With the season of gift giving on our doorsteps, now is the time to build up a wish list. This November, we have an array of books ready to wrap: learn about the extraordinary stories of the UK’s armed forces in Michael Ashcroft’s In the Shadows; discover colourful characters and powerful lessons in Alex Deane’s More Lessons from History; and get to the bottom of groupthink in Jerome Booth’s Have We All Gone Mad?


In the Shadows: The extraordinary men and women of the Intelligence Corps, by Michael Ashcroft

The Intelligence Corps is one of the smallest and most secretive elements of the British Army. It has existed in various guises since the early twentieth century, but it was only formally constituted in July 1940. In this book, Michael Ashcroft tells the astonishing stories of some of its most courageous and ingenious figures, who have operated all over the world from the First World War to the present day.

This book pays tribute to them and shows why, in the words of the 1st Duke of Marlborough, ‘No war can be conducted successfully without early and good intelligence.’

Out 8 November



More Lessons from History: Uncovering the colourful characters of the past, by Alex Deane

Following the immensely popular Lessons from History, Alex Deane has more absurd historical stories and the timeless lessons that come with them waiting in the second volume. 

Find out how large, flightless birds might organise themselves against a military regiment, how you should respond to the glare of an international rugby player whose glass eye you just knocked out, exactly why carrots are orange, or whether the world’s worst-run battleship ever ceased firing upon her comrades-in-arms. 

Out 15 November


Read Alex Deane's introduction to the book here


Have We All Gone Mad? Why groupthink is rising and how to stop it, by Jerome Booth

Have we all gone mad? Or can we identify the patterns and causes of what is happening and try to stop it?

Mass groupthink has increased as our use of new media has reduced our tolerance of and ability to form balanced views. It has led to financial mismanagement leading up to the 2008 crisis and beyond; poor decision-making at the onset of Covid-19; exaggerated, unchallenged claims which have motivated nonsensical policies; and distortions in academia and journalism.

In this remarkable and prescient book, Dr Jerome Booth investigates why some of us have abandoned reason, science and history in favour of trite memes, intolerance and hatred.

Out 29 November


Don't miss our new episodes of Biteback Chats Books available online and through most podcast platforms. 

Our most recent episode is with BBC Home Editor Mark Easton. Discover why we are still so fascinated by ‘islandness’, the historical idea that Mark finds especially intriguing, and which book he would take to a desert island.

Listen today online, on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Please do send in any questions you have for authors of both current and upcoming releases either by email or by Twitter.