• Humor

50 People Who Buggered Up Britain


Author: Quentin Letts
Publisher: Constable
ISBN: 184901163X
Category: Humor
Page: 160
View: 9014
Which fifty people made Britain the wreck she is? From ludicrous propagandist Alastair Campbell to the Luftwaffe's allies, the modernist architects, it's time to name the guilty. Quentin Letts sharpens his nib and stabs them where they deserve it, from TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh, the dumbed-down buffoon who put the 'h' in Aspidistra, to the perpetrators of the 'Credit Crunch'. Margaret Thatcher ruptured our national unity. The creators of EastEnders trashed our brand over high tea. Thus, he argues, are the people who made our country the ugly, scheming, cheating, beer-ridden bum of the Western world. Here are the fools and knaves and vulgarians who ripped down our British glories and imposed the tawdry and the trite. In a half century we have gone from end-of-Empire to descent-into-Hell.

    • Political Science

Patronising Bastards

How the Elites Betrayed Britain
Author: Quentin Letts
Publisher: Constable
ISBN: 147212734X
Category: Political Science
Page: 320
View: 2300
From the Sunday Times bestselling author of 50 People Who Buggered Up Britain, Quentin Letts, comes his blistering new book on how Britain's out-of-touch, illiberal elite fills its boots. DAILY MAIL BOOK OF THE YEAR 'With its vicious takedowns, Quentin Letts' laugh-out-loud Patronising Bastards will have the lefty-elite running scared' The Sun 'Earnest without being preachy, Patronising Bastards is a tonic for those who look about them and feel an insuperable sense of defeat' Roger Lewis, The Times Not since Marie Antoinette said 'Let them eat cake' have the peasants been so revolting. Western capitalism's elites are bemused: Brexit, Trump, and maybe more eruptions to follow. But their rulers were so good to them! Hillary Clinton called the ingrates 'a basket of deplorables', Bob Geldof flicked them a V sign, Tony Blair thought voters too thick to understand the question. Wigged judges stared down their legalistic noses at a surging, pongy populous. These people who know best, these snooterati with their faux-liberal ways, are the 'Patronising Bastards'. Their downfall is largely of their own making - their Sybaritic excesses, an obsession with political correctness, the prolonged rape of reason and rite. You'll find these self-indulgent show-ponys not just in politics and the cloistered old institutions but also in high fashion, football, among the clean-eating foodies and at the Baftas and Oscars, where celebritydom hires PR smoothies to massage reputations and mislead, distort, twist. Political columnist and bestselling author Quentin Letts identifies these condescending creeps and their networks, their methods and their dubious morals. Letts kebabs them like mutton. It's baaaahd. It's juicy. Richard Branson, Emma Thompson, Shami Chakrabarti, Jean-Claude Juncker and any head waiter who calls you 'young man' - this one's for you!

    • History

50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa


Author: Alexander Parker
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780987043726
Category: History
Page: 240
View: 3036
Part history and part social commentary, 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa is an engrossing and edifying read that delves into South African politics, war, sport, and culture on its way to answering the question, Who are the greatest villains, the direst leaders, the foulest corrupters, and the most offensive personalities to have spread their regrettable influence throughout the land? From Jan van Riebeeck in 1652 to Jacob Zuma in 2012—via Wouter Basson, P. W. Botha, Shaka, and Schabir Shaik—the book focuses on men (and three women) of infamy who jeopardized the nation by virtue of their ruinous megalomania (Thabo Mbeki, Cecil Rhodes), foul convictions (Hendrik Verwoerd, Eugène Terre’Blanche), or, in the author’s opinion, general idiocy (Julius Malema, Alec Erwin). Beyond the obvious political manipulators and historical figures, however, this collection also includes statesmen and sportsmen of dubious distinction, as well as nonpareil social delinquents such as minibus taxi drivers.

