Iain Dale introduces the Biteback Spring/Summer 2017 catalogue

  • March 09, 2017 11:00
  • Sam Jones

There is a saying, usually attributed to some ancient Chinese sage: ‘Pity the man who lives in interesting times.’ Well, given the ascendancy of President Trump, Britain’s historic referendum vote to leave the European Union and, of course, Leicester City’s triumph in the Premier League, it is difficult to imagine times getting any more interesting.

Many, particularly within the publishing industry, seem to think of both Brexit and Trump as a threat rather than an opportunity. At Biteback, we think both developments present tremendous opportunities to publish a huge range of new books, and to do so for years to come. More than ever we need books to help us make sense of what is happening in the world. Publishers need to get real and stop pretending to be Violet Elizabeth Bott! Otherwise, frankly, they are letting their readers down.

Trump in particular is a gift to non-fiction publishers. Controversy is always good for publishing, and you don’t get much more controversial than Trump. Brexit, whichever way you voted, presents similar possibilities. For the first time in decades we have a nation engaged with a single issue but not sure what will emerge from it. It’s the biggest political event of my lifetime and there’s a real thirst for knowledge about what might happen and how it will change our country.

At Biteback, our readers know we are committed to publishing a broad range of books from across the political spectrum. From the first biography of Theresa May, to the latest instalment of Alastair Campbell’s diaries, via Camila Batmanghelidjh’s personal account of what really happened at the controversial charity Kids Company; from a truly surprising new portrait of Jane Austen, to the memoirs of the first openly transgender officer in the British Armed Forces, via Guy Standing’s exposé of the lie at the heart of global capitalism and James Wharton’s trawl through London’s underground gay nightlife; from David Laws’s coalition diaries to Alan Friedman’s powerful examination of the rise of Trump and the death of the American Dream, this catalogue represents an eclectic and compelling mix to help us decipher the present and imagine what the future may bring.


Managing Director, Biteback Publishing

You can view our Spring/Summer 2017 catalogue online here.


Biteback to publish Guilty Men by “Cato the Younger”

  • March 08, 2017 09:00
  • James Stephens

Published to mark the first anniversary of Brexit, two prominent political and social commentators lambast the political figures who have betrayed the European cause.

Guilty Men, published in 1940, was the great polemical bestseller of the mid-twentieth century.

It was written under the pseudonym ‘Cato’, and so secret were the identities of the eminent authors that they were even able to review the book themselves without being discovered. The best known of the three writers was Michael Foot, the future Labour leader.

The 1940 edition pointed the finger of blame at fifteen ‘guilty’ men who had failed to prepare Britain for the inevitable war with Germany.

The authors of this new, entirely original book also hide behind a pseudonym: ‘Cato the Younger’, the great-grandson of Cato, who equally warned of the consequences of foolish decisions by the leaders of Rome.  This new Guilty Men points the finger at twenty men and women whose self-interest and lack of imagination have sabotaged the vision of a harmonious Europe of nations, which it argues was the main lesson to come out of the two catastrophic World Wars of the last century.

The book is to be published on the first anniversary of the referendum in Britain, on 23 June 2017, the result of which has, more than any other single event, precipitated the break-up of the European ideal.

Guilty Men concludes that only by working together in a spirit of co-operation and mutual understanding can we avoid the perils of the retreat into the nationalistic and racial barbarism that scarred Europe in the past and led to the desperate state of affairs that ‘Cato’ condemned in 1940.

For more information, please email james.stephens@bitebackpublishing.com or call 020 7091 1260


Biteback Publishing to publish Rude by Katie Hopkins

  • March 08, 2017 09:00
  • James Stephens

Iain Dale, MD of Biteback Publishing, has acquired world rights to Rude by controversial columnist and broadcaster Katie Hopkins.

Love her or hate her, Katie Hopkins is impossible to ignore, and this hilarious and revealing new book – part memoir, part handbook for the modern woman – is the same.

Laughing through the chapters of her life, she shares her disasters, her biggest disappointments and the time she had to ring her super sensible boss to say she was on the front pages of the tabloids having sex in a field. 

