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Latest edition

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It’s cold enough to freeze a sleeping artist to a street bench, but who left her there? A compelling and subtle thriller by one of Denmark’s leading TV directors. CLICK TO READ MORE

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During the Cold War, America refocused liberalism on individual freedoms. But liberals were originally moralists who trusted in religion to reform society and always yoked rights to social duties. In this study, Helena Rosenblatt traces liberalism back to its Classical origins and shows how a word that emerged in the French Revolution now polarises our public discourse. CLICK TO READ MORE

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Our beliefs shape financial markets, lead to expansions of credit and leverage, and expose the economy to major risks. In their study of the meltdown in US banking following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, Nicola Gennaioli and Andrei Shleifer apply the latest research in psychology and behavioural econo-mics to explain why the financial crisis came as a shock to so many—and how the beliefs of home buyers, investors and regulators continue to play a destabilizing role. CLICK TO READ MORE

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Gustav Klimt was nearly 30 years older than Egon Schiele and is usually regarded as Schiele’s mentor but new research suggests that the older artist was also influenced by the younger. The Royal Academy's new exhibition and accompanying catalogue explore the two men’s parallels and divergences in the heightened artistic tensions of turn-of-the-century Vienna. CLICK TO READ MORE

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Between 1880 and 1920, socialist newspapers and magazines printed parables and fairy tales recycled by political activists, mostly but not exclusively for children, to talk about and reflect on politics and win sympathy for socialist ideas. Michael Rosen’s introduction describes how some 46 folktales collected for this volume challenged the celebration of Britain’s imperial values in the mainstream press. CLICK TO READ MORE

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Jonathan Edwards was born in Newport, South Wales, studied English and American Literature at the University of Warwick, and now teaches English at a secondary school in Monmouth. He has won many poetry prizes including the Costa Poetry Award for his 2014 collection My Family and Other Superheroes, published by Seren. Gen is his second collection. CLICK TO READ MORE

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Nolen Gertz calls on Heidegger, Marcuse and in particular Nietzsche’s writings on nihilism to consider the ways in which techno-optimism converts normal life experiences into problems that we feel only technology can resolve, and in which social media contribute to a complacency that discourages us from making crucial life decisions. CLICK TO READ MORE

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From its inception in 1963 Arup Associates offered a multi-disciplinary service in which its own architects and engineers worked closely with favoured contractors and materials manufacturers to complete original buildings efficiently and on time. Arup's liberal outlook promoted equal opportunities for its staff but also downplayed the contribution of key individuals. Ken Powell looks at who actually drove the business and what impact they had. CLICK TO READ MORE

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The period from 1987 to 1991 was one of the most traumatic in Sri Lanka’s recent history. In the south, the terror of the JVP uprising was defeated by the brutality of the state response; in the north, the the arrival and departure of the Indian Peacekeeping Force was followed by a resumption of full-scale conflict between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan military. Until his conscience got the better of his strict diplomatic duty, David Gladstone, then British High Commissioner, had unprecedented access to Colombo’s main political players. He writes here of his experiences. CLICK TO READ MORE

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Throughout his life, J.R.R. Tolkien used Oxford's Bodleian Library as a rich source of inspiration both in his teaching of Old and Middle English and in his writing about imaginary medieval worlds. Since his death in 1973 the Bodleian has supported his literary heritage, conserving, digitising, exhibiting and publishing its growing collection of Tolkien material. Its latest catalogue is based on a major exhibition that opened in June and runs until October 2018 and includes loans from institutions all around the world. CLICK TO READ MORE

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Drawing on recently declassified archives, Alan Turing’s nephew Dermot Turing gives the first full account in English of how Enigma was broken and how the early work of Polish code-breakers led to the collaborative successes of the French, British and Polish secret services during the Second World War. CLICK TO READ MORE

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Tower blocks seemed like a clever solution to the housing crisis in the 1950s and 60s. Today we disparage them but continue to accept high rise in the private sector. Cutting through our prejudices, Stefan Muthesius and Miles Glendinning reexamine the merits of local authority towers in London and all major centres in Britain, looking at their relative independence from architectural input and the logistics of how they were planned, built and named. CLICK TO READ MORE

UK and world rights to three new manuscripts are available through Booklaunch. Contact us at
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Robert Dudley Best (1892–1984 ) was the son of one of the UK’s leading lighting manufacturers in Birmingham. After attending the progressive Bedales School in Hampshire in the 1900s he was sent by his father to train at what was then regarded as the most advanced art school in the world—the Düsseldorf School of Industrial Art in Germany. While Best enjoyed his Wanderjahr, he was also struck by the different cultural assumptions of German and British educationalists, as well as by the ideological clashes between modern and more conservative approaches to design. He went on to be an industrialist and designed the Bestlite—now a Modern icon. After retiring in the 1960s, he wrote two memoirs: one of his early life, up to and including his training and service in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War, and another about the propaganda battles he witnessed among advocates of the Modern Movement in the UK in the years before and immediately after the Second World War. His memoirs, which show a lively appreciation of the pros and cons of the arguments used to reshape British design at the birth of the Welfare state, have never been published and are available.  CLICK TO READ MORE

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Sophie’s tabby cat Tiger always eats out of the middle of his bowl, and leaves patterns that are never the same. In this delightful children’s book, Sophie can’t decide if Tiger is simply the world’s most talented cat artist, using his food to make intriguing paintings for her, or whether he’s sending her coded messages, and she asks her friends and family if they can help. Every page features another bowl with the remains of Tiger’s food, and a note of the suggestions that she’s received. Readers are asked to look at the pictures and give their own explanations. The rights for this book are available; another version of it is available as a spoof guide to feline psychology for adults. CLICK TO READ MORE

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Kitchen-sink realism in the 1950s and 60s focused on the limited prospects facing the industrial poor at home and in the workplace. It was an angry response to the pampered writings of the aspirant middle-classes of the 1920s and 30s, recalling instead novels by Dickens and Gaskell that looked at the harsh conditions of factory life. More recently, there has been an upsurge in feminist novels revisiting the challenges faced by underdogs—male and female—in the workplace. Not all workplace novels are politically motivated, however. One sub-genre is the workplace comedy, written, as here, by individuals satirising but also reflecting on conditions that they themselves have been the beneficiaries of. This unpublished manuscript vividly recreates the tedium of office life in the 1970s. It is a perfect retro-novel—in some ways a savaging of British suburbanism, at the same time a curious homage to its surviving pretensions. The manuscript is available. CLICK TO READ MORE


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This weeks writer


Click to read David Gladstone on Sri Lanka