April Releases from Biteback Publishing

  • April 02, 2015 13:00
  • Sarah Thrift


Smile for the Camera: The Double Life of Cyril Smith
By Matthew Baker and Simon Danczuk

Sunday Times Political Book of the Year returns in paperback with exclusive, new material. In November 2012, Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk outed Smith in Parliament as a serial child abuser. In this devastating exposé, he describes how Smith used his profile to groom and sexually abuse young boys. This updated edition of the book that sparked a criminal investigation, asks urgent questions of those who allowed Smith to prey on young children for decades.

Pitch Black: The Story of Black British Footballers
By Emy Onuora

A compelling insight into the motivations, thoughts, ideas and experiences of black British footballers. Emy Onuora has interviewed over thirty current and former black footballers in order to produce this frank, controversial and definitive book on the subject.

Journeyman: One Man's Odyssey Through the Lower Leagues of English Football
By Ben Smith

A real insight into what it is like playing season after season, with no financial safety net, in the unfashionable far reaches of the English game. From Reading to Yeovil, Weymouth to Hereford, Shrewsbury to Southend, Ben Smith offers unique insight into the not-always-so-beautiful game.

All books will be available on our two week price promise so don't miss out. We're also offering FREE UK POSTAGE on all orders of £20 or over, so there's never been a better time to shop direct. Sign up to our mailing list to receive these offers via email.


The Best Part...

  • April 01, 2015 13:00
  • James Bartholomew

The best part of writing this book was the research. 

At a charter school in California - the equivalent of a free school in Britain - I got the chance to talk to some of the children. The headmaster generously arranged for me to speak to a mix of them, not just the high achievers. One boy right in front of me was bigger than the others. He did not smile. He told me he had been held back a year because he had not done well enough. His opinion of the school was grudging. It was 'not great, but good'.  I then asked what difference going to this school had made to his life compared to how things would have been if he had continued going to a regular 'public' - state-run -  school. 
"Juvie," he mumbled. 
I could not hear him properly.  I asked him and the others what he meant. They said he meant that if he had not gone to this school, he would have ended up in juvenile hall. From there, of course, he might well have graduated to prison . 
In other words, this school had saved him from severely damaging his own life and committing crimes against others. For any school to be able  to achieve that is terrific. His words were telling, first-hand evidence: gold dust for an author.

There were times of pure pleasure, too. In Warsaw, an expert on pensions I wanted to interview told me to meet her at the Blikle Café. So I went along - rather early - and found this utterly charming, old-fashioned café where I had a pot of superb Yunnan tea while waiting for the appointed time. In due course, the expert came with a friend of hers who was also a pensions expert. They settled down together on a banquette and - this is going to sound bizarre - we had a really jolly and amusing discussion of pensions in Poland. I guess it shows how much I had got into the subject. For example, the army and the police had obtained absurdly generous pension terms. The advantages they had obtained amounted to an abuse of everyone else. But as I expressed astonishment at some of the things that have happened there, my companions were cheerful and wryly amused. It was just normal for them.

I visited eleven countries in all. Many people I met and things I saw did not make it into the book. One was a meeting with a woman who works as a cleaner in a hospital in New Zealand. My guide and I picked her up in a car. She got into the back and we were engulfed by the smell of  cigarette smoke surrounding her. We went to a McDonalds and she told me she was the daughter of a lone mother but had ended up being looked after by her grandmother. Her grandmother did not like her, though, and had dumped her in the middle of nowhere, aged 14. She had become a street girl doing anything and everything necessary to survive. I learned that she herself was unfortunately repeating some of the same pattern, being a lone, unmarried mother herself with children by two fathers. But the good news was that she had got the hospital cleaning job and was beginning to get her life together as a result. The conversation gave rise to conflicting emotions: sympathy for her because she was treated so horribly as a child and concern for her children.

Sometimes my prejudices were confirmed and sometimes I had to re-think my views. What is certain is that I found a world being changed by welfare states. People's lives are being transformed. I found it fascinating. 

The Welfare of Nations is now available on our two week price promise. 

Watch an introduction to The Welfare of Nations on YouTube.


Essential Election Reading

  • March 20, 2015 13:00
  • Sarah Thrift

As you'll see from our new election countdown, there are just 47 days to go until polling day. That means there's still time to get to grips with Biteback Publishing's essential guides. We've got fantastic offers on The Politicos Guide to the 2015 General Election and Seat by Seat (an eBook-only exclusive). The Politicos Guide, edited by Iain Dale, Greg Callus, Daniel Hamilton and Robert Waller, offers a comprehensive look at the forthcoming election with essays from key political players, leader profiles and stats galore. Seat by Seat, by Iain Dale, is a short, sharp analysis of the prospective outcome of each seat in the UK. Not sure which to choose? Get both for under £20 today. Want more GE2015 recommendations? Voilà


Competition: Win The Why Vote 2015 Collection

  • March 13, 2015 13:00
  • Sarah Thrift

Still puzzling over who to vote for on May 7th? 

Need a little push in the right (or left) direction?

Why don't you enter our competition to win The Why Vote Collection

Why Vote 2015 is an enlightening series of books which aims to set out clearly and concisely each of the main parties policies and agendas. Informative and ideally timed for the upcoming election, each book is written by a party insider and proves invaluable for helping you decide where to place your vote on polling day.

To enter simply sign up to our mailing list. We'll select one lucky winner next month to receive all 5 books. Already signed up? Email us to explain why you should be our winner. 

See more about the books: Why Vote Conservative 2015, Why Vote Labour 2015, Why Vote Lib Dem 2015, Why Vote UKIP 2015, Why Vote Green 2015.



  • March 09, 2015 10:00
  • Sam Deacon

Biteback, the UK’s leading publisher of political and current affairs books, is seeking a Publicity Manager.
The successful candidate will have a proven track record in managing all aspects of high-profile publicity campaigns, as well as exceptional interpersonal and organisational skills, impeccable author-care standards and an excellent list of media contacts. The role will also include the event management of the Political Book Awards, so experience in organising and managing events is essential.
This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced publicist with drive and ambition to contribute to the success of a rapidly growing independent publisher.
To apply, please send your CV and covering letter to james.stephens@bitebackpublishing.com

Closing Date: Friday 27th March