From being kicked out of the army for being epileptic, to firing little Lord Sugar; from her first husband leaving her in the maternity ward for the big-boobed secretary, to the reality behind Celebrity Big Brother, she has plenty of surprises to share and lessons she thinks we should learn. 

Readers be warned, however. Katie doesn’t sugar-coat anything, and neither does she hold back, making her as honest in her book as she is in life. 

But this book is an introduction to a quieter Katie too, one people seldom see. She takes us beyond her front door and into the privacy of her home, writing as a mum of three, sharing things even she feels awkward saying. 

Katie Hopkins said: ‘This book is written by the “me” my family see, sitting on my sofa, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying at my life.’

Iain Dale said: ‘I’m really pleased to be publishing Katie. I realise she is a marmite character for some, with her robust opinions about a broad range of issues, but this book takes us behind the controversy to see the real Katie. I think a lot of people will be surprised!’

Rude will be published in October 2017 and supported by a major publicity campaign.

For more information please contact james.stephens@bitebackpublishing.com or call 020 7091 1260


A major new project from Biteback Publishing

  • March 07, 2017 09:00
  • Sam Jones

Biteback Publishing is delighted to announce a major new project: a two-volume series of biographies of every female MP ever to be elected to the House of Commons.

On 14 December 1918, Countess Markievicz became the first woman to be elected to the House of Commons. She was elected for Sinn Féin, but never took her seat. Eleven months later, Nancy, Lady Astor, became the first woman to be elected and to take her seat. One hundred years later, 454 other women followed in their stead.

The book’s co-editors, Biteback’s publisher Iain Dale and former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, are commissioning biographical essays on each of the 456 ‘Honourable Ladies’. Each of the contributors will be female.

Volume I will contain profiles of the 169 female MPs to sit in the House of Commons between 1918 and 1997 and will be published in hardback in November 2018.

Volume II will contain profiles of the 287 female MPs first elected between 1997 and 2019 and will be published in November 2019.

Iain Dale said: “This is a major project for a major centenary, but it’s exactly the kind of book Biteback excels in. Each of the 456 women has a fascinating story to tell and this book enables them to tell it through the eyes of a contemporary female voice. Many contributors are current female MPs themselves, while others are journalists, academics and historians. Jacqui and I are delighted to be working together again on this important initiative.”

Jacqui Smith said: “The women who made it into Parliament during these years showed considerable grit and energy.  That’s what they share, but there are also a whole range of histories, backgrounds and events to explore which make this such an exciting project.  I’m really looking forward to seeing their stories told by other women – many of whom followed in their footsteps.”


Biteback to publish Jeremy Thompson’s autobiography

  • March 01, 2017 12:00
  • James Stephens

Jeremy Thompson: Autobiography

Iain Dale, MD of Biteback Publishing, has acquired world rights to the memoirs of one of Britain’s most celebrated broadcasters.

Until his retirement at the end of 2016, Jeremy Thompson was one of the longest-serving journalists and news anchors in the UK.

During a forty-year career in television news, Thompson gained a reputation as the consummate broadcaster, latterly as the anchor of Sky News’ early evening programme, though as frequently broadcasting on location from the heart of the story.

Thompson worked for all the major news broadcasters in the UK: the BBC, ITV and finally Sky, where he started as a foreign correspondent in 1993. He covered many of the most important news events of our time and reported from all over the world, picking up countless awards for his work.

The first TV journalist to broadcast live as British peacekeeping forces arrived in Kosovo, he also covered the First Gulf War and, in 2003, anchored Sky News’ coverage of the Second Gulf War from Iraq. There he presented every night for a month on the front line and was the first anchor to present from inside Baghdad. He was also in South Africa to cover the death of Nelson Mandela and the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius.

This extraordinary book tells the life story of one of the nation’s most popular broadcasters. Jeremy Thompson’s autobiography will be published in October 2017 and supported by a major publicity campaign.

Iain Dale said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted to be publishing Jeremy’s memoirs. I have been a fan for many years and have yet to meet anyone who can tell a story as well as him. Readers will lap up the anecdotes and adventures contained in this extraordinary book.’

For more information please contact james.stephens@bitebackpublishing.com or call 020 7091 1260