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Start the Week
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30 June 2008
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image: andrew marr
This week Andrew Marr is joined by Fareed Zakaria, Stephen Armstrong, Martin Pugh and Katherine Rake.
FAREED ZAKARIA is the editor of Newsweek International magazine and in his latest book he argues that we are entering ‘a Post-American world’. He believes that the United States will continue to enjoy economic success, despite the current credit crunch, but must recognise the ‘rise of the rest’ as countries like China, India and Russia enjoy record growth. If the US is to continue to enjoy power and influence, it must re-define its role – behaving less like a bullying superpower and more as an ‘honest broker’ between these nations, he says. The Post-American World is published by Allen Lane and Fareed will be speaking at the London School of Economics on Monday 30 June.

On the streets of Baghdad, Afghanistan and other trouble spots across the world, there is a new breed of private soldier operating: the corporate mercenary. In his new book, STEPHEN ARMSTRONG charts the rise of the private security contractor and argues that we’re far too close to letting them run not only our battlefields, but also our policing and peacekeeping operations – all without any regulations on who they can kill and how they operate. War plc: The Rise of the New Corporate Mercenary is published by Faber and Faber.

The received view of Britain in the 1920s and 1930s is of a country reeling from the pain and suffering of war and laid low by economic depression and mass unemployment. However, the historian MARTIN PUGH argues the interwar years were anything but, as people indulged in leisure and entertainment of all kinds to create the modern consumer society we know today. We Danced All Night: A Social History of Britain Between the Wars is published by The Bodley Head.

It is 80 years since the passing of the Equal Franchise Act, which meant that women had finally won their battle for the same voting entitlements as men. But KATHERINE RAKE, director of the Fawcett Society, argues that equal votes has not meant equal power and suggests that the process of improving the status of women has been both slower and more complex than the suffrage campaigners could have imagined. Katherine Rake has written an article for the New Statesman magazine to mark the anniversary.

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