February 01, 2016 12:00
The headline on the Association Press wire service last week felt so familiar. Reporting the latest news in the surprisingly tight contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in the battle to capture the Democratic presidential nomination, it read: ‘Clinton appeals to Democratic voters torn between head and heart’.
Substitute the word ‘Clinton’ for ‘Andy Burnham’ (or Yvette Cooper or Liz Kendall) and ‘Democratic’ for ‘Labour’, and the same headline could have been used at any time during the heady days of last summer’s leadership contest, when Jeremy Corbyn’s three rivals tried in vain to stop his astonishing victory.
In the United States, where I have been spending a few months while finishing off my new book about Corbyn, it feels as if history is repeating itself, and not just with Clinton vs Sanders in the Democratic Party.
Republicans, too, are finding their nomination contest ambushed by an upstart outsider, who, despite receiving no backing from legislators or media commentators, and having had his chances repeatedly written off by the political establishment, seems to have struck a chord with grassroots activists.
The billionaire Donald Trump (who memorably suggested banning Muslims from America) and Comrade Corbyn may not have much in common on the surface, but their ability to defy expectation and capture the imagination of those who profess themselves sick and tired of politicians and politics as usual is striking in its similarity.
Of course, Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who, highly unusual for an American politician, unabashedly describes himself as a socialist, are far more simpatico.
The surprise with which American political observers have greeted Sanders’s refusal to accept the presumption that the nomination was the experienced Clinton’s for the taking shows how little they paid attention to Corbyn’s coup on the other side of the Atlantic last summer.
So will Trump or Sanders – or even Trump and Sanders – go on to emulate Corbyn by winning their parties’ respective nominations? And can they do one better than him and actually capture the presidency?
I would answer ‘perhaps’ to the former question and ‘probably not’ to the latter. But then, if I learned one thing while writing Comrade Corbyn, it’s that, in politics, one should always expect the unexpected.
Comrade Corbyn is available now in hardback and eBook, with a limited number of signed copies!
January 06, 2016 11:00
Happy New Year from Biteback Publishing! We’ve an array of very exciting new titles for you this January – from polarising politicians and rising revolutionaries to surprising spies and heroes of human rights…
Hillary Rising: The Politics, Persona and Policies of a New American Dynasty
By James D. Boys
An unbiased and revelatory insight into an illustrious career and fascinating life, Hillary Rising examines the highly intriguing former First Lady who looks set to be a frontrunner in the upcoming presidential election.
If Hillary secures the Oval Office, she will go down in history as the first female President of the United States, but what kind of leader would she make? Drawing on extensive interviews with close associates, together with recently declassified material from the Clinton archive, James D. Boys provides an extensive portrait of one of the most intriguing characters in recent political history.
The Witchfinder General: A Political Odyssey
By Joyce Gould
Joyce Gould’s memoirs weave an astounding tapestry of the Labour Party, the world of British politics, and her personal experiences at the centre of the evolution of both. A stalwart in the battles against racial and sexual discrimination, Gould humbly describes her own instrumental role in facilitating the key changes that have shaped the country in which we live today.
Equal Ever After: The Fight for Same-sex Marriage – and How I Made it Happen
By Lynne Featherstone
29 March 2016 marks the two-year anniversary of same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom. Equalities Minister in the coalition government, Lynne Featherstone tells the story of her pivotal role in turning the dream of same-sex marriage into a reality. The road to this historic achievement was never smooth, and Featherstone’s resolute and tireless efforts inside Parliament were met with opposition and support from some of the most surprising places.
Guy Burgess: The Spy Who Knew Everyone
By Stewart Purvis & Jeff Hulbert
Stewart Purvis and Jeff Hulbert’s definitive new biography of one of the most successful spies and notorious traitors is the first book to include recently declassified material from the National Archives. This is the extraordinary true story of the spy who knew everyone, and how he became the man who knew no one.
Comrade Corbyn: A Very Unlikely Coup: How Jeremy Corbyn Stormed to the Labour Leadership
By Rosa Prince
Just how did Jeremy Corbyn, a middle-aged, middle-class, obscure party rebel, achieve the Labour Party leadership in 2015 with such a landslide victory? Honest, fair-minded and often surprising, Comrade Corbyn is a comprehensive biography that sheds new light on the current political climate and the life of Labour’s divisive new leader.
Hammer of the Left : The Battle for the Soul of the Labour Party
By John Golding
The ascension of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader will, for many, trigger only unhappy memories of the dark days of the 1970s and ’80s, when the party was plagued by a civil war that threatened to end all hopes of re-election. In this visceral, no-holds-barred account, Golding describes how he took on and helped defeat the Militant Tendency and the rest of the hard left, 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? Everything You Need to Know
By David Charter
With the issue of Europe still as prominent as ever, and a national referendum growing increasingly large on the horizon, this book – now fully updated and revised – is the essential and accessible guide that will help in understanding exactly what a ‘Brexit’ or continued EU membership would mean for you.