    • Biography & Autobiography

50 People Who Messed up the World


Author: Alexander Parker,Tim Richman
Publisher: Robinson
ISBN: 9781472143013
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 320
View: 2061
Who would top your list of the 50 people who have done the most to make the modern world a worse place? From despotic mass-murderers to sports cheats, and from corrupt politicians to truly dreadful celebrities, who has had the most damaging - or vexatious - impact in their particular sphere of modern life? This line-up of the very worst of the twentieth century and beyond includes the obvious candidates: those who have caused extraordinary damage through their murderous paranoia, brutal avarice, or demented self-regard - Stalin, King Leopold, Idi Amin and the like. But murderous dictators aside, there are plenty of others who deserve recognition for their role in making the world a significantly more dangerous or, at the very least, more annoying place: terrorist Carlos the Jackal; Robert Oppenheimer, the man who gave the world the atomic bomb; notorious sports cheat Lance Armstrong; and the one and only President Donald Trump, who has of course succeeded in making the world both more annoying and more dangerous. This perfectly focused spotlight on infamy is illustrated throughout by the razor-sharp wit of award-winning political cartoonist Zapiro.

    • Ireland

Feckers

50 People Who Fecked Up Ireland
Author: John Waters
Publisher: Constable
ISBN: 9781849014427
Category: Ireland
Page: 288
View: 6424
Which 50 People turned Ireland into the fecked-up country she is today? Bono? Haughey? Louis Walsh? de Valera? It's time to name and shame the great, the good and the gobshites... Conventional wisdom has it that Ireland, after a violent and tragic history, had began to get things right. But when the ill wind of recession cruelly snatched that self-satisfied achievement away, it all seemed like exceedingly back luck. In his 50 brilliantly acerbic portraits Waters reveals a consistent pattern of self-delusion, myopia, inferiority complex, bravado, defeatism, cynicism, sentimentalism and conceit. He traces Ireland's story from the paranoid insularism and cultural myopia that followed national Independence, though the post-Sixties obsession with a faux 'self-confidence', to the final, salutary meltdown of the Celtic Tiger, and strangely lacking either Celts or tigers. Once among the oldest civilization in Europe, Ireland has ended up as a second-rate version of the England it tried to discard. It threw out not merely the bathwater and the baby, but also the bathtub, the sponge and the rubber duck...

    • Humor

Bog-Standard Britain

How Mediocrity Ruined This Great Nation
Author: Quentin Letts
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 1849012229
Category: Humor
Page: 160
View: 3633
No one would attack equality, would they? Quentin Letts just might. Not the notion of equality itself but the way it has become an industry for lobbyists, class warriors and New Labour's ageing Trots. Egalitarianism is a mania for today's policymakers and the soupy-brained halfwits we contrive to elect to public office. Appalled by free thinking, these equality junkies want to crush all individualism in our nation of once indignant eccentrics. Equality has been defiled by the ethnic grievance gang, by the harpies of feminist orthodoxy, by those risk-averse jackboots of town-hall bureaucracy with their quotas and creeds. Fair damsel Liberty has been whored by the best practice brigade, by the proceduralists of multinational corporatism in their company ties, by the glottal-stopping, municipal bores who insist that everyone must have prizes and that no culture can be dominant. Tilters against convention are assailed for their 'inappropriate' behaviour. Supporters of grammar schools are 'snobs'. Social nuance, once a vital lure to self-improvement, is deemed 'unacceptable'. Twenty-first century Britain's political cadre is so paralysed by class paranoia that it stops us attaining the best in schools, manners, language, fashion, popular culture. Elitism is a dirty word. The BBC stamps out the Queen's English because it is not 'accessible'. Celebrity morons are cultural pin-ups. Thick rools, OK. The glottal-stopping oikishness of our urban streets can be linked to modern equality's refusal to deplore. The prattishness of Jonathan Ross arises from a mad insistence that vulgarity is valid. Still think equality is such a great thing? You might not after reading this urgent, exasperated, witheringly funny book. Praise for 50 People Who Buggered Up Britain: '[Quentin Letts] discharges his duty with flair and tracer precision...an angry book, beautifully written.' The Spectator

