The world we live in

War in Ukraine. China threatening Taiwan with invasion. Donald Trump tilting for another presidential run. Meantime, the spectre of AI looms over a world scarcely coping with the existential threat of climate change. More than ever, we need to make sense of the world we live in.

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December 2023 Releases

Thomas A. Bass 

Return to Fukushima

In 2018 and again four and a half years later, Thomas A. Bass travelled to Fukushima. The difference was dramatic. The place had been cleaned up and reopened—not fully—but little-by-little people are learning to live with radioactivity, decontaminate their fields, monitor their food, and prepare for the next wave to wash over this seismically precarious part of the world. Return to Fukushima offers a look at how it might be possible to survive atomic disaster. Think of this book as a field guide to our future. 

The renowned antinuclear activist and physician Helen Caldicott describes the book an “an excellent detailed account of the terrifying meltdowns at the Fukushima reactors, of the subsequent human costs and the almost-criminal behaviour of the Japanese government and its pronuclear lobby.”

Thomas A. Bass is the author of eight books, including The Eudaemonic Pie and The Predictors. A contributor to the New Yorker, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Smithsonian, Audubon, and other publications, he is Professor of English and Journalism at the State University of New York in Albany. 

Anne Stevenson-Yang

There and Back Again

Anne Stevenson-Yang lived in China for a quarter-century and witnessed its remarkable rise from communist backwater to global economic powerhouse. Today, she argues, the country is on its way back towards the isolation and general poverty that have characterised much of its history. In There and Back Again she illuminates the ways in which the Chinese political economy contained the seeds of its own contraction, why the economic well-being of the majority of Chinese people conflicts with the continued power of their political leaders, and why those leaders will ultimately sacrifice the broader economy for their own personal security.

China’s short-lived experiment with capitalism

Anne Stevenson-Yang was a journalist based in New York before moving to China in 1993. Over 25 years living in Beijing, she founded three companies in publishing, software, and online media. She is the author of China Alone: China’s Emergence and Potential Return to Isolation.

Attila Demkó

Fall Out

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in 2020 was a spectacular self-inflicted wound. At a strategic level, Russia lost tremendous power and prestige, even in the eyes of its allies. The political miscalculations and the military debacle that followed exposed Russia’s military weakness, technological backwardness and moribund political system. Moreover, the lies and deceits used to justify the war have widened rifts within its society which could take decades to heal. Although the political and economic consequences of Putin’s misadventure have been catastrophic for Ukraine, the longer-lasting damage might be to Russia itself. The big question in geopolitics today is whether the former Soviet empire will even survive the fallout from the fiasco in Ukraine.

Attila Demkó is the head of the Centre for Geopolitics at Mathias Corvinus Collegium in Budapest and the author of several books on history, foreign and security policy. Previously, he led the Defence Policy Department in the Ministry of Defence of Hungary and the Defence Policy Section at the Permanent Representation of Hungary to NATO.

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and its aftermath

Brian Kern

Liberate Hong Kong

Liberate Hong Kong takes readers to the heart of the protest movement in Hong Kong, inside the networks of demonstrators in neighbourhoods long ignored by those who rule over the city. It tells the stories of the people of Hong Kong—the shopkeepers, musicians, young radicals to middle-aged moderates—who have led the way in demanding universal suffrage and freedom from control by the Chinese Communist Party.

Banned in Hong Kong when it first came out in 2020, this is the first English-language book to give an eyewitness account of the protests that shook Hong Kong in 2019-20.

Stories from the freedom struggle

Brian Kern is a writer and activist based in the US. He has written two previous books on Hong Kong, Umbrella: A Political Tale from Hong Kong and As long as there is resistance, there is hope: Essays on the Hong Kong freedom struggle in the post-Umbrella Movement era, 2014-2018, under the pseudonym Kong Tsung-gan.

Peter Guest


The boundaries between the online world and the offline are as thin as electrons. Conspiracy theories crawl out of social media with violent intent, warping politics and fracturing societies. An attempt to democratise money ends up with burning coal, burning cars and a new oligopoly. Revolutions started on social media are smashed offline, and authoritarian regimes turn the tools of revolt against their own people, for propaganda, surveillance and intimidation. Meatspace is a travel guide to the physical and human geography of the internet; how technologies that were supposed to make us freer, smarter and more connected have been hijacked to make us more controlled, more compliant, and more divided.

Peter Guest is an award-winning journalist working on the political, social and environmental impact of technology. Currently the Business Editor of WIRED, he has written for the Atlantic, Bloomberg Businessweek, Newsweek, Monocle, MIT Tech Review and the Financial Times.

Dispatches from the dark heart of the internet