Thursday
Aug292019

'Now We Have Your Attention' - New Book Out In September 2019

A major new book exploring Britain's political pandemonium from a radically different angle - published by The Bodley Head and Vintage Books

- Released 19th September 2019
- Available now to pre-order

“This book is a journey across a country in crisis, although not the one we usually read about in the papers or hear about on the news.”

After decades of institutional stasis, our politics is in flux. Shock election results, constitutional chaos, new parties, new leaders and new governments fill the airwaves, while the pundits we traditionally rely upon to navigate the political terrain on our behalf are throwing up their hands in confusion. Most commentators continue to fixate on the personalities and parlour-games at Westminster - the earthquakes and volcanoes on the surface - rather than asking how and why the tectonic plates beneath are shifting so dramatically. To understand the roots of our current chaos, and the fierce struggles over what will emerge from it, a different approach is urgently needed.

'Now We Have Your Attention: The New Politics Of The People' is an alternative map of the tumult. From Essex to Newcastle and Kensington to Manchester, from a dank club night in Brighton to a shabby shop-front in Glasgow, almost four hundred miles north, it travels deep into the lived experiences of individuals and communities right across the country to uncover the ways in which the old politics is falling apart, and the spaces in which rival futures are being fought for. With exceptional access to some of the UK’s most exciting and dynamic new political movements, it reveals how the collapse of a paradigm that has structured our world for forty years fuelling political engagement of a completely different sort: local, personal, effective and utterly fearless.

Published on 19th September 2019 by The Bodley Head and Vintage Books, 'Now We Have Your Attention' is available to pre-order now in hardback, e-book and audiobook from Amazon, Waterstones, The Hive, or your local independent bookshop.

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Advance praise for 'Now We Have Your Attention'

"One of the most important and compelling books I've ever read, by one of Britain's most gifted writers. If you want to understand why we are in this crisis, listen to the voices all too often airbrushed from the political conversation" (Owen Jones)

"Jack Shenker’s diligently reported and elegantly written book not only describes how the calamity of Britain today was long in the making... Ignoring the clamorous dirges of mainstream journalism, it outlines a future about which one can reasonably feel hope" (Pankaj Mishra)

"With scrupulous probing and sensitive interpretation, this penetrating inquiry lays bare the malaise of deindustrialization and austerity in Britain... The picture that unfolds is shocking, but also inspiring, with rays of hope that a better future may be within reach" (Noam Chomsky)

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Events 2019

Edinburgh Books Festival, Edinburgh - 'Implosion of the Old Politics': Jack Shenker in conversation with Ece Temelkuran and Heather Parry
Saturday 24th August, 12.30pm. More details here

RSA, London - 'Inside the New Politics': Jack Shenker in conversation with Adanna Shallowe
Thursday 12th September, 1pm. More details here

Waterstones Piccadilly, London
Thursday 10th October, details TBC

Stroud Literary Festival, Stroud
Saturday 9th November, details TBC

Tower Hamlets Writeidea Festival, London
Saturday 16th November, 5.30pm. More details here

Topping, Bath - Jack Shenker on 'Now We Have Your Attention: The New Politics of the People'
Tuesday 26th November, 8pm. More details here

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Critical praise for Jack's previous book, 'The Egyptians: A Radical Story'

SELECTED AS A 'BOOK OF THE YEAR' 2016 BY THE ECONOMIST AND THE OBSERVER, AND AS A 'BOOK OF THE YEAR' 2017 BY KIRKUS REVIEWS

Meticulous, carefully researched and passionately argued... ‘The Egyptians’ is not just about the revolution, it is an act within it (Ahdaf Soueif, Guardian)

Inspirational... [Shenker's] analysis is acutely clear-sighted, given the chaos of recent events. The book mixes a hawk's eye view of the forces of global capitalism as applied to Egypt with a vivid worm's eye view of what it is like to be caught up in a revolution. This is a passionate book, but not an unbalanced one... it tells stories that need to be told, and which have been widely ignored (George Arney, Independent)

Truly astonishing... painstakingly researched, moving, engaging and engaged, the most articulate and comprehensive account of the revolution I have read to date... ‘The Egyptians’ is a must read for anyone who wants to understand how and why Egypt's revolution happened – and why it continues. (Mariam Ali, Open Democracy)

Jack Shenker pulls no punches in his examination of the post-Nasser Egyptian establishment and its venal and murderous ways... It is stirring stuff, compellingly reported and powered by a tenacious empathy for the underdog in a country where the rich have taken - in many cases plundered - almost everything from under the noses of the poor... (Justin Marozzi, Sunday Times)

The real story [of Egypt's revolution] is more confused and more complicated, and, as Shenker presents it in this detailed, meticulous and fascinating book, more hopeful... A historical long view is just one of the things that makes this book stand out (Anthony Sattin, Observer)

Shenker has written what amounts to a contemporary history of injustice … Shenker is a sensitive interlocutor, and the people-stories he relates comprise a stirring mise en valeur of a struggle for human dignity of unsung depth and dimension (Maria Golia, Times Literary Supplement)