When you see your nation’s flag fluttering in the breeze, what do you feel?
For thousands of years flags have represented our hopes and dreams. We wave them. Burn them. March under their colours. And still, in the 21st century, we die for them. Flags fly at the UN, on the Arab street, from front porches in Texas. They represent the politics of high power as well as the politics of the mob.
From the renewed sense of nationalism in China, to troubled identities in Europe and the USA, to the terrifying rise of Islamic State, the world is a confusing place right now and we need to understand the symbols, old and new, that people are rallying round.
In nine chapters (covering the USA, UK, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa, Latin America, international flags and flags of terror), Tim Marshall draws on more than twenty-five years of global reporting experience to reveal the histories, the power and the politics of the symbols that unite us – and divide us.
Joseph Conrad - Nostromo (angol)
One of the greatest political novels in any language, Nostromo reenacts the establishment of modern capitalism in a remote South American province locked between the Andes and the Pacific. In the harbor town of Sulaco, a vivid cast of characters is caught up in a civil war to decide whether its fabulously wealthy silver mine, funded by American money but owned by a third-generation English immigrant, can be preserved from the hands of venal politicians. Greed and corruption seep into the lives of everyone, and Nostromo, the principled foreman of the mine, is tested to the limit. Conrad's evocation of Latin America--its grand landscapes, the ferocity of its politics, and the tenacity of individuals swept up in imperial ambitions--has never been bettered. This edition features a new introduction with fresh historical and interpretative perspectives, as well as detailed explanatory notes which pay special attention to the literary, political, historical, and geographical allusions and implications of the novel. A map, a chronology of the narrative, a glossary of foreign terms, and an appendix reprinting the serial ending all complement what is sure to be the definitive edition of this classic work.
William Shakespeare - The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
See how the intrigues and conspiracies surrounding history’s most famous Emperor unfold in a clear, modern version. Now you can instantly grasp the secret plotting of the conspirators, Caesar’s bloody assassination and Rome’s collapse into chaos and civil war.
Paul McAuley - The Quiet War
Twenty-third century Earth, ravaged by climate change, looks backwards to the holy ideal of a pre-industrial Eden. Political power has been grabbed by a few powerful families and their green saints. Millions of people are imprisoned in teeming cities; millions more labour on Pharaonic projects to rebuild ruined ecosystems. On the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, the Outers, descendants of refugees from Earth's repressive regimes, have constructed a wild variety of self-sufficient cities and settlements: scientific utopias crammed with exuberant creations of the genetic arts; the last outposts of every kind of democratic tradition. The fragile detente between the Outer cities and the dynasties of Earth is threatened by the ambitions of the rising generation of Outers, who want to break free of their cosy, inward-looking pocket paradises, colonise the rest of the Solar System, and drive human evolution in a hundred new directions. On Earth, many demand pre-emptive action against the Outers before it's too late; others want to exploit the talents of their scientists and gene wizards.Amid campaigns for peace and reconciliation, political machinations, crude displays of military might, and espionage by cunningly wrought agents, the two branches of humanity edge towards war . ..
Terry Pratchett - Stephen Baxter - The Long War
A generation after the events of _The Long Earth_, mankind has spread across the new worlds opened up by Stepping. Where Joshua and Lobsang once pioneered, now fleets of airships link the stepwise Americas with trade and culture. Mankind is shaping the Long Earth - but in turn the Long Earth is shaping mankind ... A new 'America', called Valhalla, is emerging more than a million steps from Datum Earth, with core American values restated in the plentiful environment of the Long Earth - and Valhalla is growing restless under the control of the Datum government... Meanwhile the Long Earth is suffused by the song of the trolls, graceful hive-mind humanoids. But the trolls are beginning to react to humanity's thoughtless exploitation ... Joshua, now a married man, is summoned by Lobsang to deal with a gathering multiple crisis that threatens to plunge the Long Earth into a war unlike any mankind has waged before.
William Shakespeare - Macbeth (Penguin Readers)
Macbeth, a brave soldier, is trusted by the Scottish king. Then a strange meeting with three witches makes him greedy for power. Macbeth wants to be king. He and his evil wife make murderous plans. But how many people will have to die before their dreams come true? This Penguin Reader play is written for acting - making English come alive.
