June releases from Biteback Publishing

  • June 03, 2016 15:00
  • Sam Jones

Commander in Chief: FDR's Battle with Churchill, 1943

by Nigel Hamilton

In the second instalment of his ground-breaking FDR at War trilogy, Nigel Hamilton tells the astonishing story of Roosevelt’s year-long, defining battle with Churchill, and chronicles the dramatic showdown between the two iconic leaders.

Commander in Chief reveals how Roosevelt battled with Churchill to maintain the Allied strategy that would go on to win the war – something Churchill suppressed in his own memoirs. Churchill initially backed FDR’s plans but then became fearful of a Normandy invasion and instead pushed for disastrous fighting in Italy, undermining the Allied command and testing FDR’s patience to the limit. Hamilton compellingly argues that, had Roosevelt not succeeded in putting down the Churchill revolt, the Allies might well have lost World War Two.


Baggage of Empire: Reporting politics and industry in the shadow of imperial decline

by Martin Adeney

Born into a generation who witnessed the twilight of the British Empire, Martin Adeney’s career as Industrial Correspondent for the Sunday Telegraph and Industrial Editor for the BBC gave him the perfect vantage point from which to observe the decline of the great British industries, the rise and fall of the trade unions and the ascension of Thatcherism and big business.

Adeney blends memoir and narrative history to describe the issues preoccupying the nation in the late ’60s and early ’70s, such as immigration, housing, social provision, education, industry and technology, all of which form the basis of our political dialogue today.


Going Nowhere: A Memoir

by Joan Ruddock

Going Nowhere is the fascinating story of Dame Joan Ruddock’s incredible life and political career. Born in the Welsh valleys, Ruddock rose to lead one of the largest protest movements in Britain in the twentieth century, before becoming the first ever full-time Minister for Women.

This touching, frank and good-humoured memoir details Dame Ruddock’s three consecutive shadow portfolios after her election to the Commons in 1987, chronicling the personal and professional trials and tribulations of one of our leading political figures, including being snubbed by Blair, and her successful back-bench campaigns opposing GMOs, championing the rights of Afghan women and changing the hours of the Commons. 


How to Be a Spin Doctor

by Paul Richards

Spin doctors are seldom out of the news for long. But who really understands what ‘spin’ is, or what spin doctors do? The media has moved on from a world where press officers carried piles of newspapers to the office each morning, when Twitter was what birds did and mobile phones were the size of bread loaves. Thank goodness Paul Richards is here to explain spin doctoring in a digital world.


Biteback Publishing to publish The Left’s Jewish Problem: Corbyn, Israel and Anti-semitism by Dave Rich

  • May 31, 2016 12:30
  • Vicky Gilder

Iain Dale, MD of Biteback Publishing, has acquired world rights to The Left’s Jewish Problem: Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism by Dave Rich.

Relations between British Jews and the left are in crisis. Jewish supporters are deserting Labour under Jeremy Corbyn, who thinks Israel has an ‘apartheid system’. Yet until the 1980s the British left was broadly pro-Israel. This change did not happen by chance: political activists made it happen.

In this timely book, Dr Dave Rich examines how the anti-Israel left of Jeremy Corbyn, Ken Livingstone and George Galloway was born out of anti-apartheid campaigns, revealing why activists chose Palestine and how they sold their cause to the rest of the left.

This anti-Israel fervour has anti-Semitic consequences. In the 1970s and 1980s, Jewish students found their Jewish societies banned at some British universities by leftists who thought that Zionism was racist. Today, conspiracy theories circulate and protestors declare ‘We are all Hezbollah’. Based on new academic research into the origins of this phenomenon, combined with the author’s daily work observing contemporary anti-Semitism and political extremism, this book brings new insight to a controversial and complex subject. It explains how arguments over anti-Semitism divide the left, with Israel, anti-Semitism and Jews becoming vehicles for much bigger political issues. This is the left’s ‘Jewish Problem’, and it seems to be getting worse.

Dave Rich said: ‘When I began this work over twenty years ago, if somebody denied the Holocaust and thought there was a Zionist conspiracy controlling Washington DC then they probably supported the BNP. Nowadays they could have a ‘Corbyn4PM’ slogan on their Twitter profile or support one of Britain’s Islamist organisations. This should trouble anyone who cares about racism, anti-Semitism and the future of the left.’

