Biteback Publishing to publish Kenny MacAskill’s book on The Lockerbie Bombing

  • February 09, 2016 10:00
  • Vicky Gilder

Iain Dale, MD of Biteback Publishing, has acquired world rights to The Lockerbie Bombing by former Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill MSP. Rights were acquired from Caroline Michel at PFD.

On 21 December 1988, Pan Am flight 103 departed London Heathrow for New York’s JFK Airport. Shortly after take-off a bomb was detonated, killing all aboard and devastating the small Scottish town of Lockerbie below. Only one man, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, has ever been convicted of the crime, though no-one believes it was the work of a lone agent.

The Lockerbie Bombing is the definitive story of the atrocity and its aftermath from a man who has played a central role in the story. As Scottish Justice Secretary it was Kenny MacAskill who, in 2009, took the decision to release al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds. In the book, MacAskill will detail the build-up to the attack, the international investigation that followed it, and the diplomatic intrigue that saw a Scottish court convened in the Netherlands. It explains the controversial release of Megrahi, the international dimensions of the case and the commercial and security interests involved. Finally, it will answer the questions of why and how the atrocity happened – and who did it.

Kenny MacAskill said: ‘A lot has been said and written about both Lockerbie and me. I was central to much of it. This is my chance to set out what happened, why and by whom. I’m delighted to be working with Biteback, who have shown a willingness to publish without fear or favour. This book challenges many of the powerful and I’m grateful for Biteback’s support.’

Iain Dale said: 'Almost thirty years on, and still so many questions surround the events leading up to the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 and the investigations following it. As a central figure in the release from prison of the man held accountable for the bombing, Kenny MacAskill's account of the atrocity and its aftermath will cast new light on the affair, and I'm very pleased that Biteback will be publishing it. It is a book which will add a lot to what we already know.'

The Lockerbie Bombing will be published in May 2016, and supported by a major press campaign.

For more information please contact victoria.gilder@bitebackpublishing.com or call 020 7091 1260

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February Releases from Biteback Publishing

  • February 08, 2016 12:00
  • Sam Jones

Little Cyclone

by Airey Neave

Little Cyclone is the extraordinary tale of one woman’s defiance during adversity. 24-year-old Belgian Andrée de Jongh appeared in the Bilbao British consulate in August 1941 accompanied by a British soldier; a soldier she had smuggled all the way from Brussels. The journey took them through Occupied France and over the Pyrenees and marked the beginning of a tumultuous and daring life for the woman who would come to be known as the World War Two ‘Little Cyclone’. Repeating this perilous journey countless times, de Jongh eventually established one of the most renowned escape lines of WWII, saving some 800 soldiers and airmen. Originally published in the years following the war, this story has proved to be as irrepressible as de Jongh herself.

 

Hammer of the Left

by John Golding

In this visceral, no-holds-barred account, Golding political classic describes how he took on and helped defeat Labour’s Militant Tendency during the early 1980s, providing not only a vivid portrait of political intrigue and warfare, but a timely reminder for the party of today of the dangers of disunity and of drifting too far from electoral reality.

 

 

 

Europe: In Or Out

by David Charter

This revised and updated edition of David Charter’s essential guide addresses the real issues surrounding a potential exit from the EU – including jobs, travel, immigration, investment, sovereignty and justice – and investigates the consequences both for the country and for the person on the street. This is a must read as the inevitable referendum approaches.

 

 

 

Militant

by Michael Crick

Widely acclaimed as a masterly work of investigative journalism upon its original publication in 1984, this political classic examines the origins, organisation and aims of the secret Trotskyite organisation known as Militant.

Operating during the mid-1980s, the faction caused damaging rifts within Labour before it was eventually quelled by more senior members. Many have drawn parallels between the divided party of the 1980s and the controversial rise of left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn – Michael Crick’s book is an essential and timely reminder of a turbulent time in Labour's history.

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March releases from Biteback Publishing

  • February 07, 2016 14:00
  • Sam Jones

5,000 Great One-Liners

By Grant Tucker

‘A good friend is worth pursuing. But why would a good friend be running away?’

