Archive for Books
Vicky Pryce’s Prisonomics: Behind bars in Britain's failing prisons is really two books interwoven. One is a rather dry academic text which uses a barrage of statistics to make a powerful case for female prison reform – especially because of the impact on their children of incarcerating mothers, and the frequent failures of the prison system to address the sorts of issues such as mental illness and abuse that cause so many prisoners to break the law in the first place (and then cause so many to reoffend afterwards).
Sci-fi meets horror meets alternative history meets espionage: The Atrocity Archives: Book 1 in The Laundry Files
Charles Stross's (and the accompanying short story of his) is science fiction, set in the present with a strong alternative history taste, plenty of technology speak and a touch of the horror novel thrown in.
If you are familiar with Tim Harford's work, whether as an author, print journalist or broadcaster, then this book is not a surprise. It is, as you would expect, well-written, de-mystifying complicated subjects and giving the novice an understandable overview of controversial and complicated area, explaining what the experts agree on, what they disagree on - and why.
Written by a Conservative MP and a Daily Telegraph political journalist, Conundrum: Why every government gets things wrong – and what we can do about it is – as the last part of the title suggests – rather more friendly to public services than you might expect from that author combination. It is a book […]
Nathaniel Pearlman, the founder of NGP Software (which now, in the merged guise of NGPVAN is the main electoral database supplier to the UK’s Liberal Democrats), has assembled an impressive cast of American contributors for Margin of Victory: How Technologists Help Politicians Win Elections. The large number of short chapters from experts in many different […]
Robert Harris's fictional account of the Captain Dreyfus Affair sticks closely to actual events and greatly entertains.
A great study of one of the most important pioneering advertising men, Howard Gossage.
For a long time David Boyle has long been one of the smartest Liberal Democrat policy thinkers and one who isn’t easy to categorise on a simple left/right spectrum. He also – rarely for someone who revels in policy – has a fine turn of word, able to make complicated issues into highly readable books, […]
Sign of the Times is a new collection of acerbic, witty and moving cartoons from The Times‘s political cartoonist Peter Brookes. Produced to the sorts of high standards that bring the best out of Brookes’s cartoons, the book is very simple – a one page introduction from the cartoonist followed by 108 of his cartoons […]
A trio of dictionaries of political quotations for your delectation: Liberal, Conservative and Labour
As I’ve had a small role in updating it, no surprises perhaps that I heartily recommend the new edition of the Dictionary of Liberal Quotations. What surprised me taking a look at the two companion volumes, the Dictionary of Labour Quotations and (you guessed it) the Dictionary of Conservative Quotations, is how many of the […]