December 16, 2015 11:11
Iain Dale, MD of Biteback Publishing, has acquired world rights to Power to the People by Caroline Lucas, Lisa Nandy and Chris Bowers.
The shifting sands on the left of British politics may shift some more with the publication of Power to the People, a book that has the potential to reshape the challenge to the Conservatives at the 2020 general election.
This extraordinary collection of essays compiled and co-edited by Green MP Caroline Lucas, Labour MP Lisa Nandy and former Liberal Democrat councillor Chris Bowers argues that, for all their legitimate differences, the progressives in British politics need to find ways of cooperating if they are to present a viable alternative to the Tories.
The book will feature a spread of political opinions and ideas from both politics and think tanks. Among the politicians writing are Peter Hain, Mhairi Black, Steve Reed and Norman Lamb. Among the other contributors will be Neal Lawson of Compass, David Boyle of the New Economics Foundation and Katie Ghose of the Electoral Reform Society, as well as a number of social and political journalists.
Caroline Lucas said: ‘Waking up on 8 May to discover a majority Tory government had been elected was a bitter disappointment for everyone who hopes for a fairer, greener and more caring society. Since this was achieved on the basis of the votes of just 24% of the electorate, it also highlights the importance of progressives finding new ways to work together. In many cases, we can be more effective through cooperation than by fighting each other – hence this book. In it, we explore both the values that unite us and the possible ways of working together where doing so makes sense.’
Iain Dale said: ‘I am delighted to be publishing this timely collection of forward-thinking essays by some of the most important names in contemporary progressive politics.’
Power to the People will be published in summer 2016, and will be supported by a major press campaign.
For more information please contact
email@example.com or call 020 7091 1260
December 14, 2015 15:00
Editorial Assistant (Biteback Publishing)
Biteback Publishing have an excellent opportunity for an enthusiastic, efficient editorial assistant to join a small, busy team publishing political and current affairs titles.
The position will involve assisting at all stages of the editorial and production process. Key tasks will include editorial clean-up of manuscripts, line-editing, fact-checking, proofreading, taking in proof corrections using Adobe InDesign, writing blurbs, picture research.
The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate the following skills: first-rate proofreading and knowledge of the BSI proofreading marks, advanced knowledge of Microsoft Word, excellent attention to detail, the ability to work under pressure and to deadlines, and a good knowledge of current affairs. He or she must have experience within and knowledge of book publishing. Familiarity with Adobe InDesign software will be an advantage.
How to apply: CV and covering letter to Olivia Beattie firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date: 4 January 2016
December 10, 2015 16:00
Iain Dale, MD of Biteback Publishing, has acquired world rights to Credible and True, the memoir of former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor.
Proctor, who became embroiled in allegations of historic child sexual abuse in 2015, has said or written very little since 1987. All that will change with this book.
Credible and True reveals Proctor’s life both in and out of Parliament, and details his continuous involvement with the police and the media. In it, he writes about sex, politics, the aristocracy, murder and suicide attempts, blackmail – and how he has survived them all. He talks frankly about his embroilment in Operation Midland, Scotland Yard’s investigation into allegations of a historic Westminster paedophile ring, and his own claims that he is the victim of a ‘homosexual witch hunt’.
K. Harvey Proctor has been actively involved in politics since the age of 14, when he joined the Young Conservatives. He always wanted to be a Member of Parliament, but knowing that his homosexuality presented a possible stumbling block in British politics in the 1970s and 80s, he took the decision to keep his private life exactly that – private. During most of his active political life, Proctor believed that it was his trenchant views on immigration that would be on trial rather than his sexuality, never imagining that his private life would spectacularly unravel in the glare of blue and white flashing lights.
Now nearly 70 years old, Proctor can look back on a life and a parliamentary career that saw him rub shoulders with the likes of Thatcher, Powell, Biffen, Foot, Castle, Jenkins, Benn and Healey. It is an epitaph of which anyone can be proud, but before that moment arrives, the fight to clear his name of wicked and untrue allegations must go on.
Harvey Proctor said: ‘I have written these words to help me untangle, in my own mind, the Kafka-esque situation in which I find myself. I have been accused of the most heinous crimes imaginable – serial child murder and the sexual abuse of children. I am innocent, but find I have to take on the Metropolitan Police Service to prove I am not guilty. Credible and True traces my life, at times dramatic and unbelievable, never more so than now. I hope to demonstrate in my book why the police and certain politicians have got it so wrong and why Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe should and will go.’
Iain Dale said: ‘I am delighted to be publishing Harvey’s life story. Although I didn’t know him when I worked in Parliament in the 1980s I knew him to be a politician of profound convictions and he was never afraid to speak his mind. This quality is evident in his book, where he charts the many controversial events that have characterised his life in politics and beyond. His experience at the hands of the police over child sex allegations demonstrate a justice system in turmoil, and his trenchant defence of his own innocence provides many important lessons for the police and our ideas of natural justice.’
Credible and True will be published in April 2016, and supported by a major press campaign.
For more information please contact email@example.com or call 020 7091 1260