America has a huge problem. It faces four major challenges, on which its future depends, and it is failing to meet them. In What's Wrong with America?, Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum analyze those challenges - globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation's chronic deficits, and its pattern of energy consumption - and spell out what needs to be done now to rediscover America's power and prowess.They explain how the end of the cold war blinded the nation to the need to address these issues seriously. They show how America's history, when properly understood, provides the key to coping successfully and explain how the paralysis of the US political system and the erosion of key American values have made it impossible to carry out the policies the country needs. What's Wrong with America? is both a searching exploration of the American condition today and a rousing manifesto for American renewal.
When the US Navy send their elite, they send the SEALs. When the SEALs send their elite, they send SEAL Team Six.SEAL Team Six is a clandestine unit tasked with counterterrorism, hostage rescue and counterinsurgency. Until recently its existence was a closely-guarded secret. Then ST6 took down Osama bin Laden, and the operatives within it were thrust into the global spotlight.In this internationally bestselling chronicle, former ST6 shooter Howard Wasdin takes readers deep inside the world of Navy SEALs and Special Forces snipers. From the inside track on the operation that killed the world's most wanted man to his own experience of the gruelling ST6 selection processes to his terrifying ordeal at the 'Black Hawk Down' battle in Somalia, Wasdin's book is one of the most explosive military memoirs in years.
The suddenness and depth of the recession has raised questions about the workability of capitalism not seen since the 1930s. One of the constraints on recovery is the growing belief that if the old model did not work there is no new one on offer. This book sets out to provide one, arguing that reconstructing a bust financial system is not just a technical question. It cannot be done without a wholescale revision of the wider system and values on which it is based. And fairness must be placed at the heart of the new capitalism if our society is to recover its values.Will Hutton's new book musters brilliant, convincing arguments which will lend favour on both right and left. It is set to be a book which captures the mood of the moment in the same way that THE STATE WE'RE IN did.
Every day we make choices. Coke or Pepsi? Save or spend? Stay or go?Whether mundane or life-altering, these choices define us and shape our lives. Sheena Iyengar asks the difficult questions about how and why we choose: Is the desire for choice innate or bound by culture? Why do we sometimes choose against our best interests? How much control do we really have over what we choose? Her award-winning research reveals that the answers are surprising and profound. In our world of shifting political and cultural forces, technological revolution, and interconnected commerce, our decisions have far-reaching consequences. Use this book as your companion and guide for the many challenges ahead.'No one asks better questions, or comes up with more intriguing answers' Malcolm Gladwell, author of THE TIPPING POINT
In 480 BC, Xerxes, the King of Persia, led an invasion of mainland Greece. Its success should have been a formality. For seventy years, victory - rapid, spectacular victory - had seemed the birthright of the Persian Empire. In the space of a single generation, they had swept across the Near East, shattering ancient kingdoms, storming famous cities, putting together an empire which stretched from India to the shores of the Aegean. As a result of those conquests, Xerxes ruled as the most powerful man on the planet. Yet somehow, astonishingly, against the largest expeditionary force ever assembled, the Greeks of the mainland managed to hold out. The Persians were turned back. Greece remained free. Had the Greeks been defeated at Salamis, not only would the West have lost its first struggle for independence and survival, but it is unlikely that there would ever have been such and entity as the West at all.
Tom Holland's brilliant new book describes the very first 'clash of Empires' between East and West. Once again he has found extraordinary parallels between the ancient world and our own. There is no competing popular book describing these events.
Of all the civilisations existing in the year 1000, that of Western Europe seemed the unlikeliest candidate for future greatness. Compared to the glittering empires of Byzantium or Islam, the splintered kingdoms on the edge of the Atlantic appeared impoverished, fearful and backward. But the anarchy of these years proved to be, not the portents of the end of the world, as many Christians had dreaded, but rather the birthpangs of a radically new order.MILLENNIUM is a stunning panoramic account of the two centuries on either side of the apocalyptic year 1000. This was the age of Canute, William the Conqueror and Pope Gregory VII, of Vikings, monks and serfs, of the earliest castles and the invention of knighthood, and of the primal conflict between church and state. The story of how the distinctive culture of Europe - restless, creative and dynamic - was forged from out of the convulsions of these extraordinary times is as fascinating and as momentous as any in history.
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen has written an original and important study of genocide that reconceives its very nature. He does so not by examining a series of genocides but by exploring the nature of mass killing itself. Our failure to clearly describe, explain, and understand the mechanisms of genocide has made it difficult to prevent, and this book will change that. Through exhaustive research, he brilliantly lays out the roots and motivations of mass slaughter, exploring such questions as: Why do genocides occur? What makes people willing to slaughter others? How do cultural beliefs justify genocide among groups of people? Why has the world been so ineffective in reducing the incidence of genocide? Based on his thoroughgoing reconceptualization of genocide, Goldhagen proposes novel, sensible, and effective measures to put an end to this scourge of humanity, which is worse, even, than war. With the unflinching moral and analytical clarity that he is internationally known for, Goldhagen leaves no stone unturned in this groundbreaking book that will not only transform our understanding of genocide, but every person and political leader who reads it.
