BEN McNALLY BOOKS

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An occasional preview of some forthcoming books of interest.

The Lost Imperialist by Andrew Gailey

Hodder
The Lost Imperialist by Andrew Gailey

Frederick Hamiton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, enjoyed a glittering career which few could equal. As Viceroy of India and Governor-General of Canada, he held the two most exalted positions available under the Crown, but prior to this his achievements as a British ambassador included restoring order to sectarian conflict in Syria, helping to keep Canada British, paving the way for the annexation of Egypt and preventing war from breaking out on India's North-West Frontier.

Dufferin was much more than a diplomat and politician, however: he was a leading Irish landlord, an adventurer and a travel writer whose Letters from High Latitudes proved a publishing sensation. He also became a celebrity of the time, and in his attempts to sustain his reputation he became trapped by his own inventions, thereafter living his public life in fear of exposure. Ingenuity, ability and charm usually saved the day, yet in the end catastrophe struck in the form of the greatest City scandal for forty years and the death of his heir in the Boer War.

With unique access to the family archive at Clandeboye, Andrew Gailey presents a full biography of the figure once referred to as the 'most popular man in Europe'.

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Freedom of Speech by David K. Shipler

Knopf
Freedom of Speech by David K. Shipler

From the longtime New York Times reporter, best-selling author, and Pulitzer Prize winner-- an expansive, timely assessment of the state of free speech in America.

David Shipler's recent best seller, The Working Poor, cemented his place among our most trenchant social commentators. Now, he turns his keen, illuminating focus to another endangered American ideal: freedom of speech. Through selected accounts of First Amendment invocation and infringement, Shipler maps a rapidly shifting topography of political and cultural norms: parents in Michigan rallying to teachers vilified for their reading lists; conservative ministers risking their churches' tax-exempt status to preach politics from the pulpit; national security reporters using techniques more common in dictatorships to avoid leak prosecution; history teachers in Texas quietly navigating around a conservative curriculum to give students access to unapproved perspectives. Anchored in personal stories--sometimes shocking, sometimes absurd, sometimes dishearteningly familiar--but encompassing a theme as sweeping and essential as democracy itself, Freedom of Speech brilliantly reveals the triumphs and challenges of defining and protecting the boundaries of free expression in modern America.

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A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

Bond Street Books
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson's dazzling Life After Life explored the possibility of infinite chances, following Ursula Todd as she lived through the turbulent events of the last century again and again.

Her new novel tells the story of Ursula Todd's beloved younger brother Teddy--would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband, and father--as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge is facing the difficulties of living in a future he never expected to have. The stunning companion to Life After Life, A God in Ruins explores the loss of innocence, the fraught transition from the war to peace time, and the pain of being misunderstood, especially as we age. Proving once again that Kate Atkinson is "one of the finest writers working today" (The Chicago Tribune), A God in Ruins is the triumphant return of a modern master.

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Beyond Measure by Margaret Heffernan

Simon & Schuster/TED
Beyond Measure by Margaret Heffernan

A powerful manifesto for CEOs and employees alike: influential and award-winning business leader Margaret Heffernan reveals how organizations can build ideal workplace cultures and create seismic shifts by making deceptively small changes.

By implementing sweeping changes, businesses often think it’s possible to do better, to earn more, and have happier employees. So why does engagement prove so difficult and productivity so elusive?

In Beyond Measure, Margaret Heffernan looks back over her decades spent overseeing different organizations and comes to a counter-intuitive conclusion: it’s the small shifts that have the greatest impact. Heffernan argues that building the strongest organization can be accelerated by implementing seemingly small changes, such as embracing conflict as a creative catalyst; using every mind on the team; celebrating mistakes; speaking up and listening more; and encouraging time off from work.

Packed with incredible anecdotes and startling statistics, Beyond Measure takes us on a fascinating tour across the globe, highlighting disparate businesses and revealing how they’ve managed to change themselves in big ways through incremental shifts. How did the CIA revolutionize their intelligence gathering with one simple question? How did one organization increase their revenue by $15 million by instituting a short coffee break? How can a day-long hackathon change the culture of a company? Told with wry wit and knowing humor, Heffernan proves that it’s often the small changes that make the greatest, most lasting impact.

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