Grant Tucker’s collection of cracking jokes is a celebration of the immortal art form that is the one-liner. Capable of inducing side-splitting laughter and tragic sighs in equal measure, this book collects 5,000 of the funniest one-liners ever told into one definitive volume. My personal favourite so far: ‘An autobiography without punctuation is a life sentence.’

 

 

Harold Wilson: The Unprincipled Prime Minister?

Edited by Kevin Hickson and Andrew Crines

2016 marks the centenary of Harold Wilson’s birth, and the fiftieth anniversary of his landslide general election victory in 1966. With contributions from leading experts in the fields of political study, and from Wilson’s own contemporaries, this remarkable new study offers a timely and wide-ranging reappraisal of one of the longest-serving premiers of the twentieth century.

 

 

 

How to Be a Civil Servant

By Martin Stanley

The UK civil service employs 412,000 people across the country. Every year, over 25,000 students and graduates apply to enter the civil service through its fast stream competition alone. For those seeking a career in the profession, Martin Stanley’s comprehensive guide is a must-read, offering invaluable advice about how to most effectively carry out civil service duties, and how to respond to ethical and technical issues pertinent to the job.

 

 

How to Win a Marginal Seat: My Year Fighting For My Political Life

By Gavin Barwell

During the 2015 general election, the contest in Gavin Barwell’s constituency of Croydon Central was by any measure one of the most intensive constituency campaigns this country has ever seen. By the end of it, Gavin had clung on by the skin of his teeth, and had a story well worth telling. This book is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how campaigning is conducted at the coalface of British politics.

 

 

 

Taking It On the Chin: Memoirs of a Parliamentary Bruiser

By Tom Pendry

Surely one of the most colourful characters ever to have graced the Palace of Westminster, Tom Pendry has been a boxer, a bruiser and a scholar, whose political career as an agent, candidate, Labour MP and peer has spanned over sixty years. Full of revealing anecdotes and candid descriptions of colleagues, his memoirs throw new light on successive governments and great, epoch-making events, and are a mixture of light and shade, irreverent wit and deeply serious intent.

 

 

Islam Beyond the Violent Jihadis: An Optimistic Muslim Speaks (Provocations series)

By Ziauddin Sardar

Is Islam inherently violent and misogynistic? Why do young men and women go to join the Jihadi Caliphate?  Does Islam need a reformation? Should we be frightened of Shariah? What part do Muhammad’s teachings play, or what part should they play, in our own times? Writer and critic Ziauddin Sardar seeks to answer a host of questions prominent in the discourse today.

As a practicing Muslim, Sardar is as terrified by the rise of Islamic Jihadi groups as anyone else. In this remarkable book, he urges all those who feel the same way to work together to preserve the sanity of our world.

Coalition: The Inside Story of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government

By David Laws

Coalition is the definitive insider account of the historic Conservative–Lib Dem coalition from its birth in 2010 through to its demise in May 2015. This revealing account will be one of the most important political books of the year, shedding new light on perhaps the most fascinating political partnership since the Second World War. It will also provide an essential historical record of the issues and challenges facing all political parties.

 

 

Project Fear: How an Unlikely Alliance Left a Kingdom United but a Country Divided (second edition)

By Joe Pike

Joe Pike’s bestselling account of the Scottish referendum and its aftermath was one of the most highly acclaimed political books of 2015. This second edition – published to coincide with the anniversary of Scottish independence  – is updated with brand new material, interviews and figures.

 

 

 

Resistance: European Resistance to the Nazis, 1940—1945

By M. R. D. Foot

This brilliant book was the first to analyse the whole field of wartime resistance to the Nazis in Europe; to explain what resisters could and could not do and to assess, in outline, whether they achieved their aims.

 

 

 

 

The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941–1942

By Nigel Hamilton

International bestselling historian Nigel Hamilton offers a definitive account of FDR’s masterful — and underappreciated — command of the Allied war effort. With the second volume – Commander in Chief FDR’s Battle with Churchill, 1943 – coming in the summer, this intimate, sweeping look at a great president in one of history’s greatest conflicts is a must-read.