    • Fiction

The Speaker's Wife


Author: Quentin Letts
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 1472121996
Category: Fiction
Page: 304
View: 7895
The Rev Tom Ross's quiet and semi-alcoholic life as chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons is about to be shattered. Pastor Petroc Stone of a central London, evangelical church gives sanctuary to a young man being chased by the police for making an anti-Islamic protest. Politicians rage about the Church of England giving a safe haven to a dangerous criminal and Islamists surround the church building, furious at the boy's insult. Meanwhile, the charismatic, white-maned Don of Doubt, Augustus Dymock, and his secular campaign, the Thought Foundation, are pressuring the Church to sell hundreds of its under-used places of worship. As the stories twist and flow together, Ross finds himself caught up in a world of bribes, violence and political spin and, at high personal cost, he must confront his demons. The Speaker's Wife mixes Westminster intrigue with searching depictions of an England which has neglected its beliefs. Laugh-aloud satire is mixed with moving passages about the human condition and even a fairytale love story.

    • Humor

Letts Rip!


Author: Quentin Letts
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 1780335040
Category: Humor
Page: 160
View: 2565
Throughout the New Labour years - that decade of deceit, that era of wretched wriggle - the Daily Mail's Quentin Letts has maintained a lonely, vehement vigil. Like a lone clay pigeon shot squinting through his sights at a sky black with targets, he has fired his daily bullets at the poseurs and pooh-bahs of British public life. John Prescott? BANG! Alan Sugar? BANG BANG! Peter Mandelson, Harriet Harman, and the Commons Speaker Letts nicknamed 'Gorbals Mick'? Bullseyes - every single one. In this collection of anguished and often snortingly funny political sketches and journalism, Letts lets off more steam than a Chinese laundry. The modern Establishment won't like it. They tried to gag him. Smear him. Even tried to get him fired. Quentin Letts: The man they could not silence. As his wife will be the first to tell you. Praise for Quentin's previous books: 'I salute Mr Letts's one-man stand against the ugly and brainless Bog-Folk.' Daily Mail '[Quentin Letts] discharges his duty with flair and tracer precision...an angry book, beautifully written.' The Spectator

    • Humor

50 People Who Screwed Up Scotland


Author: Allan Brown
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 1472103394
Category: Humor
Page: 160
View: 7335
To be Scottish is to have a lot to live down, and as Allan Brown shows, this lot do the job superbly. Whether it be Robert Burns, indecipherable bard of rustic gibberish or Sean Connery, die-hard advocate of a country he refuses to live in. Or, Alex Salmond, the chortling bullfrog of separatism or Tommy Sheridan, the sexy socialist hardliner. They’re all here, and many others; a veritable embassy of bad ambassadors. 50 People Who Screwed Up Scotland is a humorous and chronologically-sequential series of essays, histories and anecdotes that consider those episodes and occurrences in Scotland's political, cultural and social story where, against all odds, defeat was plucked from the jaws of victory.

    • Fiction

Love All the People


Author: Bill Hicks
Publisher: Robinson
ISBN: 1849011907
Category: Fiction
Page: 160
View: 2761
Bill Hicks was arguably the most influential stand-up comedian of the last 30 years. He was funny, out of hand, impossible to ignore and genuinely disturbing. His work has inspired Michael Moore, Mark Thomas and Robert Newman among others. The trade paperback published in February 2003 was the first collected work and included major stand-up routines, diary, notebook and letters extracts, plus his final writings, most previously unpublished. This smaller format paperback has extra material discovered subsequently.

