This page provides a selection of interesting, entertaining and generally readable books and sources of information that underpin many of the posts on this website. It is very much a personal selection and there are inevitably many omissions from this list. The list is in no particular order.
Owen Jones, is a journalist and author who writes columns for the Guardian and the New Statesman. He is a political activist with strong left of centre leanings. His columns in the Guardian are very interesting, stimulating and very readable. He is remarkably articulate for someone in his early 30s. One of his best books is “The Establishment, And How They Get Away with It” published by Penguin in 2015. Reading this book will make you very angry indeed if you have any left-wing tendencies at all! Highly readable but rather thin on ideas as to what to do about it all in the future.
Richard Murphy is an British chartered accountant. He was one of the founders of the Tax Justice Network in 2003 and now directs Tax Research UK. His understanding of taxation is quite remarkable and his bestselling book “The Joy of Tax, How to a Fair Tax System Can Create a Better Society” is marvellous. It is highly readable, entertaining, not too long and strongly to be recommended. Richard Murphy really understands at a gut level where the money is, who is stopping you getting it and what can we do about it. You can find out more about his activities and those of his organisation on: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/
George Monbiot also writes regularly for the Guardian and a number of other publications. His blog at www.monbiot.com is well worth following. His interests include politics but he is probably concerned more centrally with environmental matters in the broadest sense. The range of categories he has written on is remarkable and are listed on his homepage. One of his best is an excellent account of the and the pernicious influence of neoliberalism. You can read that here:https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot
Paul Mason is an award-winning writer broadcaster and filmmaker. Until recently he was Economics Editor of Channel 4 News and has written a number of books. Most recently, “Postcapitalism, a Guide to Our Future” has been published by Penguin books in 2016. In his book he argues that we are at the edge of a precipice where capitalism has just about reached its limits. He shows how technological change is already revolutionising our ideas of work and value. We may now have the chance to create an entirely new society. His book is a very interesting and engaging read with a very great amount of detail on the history of socialism over the last 200 years. His final visions are just a hint too utopian for me and the details on how this new vision might actually be realised are very thin indeed.
Steve Hilton is a rather different recommendation. He was formerly senior adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron had a great deal to do with the modernisation of the Conservative government. He now lives in California. His most recent book “More Human: Designing a World People Come First” published in 2015 by WH Allen says many interesting things about the present structures of politics and governments and makes a plea that we need to re-engineer systems to become smaller and less bureaucratic, much better scaled to individuals and relatively small groups in society. A lot of the book has relatively right-wing responses to how to handle such issues but it is undoubtedly readable and can be recommended.