David Usborne joined The Independent at its launch in 1985. In April 2009 he became US Editor.
Taken from The Independent
David Usborne joined The Independent at its launch in 1985. In April 2009 he became US Editor.
Taken from The Independent
In the past decade Pakistan has become a country of immense importance to its region, the United States, and the world. With almost 200 million people, a 500,000-man army, nuclear weapons, and a large diaspora in Britain and North America, Pakistan is central to the hopes of jihadis and the fears of their enemies. Yet the greatest short-term threat to Pakistan is not Islamist insurgency as such, but the actions of the United States, and the greatest long-term threat is ecological change.
Anatol Lieven’s book is a magisterial investigation of this highly complex and often poorly understood country: its regions, ethnicities, competing religious traditions, varied social landscapes, deep political tensions, and historical patterns of violence; but also its surprising underlying stability, rooted in kinship, patronage, and the power of entrenched local elites. Engagingly written, combining history and profound analysis with reportage from Lieven’s extensive travels as a journalist and academic, Pakistan: A Hard Country is both utterly compelling and deeply revealing.
Taken from Public Affairs Books
Adventures in the Orgasmatron is the untold story of the dawn of the sexual revolution in America – an illuminating, startling, at times bizarre story of sex and science, ecstasy and repression. In the middle of the 20th century, the United States became an adoptive home for dozens of expatriated European thinkers, who saw this rich, young country ripe for sexual liberation. One of the most left-field of them was the Viennese psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, a disciple of Freud’s who had broken with the master. Reich’s own approach was based on his theories of the orgasm and sexual energy, which he dubbed ‘orgone energy’. Instead of the couch, he made use of a tall, slender construction of wood, metal, and steel wool, which he called the orgone box. A highly sexed man himself, Reich thought that a person who sat in the box could elevate their ‘orgastic potential’ ridding the body of repressive forces, improving sexual potency, and enhancing overall health. After World War Two, Reich’s theories caught on among writers and artists, the early adopters of the counter-culture. Norman Mailer and Saul Bellow were amongst those for whom the orgone box represented a yearned-for synthesis of sexual and political liberation, and of physical science and psychology. Meanwhile, Reich himself faced one debacle after another. Albert Einstein heard him out before rebuffing him. The FBI investigated him as a Communist sympathizer: it turned out that they were hunting the wrong man. The federal government banned the orgone box and tagged Reich as a fraud. There were claims of sexual misdeeds, and bouts of Reich’s own mental instability. This is the story of the blossoming of the 20th century’s sexual revolution, and the unshackling of a repressed society, and sex before science.
Taken from Fourth Estate
One hundred and eight rounds of bullets. Fourteen dead. Fourteen wounded. Two sides to a story and a four-decade search for the truth…
It was meant to be a peaceful march. But on the afternoon of 30 January 1972 in the City of Derry a riot started, the army went in and firing began. ‘Bloody Sunday’ became a catalyst for three more decades of violence. In 1998 a new Inquiry was ordered. It took thirteen years. This book tells what happened when victims, soldiers, spies, politicians and paramilitaries finally appeared on the witness stand. It is about the search for truth, the hope of reconciliation and the people who still stand in its way.
Taken from Biteback Publishing
Camilla Cavendish is Associate Editor and columnist at The Times. She was campaigning journalist of the year 2009, and won the Paul Foot award, for exposing miscarriages of justice which convinced Government to open the family courts. A mother of three, she has been a McKinsey consultant, aid worker, and CEO of the trust which rebuilt London’s south bank.
Taken from The Times
The Jack of Kent blog is named after a fairly obscure medieval folklore hero who bested the Devil by looking at what was actually said. As such, it seemed a good name for a liberal and critical blog.
I started blogging in 2007 – my old site is here – and the Jack of Kent blog became popular for its detailed and accessible accounts of legal cases, most notably the libel claim brought against Simon Singh by the British Chiropractic Association.
My blogging at Jack of Kent and elsewhere went on to include exposing Johann Hari as “David Rose”, uncovering the email hacking by The Times of the “NightJack” blogger, publishing the WikiLeaks Non-Disclosure Agreement, publicising the “TwitterJokeTrial”, and coverage of the on-going phone hacking scandal.
I am now legal correspondent of the New Statesman and media correspondent of The Lawyer. I am a regular on the panel for the Without Prejudice legal podcasts and I am also founder and convenor of Westminster Skeptics.
I appeared as a witness before both the Leveson Inquiry and the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Privacy Injunctions.
Taken from Jack of Kent’s new website
How is it that our favourite brands can import billions of pounds’ worth of goods from the developing world every year, and yet leave the people who produce them barely scraping a living? Is it that big business is incompatible with the eradication of poverty? And, if so, are charity and fair trade initiatives the only way forward?
In Unfair Trade Conor Woodman traces a range of products back to their source to uncover who precisely is benefitting and who is losing out. He goes diving with lobster fishermen in Nicaragua who are dying in their hundreds to keep the restaurant tables of the US well stocked. He ventures into war-torn Congo to find out what the developed world’s insatiable demand for tin means for local miners. And he risks falling foul of the authorities in Laos as he covertly visits the country’s burgeoning rubber plantations, established to supply Chinese factories that in turn supply the West with consumer goods. In the process, he tests accepted economic wisdom on the best way to create a fairer world – and suggests a simpler but potentially far more radical solution.
Taken from Random House
Established as one of the most influential political commentators in the country, Steve Richards became The Independent’s chief political commentator in 2000 having been political editor of the New Statesman. He presents GMTV’s flagship current affairs show The Sunday Programme and Radio 4’s Week in Westminster.
