Because it’s never too early to start looking for Christmas presents, Politicos.co.uk bring you the pick of the best political books from the last few weeks:
Live from Downing Street, by Nick Robinson. Bantam Press, £20.00
Nick Robinson provides a colourful and personal examination of what life is like as the BBC’s Political Editor – a role described in a report for the White House as ‘the most important job in British political journalism’. Peppered with informative but witty anecdotes, his account reveals his own considered view of the controversial issue of impartial reporting.
Ever the Diplomat: Confessions of a Foreign Office Mandarin, by Sherard Cowper-Cowles. Harper Press, £20.00
For over thirty years former ambassador Sherard Cowper-Coles was on the diplomatic front line in a distinguished career that took him from the corridors of power in Whitehall to a string of high-profile roles around the world. In this entertaining and engaging memoir, Cowper-Coles lifts the lid on embassy life throughout the world.
A Matter of Principle, by Conrad Black. Biteback, £14.99
In 1993, Conrad Black was the proprietor of London’s Daily Telegraph and the head of one of the world’s largest newspaper groups. He completed a memoir in 1992, A Life in Progress, and “great prospects beckoned.” In 2004, he was accused of fraud and fired as chairman of Hollinger. In A Matter of Principle, a riveting memoir and a scathing account of a flawed justice system, Black describes his indictment, four-month trial, partial conviction, imprisonment, and largely successful appeal.
The War We Never Fought: The British Establishment’s Surrender to Drugs, by Peter Hitchens. Continuum, £16.99
Peter Hitchens argues that in Britain there has been no serious ‘war on drugs’ since 1971, when a Tory government adopted a Labour plan to implement the revolutionary Wootton report. Whatever and whoever is to blame for the undoubted mess of Britain’s drug policy, argues Hitchens, it is not ‘prohibition’ or a ‘war on drugs’, for neither exists.
Mullahs Without Mercy: Human Rights and Nuclear Weapons, by Geoffrey Robertson QC. Biteback, £20.00
Robertson, one of Britain’s highest-profile legal minds, explores the chilling consequences of allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons, and explains how international law must be deployed to prevent regional and even global nuclear war. In this timely and authoritative book, he shows how the mushroom cloud looming over Iran might yet have a silver lining.
Running My Life, by Seb Coe. Hodder & Stoughton, £20.00
One second in time may separate the great athlete from the merely good. Seb Coe has made every second count. From an early age he has been driven to be the best at everything he does. Everyone knows where Sebastian Coe ended up. Few people realise how he got there. This is his personal journey. Running My Life is in turns exhilarating, inspiring, amusing, and extremely moving.
My Life in Politics, by Jacques Chirac. Palgrave Macmillan, £18.99
This is the disarmingly honest autobiography of Jacques Chirac – two time president of France and charismatic international statesman. Here he speaks candidly for the first time about many of the gravest issues surrounding his time in power, from the lead-up to the Iraq War to France’s nuclear testing, and reflects on the future of France in international politics.