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

Available now in paperback, The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah. Benjamin Zephaniah, who has travelled the world for his art & his humanitarianism, now tells the one story that encompasses it all: the story of his life. In the early 80s when punks & Rastas were on the streets protesting about unemployment, homelessness & the National Front, Benjamin’s poetry could be heard at demonstrations, outside police stations & on the dance floor. His mission was to take poetry everywhere, & to popularise it by reaching people who didn’t read books.

His poetry was political, musical, radical and relevant. By the early 1990s, Benjamin had performed on every continent in the … More

A powerful, groundbreaking history of the Occupied Territories from one of Israel’s most influential historians. From the author of the bestselling study of the 1948 War of Independence comes an incisive look at the Occupied Territories, picking up the story where The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine left off. In this comprehensive exploration of one of the world’s most prolonged & tragic conflicts, Pappe uses recently declassified archival material to analyse the motivations & strategies of the generals & politicians – & the decision-making process itself – that laid the foundation of the occupation.

From a survey of the legal and bureaucratic infrastructures that were put in place to control the population of over … More

Our next PM Book Club, we’ll be discussing Nancy MacLean’s ‘Democracy in Chains’. An explosive expose of the man who devoted his career to shackling democracy – and succeeded. Libertarian billionaires are using their wealth & power to drastically curtail the US democratic process, disempowering ordinary citizens whilst entrenching the influence of corporations as never before. In Democracy in Chains, award-winning historian Nancy MacLean reveals how the ideas of Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan have been used to undermine the power of voters in a country whose Constitution is founded on the principle ‘We the people’.

In a brilliant and engrossing narrative, Nancy MacLean shows how Buchanan forged his ideas about government in a last gasp … More

An explosive expose of the man who devoted his career to shackling democracy – and succeeded. Libertarian billionaires are using their wealth and power to drastically curtail the US democratic process, disempowering ordinary citizens whilst entrenching the influence of corporations as never before. In Democracy in Chains, award-winning historian Nancy MacLean reveals how the ideas of Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan have been used to undermine the power of voters in a country whose Constitution is founded on the principle ‘We the people’.

Democracy in Chains is a timely, important book, which should be read by anybody interested in the future of democracy. … More