The best books on how the world works

Norman Baker Author Of ...And What Do You Do?: What the Royal Family Don't Want You to Know
By Norman Baker

The Books I Picked & Why

Flat Earth News: An Award-Winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media

By Nick Davies

Flat Earth News: An Award-Winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media

Why this book?

A highly perceptive if rather depressing examination of how the British media works, how expensive investigative journalism has largely given way to opinion columns and trivia about so-called celebrities, how stories are often not stories, how papers dress up partisan opinion as fact. In short, an exposure of the falsehoods, distortion, and propaganda that have corrupted the media. Nick Davies was a journalist at the Guardian.


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Helen Suzman: Bright Star in a Dark Chamber

By Robin Renwick

Helen Suzman: Bright Star in a Dark Chamber

Why this book?

This is a heart-warming true story of the courage of one woman you have probably never heard of but you need to. A woman of great courage and integrity who took on the South African apartheid regime and for a while as a liberal was the only opposition member (and I think the only woman) in the racist all-white parliament. Some are naturally courageous, some have courage thrust upon them. Nelson Mandela and the ANC took on the racist regime from outside, Helen Suzman almost single-handedly took it on from within parliament. A real hero.


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Gun Baby Gun: A Bloody Journey into the World of the Gun

By Iain Overton

Gun Baby Gun: A Bloody Journey into the World of the Gun

Why this book?

An astonishing well-researched and detailed analysis of the arms trade and the omnipresence of guns in the world today. Full of startling and worrying statistics, for example, that there are 12 billion bullets produced every year which kill at least 500,000 people. The book reveals how in some places it is easier to get a gun than to get a glass of water. Solo killers, the military, the hunters, the paranoid suburban Americans, they are all here, and it is not a pretty picture.


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How To Be Right: In a World Gone Wrong

By James O’Brien

How To Be Right: In a World Gone Wrong

Why this book?

A revealing dive into the minds of those who phone into radio progammes from this LBC presenter, with directly quoted dialogue from the calls. Is the average person who rings in particularly ill-informed and unable to absorb facts and apply logic, or it that a condition that applies to all of us? The book is funny, depressing, and worrying, but always revealing about the state of mind of the British public


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The Sense of Being Stared at: And Other Unexplained Powers of Human Minds

By Rupert Sheldrake

The Sense of Being Stared at: And Other Unexplained Powers of Human Minds

Why this book?

Have you ever sat on the top deck of a bus and stared hard at someone on the pavement below. It is surprising how often that person will then look up at you. How does this work? Rupert Sheldrake’s book delves deeply into such matters, ones for which there must be scientific explanations but which the traditional conservative scientist in a white coat dismisses without looking into the matter. Too many scientists, it seems, prefer the comfort of the status quo. We haven’t really moved on much from when Galileo was rubbished for suggesting the earth goes around the sun. Rupert Sheldrake reveals more about the human than we knew before.


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