamin Franklin Self-Help Award and Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year Award. A graduate of the London School of Economics and the University of Sydney, he lives and works in both the Oxford, UK and Australia. www.butler-bowdon.com

Extract

GOLD by Chris Cleave

Read an excerpt of Chris Cleave's GOLD.

My South Africa

Deon Meyer on the new South Africa

If books are windows on the world,1 crime fiction mostly provides a view of the underbelly and back alleys of cities and countries. This is my only genuine regret writing as an author in this genre. Because the real South Africa, the one that I love so passionately, is very different from the narrow and dim view my books probably allow. It is also quite unlike the one you see in those pessimistic fifteen second television news reports in the UK, Europe or Australia. So let me try and set the record straight. My country is breathtakingly beautiful – from the lush, sub-tropical east coast of Kwazulu-Natal, to the serene semi-desert stretching along the Atlantic in the west (which blooms in inde- scribable colour and splendour in Spring). In between, there’s the magnificence of the Lowveld, the Bushveld, the Highveld, the towering Drakensberg mountains, the aching vastness of the Karoo and the dense silence of the Knysna forests . . . Diversity is everywhere. In the climate (mostly perfect sunshine and balmy weather, but we have extremes too, summer highs of more than 50°C in Upington, and winter lows of -15°C in Sutherland – both in the same Northern Cape province), and in the cities (Durban is an intoxicating fusion of Zulu, Indian and British colonial cultures, Cape Town is a heady mix of Malay, Dutch-Afrikaans and Xhosa, Johannesburg is . . . well, modern African-cosmopolitan, utterly unique, and always exciting). The biodiversity of South Africa is truly astonishing. “With a land surface area of 1.2 million square kilometres representing just 1% of the earth’s total land surface, South Africa boasts six biospheres, and contains almost 10% of the world’s total known bird, fish and plant species, and over 6% of the world’s mammal and reptile species.”2 Of course we are also world-famous for our huge collection of wildlife regions and game parks – both public and private – encompassing every possible landscape from deserts to forests, mountains to coast, teeming with wildlife species, including Africa’s Big Five: Leopard, Lion, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhinoceros.3 But most of all, the diversity is in the people who constitute the Rainbow Nation. Our black ethnic groups include the Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho, Bapedi, Venda, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi and Ndebele.The so-called ‘coloured’ (no, it’s not a derogatory term over here) population is mainly concentrated in the Western Cape region, and come from a combination of ethnic backgrounds including Malay, White, Khoi, San, and Griqua. White South Africans are descendants of Dutch, German, French Huguenots, English and other European and Jewish settlers. And our Indian population came to South Africa as indentured labourers to work in the sugar plantations in the British colony of Natal in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The population of more than fifty million people is made up of African (40.2 million, or 79.5%),White (4.6 million, or 9.0%), Coloured (4.5 million, or 9.0%), and Indian/Asian (1.3 million, or 2.5%). And, having travelled most of the world, I can confidently say, you won’t find friendlier, more hospitable and accommodating people anywhere, irrespective of their race, culture, language or creed. We have nine provinces (Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu- Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Limpopo, North West, Free State, and Western Cape) and eleven official languages: Afrikaans (13%), English (8%), isiNdebele (1.6%), isiXhosa (18%), isiZulu (24%), Sesotho sa Leboa (9%), Sesotho (8%), Setswana (8%), siSwati (3%),Tshivenda (2%), and Xitsonga (4%).4 Throw all of this together in a democracy not quite twenty years old (a tempestuous teenager, if ever there was one), and you get an effervescent, energetic, dynamic, and often a little chaotic, melting pot – of cultures, people, views, politics, opinions, and circumstance. After the tragedy and oppression of Apartheid, we are still very much coming to terms with – and are sometimes a little overwhelmed by – all the facets of the freedom-diamond. Which means that we argue incessantly, shout, point fingers, blame, accuse, denounce, complain, and criticize, mostly loudly and publicly, like all enthusiastic democrats should. But when our beloved Bafana-Bafana (the national football team), Springboks (our twice World Cup-winning rugby team) or Proteas (the cricket guys) walk onto the field, we stand united, shoulder to shoulder. And mostly, in our day-to-day-lives, we get along rather well. We increasingly study and work and live and love and socialise together, in great harmony. Of course, we have our problems. Poverty is the major one. “There is a consensus amongst most economic and political analysts that approximately 40% of South Africans are living in poverty – with the poorest 15% in a desperate struggle to survive.” However, we are making steady progress. The percentage of the South African population with access to clean drinking water has increased from 62% in 1994, to 93% in 2011. Access to electricity has increased from 34% in 1994, to 84% in 2011.5 In 2010, 13.5 million South Africans benefited from access to social grants, 8.5 million of whom were children, 3.5 million pensioners and 1.5 million people with disabilities. In 1994, only 2.5 million people had access to social grants, the majority of whom were pensioners. And since 1994, 435 houses have been built every day for the poor.6 And you might have heard about our other challenge – South Africa has a bit of a reputation when it comes