The must-read, pocket-sized Big Think book of 2020. It feels like the world is falling apart. So how do we keep hold of our optimism? How do we nurture the parts of ourselves that hope, trust & believe in something better? And how can we stay sane in this world of division? In this beautifully written & illuminating polemic, Booker Prize nominee Elif Shafak reflects on our age of pessimism, when emotions guide & misguide our politics, & misinformation & fear are the norm

A tender, uplifting plea for optimism, Shafak draws on her own memories and delves into the power of stories to … More

In Britain today, the government, media, judiciary and military are all led by an elite who attended private school. Under their watch, our society has become increasingly divided and the gap between rich and poor is now greater than ever before. Is this the country we want to live in? If we care about inequality, we have to talk about public schools.

Robert Verkaik issues a searing indictment of the system originally intended to educate the most underprivileged Britons, and outlines how, … More

It’s a belief that unites the left and right, psychologists and philosophers, writers and historians. It drives the headlines that surround us and the laws that touch our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Dawkins, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we’re taught, are by nature selfish and governed by self-interest. Humankind makes a new argument: that it is realistic, as well as revolutionary, to assume that people are good. The instinct to cooperate rather than compete, trust rather than distrust, has an evolutionary basis going right back to the beginning of Homo sapiens. By thinking the worst of others, we bring out the worst in our politics and economics too.

In this major book, international-bestselling author Rutger Bregman takes some of the world’s most famous studies and events and reframes … More

Our next PM Book Club we’ll be discussing Chris Nineham’s new book, ‘The British State’. What happens if a radical government gets elected in Britain? How will the banks, the civil servants, the media and the military react? Is the idea of a British coup far-fetched? How can the left prepare? Chris Nineham addresses these questions by looking behind the myths at the reality of two hundred years of British state rule. He brings us a warning from history.

Book available in store and online. Next PM Book Club meet at the shop 6pm. Monday, 2nd March.

What happens if a radical government gets elected in Britain? How will the banks, the civil servants, the media and the military react? Is the idea of a British coup far-fetched? How can the left prepare? Chris Nineham addresses these questions by looking behind the myths at the reality of two hundred years of British state rule. He brings us a warning from history. Don’t be fooled again, read this book.

The first attempt since the 1980s to analyse the British state’s capacity to block change and derail social movements. A … More

Born OTD in 1891, Austrian-American pioneer in the field of public relations and propaganda, Edward Bernays. A fascinating & controversial look at how government & corporations control how we think and act. In a world dominated by political spin & media manipulation, ‘Propaganda’ is an essential read for all who wish to understand how power is used by the ruling elite in society.

Written in 1928, this was the first book to discuss the manipulation of the masses and democracy by government spin … More

Born OTD in 1821, Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist & philosopher, Fyodor Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky’s literary works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social, & spiritual atmospheres of 19th-century Russia, & engage with a variety of philosophical & religious themes. Notes from Underground & Other Stories is a comprehensive collection of Dostoevsky’s short fiction. Many of these stories, like his great novels, reveal his special sympathy for the solitary & dispossessed, explore the same complex psychological issues & subtly combine rich characterization and philosophical meditations on the (often) dark areas of the human psyche, all conveyed in an idiosyncratic blend of deadly seriousness and wild humour.

In Notes from Underground, the Underground Man casually dismantles utilitarianism and celebrates in its stead a perverse but vibrant masochism. … More

Born OTD in 1872, British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, essayist, social critic, political activist, & Nobel laureate, Bertrand Russell. “Like most of my generation, I was brought up on the saying ‘Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do.’ Being a highly virtuous child, I believed all that I was told & acquired a conscience which has kept me working hard down to the present moment. But although my conscience has controlled my actions, my opinions have undergone a revolution. I think that there is far too much work done in the world, that immense harm is caused by the belief that work is virtuous, & that what needs to be preached in modern industrial countries is quite different from what always has been preached.”

Intolerance and bigotry lie at the heart of all human suffering. So claims Bertrand Russell at the outset of In … More

Book talk next Tuesday (21st May), at PM Bookshop, 6pm, with art historian, Christine Lindey. £3 tickets in advance (redeemable against purchase of book). ‘Art for All’ reveals a forgotten or marginalised area of 20th century British art. Christine Lindey delves into the fascinating treasure trove of British socially-committed art from the 30s through to the Cold War, and of which most people will be unaware. She demonstrates that the work of these artists deserves to be rediscovered and enjoyed.

In her lavishly-illustrated volume, she also examines the circumstances that turned these individuals into socially committed artists, often swimming against … More

The one & only Zadie Smith, prize-winning, bestselling author of Swing Time & White Teeth, is back with a second unmissable collection of essays. No subject is too fringe or too mainstream for the unstoppable Zadie Smith. From social media to the environment, from Jay-Z to Karl Ove Knausgaard, she has boundless curiosity & the boundless wit to match. In Feel Free, pop culture, high culture, social change & political debate all get the Zadie Smith treatment, dissected with razor-sharp intellect, set brilliantly against the context of the utterly contemporary, & considered with a deep humanity & compassion.

Out now in paperback. This electrifying new collection showcases its author as a true literary powerhouse, demonstrating once again her … More