Cory Doctorow - Homeland (angol)
In Cory Doctorow’s wildly successful Little Brother, young Marcus Yallow was arbitrarily detained and brutalized by the government in the wake of a terrorist attack on San Francisco—an experience that led him to become a leader of the whole movement of technologically clued-in teenagers, fighting back against the tyrannical security state. A few years later, California's economy collapses, but Marcus’s hacktivist past lands him a job as webmaster for a crusading politician who promises reform. Soon his onetime girlfriend Masha emerges from the political underground to gift him with a thumbdrive containing a Wikileaks-style cable-dump of hard evidence of corporate and governmental perfidy. It’s incendiary stuff—and if Masha goes missing, Marcus is supposed to release it to the world. Then Marcus sees Masha being kidnapped by the same government agents who detained and tortured Marcus years earlier. Marcus can leak the archive Masha gave him—but he can’t admit to being the leaker, because that will cost his employer the election. He’s surrounded by friends who remember what he did a few years ago and regard him as a hacker hero. He can’t even attend a demonstration without being dragged onstage and handed a mike. He’s not at all sure that just dumping the archive onto the Internet, before he’s gone through its millions of words, is the right thing to do. Meanwhile, people are beginning to shadow him, people who look like they’re used to inflicting pain until they get the answers they want. Fast-moving, passionate, and as current as next week, Homeland is every bit the equal of Little Brother—a paean to activism, to courage, to the drive to make the world a better place.
Malala Yousafzai - Christina Lamb - I Am Malala
When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.
Mary Renault - Fire from Heaven
At twenty, when his reign began, Alexander the Great was already a seasoned soldier and a complex, passionate man. Fire From Heaven tells the story of the boy Alexander, and the years that shaped him. Resolute, fearless, and inheriting a striking beauty, Alexander still needed much to make him The Great. He must survive - though with lifelong scars - the dark furies of his Dionysiac mother, who kept him uncertain even of his own paternity; respect his father's talent for war and kingcraft, though sickened by his sexual grossness; and come to terms with his heritage from both.
Tom Stoppard - The Coast of Utopia
The Coast of Utopia is Tom Stoppard's long-awaited and monumental trilogy that explores a group of friends who came of age under the Tsarist autocracy of Nicholas I, and for whom the term intelligentsia was coined. Among them are the anarchist Michael Bakunin, who was to challenge Marx for the soul of the masses; Ivan Turgenev, author of some of the most enduring works in Russian literature; the brilliant, erratic young critic Vissarion Belinsky; and Alexander Herzen, a nobleman's son and the first self-proclaimed socialist in Russia, who becomes the main focus of this drama of politics, love, loss, and betrayal. In The Coast of Utopia, Stoppard presents an inspired examination of the struggle between romantic anarchy, utopian idealism, and practical reformation in this chronicle of romantics and revolutionaries caught up in a struggle for political freedom in an age of emperors.
William Shakespeare - Coriolanus (angol)
A peerless general is offered the consulship of Rome after his triumph over the city of Corioles. Too proud to respect the will of the people, however, he soon finds himself despised by the mob, and speaks out passionately against popular rule. Driven from the city as a traitor, he allies himself with his old enemies and begins to plot a merciless revenge. This book includes a general introduction to Shakespeare's life and the Elizabethan theatre, a separate introduction to Coriolanus, a chronology, suggestions for further reading, an essay discussing performance options on both stage and screen, and a commentary.
Tom Stoppard - Every Good Boy Deserves Favor / Professional Foul
In this volume are the latest plays of Tom Stoppard, author of such contemporary classics as _Jumpers, Dirty Linen, The Real Inspector Hound,_ and _Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead._ It is Tom Stoppard's very special skill as the master comedian of ideas in the modern theater to create brilliant, biting humor out of serious concerns. Virtually assaulting the audience with a cascade of words and a conspicuous display of intellect, Stoppard, in _Every Good Boy Deserves Favor,_ contrasts the circumstances of a political prisoner and a mental patient in a Soviet insane asylum, to question the difference, if any, between free will and the freedom to conform. The situation, in which the mental patient "hears" an orchestra, is both chilling and funny as we are introduced to two men who happen to share the same name, are incarcerated in the same cell, and are attended by the same doctor. _Professional Foul_ poses metaphysical problems in dazzling theatrical form. Employing high-spirited comedy and a serious attempt to debate a moral absolute, Stoppard considers the nature of ethical choice: is right or wrong determined by a recognized ideal, or must right or wrong be judged according to the particular situation?
