During the final three years of the Obama administration, Richard Stengel, the former editor of Time magazine and an Under Secretary of State, was on the front lines of the new global information war. At the time, he was the single person in government tasked with unpacking, disproving and combating both ISIS’s messaging and Russian disinformation. Then, in 2016, as the presidential election unfolded, Stengel watched as Donald Trump used disinformation himself, weaponizing the grievances of Americans who felt overlooked. In fact, Stengel quickly came to see how all three players had used the same playbook: ISIS sought to make Islam great again; Putin tried to make Russia great again; and we all know about Trump.
In a narrative that is by turns dramatic and eye-opening, Information Wars walks readers through of this often frustrating battle. Stengel moves through Russia and Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and introduces characters from Putin to Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Mohamed bin Salman to show how disinformation is impacting our global society. He illustrates how ISIS terrorized the world using social media, and how the Russians launched a tsunami of disinformation around the annexation of Crimea – a scheme that became the model for their interference with the 2016 presidential election. An urgent book for our times, Information Wars stresses that we must find a way to combat this ever growing threat to democracy.
The Prime Ministers We Never Had
BOOK OF THE YEAR, The Times, Guardian and Prospect
Was Harold Wilson a bigger figure than Denis Healey? Was John Major more ‘prime ministerial’ than Michael Heseltine? Would David Miliband have become prime minister if it were not for his brother Ed? Would Ed have become prime minister if it were not for David? How close did Jeremy Corbyn come to being prime minister?
In this piercing and original study, journalist and commentator Steve Richards looks at eleven prime ministers we never had, examining what made each of these illustrious figures unique and why they failed to make the final leap to the very top. Combining astute insights into the demands of leadership with compelling historical analysis, this fascinating exploration of failure and success sheds new light on some of the most compelling characters in British public life.