The Stig gets his kit off and reveals how he came to be Top Gear's iconic racing driver and so much more - including what it's like to thrash an Aston Martin DBS, train for the Army and face the terror of Jeremy Clarkson's underwear...
Here is an exiled poet in an English seaside asylum, a winter night spent in the spooky penthouse suite of Ceausescu's vanished daughter, and a scientist trying to calculate the heart's square root. Londoner Nick Drake's debut collection portrays and celebrates a richly varied cast of characters. He deserves careful attention as one of the poets likeliest to maintain England's ever-transshifting but still splendid poetic tradition.--Harvard Review
Uncovers British cinema's contribution to Cold War propaganda and to the development of a popular consensus on Cold War issues. This book focuses on an age in which the 'first Cold War' dictated international politics. It explores the relationship between film-makers, censors and Whitehall.
This Texas Traditions Series reprint takes us back to the Lone Star State during the Cold War at the beginning of the 1960s. The postwar generation is in a frenzy of high living and profligate spending. Big Texas oil is still subsidized by a federal depletion allowance and cattle still account for much of the state’s wealth. But these longtime mainstays of Texas finance are giving way to transistors and computers. A new millionaire class is growing up around business mergers and electronic technology. The characters in Shrake’s novel are caught in this brave new world in one way or another. Some are the princes of prosperity; others are victims of it. This is a world of lobbyists, merger lawyers, small-time politicos, sons of oil money, and the women who cheer them on or worry about their souls. In the opening section of the novel, we visit the Texas Gulf Coast and see the machinations of Sam Guthrie and Waddy Morris Jr. as they attempt to take over a rival technology company. Back in Dallas, idealistic attorney Ben Carpenter moves to thwart the Guthrie/Morris takeover. Then we move to Fort Worth and attend the drunken party given in honor of Ben Carpenter’s thirtieth birthday. The party moved to Mexico on Cadmus Wilkins’s bus where everyone has to confront his or her inner self. And some are found wanting. The several vignettes of the novel paint an accurate picture of Texas as it moves into the urban era and as its middle class began deserting the old verities and tasting what were once forbidden pleasures. Shrake is a first-rate stylist who knows how the upper half lives.
The story of Alan Turing, the persecuted genius who helped break the Enigma code and create the modern computer. To solve one of the great mathematical problems of his day, Alan Turing proposed an imaginary programmable calculating machine. But the idea of actually producing a 'thinking machine' did not crystallise until he and his brilliant Bletchley Park colleagues built devices to crack the Nazis' Enigma code, thus ensuring the Allied victory in the Second World War. In so doing, Turing became a champion of artificial intelligence, formulating the famous (and still unbeaten) Turing test that challenges our ideas of human consciousness. But Turing's work was cut short when, as an openly gay man in a time when homosexuality was illegal in Britain, he was apprehended by the authorities and sentenced to a 'treatment' that amounted to chemical castration. Ultimately, it lead to his suicide, and it wasn't until 2013, after many years of campaigning, that he received a posthumous royal pardon. With a novelist's sensitivity, David Leavitt portrays Turing in all his humanity - his eccentricities, his brilliance, his fatal candour - while elegantly explaining his work and its implications.
Lucette Lagnado's father, Leon, is a successful Egyptian businessman and boulevardier who, dressed in his signature white sharkskin suit, makes deals and trades at Shepherd's Hotel and at the dark bar of the Nile Hilton. After the fall of King Farouk and the rise of the Nasser dictatorship, Leon loses everything and his family is forced to flee, abandoning a life once marked by beauty and luxury to plunge into hardship and poverty, as they take flight for any country that would have them. A vivid, heartbreaking, and powerful inversion of the American dream, Lucette Lagnado's unforgettable memoir is a sweeping story of family, faith, tradition, tragedy, and triumph set against the stunning backdrop of Cairo, Paris, and New York. Winner of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and hailed by the New York Times Book Review as a "brilliant, crushing book" and the New Yorker as a memoir of ruin "told without melodrama by its youngest survivor," The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit recounts the exile of the author's Jewish Egyptian family from Cairo in 1963 and her father's heroic and tragic struggle to survive his "riches to rags" trajectory.
Sir Isaac Newton once declared that his momentous discoveries were only made thanks to having 'stood on the shoulders of giants'. The same might also be said of the scientists James Watson and Francis Crick. Their discovery of the structure of DNA was, without doubt, one of the biggest scientific landmarks in history and, thanks largely to the success of Watson's best-selling memoir 'The Double Helix', there might seem to be little new to say about this story. But much remains to be said about the particular 'giants' on whose shoulders Watson and Crick stood. Of these, the crystallographer Rosalind Franklin, whose famous X-ray diffraction photograph known as 'Photo 51' provided Watson and Crick with a vital clue, is now well recognised. Far less well known is the physicist William T. Astbury who, working at Leeds in the 1930s on the structure of wool for the local textile industry, pioneered the use of X-ray crystallography to study biological fibres. In so doing, he not only made the very first studies of the structure of DNA culminating in a photo almost identical to Franklin's 'Photo 51', but also founded the new science of 'molecular biology'. Yet whilst Watson and Crick won the Nobel Prize, Astbury has largely been forgotten. The Man in the Monkeynut Coat tells the story of this neglected pioneer, showing not only how it was thanks to him that Watson and Crick were not left empty-handed, but also how his ideas transformed biology leaving a legacy which is still felt today.