If we are to increase social mobility, redress economic inequality and create a balanced and fair distribution of wealth and opportunity, we need to understand the roots of the problems. Three recent books by members of the LSE’s new International Inequalities Institute aim to do this. Mike Savage is the author of Social Class in the 21st Century, looking at the way new class divides have opened up in the UK, with his work generating the Class Calculator that became a viral phenomenon in 2013. John Hills is the author of Good Times, Bad Times: The Welfare Myth of Them and Us, which uses vignettes of families and how they are affected by inequality, the welfare state and austerity over their lives alongside results of large-scale data analysis. Laura Bear specialises in the anthropology of the economy, and is the author of Navigating Austerity, which tells the story of how austerity policies resulting from seemingly technocratic accounting decisions have dramatically changed the lives of those living and working on the Hooghly River in India. The authors discuss parallels between their findings, and exchange thoughts on how inequality can be challenged by public debate and policy.
The veteran broadcaster, anchor of The World Tonight, reflects on his 23 years at the BBC, the management of news, and the Corporation in crisis.
When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown-up, journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod-Stewart-themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you've ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. Alderton’s captivating memoir is about bad dates, good friends and – above all else – about recognising that you and you alone are enough.
You’re a Bad Man, Mr Gum has become a modern classic – pretty good at only 10 years old. But, as the winner of two Roald Dahl Funny Book Prizes, two Blue Peter Book Awards and the Red House Book Award, this was always something special. Celebrate Mr Gum with the author in an event that is likely to be as riotous as the book.
The maritime strategist and former Rear Admiral argues that in the second decade of the 21st century, the sea is set to reclaim its status as the world’s pre-eminent strategic medium. Parry makes the case that the next decade will witness a ‘scramble’ for the sea, involving competition for oceanic resources and the attempted political and economic colonisation of large tracts of what have, until now, been considered international waters and shipping routes. Chaired by Horatio Clare.
The digital-first publication of the Booker long-listed The Kills combines over forty multimedia elements (film, audio, animation and text) alongside a sequence of four novels. House will talk about the development of the project and the potential of digital publishing.
‘Strange’ is the new ‘normal’ for global events. Throughout history, folk tales emerged to help us come to terms with extreme events. With the world as it is today, might stories make better sense of things than news reports? Artist and playwright Sarah Woods is joined by Andrew Simms, editor of a new collection of tales There was a Knock at the Door, and Bill McGuire, Professor of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at UCL and author of Waking the Giant.
Harris’ new novel tells the story of a veteran Latin teacher in a Yorkshire Grammar school, facing all the changes of modern education and the disruption of reconnecting with a former pupil from his past. Chaired by Laura Powell, Features Commissioning Editor at the Daily Telegraph and author of The Unforgotten.
In 1570, when it became clear she would never be gathered into the Catholic fold, Elizabeth I was excommunicated by the Pope. On the principle that my enemy’s enemy is my friend, this marked the beginning of an extraordinary English alignment with the Muslim powers fighting Catholic Spain in the Mediterranean, and of cultural, economic and political exchanges with the Islamic world of a depth not again experienced until the modern age. England signed treaties with the Ottoman Porte, received ambassadors from the kings of Morocco and shipped munitions to Marrakesh. By the late 1580s hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Elizabethan merchants, diplomats, sailors, artisans and privateers were plying their trade from Morocco to Persia.
These included the resourceful mercer Anthony Jenkinson who met both Süleyman the Magnificent and the Persian Shah Tahmasp in the 1560s, William Harborne, the Norfolk merchant who became the first English ambassador to the Ottoman court in 1582 and the adventurer Sir Anthony Sherley, who spent much of 1600 at the court of Shah Abbas the Great. The previous year, remarkably, Elizabeth sent the Lancastrian blacksmith Thomas Dallam to the Ottoman capital to play his clockwork organ in front of Sultan Mehmed. The awareness of Islam which these Englishmen brought home found its way into many of the great cultural productions of the day, including most famously Marlowe’s Tamburlaine, and Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus and The Merchant of Venice. The year after Dallam’s expedition, the Moroccan ambassador, Abd al-Wahid bin Mohammed al-Annuri, spent six months in London with his entourage. Shakespeare wrote Othello six months later. Brotton shows that England’s relations with the Muslim world were far more extensive, and often more amicable, than we have appreciated, and that their influence was felt across the political, commercial and domestic landscape of Elizabethan England.
Set in a brilliantly-observed rural Indiana, ‘the bastard son of the Midwest’, Kimberling’s Snapper is a book about bird-watching, a woman who won’t stay true, and a pick-up truck that won’t start. Filer’s The Shock Of The Fall tells the tale of a man’s descent into mental illness.