    • Travel

The Road to Little Dribbling

Adventures of an American in Britain
Author: Bill Bryson
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0385539290
Category: Travel
Page: 400
View: 9723
A loving and hilarious—if occasionally spiky—valentine to Bill Bryson’s adopted country, Great Britain. Prepare for total joy and multiple episodes of unseemly laughter. Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to discover and celebrate that green and pleasant land. The result was Notes from a Small Island, a true classic and one of the bestselling travel books ever written. Now he has traveled about Britain again, by bus and train and rental car and on foot, to see what has changed—and what hasn’t. Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis in the south to Cape Wrath in the north, by way of places few travelers ever get to at all, Bryson rediscovers the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly singular country that he both celebrates and, when called for, twits. With his matchless instinct for the funniest and quirkiest and his unerring eye for the idiotic, the bewildering, the appealing, and the ridiculous, he offers acute and perceptive insights into all that is best and worst about Britain today. Nothing is more entertaining than Bill Bryson on the road—and on a tear. The Road to Little Dribbling reaffirms his stature as a master of the travel narrative—and a really, really funny guy. From the Hardcover edition.

    • Humor

Paul Sinha's Real British Citizenship Test

Everything you need to know to call yourself British
Author: Paul Sinha
Publisher: Pavilion Books
ISBN: 1910232793
Category: Humor
Page: 160
View: 2133
Since 2005, well over one million prospective immigrants have attempted to cement permanent residency in the UK by taking the Home Office-devised ‘Life in the UK’ test. With questions such as ‘What is the name of the admiral who died in a sea battle in 1805 and has a monument in Trafalgar Square, London?’, it’s as dull as ditchwater and a hopelessly inadequate preparation for life as a fully functioning Brit. After all, there’s simply no point in knowing the exact span of the Hundred Years War if you don’t know about Alan Sugar, Nando’s, the rise of UKIP and the dangers of ordering half a pint. In this hilarious yet factual guide to the ins and outs of British life, popular stand-up comedian, ITV quiz show villain and fiercely proud Brit Paul Sinha guides you through the minefield. With sections on how to negotiate a pub, the joys of chicken tikka masala (and other British non-British dishes), the finer points of football fandom, British cities that hate each other, whether anyone really cares about religion, and - of course - how to behave in a queue, this chortlesome book is all you need if you want to call yourself a British citizen, whether you were born here or not.

    • Fiction

Under the Volcano


Author: Malcolm Lowry
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141190671
Category: Fiction
Page: 400
View: 8186
It is the Day of the Dead. The fiesta in full swing. In the shadow of Popocatepeti ragged children beg coins to buy skulls made of chocolate...and the ugly pariah dogs roam the streets. Geoffrey Firmin, HM ex-consul, is drowning himself in liquor and Mescal, while his ex-wife and half brother look on powerless to help him. As the day wears on, it becomes apparent that Geoffrey must die. It is his only escape from a world he cannot understand. UNDER THE VOLCANO is one of the century's great undisputed masterpieces.

    • Biography & Autobiography

The Romanovs

1613-1918
Author: Simon Sebag Montefiore
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 0307266524
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 744
View: 7097
"The acclaimed author of Young Stalin and Jerusalem gives readers an accessible, lively account--based in part on new archival material--of the extraordinary men and women who ruled Russia for three centuries."--NoveList.

    • Fiction

A Kestrel for a Knave


Author: Barry Hines
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 014190383X
Category: Fiction
Page: 208
View: 8753
Life is tough and cheerless for Billy Casper, a disillusioned teenager growing up in a small Yorkshire mining town. Violence is commonplace and he is frequently cold and hungry. Yet he is determined to be a survivor and when he finds Kes, a kestrel hawk he discovers a passion in life. Billy identifies with her proud silence and she inspired in him the trust and love that nothing else can. Intense and raw and bitingly honest, A KETREL FOR A KNAVE was first published in 1968 and was also madeinto a highly acclaimed film, 'Kes', directed by Ken Loach.

