Tomorrow evening the political and literary world will gather together for the Paddy Power Political Book Awards in London. The evening will recognise new and emerging talent as well as established authors and commentators all of whom have written about political and or historical affairs in one way or another.
Ahead of the much anticipated awards night, I have picked out my top political reads all of which will be published in 2015. I am, of course, looking forward to reading all of them and may even get round to posting some thoughts on one or two.
Lady in Disguise the Aristocrat Who Gave Her Life for the Suffragettes. By Lyndsey Jenkins published by Biteback and published in March:
Lady In disguise tells the story of a most unlikely suffragette, who was among other things a lady in waiting to the Queen. As she became more involved in the suffragette movement, however, Lady Lytton found herself in prison and because of her privileged status on the outside she found she enjoyed privileges on the inside too. True to her cause though, she disguised herself before re-entering prison where she went on hunger strike. During her incarceration she was force fed eight times before her identity was discovered and she was released.
Lady Constance Lytton’s story has never been fully told and this fascinating insight in to the suffragette movement and the terrible experiences these women endured in order to achieve voting rights for women. Lady Lytton died in 1923, never fully recovering from the trauma she suffered following enforced feeding:
Saving Safa: Rescuing a little girl from FGM. By Waris Dirie published by Virago in March:
From the synopsis alone this promises to be both a harrowing and enlightening story of Safa who was saved by the supermodel Waris Dirie from being subjected to the same Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) that Waris Dirie endured and has since tirelessly campaigned about.
Safa is chosen to play Dirie, in a film of the model’s life, based on her autobiography but the young girls parents had to sign a contract promising never to expose her to FGM. However, Safa feels she may well be forced to undergo the painful procedure and contacts Dirie. The supermodel turned campaigner drops everything to save her.
Saving Safa is not just a story of Safa but of the thousands of girls who can be and have been saved though Dirie’s Desert Flower Foundation which supports communities and families who receive aid for choosing not to force their daughters to undergo this painful procedure.
The Election. By Elenor Levenson Published by Fisherton Press Ltd and published in January 2015:
For children: This is a fantastic idea. It’s true that children in the UK are often not taught about politics enough and this is an essential children’s guide to understanding a general election.
How Good We Can Be: Ending the Mercenary Society and Building a Great Country. By Will Hutton Published by Little, Brown and published in February 2015:
Will Hutton’s latest book observes the state of the nation today and he explores what we can expect tomorrow. Today we are beset with an economy that is not innovative and productive but which extracts value rather than creates it. Hutton finds massive inequality and shrinking opportunity and a society organised to benefit the top 1%.
He warns us not to be misguided by the nature of our new world, a world of throw away people who work in throw away companies. As always with Hutton this promises to be a very enlightening read.
Original Spin, Downing Street and the Press in Victorian Britain. By Paul Brighton, published by IB Tauris and published in February 2015:
And finally, calling all spin doctors. Want to know how the Victorians did spin? Then original Spin reveals how its political spin doctors gave off the record briefings and leaked information. Published in February. Brighton delves deep into Victorian Fleet Street culture and explores why the relationship between journalists and politicians remains one of the most controversial even today.