What the books are about

The Translator

This is one of those mind-blowing books that should be read by everyone. Daoud Hari has seen his village desecrated, many friends and relatives needlessly killed and his family exiled as refugees in neighbouring Chad, — all because the government of Sudan is turning Arab against native African to clear the land ready to develop it for oil. These people were friends, they ate in each other’s huts — and now they are killing one another, manipulated like characters in a computer game. Hari uses his skills in languages and his many contacts, as his weapons in the fight against this genocide.

Heat: How We Can Stop...

This is an outstanding book — a call for action that must happen now if we are to avoid climate change spiralling out of control. Its strengths are that it describes the issues with great clarity and conjures up possible solutions for dealing with them. Not all of these seem politically or practically realistic, but that’s not the point: they demonstrate action can be taken and climate change kept in check.


If oil is a problem, it seems that cars are the solution. Working on innovative, environmental technologies and entirely new business models, the car industry could be launching society’s greatest leap forward in a hundred years. Zoom visits the boardrooms of oil executives and shows how some are fearlessly exploring new energy sources and designs. Elsewhere, Carson and Vaitheeswaran examine the alliances that are being formed to end our addiction to oil in both the West and the growing markets of China, India and Russia, as well as what Toyota and the Prius can teach us, economically and ecologically.

The Shock Doctrine

Naomi Klein’s book is one of the most eye-opening books of our time. I couldn’t put it down. I thought I knew everything she talked about but no one else before has connected the dots like she has. Everyone should read this so they can understand what’s really going on with American “free market” polices. Just look at what’s happened in Myanmar, a true test of the shock doctrine thesis. The government had suspended the referendum so that they can recover from the cyclone but weren’t letting foreign aid in! Shock Doctrine should be read by everyone, especially students, to open their eyes to what’s really going on.

The White Man’s Burden

We are all aware of the extreme hunger and poverty that afflict the world’s poor. We hear the facts, see the images on television, buy the tee-shirt and are moved as individuals and governments to dig deep into our pockets. Yet what happens to all this aid? Why after 50 years and $2.3 trillion are there still children dying for lack of 12 cents medicine? In The White Man’s Burden, William Easterly addresses these twin tragedies head on.

The Future of Freedom

A modern classic that uses historical analysis to shed light on the present, The Future of Freedom is “a lucid and intelligent account of what freedom might mean as a guiding principle for US foreign policy”. Hailed as “stimulating” by the Financial Times, with an easy command of history, philosophy and current affairs, it calls for a restoration of the balance between liberty and democracy and shows how politics and government can be made effective and relevant for our time.