    • Social Science

The Equality Illusion

The Truth about Women and Men Today
Author: Kat Banyard
Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN: 0571258662
Category: Social Science
Page: 320
View: 3871
In The Equality Illusion, 'the most influential young feminist in the country' (Guardian) and UK Feminista founder Kat Banyard argues passionately and articulately that feminism continues to be one of the most urgent and relevant social justice campaigns today. Women have made huge strides in equality over the last century. And yet: Women working full-time in the UK are paid on average 17% less an hour than men 1 in 3 women worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused because of her gender Of parliamentary seats across the globe only 15% are held by women and fewer than 20% of UK MPs are women 96% of executive directors of the UK's top hundred companies are men Structuring the book around a normal day, Banyard sets out the major issues for twenty-first century feminism, from work and education to sex, relationships and having children. She draws on her own campaigning experience as well as academic research and dozens of her own interviews. The book also includes information on how to get involved in grassroots action.

    • Humor

Enemies of the People


Author: Sam Jordison
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 000825642X
Category: Humor
Page: 224
View: 3823
Something has gone wrong. We're living in an age of celebratory racism, extreme inequality, uncertainty and fear. We're governed by people who claim to be populist but who seem to hate everyone. There are idiots at the wheel and we're heading for a cliff in a big red bus and no one knows how to save us.

    • Design

Just My Type

A Book About Fonts
Author: Simon Garfield
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101577819
Category: Design
Page: 384
View: 9431
A hugely entertaining and revealing guide to the history of type that asks, What does your favorite font say about you? Fonts surround us every day, on street signs and buildings, on movie posters and books, and on just about every product we buy. But where do fonts come from, and why do we need so many? Who is responsible for the staid practicality of Times New Roman, the cool anonymity of Arial, or the irritating levity of Comic Sans (and the movement to ban it)? Typefaces are now 560 years old, but we barely knew their names until about twenty years ago when the pull-down font menus on our first computers made us all the gods of type. Beginning in the early days of Gutenberg and ending with the most adventurous digital fonts, Simon Garfield explores the rich history and subtle powers of type. He goes on to investigate a range of modern mysteries, including how Helvetica took over the world, what inspires the seeming ubiquitous use of Trajan on bad movie posters, and exactly why the all-type cover of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus was so effective. It also examines why the "T" in the Beatles logo is longer than the other letters and how Gotham helped Barack Obama into the White House. A must-have book for the design conscious, Just My Type's cheeky irreverence will also charm everyone who loved Eats, Shoots & Leaves and Schott's Original Miscellany.

    • Political Science

Mammon's Kingdom

An Essay on Britain, Now
Author: David Marquand
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 1846146739
Category: Political Science
Page: 304
View: 9517
Since 2008's financial crisis, we have heard much about the failures of bankers, regulators and politicians. David Marquand sees a wider issue: the fall of the public realm. The crisis, he argues, is one of our moral economy as much as of our political economy. Already, we are well advanced towards a near-Hobbesian state of genteel barbarism - and greed is all-pervasive. Setting out a framework for a new public philosophy founded on civic conscience and cooperation, Marquand seeks to spring the trap into which our culture has stumbled. The message is plain: we cannot continue on our present path.

    • Humor

Littlejohn's Britain


Author: Richard Littlejohn
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1446409635
Category: Humor
Page: 384
View: 8468
Richard Littlejohn's cast of characters including Two Jags, the Wicked Witch, Captain Hook and the Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban are now part of the fabric of the nation. He ridicules the country Britain has become over the past ten years - the barmy bureaucracy, the surveillance state, the petty interference in our lives, the suffocating regulations, policemen and judges who think they're part of the social services and the insanities of the 'elf 'n' safety industry, which has created such idiocies as forcing revellers celebrating Guy Fawkes Night to watch a bonfire on a big screen. 'Littlejohn has been ... a vivid exponent of a great British columnar style that stretches back five centuries or more. He's a distant, bastard cousin of Thomas Nash, Daniel Defoe and Alexander Pope. Cassandra and Bernard Levin might justly buy him a pint in the Cheshire Cheese. Like or loathe him, he's the real, talented deal.' Observer