Andrew Adonis, Baron Adonis PC is a British Labour Party politician, academic and journalist who served in the UK government for five years as part of the Blair ministry and the Brown ministry.
21 books on the list
Latest Recommendations First
This Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Power Broker, uncovers the untold story behind the shaping (and mis-shaping) of 20th-century New York City and State. Robert Moses, the single most powerful man of his time in New York, led urban renewal efforts with a political machine that was virtually the fourth branch of government. By mobilizing banks, contractors, labor unions, insurance firms, and even the press and the Church, Moses created an empire, living like an emperor and completing public works costing $27 billion. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the inner workings of power in American cities.
If you’re interested in politics & cities, beg, borrow, steal to see this play. The Robert Caro book on which it’s based (“The Power Broker”) was a big influence on me as Transport Secretary on how to get things done. Except he wanted roads, I did railways – source
Explore the shocking truth behind Britain's involvement in the global offshore economy and its service to the world's most corrupt individuals in Butler to the World. This punchy follow-up to Moneyland by Oliver Bullough delves into the dark secrets of power and corruption.
Important book on how English high society became butlers to the oligarchs. Today the board members of Abramovich’s steel company Evraz resigned - including Sir Michael Peat, former private secretary to Prince Charles and treasurer to the Queen – source
This witty and astute novel by the creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes, takes a satirical look at the society of contemporary England that is still held back by certain class distinctions. Edith Lavery, a beautiful and polite English girl, finds herself in a dilemma when she meets Charles, the Earl Broughton, heir to the Marquess of Uckfield. Is she in love with him, or his title and position? Charles's mother is keeping a watchful eye on their relationship, convinced that Edith is only interested in her son's title. Full of sharp observations and social critique, Snobs is a deliciously enticing portrait of modern manners.
Today’s book. Very insightful on the world of Boris Johnson and this generation of Etonians – source
A moving and in-depth biography of an extraordinary English poet and composer haunted by the traumas of World War I and later confined to a mental asylum. This book delves into the life and work of Ivor Gurney, a talented artist who wrote some of the most anthologized poems of the war and composed unforgettable English songs. Despite his promising start as a student, Gurney's life was marked by his experiences on the front and his mental illness, leading to institutionalization. The author combines literary criticism, history, psychiatry, and musicology to provide a compelling and touching narrative that ensures that Gurney will not be forgotten.
Today’s book. Fascinating, tragic – source
Discover the gripping story of the battle for Berlin in the aftermath of WWII like never before. As the victorious powers set to carve up Germany, tensions rise and old hostilities resurface. Follow the charismatic and mercurial leaders who ran Berlin's four sectors, including America's "Howlin' Mad" Howley and the charming Soviet Kotikov, as they fight to assert their power and influence. Checkmate in Berlin is a thrilling tale of intense rivalry and raw power, revealing how flawed individuals shaped the modern world in ways still felt today.
Today’s book by @GilesMilton1. The determination of Ernie Bevin, Labour’s great postwar Foreign Secretary, to prevent Stalin advancing into west Germany and then Western Europe was the critical backdrop to the successful defence of West Berlin after 1945 – source
Explore the complex and challenging decisions facing Britain beyond the EU in a rapidly shifting global landscape. A seasoned diplomat sheds light on crucial issues ranging from trade to security, advocating for global cooperation and solidarity to thrive in an uncertain future.
Really optimistic and forward looking book by @LordRickettsP, ex-head of the diplomatic service. Brexit has been a setback: what we need now is ‘international cooperation and solidarity’, which is in Britain’s lifeblood, including a rebuilding of our relations with Europe – source
"Radical Wordsworth" is a biography that presents a revolutionary poet who changed the world. This book celebrates the 250th anniversary of the birth of William Wordsworth, showcasing his role in the cultural upheaval of the Romantic Revolution. The author highlights how Wordsworth's poetry forever changed our perspective on childhood, the self, the natural environment, and the purpose of poetry. "Radical Wordsworth" is a beautifully written, purposefully fragmentary, and selective biography.
Today’s book. Jonathan Bate makes strong case for Wordsworth as in many ways the first modern Green - ‘Love of Nature leading to Love of Mankind’ being a dominant theme of The Prelude, which Coleridge said was ‘a sort of experience like the effect of lightening’ – source
Home Truths is an insightful analysis of the ongoing housing crisis in the UK. With a combination of reportage and economic research, the book explores the root causes of the affordability issue and presents bold policy proposals to tackle it. Drawing on interviews with key figures in government and the property industry, as well as those struggling to buy homes, this no-holds-barred critique offers a unique perspective on the crisis and its potential solutions.
Today’s book - lots of interesting ideas on housing & planning by @LiamHalligan. Liam is a fan of Henry George, as am I ! – source
Explore the fascinating behind-the-scenes story of Winston Churchill's memoirs in In Command of History. David Reynolds uncovers how the memoirs solidified Churchill's legacy and helped shape our understanding of World War II. Discover how the British government censored the book to keep state secrets hidden, and how Churchill himself censored the text to avoid offending world leaders. Reynolds also sheds light on Churchill's Second Wilderness Years, revealing how the leader transformed himself into a historical figure, regained his position as Prime Minister, and gave some of his most memorable speeches.
Today’s book. Re-reading it: my note inside says I first read it during the 2005 Labour party conference! A very great work of historical interpretation and recreation – source
"Hidden Hand" is a ground-breaking study that exposes the Chinese Communist Party's secret intentions to reshape the world. Through meticulous research, the book unveils China's economic and covert tactics to weaken global institutions and suppress freedom of expression. As threats against democracy escalate, it's time to wake up and face the challenge head-on.
Important new book on the Xi Jinping dictatorship – source
Ernest Bevin by Andrew Adonis
The Last Kings of Shanghai by Jonathan Kaufman
Shadow State by Luke Harding
Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski
Who Owns History? by Geoffrey Robertson Qc
The Anarchy by William Dalrymple
Appeasement by Tim Bouverie
How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky
Masters and Commanders by Andrew Roberts
One of Them by Musa Okwonga