February 07, 2016 14:00
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.
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!
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
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7091 1260