Archives de catégorie : Politics


THE EXTREME BRAIN weaves together personal memoir with evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, political economics, and anthropological fieldwork with jihadists, white nationalists, QAnon devotees, and violent extremists of other stripes including climate activists who tried to recruit Nafees to teach them the ways of ISIS.

by Dr Nafees Hamid
(via Northbank Talent Management)

We’ve all been exposed to extremist, populist, and conspiratorial narratives and yet most of us roll our eyes at it or laugh it off. What causes some small minority of people to take these narratives seriously? What causes an even smaller percentage of that population to actually act on those narratives? Why do some even give their lives based on those ideas? And, most importantly, what can we do to stop people from committing political violence?

Cognitive scientist Nafees Hamid has travelled the world meeting members of ISIS, Hezbollah, NeoNazis, QAnon, and a variety of other violent and divisive movements. He has interviewed, surveyed, conducted psychology experiments with them and is one of the few people to have scanned their brains. The book details Nafees’s experiences going out into the field to find the subjects: from escaping an ISIS recruiter; to realising his research assistant had gradually been radicalised right under his nose; to a former flatmate who turned to QAnon during the pandemic, challenging Nafees to put into practice everything he had learned in order to de-program his friend.

Dr Nafees Hamid is a Cognitive Scientist of extremism, conspiracy theories, and political violence. In his current role at King’s College London, he co-leads a multi-nation research project which explores the role of trauma and mental health on pathways to peace versus violence in fragile and conflict affected states.

INFERNAL MACHINE de Steven Johnson

Combining science, forgotten periods of history, and philosophy, Johnson documents the rise of dynamite-driven political terrorism, the emergence of modern forensic sciences, and the formation of the modern detective in the twentieth century.

A True Story of Dynamite, Terror, and the Rise of the Modern Detective
by Steven Johnson
Crown, May 2024

When Arthur Woods took command of the NYPD in April of 1914, the institution was still largely corrupt and low-tech. Determined to change that, he couldn’t have anticipated the maelstrom of violence that would test his science-based approach to policing. Within weeks of his tenure, New York City was engulfed in a period of relentless bombings, many of them perpetrated by the anarchists movement led by the radicals Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman.

Steven Johnson’s engrossing account of the struggle between the anarchist movement and the emerging surveillance goes back to Alfred Nobel’s invention of dynamite, to the development of forensic science in France, and to the assassination of Czar Alexander II. As the forces of anarchy and policing clash in New York City, we meet Inspector Joseph Faurot, a science-first detective who works closely with Woods in reforming the police force; Hans Schmidt, the psychotic killer priest whose capture turns Faurot into a household name; and Amadeo Polignani, the young Italian undercover detective who infiltrates the notorious Bresci Circle.

Steven Johnson is the author of seven books including the bestseller Ghost Map. His writings have influenced everything from the way political campaigns use the Internet, to cutting-edge ideas in urban planning, to the battle against 21st-century terrorism.

PREQUEL de Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow traces the fight to preserve American democracy back to World War II, when a handful of committed public servants and brave private citizens thwarted far-right plotters trying to steer our nation toward an alliance with the Nazis..

(An American Fight Against Fascism)
by Rachel Maddow
Crown, October 2023

Inspired by her research for the hit podcast Ultra, Rachel Maddow charts the rise of a wild American strain of authoritarianism that has been alive on the far-right edge of our politics for the better part of a century. Before and even after our troops had begun fighting abroad in World War II, a clandestine network flooded the country with disinformation aimed at sapping the strength of the U.S. war effort and persuading Americans that our natural alliance wasw ith the Axis, not against it. It was a sophisticated and shockingly well-funded campaign to undermine democratic institutions, promote antisemitism, and destroy citizens’ confidence in their elected leaders, with the ultimate goal of overthrowing the U.S. government and installing authoritarian rule.

That effort worked—tongue and groove—alongside an ultra-right paramilitary movement that stockpiled bombs and weapons and trained for mass murder and violent insurrection.

At the same time, a handful of extraordinary activists and journalists were tracking the scheme, exposing it even as it was unfolding. In 1941 the U.S. Department of Justice finally made a frontal attack, identifying the key plotters, finding their backers, and prosecuting dozens in federal court.

None of it went as planned.