Life in a broken bureaucracy with a bendy and borked body.
Taken from Benefit Scrounging Scum
Tim Marshall is a leading authority on foreign affairs, and has reported from 30 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and North America. He has covered three US Presidential elections as well as the wars in Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Israel.
In 2011 he reported from Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya during the uprisings across the Arab world. Among a string of exclusives was the last interview with Pakistan’s Benazhir Bhutto ahead of her return from exile and subsequent assassination.
Taken from Sky News
Lucie Blackman – tall, blonde, and twenty-one years old – stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000, and disappeared forever. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave.
The seven months in between had seen a massive search for the missing girl, involving Japanese policemen, British private detectives, Australian dowsers and Lucie’s desperate, but bitterly divided, parents. As the case unfolded, it drew the attention of prime ministers and sado-masochists, ambassadors and con-men, and reporters from across the world. Had Lucie been abducted by a religious cult, or snatched by human traffickers? Who was the mysterious man she had gone to meet? And what did her work, as a ‘hostess’ in the notorious Roppongi district of Tokyo, really involve?
Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, has followed the case since Lucie’s disappearance. Over the course of a decade, he has travelled to four continents to interview those caught up in the story, fought off a legal attack in the Japanese courts, and worked undercover as a barman in a Roppongi strip club. He has talked exhaustively to Lucie’s friends and family and won unique access to the Japanese detectives who investigated the case. And he has delved into the mind and background of the man accused of the crime – Joji Obara, described by the judge as ‘unprecedented and extremely evil’.
With the finesse of a novelist, he reveals the astonishing truth about Lucie and her fate.People Who Eat Darkness is, by turns, a non-fiction thriller, a courtroom drama and the biography of both a victim and a killer. It is the story of a young woman who fell prey to unspeakabale evil, and of a loving family torn apart by grief. And it is a fascinating insight into one of the world’s most baffling and mysterious societies, a light shone into dark corners of Japan that the rest of the world has never glimpsed before.
Taken from Random House Group
Slugger O’Toole is an award winning news and opinion portal, which takes a critical look at various strands of political politics in Ireland and Britain. It tries to bring its readers ‘open source analysis’ from both the mainstream media and the blogosphere. And we are constantly on the look out for opportunities to add value to the debate of matters of regional, national and international concern.
Set up by founding editor Mick Fealty in June 2002 to focus primarily on Northern Irish politics and culture, Slugger was one of the earlier adopters of the blog technology it runs. In April 2010, as result of investment form 4IP and NI Screen the site was given a substantial design overhaul to take advantage and participate in the WordPress open source technology platform. Our editorial approach is pluralist in that we deliberately seek out a range of political opinion.
We believe diversity of opinion is essential to building a reliable view of any single problem, great or small. Our aim is to bring our readers accurate reporting combined with honest and informed analysis rather than balance. We continue to focus on Northern Irish politics but increasingly we will seek to bring you high quality blogging and journalism on issues that affect the Republic of Ireland, Britain and the wider world. We bring on particular subject areas like the economy, cultural issues or the environment. The primary language of Slugger O’Toole is English, but we also have blogs in Irish and – potentially at least – in Welsh. Slugger has developed a reputation for hosting an (mostly) intelligent dialogue on a range controversial and important issues.
Taken from Slugger O’Toole
Paul Lewis is Special Projects Editor for The Guardian. He was named Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards 2010 and won the 2009 Bevins Prize for outstanding investigative journalism. He previously worked at the Washington Post as the Stern Fellow.
Taken from The Guardian
In my own words…
Truth? Beauty? Call it what you like mate, I just call it a blogging. This site exploded on to the web scene in late 2009. And it been gettin’ better every day yeah.
I’ve published a bloody book for god sake (2 sales so far, many more predicted and expected). Whirlwind internet successes do no get much bigger than this.
No, but seriously, I’m a computer programmer for one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the South East (based out of Guildford). I mainly blog about technical issues/philosophy/art etc.
I do not exist.
Taken from Another stupid human
The history of the Conservative party has, extraordinarily, rarely been written in a single volume for the general reader. There are academic multi-volume accounts and a multitude of smaller books with limited historical scope. But now, Robin Harris, Margaret Thatcher’s speechwriter and party insider, has produced this authoritative but lively history book which tells the whole story and fills a gaping hole in Britain’s historiographical record.
Taking as his starting point the larger than life personalities of the Conservative Party’s leaders and prime ministers since its inception, Robin Harris’s book also analyses the interconnected themes and issues which have dominated Conservative politics over the years. The careers of Peel, Disraeli, Salisbury, Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill, Eden, Macmillan, Heath, Thatcher, Major, Hague and Cameron together amount to an alternative history of Britain since the early nineteenth century.
This landmark book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in history or politics, or anyone who has ever wondered how Britain came to be the nation it is today.
Zoe Williams writes for The Guardian and the New Statesman. She writes political commentary, interviews and reviews. Her work has also appeared in other publications, including The Spectator, the London Cyclist and the Evening Standard where she contributed columns on a variety of subjects, and a diary about being a single woman in London.
Toby Young is the author of How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2001) and The Sound of No Hands Clapping (2006). His personal website is www.nosacredcows.co.uk. He is the co-founder of the West London Free School and has just written an ebook called How to Set Up a Free School.
Taken from Telegraph Blogs: Toby Young
Simon Kuper is a journalist writing for the Financial Times, and publishes in newspapers and magazines around the world. He has written a number of books on sport, including ‘Football Against the Enemy’ won the William Hill Award. Born in Uganda, Simon spent most of his childhood in Holland and now lives in Paris.