Watch Gareth Peirce discussing her work and Dispatches from the Dark Side: On Torture and the Death of Justice with Guardian legal affairs correspondent Afua Hirsch at the Frontline Club in London.
Owen Hatherley visits Euston station with Gavin Stamp for BBC Radio 4's "Front Row" show. Presenter John Wilson meets
Two architectural historians who have written new books about change, destruction and reinvention in the urban landscape. Owen Hatherley's A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain laments much of the recent public building projects of the last two decade; Gavin Stamp's Lost Victorian Britain is a self-explanatory title.
William Skidelsky calls Sukhdev Sandhu's Night Haunts "unconventional, poetic and—yes—haunting", and makes it his paperback of the week.
Throughout, Sandhu is alive to the magic and mystery of the London night, qualities too often sacrificed to the modern tendency to equate "night" with "nightlife". Night, he argues, is now no longer a realm of enchantment, but a zone of tawdry entertainment, where opportunities for profit-making can be ruthlessly extended.
In a mid-term piece for New City, Ian Epstein does a survey of recent books on Barack Obama, opening with a dig at the people making the books:
The midterm election is a quadrennial occasion like an extremely exclusive art fair or a seminal trade show for many American industries. The main topic, of course, is the celebrated and increasingly absurd blend of American ritual and American politics. The midterms inject energy into everything, and especially the allegedly troubled industry of pulped trees and human thought that is known as publishing.
Among the books under scrutiny here are Roger D. Hodge's The Mendacity of Hope, Edward McClelland's Young Mr. Obama, Ari Berman's Herding Donkeys, and, of course, Tariq Ali's The Obama Syndrome about which Epstein writes, missing the point of the book entirely:
It lacks the make-you-want-to-stand-up-and-say-fuck-yeah attitude with which Obama adeptly mystified the masses during his campaign.
The book to make-you-want-to-stand-up-and-say-fuck-yeah that Epstein is perhaps looking for is The Verso Book of Dissent ...