In a new biography, the former Labour minister and writer Roy Hattersley charts the life and politics of David Lloyd George - the Prime Minister responsible for the creation of the welfare state and instrumental in winning the First World War. Described as “The Great Outsider”, Lloyd George was a maverick who “felt no obligation to respect the rules of the society in which he lived”, but was passionately dedicated to the causes he fought for. Roy Hattersley talks about how Lloyd George’s welfare reforms and coalition government changed the face of British politics.David Lloyd George: The Great Outsider
David Lloyd George: The Great Outsider is published by Little, Brown.
In her most recent book, the moral philosopher Mary Midgley addresses the pervasive use of Darwinian arguments to explain what drives human motivation. She argues that ideas about the survival of the fittest have become so ubiquitous that we rarely question the claim that we are all self-interested, in thrall to our instincts to claw our way to the top. Mary Midgley argues that this way of thinking stems, not from Darwin, but from a wider, philosophical tradition of Enlightenment thinking and she talks about why philosophers should not leave debates about human nature to biologists.The Solitary Self
The Solitary Self: Darwin and the Selfish Gene is published by Acumen.
“More change and more conflict were crammed into the 1980s than any other decade in the second half of the twentieth century. Out of political chaos, Britain arrived at a settlement that lasted, for better or worse. The way we live now follows directly from the tumultuous events of the 1980s.” In his new book, No Such Thing As Society, Andy McSmith examines Britain in the decade of Thatcher, including the miners’ strike, the Falklands War, the Brixton riots and Band Aid. He talks about the legacy of the 1980s and how this decade of extremes shaped contemporary Britain.No Such Thing As Society
No Such Thing As Society: A History of Britain in the 1980s is published by Constable.
Richard Bean’s new play is a story of loyalty, disillusion and betrayal. The Big Fellah is set in New York at an apartment used as a safe house for the IRA. It begins in 1972 after Bloody Sunday and follows the effect of the Troubles in Northern Ireland on Irish Americans over the next three decades. When the play opens the titular hero is riding high, successfully collecting funds for the IRA, sure in the knowledge that their fight has a strong moral purpose. But Richard Bean crafts a play that shows the reality of terrorism, and that as disillusionment seeps in, it gradually becomes clear that someone in the group is leaking information to the FBI.The Big Fellah
The Big Fellah is on at the Lyric Hammersmith in London from 21 September to 16 October before it goes on tour around the country.
Start The Week sets the cultural agenda for the week ahead, with high-profile guests discussing the…