Iain Dale said: ‘Anti-Semitism has existed for centuries but for the first time in my adult lifetime it is now a mainstream political issue. This important book explains how parts of the left of British politics have come to tolerate overt anti-Semitism, while at the same time being highly critical of all other forms of racism.'

The Left’s Jewish Problem will be published in September and supported by a major press campaign.

Dave Rich is Deputy Director of Communications at the Community Security Trust (CST) and an Associate Research Fellow of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism.

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


Becoming British by Thom Brooks

  • May 17, 2016 15:00
  • Thom Brooks

Think you’re ready to officially become British?

Thom Brooks, author of Becoming British, has assembled the below questions, based on the Life in the United Kingdom handbook.

The ‘Life in the UK’ test, which British citizenship hopefuls must take, requires you to answer 75 per cent (in this case, twelve questions) correctly to pass.

So, put the kettle on, make yourself a nice cup of tea (not too much milk!) and see how British you really are… Answers are at the bottom of the page!


Question 1

In 1999, what happened to hereditary peers in the House of Lords?

A – Their numbers were greatly increased

B – Their salaries were stopped

C – Women were allowed to inherit their titles

D – They lost their automatic right to attend the House of Lords


Question 2

Why is 1918 an important date in the history of women’s rights?

A – The first divorce laws were introduced

B – Women were given the right to vote

C – Equal pay laws were passed

D – Women were made legally responsible for their children


Question 3

Which TWO are examples of civil law?

A – Disputes between landlords and tenants

B – Carrying a weapon

C – Discrimination in the workplace

D – Selling tobacco


Question 4

Which of the following statements is correct?

A – Magistrates usually work unpaid and do not need legal qualifications

B – Magistrates must be specially trained legal experts who have been solicitors for three years


Question 5

Which language was spoken by people during the Iron Age?

A – Latin

B – Celtic

C – English

D – Anglo-Saxon


Question 6

Which TWO religions celebrate Diwali?

A – Buddhists

B – Hindus

C – Christians

D – Sikhs


Question 7

Which of the following statements is correct?

A – The Speaker of the House of Commons remains a Member of Parliament (MP) after election as Speaker

B – The Speaker of the House of Commons has to give up being an MP when elected Speaker


Question 8

When walking your dog in a public place, what must you ensure?

A – That your dog wears a special dog coat

B – That your dog never strays more than 3 metres away from you

C – That you dog does not come into contact with other dogs

D – That your dog wears a collar showing the name and address of the owner


Question 9

Which of the following statements is correct?

A – Halloween is a modern American festival that has recently become popular in the UK

B – Halloween has its roots in an ancient pagan festival marking the beginning of winter


Question 10

For approximately how many years did the Romans stay in this country?

A – 50 years

B – 100 years

C – 400 years

D – 600 years


Question 11

Which of the following statements is correct?

A – After the age of 70, drivers must renew their licence[s] every three years

B – After the age of 70, drivers must renew their licence[s] every five years


Question 12

Which TWO are 20th-century British discoveries or inventions?

A – Cloning a mammal

B – Cash machines (ATMs)

C – Mobile phones

D – Walkmans


Question 13

How many people serve on a jury in Scotland?

A – 8

B – 11

C – 15

D – 20


Question 14

What is the highest-value note issued as British currency?

A – £20

B – £70

C – £50

D – £100


Question 15

Which of the following statements is correct?

A – James VI of Scotland was related to Queen Elizabeth I of England

B – James VI of Scotland was not related to Queen Elizabeth I of England


Question 16

Which of the following statements is correct?

A – If your driving licence is from a country in the European Union you can drive in the UK for as long as your licence is valid

B – If your driving licence is from a country in the European Union you have to apply for a UK licence in order to drive



The correct answers are below – remember, you need 12 (75 per cent) correct to pass!

Question 1 = D; Question 2 = B; Question 3 = A and C; Question 4 = A; Question 5 = B; Question 6 = B and D; Question 7 = A; Question 8 = D; Question 9 = B; Question 10 = C; Question 11 = A; Question 12 = A and B; Question 13 = C; Question 14 = C; Question 15 = A; Question 16 = A


Becoming British by Thom Brooks is available in paperback and eBook from 24 May.


