From despotic regimes to media manipulation, our authors lift the lid on those in power in this week’s Think Smarter month reading list. For a chance to win the whole set, sign up to the Think Smarter newsletter.


Red NoticeVery few writers who tackle corruption in the Kremlin will have come as close to it as Bill Browder. The American born financier turned human rights campaigner recalls the murder of his young lawyer and the consequences of his search for justice in this tense and insightful account of life as an enemy of Vladimir Putin. Red Notice reads like a crime thriller – the fact that everything in it is true only makes it more chilling.


Dear LeaderPrior to his escape, Jang Jin-sung held one of the most senior ranks in North Korea’s propaganda machine, helping tighten the regime’s grip over its people until his escape. Read an extract from Dear Leader, exclusively for Think Smarter.



The News A users manualDo journalists have a duty to engage and entertain us? What is public interest? Is there ever a possibility for fairness and balance? How do editors decide what goes on the front page? Alain de Botton looks at these questions and more in The News.



I never promised you a rose gardenAs we approach May’s general election, the Guardian’s political sketch writer, John Crace, gives us his sharp and witty analysis of the fights and compromises of the UK’s first coalition government since WWII. Starting with that promising first press conference, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden is a chronicle of one of the great Parliamentary mismatches.


No Place to Hide

In the 18 months since Edward Snowden revealed the level of surveillance carried out by the US and UK intelligence agencies, the activities of the NSA and GCHQ have come under scrutiny, and Snowden has gone into hiding in Russia. In No Place to Hide, journalist Glenn Greenwald looks at the state of our personal freedoms, and reveals what it’s like to question the legality of the state.



To help you make the most of 2015, we’re devoting this January to sharing exclusive writing from some of our biggest smart thinking authors. Sign up to the Think Smarter mailing list and you’ll get a weekly digest straight to your inbox every Saturday this month, as well as monthly newsletters throughout the rest of the year.

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