Former editor of The Times, the late William Rees-Mogg was a pivotal figure of post-war Britain. Here he recounts the remarkable story of his life.
As editor of The Times (his glory years), journalist, commentator, Chairman of the Arts Council, and, later, Chairman of the Broadcasting Standards Council (when he was accused of censorship), the William Rees-Mogg spent his life at the centre of events in politics and journalism.
Often controversial, his strong, fiercely defended opinions went to the heart of the problems of the day. From his famous defence of Mick Jagger on a charge of possessing cannabis, to his recent criticism of the morality behind the war in Kosovo and defence of monetarism, his writing demanded attention, to the point of becoming newsworthy in itself.
He knew the people who shaped our time, from royalty to presidents, business magnates and religious leaders, and his unique insider perspective is here used to great effect, with perceptive, provocative recollections of people such as Rab Butler, Margaret Thatcher, Anthony Eden, Shirley Williams, Roy Jenkins, Robin Day, Rupert Murdoch and many more.
From an early age his life was filled with incident - among the many anecdotes are the stories of the Bristol Blitz; his doomed attempts to enter politics; writing speeches for Anthony Eden during Suez; hiring burglars to uncover corruption in the Met; an eventful stay at Chequers with Harold Wilson; how Rupert Murdoch amused the Queen at lunch; and how Harold Macmillan impressed Ronald Reagan at dinner.
His colourful and illuminating memoirs offer a wonderfully readable life of one of the great characters of the age.
- Tamerlane: Sword of Islam, Conqueror of the World
A powerful account of the life of Tamerlane the Great (1336-1405), the last master nomadic power, one of history's most extreme tyrants, and the subject of Marlowe's famous play. Marozzi travelled in the footsteps of the great Mogul Emperor of Samarkland to write this wonderful combination of history and travelogue. The name of the last great warlord conjures up images of mystery and romance: medieval warfare on desert plains; the clash of swords on snow-clad mountains; the charge of elephants across the steppes of Asia; the legendary opulence and cruelty of the illiterate, chess-playing nemesis of Asia. He ranks alongside Alexander as one of the world's great conquerors, yet the details of his life are scarcely known in the West. He was not born to a distinguished family, nor did he find his apprenticeship easy - at one point his mobile army consisted only of himself, his wife, seven companions and four horses - but his dominion grew with astonishing rapidity. In the last two decades of the fourteenth century and the beginning of the fifteenth, he blazed through Asia. Cities were razed to the ground, inhabitants tortured without mercy, sometimes enemies were buried alive - more commonly they were decapitated. On the ruins of Baghdad, Tamerlane had his princes erect a pyramid of 90,000 heads. During his lifetime he sought to foster a personal myth, exaggerating the difficulties of his youth, laying claim to supernatural powers and a connection to Genghis Khan. This myth was maintained after his death in legend, folklore, poetry, drama and even opera, nowhere more powerfully than in Marlowe's play - he is now as much a literary construct as a historical figure. Justin Marozzi follows in his path and evokes his legacy in telling the tale of this fabulously cruel, magnificent and romantic warrior.
- Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Globalization Debate
The story of the rise of the movement that wanted accountable, improved globalization. For two years Naomi Klein wrote a weekly column for Canada's leading newspaper, the Globe & Mail (syndicated worldwide, in the Guardian in the UK). She has, by selecting, rewriting and rearranging these columns, prepared what amounts to a first-hand historical record of the gradual rise to prominence of the anti-global-corporatism movement, and of its most notable successes and failures. It has a truly international scope, covering everything from the Zapatistas' rebellion in Mexico to the Social Centres in Italy, from the biggest peaceful protest demos since the 1960s to the gassings and shootings at Genoa. Naomi analyses developments in local democracy, in law enforcement, in privatisation laws, in capital migrations, in union behaviour, in marketing, in summitry. She gets close to the suited summits - the WTO, the G8, the IMF, NAFTA. She looks at bioterrorism, pollution, hypocrisy, fear and confusion. It is a portrait, or rather the underlying negative, of the planet's torrid time between the Seattle summit and the world-changing events of 11 September 2001. It makes for dramatic, immediate, indispensable history writing, and reading.
- The Vampire's Assistant: The Saga of Darren Shan, Book 2
Darren Shan has been made a half-vampire by Mr Crepsley, but the Cirque Du Freak holds more unpleasant surprises for the vampire's assistant. Darren joins the vampire, Mr Crepsley, as his assistant and they return to the Cirque Du Freak. There, Darren makes friends with the snake-boy, Evra Von (who knows what Darren is) and a local boy, Sam, and RV, an eco-warrior and animal lover (who do not). Darren begins to enjoy his life among the Cirque performers as the youngest half-vampire in existence, but he defiantly refuses to drink human blood - the whole idea sickens him - and he tries desperately to cling on to the part of him which is human. Darren comes face to face with pure evil in the form of Mr Tiny, the leader of the Little People who join the Cirque Du Freak, and who eat anything - including human flesh. When he discovers animal bones, RV frees the wolf-man from his cage - and no-one could possibly guess how truly terrible the whole effect would be.
- The Sun Two-speed Crossword Book 2
The second volume in this brand-new series of The Sun two-speed crossword books, featuring 80 two-in-one cryptic and coffee time crosswords from Britain's bestselling newspaper. The Sun is Britain's bestselling newspaper, with over 4 million copies sold every day. This makes The Sun Two-speed Crossword Britain's bestselling crossword puzzle. The Sun Two-speed Crossword Book 2 is the second collection of 80 puzzles, featuring cryptic and coffee time - or general-knowledge - clues for each. The twist is that both types of clue lead to the same solution. Clearly laid out with both sets of clues adjacent to the grid across a double-page spread, and all the solutions at the back of the book, The Sun Crossword Book 2 will appeal to those wanting a fun and informative break from office or home chores, or a more stimulating intellectual challenge.