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Bill Emmott's The Fate of the West takes modern day politics and economics head-on with its analysis of how liberal democracies are able to survive.

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The recent TV award winning adaption The Durrells left its 7 million fans with questions: What happened to the family - and what took them to Corfu in the first place? This book has the answers

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A biography of one of Britain's most famously eccentric families, the Durrells, whose life on the Greek island of Corfu formed the basis of the classic 'My Family and Other Animals'. Lawrence Durrrell and Gerald Durrell both wrote extensively about their lives, but the other two siblings, Margo and Leslie, and the long-suffering mother Louisa are less well known. Haag, who knew the family, has fascinating stories to tell about them all. Chaired by Sheilagh Matheson
The traditional liberal democracies of the West are in decline, and divisive populist sentiment is on the rise. When faced with global instability and economic uncertainty, it is tempting for states to react by closing borders, hoarding wealth and solidifying power, and for citizens to look upon one another with suspicion, incomprehension and mistrust. Former Economist editor-in-chief Bill Emmott explains that we have seen this phenomenon at various times in Japan, France and Italy and now it is infecting all of Europe and America - as vividly demonstrated by the vote for Brexit in the UK and Trump in the US. This insularity, together with increased inequality of income and wealth threatens the future role of the West as a font of stability, prosperity and security. Part of the problem is that the principles of liberal democracy upon which the success of the West has been built have been suborned, with special interest groups such as bankers accruing too much power and too great a share of the economic cake. Investigative journalist Joris Luyendijk argues this environment provides the ideal conditions for populist anti-politicians to thrive. Trump, Johnson, Farage, Beppe Grillo and their ilk are cresting the waves of popularity, whilst their mainstream opponents (whose incompetence, corruption and dismissal of their constituents brought us this mess) watch on. But as mainstream technocrats are purged, and populists fall on their own swords, could something better emerge from the rubble? Could we be in the process of watching the birth of a repoliticised and refreshed democracy?
Andrew Martin on Night Trains at Campden LitFset

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