to crime. I am most definitely going out on a limb here, but having studied the statistics, and looked at the (often unfair) comparisons over the past five years, I honestly believe we don’t quite deserve it. “. . . in relation to the overall risk of victimisation, South Africans are not much more likely to become victims of crime than people in other parts of the world,” Anthony Altbeker recently wrote in a carefully considered and exhaustively researched contribution to the marvellous Opinion Pieces by South African Thought Leaders.7 To put the matter into further perspective: In the two years leading up to the FIFA World Cup held in South Africa in 2010, almost every British, French and German journalist who interviewed me, asked the same question, more or less: “How big a slaughter is it going to be for fans attending the games?” Some were downright accusatory: “How dare you host this magnificent event in such a hazardous country?” A British tabloid even predicted a ‘machete race war’ waiting for visitors.8 And how many soccer fans died during the tournament? None.9 Furthermore, the attendees who were affected by crime-related incidents represented a very meagre 0.009% of the fans. That is far, far less than, for instance, the crime rate in Wales. When World Cup tourists were asked if they would consider visiting South Africa again, 96% said ‘yes’. As a matter of fact, if you are a tourist from the Northern Hemisphere visiting my beautiful country, your chances of becoming a victim of violent crime is less than 0.67%.10 (Compare this to the fact that “the 2011 British Behaviour Abroad Report published by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) noted that the death rate (including murder and natural causes) of Britons in Thailand was forty-one per 100,000 tourists and for those visiting Germany was twenty-four. Tourists from the UK are far safer visiting South Africa”11 – with just 14.6 per 100,000.12) South Africa’s murder rate dropped by 6.5% in 2010-2011, attempted murder by 12.2%, robbery with aggravating circumstances was down by 12%, and house robberies by 10%.13 Our police services are slowly but surely turning the tide. We struggle with inadequate service delivery, our politicians don’t always live up to our expectations, and our unemployment rate is too high. But our economy is robust, and easily out-performs first-world countries like Greece (no surprise there), Italy, and Spain. South African Tax Revenue has increased from R100 billion in 1994 to R640 billion in 2010. Our debt to GDP ratio is 32% (USA 100%, Japan 200%, UK 90%). (The World Bank recommends a ratio of 60%.) And we are ranked first out of 142 countries in respect of regulation of security exchanges by the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2011/12.14 According to the Open Budget Index, South Africa has the most transparent budget in the world. We are the only African country that is a member of the G20. In the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Survey of Democratic Freedom, South Africa ranks 31st out of 184 countries. And according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2010/11, South Africa has the 34th most efficient government out of the 139 countries ranked.15 The number of tourists visiting South Africa has grown from 3.9 million in 1994 to 11.3 million in 2010. South Africa is ranked among the top five countries in the world in respect of tourism growth (growing at three times the global average).16 I could go on. South Africa’s learner-to-teacher ratio improved from 1:50 in 1994 to 1:31 in 2010. According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2011/12, South Africa is ranked 13th out of 142 countries for its quality of management schools. 61% of South African primary school children and 30% of high school children receive free meals as part of the school feeding scheme.17 But none of these facts and figures, as inspiring as they are, will reveal the real reason why I am so unwaveringly optimistic about my country’s future. It is one of the major reasons for the peaceful transition miracle of 1994, it is something woven into the texture of everyday South African life, hidden from the fleeting eyes of foreign journalists on a flying visit, mostly talking only to important folks: The goodwill of ordinary people. Every day, in cities, towns, and tiny villages, small acts of kindness happen between human beings. Individuals who extend a helping hand across racial, cultural, political and linguistic divides, who extend friendship and kindness and empathy. I have been witnessing this for more than forty years, and I absolutely believe it is this goodwill that will carry us through, no matter how challenging the future may be. 1 “Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. They are engines of change, windows on the world, lighthouses erected in the sea of time.” - Barbara W. Tuchman, American popular historian and author, 1912-1989. 2 http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/envfacts/facts/biosa.htm 3 http://www.sa-venues.com/game_lodges_nationwide_south_afr.htm
 4 http://www.safrica.info/about/facts.htm (percentages rounded off)
 5 http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/fast_facts_and_quick_stats/index.html
 6 Ibid. 7 Penguin, 2011. p. 47.
 8 http://www.dailystar.co.uk/posts/view/129402/WORLD-CUP-MACHETE- THREAT/
 9 http://www.truecrimexpo.co.za/
 10 http://www.info.gov.za/issues/crime/crime_aprsept_ppt.pdf
 11 http://www.issafrica.org/iss_today.php?ID=1394
 12 Ibid.
 13 http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/crime/crime_statistics_show_drop_in_ murder_rate.html
 14 http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/fast_facts_and_quick_stats/index.html 15 Ibid.
 16 Ibid. 17 Ibid.

An excerpt from the Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing

CLOUD ATLAS, by David Mitchell

Read an excerpt of David Mitchell's international bestseller, CLOUD ATLAS, now also releasing as a film.