With more than fifty million viewers, Al Jazeera is one of the most widely watched news channels in the world. It's also one of the most controversial. Set up by the eccentric Emir of Qatar, who turned a failed BBC Arabic television project into an Arab news channel, Al Jazeera quickly became a household name after September 11th by delivering some of the biggest scoops in television history, including airing a taped speech from Osama bin Laden. Lambasted as a mouthpiece for Al Qaeda, little is actually known about Al Jazeera and its operations.Financed by one of the weathiest countries in the world, Al Jazeera quickly established itself as the premiere news channel in the Islamic world by covering events Arabs cared about in a way they had never seen before. However, accusations of ties to Al Qaeda continue to plague it. Their journalists have been accused of spying for everyone from Mossad to Saddam Hussein, sometimes simultaneously. This the story behind the Arab news channel that makes the news.
In the 6th century AD, the Near East was divided between two great empires: the Persian and the Roman. A hundred years on, and one had vanished for ever, while the other was a dismembered, bleeding trunk. In their place, a new superpower had arisen: the empire of the Arabs. So profound was this upheaval that it spelled, in effect, the end of the ancient world.
But the changes that marked the period were more than merely political or even cultural: there was also a transformation of human society with incalculable consequences for the future. Today, over half the world's population subscribes to one of the various religions that took on something like their final form during the last centuries of antiquity. Wherever men or women are inspired by belief in a single god to think or behave in a certain way, they bear witness to the abiding impact of this extraordinary, convulsive age - though as Tom Holland demonstrates, much of what Jews, Christians and Muslims believe about the origins of their religion is open to debate.
In the Shadow of the Sword explores how a succession of great empires came to identify themselves with a new and revolutionary understanding of the divine. It is a story vivid with drama, horror and startling achievement, and stars many of the most remarkable rulers ever seen.
Born almost a hundred years ago in Vienna - the cultural heart of a bourgeois Mitteleurope - Eric Hobsbawm, who was to become one of the most brilliant and original historians of our age, was uniquely placed to observe an era of titanic social and artistic change. As the century progressed, the forces of Communism and Dadaism, Ibiza and cyberspace, would do battle with the bourgeois high culture fin-de-siècle Vienna represented - the opera, the Burgtheater, the museums of art and science, City Hall. In Fractured Times Hobsbawm unpicks a century of cultural fragmentation and dissolution with characteristic verve and vigour.Hobsbawm examines the conditions that created the great cultural flowering of the belle époque and held the seeds of its disintegration, from paternalistic capitalism to globalisation and the arrival of a mass consumer society. Passionate but never sentimental, Hobsbawm ranges freely across his subject: he records the passing of the golden age of the 'free intellectual' and examines the lives of great, forgotten men; he analyses the relation between art and totalitarianism and dissects cultural phenomena as diverse as surrealism, women's emancipation and the American cowboy myth. Written with consummate imagination and skill, Fractured Times is the last book from one of our greatest modern-day thinkers.
A guy walks into a bar . . . From here the story could take many turns. A guy walks into a bar and meets the love of his life. A guy walks into a bar and finds no one else is there. When this guy is David Sedaris, the possibilities are endless. In Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, Sedaris delights with twists of humour and intelligence, remembering his father's dinnertime attire (shirtsleeves and underpants) his first colonoscopy (remarkably pleasant) and the time he considered buying the skeleton of a murdered pygmy. By turns hilarious and moving, David Sedaris masterfully looks at life's absurdities as he takes us on adventures that are not to be forgotten.
The idea of world leaders gathering in the midst of economic crisis has become all-too familiar. But the summit at Bretton Woods in 1944 was the only time countries from around the world have agreed to overhaul the structure of the international monetary system. And, what's more, they were successful - it was the closest to perfection the world's economy has ever been, and arguably the demise of the Bretton Woods system is behind our present woes.This was no dry economic conference. The delegates spent half the time at each other's throats, and the other half drinking in the hotel bar. The Russians nearly capsized the entire project. The French threatened to walk out, repeatedly. John Maynard Keynes had a heart attack. His American counterpart was a KGB spy. But this summit could be instrumental in preventing World War Three.Drawing on a wealth of unpublished accounts, diaries and oral histories, this brilliant book describes the conference in stunning colour and clarity. Bringing to life the characters, events and economics and written with exceptional verve and narrative pace,this is an extraordinarily accomplished work of history from a talented new writer.