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March releases from Biteback Publishing

  • February 07, 2016 14:00
  • Sam Jones

5,000 Great One-Liners

By Grant Tucker

‘A good friend is worth pursuing. But why would a good friend be running away?’

Grant Tucker’s collection of cracking jokes is a celebration of the immortal art form that is the one-liner. Capable of inducing side-splitting laughter and tragic sighs in equal measure, this book collects 5,000 of the funniest one-liners ever told into one definitive volume. My personal favourite so far: ‘An autobiography without punctuation is a life sentence.’

 

 

Harold Wilson: The Unprincipled Prime Minister?

Edited by Kevin Hickson and Andrew Crines

2016 marks the centenary of Harold Wilson’s birth, and the fiftieth anniversary of his landslide general election victory in 1966. With contributions from leading experts in the fields of political study, and from Wilson’s own contemporaries, this remarkable new study offers a timely and wide-ranging reappraisal of one of the longest-serving premiers of the twentieth century.

 

 

 

How to Be a Civil Servant

By Martin Stanley

The UK civil service employs 412,000 people across the country. Every year, over 25,000 students and graduates apply to enter the civil service through its fast stream competition alone. For those seeking a career in the profession, Martin Stanley’s comprehensive guide is a must-read, offering invaluable advice about how to most effectively carry out civil service duties, and how to respond to ethical and technical issues pertinent to the job.

 

 

 

How to Win a Marginal Seat: My Year Fighting For My Political Life

By Gavin Barwell

During the 2015 general election, the contest in Gavin Barwell’s constituency of Croydon Central was by any measure one of the most intensive constituency campaigns this country has ever seen. By the end of it, Gavin had clung on by the skin of his teeth, and had a story well worth telling. This book is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how campaigning is conducted at the coalface of British politics.

 

 

 

Taking It On the Chin: Memoirs of a Parliamentary Bruiser

By Tom Pendry

Surely one of the most colourful characters ever to have graced the Palace of Westminster, Tom Pendry has been a boxer, a bruiser and a scholar, whose political career as an agent, candidate, Labour MP and peer has spanned over sixty years. Full of revealing anecdotes and candid descriptions of colleagues, his memoirs throw new light on successive governments and great, epoch-making events, and are a mixture of light and shade, irreverent wit and deeply serious intent.

 

 

Islam Beyond the Violent Jihadis: An Optimistic Muslim Speaks (Provocations series)

By Ziauddin Sardar

Is Islam inherently violent and misogynistic? Why do young men and women go to join the Jihadi Caliphate?  Does Islam need a reformation? Should we be frightened of Shariah? What part do Muhammad’s teachings play, or what part should they play, in our own times? Writer and critic Ziauddin Sardar seeks to answer a host of questions prominent in the discourse today.

As a practicing Muslim, Sardar is as terrified by the rise of Islamic Jihadi groups as anyone else. In this remarkable book, he urges all those who feel the same way to work together to preserve the sanity of our world.

Coalition: The Inside Story of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government

By David Laws

Coalition is the definitive insider account of the historic Conservative–Lib Dem coalition from its birth in 2010 through to its demise in May 2015. This revealing account will be one of the most important political books of the year, shedding new light on perhaps the most fascinating political partnership since the Second World War. It will also provide an essential historical record of the issues and challenges facing all political parties.

 

 

Project Fear: How an Unlikely Alliance Left a Kingdom United but a Country Divided (second edition)

By Joe Pike

Joe Pike’s bestselling account of the Scottish referendum and its aftermath was one of the most highly acclaimed political books of 2015. This second edition – published to coincide with the anniversary of Scottish independence  – is updated with brand new material, interviews and figures.

 

 

 

Resistance: European Resistance to the Nazis, 1940—1945

By M. R. D. Foot

This brilliant book was the first to analyse the whole field of wartime resistance to the Nazis in Europe; to explain what resisters could and could not do and to assess, in outline, whether they achieved their aims.

 

 

 

 

The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941–1942

By Nigel Hamilton

International bestselling historian Nigel Hamilton offers a definitive account of FDR’s masterful — and underappreciated — command of the Allied war effort. With the second volume – Commander in Chief FDR’s Battle with Churchill, 1943 – coming in the summer, this intimate, sweeping look at a great president in one of history’s greatest conflicts is a must-read.