Niall Ferguson - The Cash Nexus
Modern history shows that a nation's success largely depends on the way it manages its money. In times of war, finance has been just as crucial to victory as firepower. But where do money adn politics meet? Starting in 1700 and ending at the present day, Niall Ferguson offers a bold and dazzling analysis of the evolution of today's economic and political landscape. Far from being driven by the profit motive alone, our recent history, as Ferguson makes brilliantly clear, has also been made by potent and often conflicting human impulses - sex, violence and the desire for power.
Niall Ferguson - Empire
Once vast swathes of the globe were coloured imperial red and Britannia ruled not just the waves, but the prairies of America, the plains of Asia, the jungles of Africa and the deserts of Arabia. Just how did a small, rainy island in the North Atlantic achieve all this? And why did the empire on which the sun literally never set finally decline and fall? Niall Ferguson's acclaimed _Empire_ brilliantly unfolds the imperial story in all its splendours and its miseries, showing how a gang of buccaneers and gold-diggers planted the seed of the biggest empire in all history - and set the world on the road to modernity.
Jeffrey Archer - The Prodigal Daughter
Jeffrey Archer has once again outdone himself in the Prodigal Daughter. This sequel to the infamous Kane and Abel explores the life of Floyreneta, beginning at the genesis of her rise to the Whitehouse. Whilst Kane and Abel explores a profound quarrel between opposing figures from diametrically opposed worlds, Jeffry Archer unites these forces in his novel Prodigal Daughter through the son of Kane and the Daughter of Abel. The power of motivation, politics, war and conflict, the American Dream, twisted with elements of love and romance render this book a must read in the Archer series. I would recommend this book to the lovers of all genres, as Archer’s Prodigal Daughter astutely combines a pastiche of elements which render this novel universally captivating.
Mark Fisher - Capitalist Realism
After 1989, capitalism has successfully presented itself as the only realistic political-economic system - a situation that the bank crisis of 2008, far from ending, actually compounded. The book analyses the development and principal features of this capitalist realism as a lived ideological framework. Using examples from politics, films, fiction, work and education, it argues that capitalist realism colours all areas of contemporary experience. But it will also show that, because of a number of inconsistencies and glitches internal to the capitalist reality program capitalism in fact is anything but realistic.
William Shakespeare - Macbeth (angol)
Macbeth is a feat of dramatic genius compelling, as it does, the audience to sympathize with a cold-blooded murderer. Encouraged by his ambitious wife and the prophecy of the witches, Macbeth, a noble warrior, slays Duncan the king and seizes the throne for himself. But in so doing, he has upset the natural order and cannot hope to prosper.
Mary Renault - The Persian Boy
The Persian Boy traces the last years of Alexander’s life through the eyes of his lover, Bagoas. Abducted and gelded as a boy, Bagoas was sold as a courtesan to King Darius of Persia, but found freedom with Alexander after the Macedon army conquered his homeland. Their relationship sustains Alexander as he weathers assassination plots, the demands of two foreign wives, a sometimes-mutinous army, and his own ferocious temper. After Alexander’s mysterious death, we are left wondering if this Persian boy understood the great warrior and his ambitions better than anyone.
Frederick Forsyth - The Devil's Alternative
'Whichever option I choose, men are going to die.' This is the Devil's Alternative, the appalling choice facing the president of the USA and other statesmen throughout the world. The climax is the most exciting that even this brilliant storyteller has contrived, and the last-minute surprises take the breath away.
George Orwell - Animal Farm
Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Wellington leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organized to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. And something new and unexpected emerges. "Animal Farm" - the history of a revolution that went wrong - is George Orwell's brilliant satire on the corrupting influence of power.
Jonathan Coe - What a Carve Up!
A brilliant noir farce, a dystopian vision of Britain, a family history and the story of an obsession. Michael is a lonely, rather pathetic writer, obsessed by the film, 'What A Carve Up!' in which a mad knifeman cuts his way through the inhabitants of a decrepit stately pile as the thunder rages. Inexplicably he is commissioned to write the family history of the Winshaws, an upper class Yorkshire clan whose members have a finger in every establishment pie, from arms dealing to art dealing, from politics to banking to the popular press and factory farming. During his researches Michael realizes that the Winshaws have cast a blight on his life, as they have on Britain. His confidence, his sexual and personal identity begin to reform. In a climax set in the Winshaw's family seat the novel turns into the film, 'What A Carve Up!' as a murderous maniac stalks the family and Michael discovers the significance of Shirley Eaton's lingerie.