3 for 2 on Provocations, or the entire collection at half price!

  • May 13, 2016 12:00
  • Sam Jones


Provocations return this month with quite possibly their most stirring lineup yet. Claire Fox, director of the Institute of Ideas and a panellist on BBC R4’s The Moral Maze, calls for us to toughen up, become more robust and make a virtue of the right to be offensive in 'I Find That Offensive!'; James Bloodworth disassembles the myth that meritocracy provides equal opportunities for all and explains why working-class kids still get working-class jobs in The Myth of Meritocracy; and in London Rules, GQ editor Dylan Jones declares that London, our glorious capital, is the greatest city on the planet.

You can get 3 for 2 on Provocations at politicos.co.uk and bitebackpublishing.com, or get your hands on all twelve books in the series for just £60; that's 50% off the RRP!


May releases from Biteback Publishing

  • May 06, 2016 15:00
  • Sam Jones

Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier's Story

By Matti Friedman

Pumpkinflowers is a haunting, honest tale of the lives of young Israeli soldiers stationed on an isolated hilltop – named ‘the Pumpkin’ – in Lebanon during the ’90s. ‘Flowers’ was the military term for casualties. This is a beautifully written story that needs to be read. You can take a look at the first four chapters here.





Capitalism: Money, Morals and Markets

By John Plender

The critically acclaimed examination of the world’s predominant economic system returns in paperback. In this incisive, clear-sighted guide, award-winning Financial Times journalist John Plender explores the paradoxes and pitfalls inherent in this extraordinarily dynamic mechanism – and in our attitudes to it.





‘I Find That Offensive!’

By Claire Fox

When you hear that now ubiquitous phrase ‘I find that offensive’, you know you’re being told to shut up. Claire Fox asks how we became so thin-skinned and urges us to toughen up, become more robust and make a virtue of the right to be offensive.





London Rules: So Get Over It

By Dylan Jones

Time and time again we hear how London was the best it’s ever been during the swinging ’60s, the punk ’70s or the Britpop ’90s. GQ editor Dylan Jones disagrees, and in London Rules he decrees that right now, our glorious capital is the greatest, most dynamic and diverse city in the world.





Becoming British: UK Citizenship Examined

By Thom Brooks

Immigration is one of the most controversial issues facing Britain today. Politicians kick the subject from one election to the next with energetic but ineffectual promises to ‘crack down’, while newspaper editors plaster it across front pages. In Becoming British, Durham University Professor Thom Brooks expertly examines the immigration problems that modern UK citizenship was meant to solve, what the major challenges are today and how they can be met.



Takeover: Explaining the Extraordinary Rise of the SNP

By Rob Johns and James Mitchell

For a decade now, the SNP has dominated the political narrative in Scotland. Since the dramatic end to the Scottish referendum campaign and its near clean sweep in the 2015 general election, the SNP has become one of the big stories in politics throughout the United Kingdom. Takeover is the incredible story of the SNP’s extraordinary rise.




The Myth of Meritocracy: Why Working-Class Kids Still Get Working-Class Jobs

By James Bloodworth

The best jobs in Britain today are overwhelmingly done by the children of the wealthy. Meanwhile, it is increasingly difficult for bright but poor kids to transcend their circumstances. In this incisive book, James Bloodworth argues that any genuine attempt to improve social mobility must start by reducing the gap between rich and poor.





The Best of Times

By Mark Field MP

The Best of Times collects essays, columns and speeches from City of London MP Mark Field. Following on from Field’s acclaimed first book, Between the Crashes, The Best of Times charts the rise of anti-establishment sentiment, the possibility of Brexit and a growing antagonism towards the super-rich in the final years of coalition government. It also looks further afield at global shifts of power and conflict.




The Lockerbie Bombing: The Search for Justice

By Kenny MacAskill

Scotland’s former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill reveals the hard-fought search for justice following the bombing of Pan Am 103 in 1988. Describing the controversial release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, MacAskill explains the international dimensions involved and lays bare the commercial interests that ran in the background throughout the investigation and trial. Finally, he explains how and why it happened – and who was really responsible for one of the worst atrocities to have occurred on British soil.