This May Help You Understand the World
Every passing day we are put under more and more pressure to be knowledgeable about events from all across the world.
With the media now running constantly and new snippets of information, headlines and sound bites bombarding us at all hours, we are somehow expected to be able to assimilate greater and greater amounts of information about a wider array of subjects than ever before. But how much do we actually know about what’s going on all around us? Are we the only ones worried that we might not know enough? Lawrence Potter assures us that we are not and has made it his business to help fill a great many of the gaps. In this light hearted and accessible book he takes a fresh look at many of important issues of the day, providing detailed background information on subjects ranging from ecological footprints to the Cultural Revolution in China and answering questions such as:
What is a neoconservative?
Who are the Janjaweed?
Why are the Palestinians fighting each other?
Which countries have nuclear weapons?
Is there still a war in Chechnya?
'A great book, essentially a Dummies' Guide to Now, which simply and clearly explains the background to all manner of world situations, from Darfur to climate change for anyone who, like me, sometimes feels bewildered at the sheer amount of news information thrown at them.' Charlie Brooker, Guardian
'A current affairs primer with a simple aim: to ensure you'll never again struggle at dinner parties when someone asks you for your views on Palestine.' Time Out Books For Christmas
'...written with disarming honesty and a wonderful sense of humour, explaining quite difficult problems with just the right level of detail and analysis. He also brings to his writing an enthusiasm for learning that other teachers could do well to replicate...the fact that he carries off his work in such a modest and open-minded way means that it is more like a debate with a friend than some pompous know-it-all. His book is a pleasure to read and certianly worth buying for those new to politics.' Morning Star
'Lawrence Potter's engaging little book is a kind of bluffer's guide to some of the thorniest topics facing us today. Questions such as what is going on in Iraq; what is the nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict; and is George W. Bush really stupid? ... entertaining and informative.' Mail on Sunday
Lawrence Potter studied Classics at Magdalen College, Oxford, and has since travelled to Central America, taught English in Romania and currently teaches Maths in Rwanda. He is the author of bestselling title Mathematics Minus Fear now published by Particular Books, Penguin, UK.
An updated edition of THIS MAY HELP YOU UNDERSTAND THE WORLD is now published by Particular Books, Penguin UK.
GQ Magazine October 2007:
COVER CONCEPT: CATHERYN KILGARRIFF
ILLUSTRATION BY HOLLY MACDONALD