Much has been written about Britain’s trailblazing post-1970s privatization program, but the biggest privatization of them all has until now escaped scrutiny: the privatization of land. Since Margaret Thatcher took power in 1979, and hidden from the public eye, about 10 per cent of the entire British land mass, including some of its most valuable real estate, has passed from public to private hands. Forest land, defence land, health service land and above all else local authority land for farming and school sports, for recreation and housing has been sold off en masse.

Why? How? And with what social, economic and political consequences? The New Enclosure provides the first ever study of this…

Born OTD in 1913, French philosopher, author, and journalist, Albert Camus. In this profound and moving philosophical statement, Camus poses the fundamental question: is life worth living? If human existence holds no significance, what can keep us from suicide? As Camus argues, if there is no God to give meaning to our lives, humans must take on that purpose themselves.

This is our ‘absurd’ task, like Sisyphus forever rolling his rock up a hill, as the inevitability of death constantly…

Four different voices tell their own versions of the same walk in the park. There’s a bossy woman, a sad man, a lonely boy & a young girl whose warmth touches those she meets Voices in the Park could be incorporated into an Anthony Browne author study & is well suited to work with pupils in upper Key Stage 2 (9-11 years). It is also a good text for group & guided reading, providing opportunities for challenging & reflective reading, at the same time being accessible & appealing to readers who may not have developed the stamina for long novels.

The teaching sequence suggested below, explores voice in literature. The drama and role-play activities provide opportunities for considering the difference…

A stunning debut novel about a little girl growing up in Belfast, from the author of the Man Booker Prize winning novel, The Milkman. A young woman struggles with growing up in Belfast during the Troubles in this darkly humorous, sexually twisted debut. It starts off solidly as a coming-of-age story about Amelia Lovett, who spends her childhood playing with rubber bullets while her family dodges real ones in the ongoing battle between the Brits and the IRA.

Amelia’s dangerous road continues when she enters school and has to fight off some fellow schoolgirls after they start a…

When Jamaica became independent on August 6, 1962, ska music was playing in yards, dancehalls, and in recording studios as this new nation celebrated. It was a spirited music, full of promise, optimism, and energy and it was the perfect sound to showcase to the world. Now that Jamaica was independent, what better way to demonstrate the culture, beauty, and art of Jamaica than through ska, both as a music and as a dance. The Jamaican government, tourist and business industry, and newly developing music industry made it their mission to bring Jamaican music to the world, through events they termed Operation Jump Up. This is the story of that effort and how, for a brief time, ska rivaled the Beatles and the Twist.

Operation Jump Up is the culmination of four years of research. The detailed historical narrative features dozens of interviews with…

Will Ashon’s debut novel Clear Water concerns a shopping centre lying close to the Thames estuary in Kent. The centre descends 400 metres below sea level and has a sinister black space-shuttle decorated with a woman in a white ballgown on its trunk. The shuttle is designed to defend Clearwater (and potentially the whole of London) from attack but, instead, it makes the shopping centre a place of almost occult attraction to six strange but beguiling characters, ranging from an alcoholic ex-spin bowler to a murderous psychopath who has named himself King James.

The most immediately attractive of Ashon’s cast is Peter Jones, “the premier lifestyle journalist of his generation”, who has generated…

Born OTD in 1855, American socialist, political activist, trade unionist, one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies), and five times the candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States, Eugene Victor Debs.

After his work with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and the American Railway Union, Debs’ next major work in organizing…

Jinju is bad. She smokes, drinks, runs away from home, and has no qualms about making her parents worry. Her mother and sister beg her to be a better student, sister, daughter; her beleaguered father expresses his concerns with his fists. Bad Friends is set in the 1990s in a South Korea torn between tradition and Western modernity and haunted by an air of generalized gloom…

Cycles of abuse abound as the characters enact violence within their power structures: parents beat children, teachers beat students, older…

Why are we so obsessed by the pursuit of happiness? With new ways to measure contentment we are told that we have a right to individual joy. But at what cost? In an age of increasing individualism, we have never been more alone and miserable. But what if the true nature of happiness can only be found in others?

In Radical Happiness, leading feminist thinker Lynne Segal believes that we have lost the art of radical happiness the art…

“I am a socialist, & have been fighting and will fight for an absolute reconstruction of society for the benefit of all. I am proud of my conduct. I have squared my conduct with my intellect, and if everyone had done so this war would not have taken place. I act square and clean for my principles. I have nothing to retract. I have nothing to be ashamed of. Your class position is against my class position. There are two classes of morality. There is the working class morality and there is the capitalist class morality…”

There is this antagonism as there is the antagonism between Germany and Britain. A victory for Germany is a defeat…