While the scheme has been remembered in history—if at all—as the work of fringe players, in reality, it involved a large number of some of the country’s most influential elected officials. Their interference in law enforcement efforts against the plot is a dark story of the rule of law bending and then breaking under the weight of political intimidation.

That failure of the legal system had consequences. The tentacles of that unslain beast have reached forward into our history for decades. But the heroic efforts of the activists, journalists, prosecutors, and regular citizens who sought to expose the insurrectionists also make for a deeply resonant, deeply relevant tale in our own disquieting times.

Rachel Maddow is host of the Emmy Award–winning Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, as well as the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Drift, Bag Man, and Blowout. Maddow received a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Stanford University and earned her doctorate in political science at Oxford University.

AMERICAN WOMAN de Katie Rogers

Through deep reporting and newly discovered correspondence, AMERICAN WOMAN is the first book to paint a full picture of Jill Biden while exploring how she helps answer the evolving question of what the role of the modern First Lady should be.

The Transformation of the Modern First Lady, from Hillary Clinton to Jill Biden
by Katie Rogers
Crown, February 2024

Since the Clinton era, shifts in media, politics, and pop culture have all redefined expectations of First Ladies, even as the boundaries set upon them have often remained anachronistic. With sharp insights and dozens of firsthand interviews with major players in the Biden, Obama, Trump, Bush, and Clinton orbits, including Jill Biden and Hillary Clinton, New York Times White House correspondent Katie Rogers traces the evolution of the role of the twenty-first-century First Lady from a ceremonial figurehead to a powerful political operator, which culminates in the tenure of First Lady Jill Biden.

Dr. Jill Biden began her journey toward public life in 1975 as a twenty-three-year-old who caught the eye of a widowed Senator Joe Biden. Recovering from the heartbreak of her failed first marriage, she found a man who was still grieving. She knitted his life together after unspeakable tragedy and stood by his side through three presidential campaigns.

In some ways, her legacy as First Lady was set before she ever entered the White House: She is the first presidential spouse in history to work in a paid role outside the White House, a decision that blazes the path for future first spouses. But as a prime guardian of one of the most insular operations in modern politics, she is also a central part of her husband’s presidential legacy.

Rogers is deeply sourced in the West and East Wings of the White House, and the book will include original interviews with Jill Biden, Hillary Clinton, as well as major figures in the Trump and Obama administrations.

Katie Rogers is a White House correspondent for the New York Times. She covers life in the Biden administration, Washington culture, and a mix of international and domestic policy.


Were the signs that Putin is a ruthless dictator there all along? How should we deal with President Xi of China? THE DICTATORS will contain 64 essays detailing the lives of some of the world’s infamous dictators, going back to 600BC up to the current day.

A Warning from History
by Iain Dale
Hodder & Stoughton, April 2024
(via Northbank Talent Management)

THE DICTATORS will feature essays on 60 of the most significant and notorious dictators from the 4th century BC to the present day. Unlike the subjects of the previous three books in this series, which were self-selecting, the decision about who to include will be subjective. It will be Iain’s personal choice, and he will include a mixture of ‘usual suspects’ and less familiar figures. The essays will be written by a range of academics, historians, commentators, political journalists and serving politicians. Each contributor will be carefully chosen. Most have either written about their subjects before or have a personal connection of some sort.
will be selected according to a defined set of criteria, and will include elected and unelected dictators, wartime and peacetime dictators, those driven by ideology and those with a reputation for sheer brutality. How did these tyrants, autocrats and despots seize power and how did they exercise it? Are there specific character traits that all dictators share? What can we learn from them in order to spot the warning signs in future?
By studying a wide variety of dictators in different parts of the world and throughout history, themes and patterns will inevitably emerge. The book is acutely relevant to world politics today.
As the subtitle states, it will serve as a warning from history.

Iain Dale is an accomplished broadcaster, presenting his own daily radio show on LBC, and several podcasts including the Iain Dale Book Club and The Presidents and Prime Ministers to accompany the Hodder books. He is a regular on CNN, Question Time, Newsnight, Good Morning Britain, the Jeremy Vine Show on Channel 5, The Andrew Marr Show, Politics Live and a myriad of other political programmes too. He is a regular columnist for the Telegraph, Evening Standard and the ‘i’ newspaper and has a weekly column in the Eastern Daily Press and East Anglian Daily Times.