Permalink


Hillary Rising author James D. Boys on the beginning of Hillary Clinton's nomination campaign

  • February 02, 2016 13:00
  • James D. Boys

Hillary, it’s Cold Outside…

As voting finally gets under way in the 2016 US presidential election, it is more than merely Hillary Clinton’s personal ambitions that are on the line; a potential political dynasty is at stake, and dependent, in part, on the turnout in the remote state of Iowa, where voters have gathered together in a series of caucuses to help determine who will become the 45th President of the United States.

Hillary Clinton has been here before, of course. Eight years ago, she entered the presidential campaign with every imaginable advantage: exceptional financial backing; universal name recognition; apparent party support; and plenty of political IOUs to cash in.  Yet all of these came to nothing in the end as her presidential ambitions crashed and burned. Hillary Clinton failed to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination for a variety of reasons; poor campaign management, poor electoral tactics and a sense of hubris all contributed to doom her presidential aspirations in 2008.  If Hillary Clinton is to be elected President of the United States in November, it is vital that her campaign learn from the mistakes that were made in 2008 and not merely attempt to win using the same flawed tactics.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2008 was impacted by decisions made during her 2006 re-election bid for the Senate. She needed to secure an overwhelming re-election result to position herself for 2008’s presidential campaign. This, however, precluded early campaigning in Iowa, forcing her to yield the state to Barack Obama and John Edwards, who both invested time and money in the state, leaving Hillary Clinton to play catch-up months later. Not surprisingly, when Hillary Clinton’s team eventually began canvasing opinion in Iowa, they discovered that she was polling third, on the basis that voters claimed not to like her. Her competence and ability were not an issue, but in Iowa, where voters are inundated with presidential candidates and often meet them three times before deciding to vote for them, Hillary Clinton’s absence created a void that her opponents had filled and fashioned an impression of being removed from the process.

At the last minute, Hillary Clinton’s campaign flooded Iowa in a desperate attempt to convince voters that she was not taking their vote for granted. However, when the Iowa results were announced, Hillary Clinton’s numbers had barely moved and, as initially predicted, she came in third with 29.5 per cent of the vote, narrowly behind John Edwards on 29.8 per cent, but considerably behind Barack Obama’s winning number of 38 per cent. The result shattered the illusion of Hillary Clinton’s invincibility. Her campaign team appeared uncertain as to what to do next or what had gone wrong.  In hindsight, campaigning in Iowa may have been the single greatest mistake of the campaign.

Eight years later, Hillary Clinton is still not home and dry in Iowa. A Suffolk University poll conducted in August 2015 put her thirty-four points ahead of Bernie Sanders, leading 54 per cent to 20 per cent. However, on the eve of voting, voter intent has narrowed, leaving the result up for grabs. A RealClearPolitics poll-of-polls gives Hillary Clinton a six-point lead, but this is still far too close for comfort for a candidate with every possible advantage.

Despite the tightening of the polls, Iowa has provided Hillary Clinton with a majority of its votes, in a reversal of eight years ago. Alas, New Hampshire is looking like a lock for neighbouring son Bernie Sanders, in another reversal of the result from 2008. However, while losing New Hampshire would be embarrassing for Hillary Clinton, it would not be terminal, especially when the direction of the race is considered. As a local candidate, Senator Sanders is likely to exceed expectations in New England, but then run into problems. Even if the vote in New Hampshire is closer than Hillary Clinton would like, as soon as the race heads south and west, the demographics swing in her favour, particularly in South Carolina, where African-Americans constitute the majority of Democratic Party voters. A strong showing in South Carolina should establish Hillary Clinton as the frontrunner, irrespective of results in New Hampshire, and enable her to go into the Super Tuesday primaries on 1 March confident of a strong showing that could effectively end the race in her favour.

With remarkable insight, James D. Boys reveals the political ideology and core principles that have remained a constant throughout Hillary Clinton's truly extraordinary life. Get your copy of Hillary Rising now!

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