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Queen Mary’s Summer Book and TV Musts

We can all agree on the benefits of an engaging book or TV series. Our academics regularly author books on a number of fascinating topics, and one of our students is currently starring in a hit TV show. Each of the below will certainly captivate you over the summer.

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Making a Psychopath – Dr Mark Freestone, Reader in Mental Health, Centre for Psychiatry

Find out what truly makes a psychopath, from the leading expert who helped to create Killing Eve's Villanelle. Dr Mark Freestone has worked on some of the most disturbing psychopath cases of recent times - this is his extraordinary journey with the people society would rather forget.

With its page-turning true crime storytelling and searing first-hand experience that will leave you reeling, this book opens up a window onto the unseen world of those who operate in a void of human emotion ... and asks how we will stop them.

Irish Political Prisoners 1960-2000 - Seán McConville, Professor of Law and Public Policy

This is a comprehensive, detailed and humane account of the thousands who came into custody during the years of the Northern Ireland conflict and how they lived out the months, years and decades in Irish and English maximum security prisons.

The book includes some of the most remarkable events in prison history anywhere – mass breakouts, organised cell-fouling and prolonged nakedness, and hunger striking to the death.

Britain's War: A New World, 1942-1947- Daniel Todman, Professor of Modern History and Head of the School of History

The second volume of Daniel Todman's epic history of the Second World War opens with one of the greatest disasters in British military history - the fall of Singapore in February 1942. Unlike the aftermath of Dunkirk, there was no redeeming narrative available here - Britain had been defeated by a far smaller Japanese force in her grandly proclaimed, invincible Asian 'fortress'.

Britain's War is a triumph of narrative, empathy and research, as gripping in its handling of individual witnesses to the war - those doomed to struggle with bombing, rationing, exhausting work and above all the absence of millions of family members - as of the gigantic military, social, technological and economic forces that swept the conflict along. It is the definitive account of a drama which reshaped our country.

Professor Todman’s novel also won the Templer Medal book prize earlier this year. It is awarded by the Society for Army Historical Research to the author of the book published during that year that has made the most significant contribution to the history of the British Army.

What Ails France? - Brigitte Granville, Professor of International Economics and Economic Policy; Head of Department of Business Analytics and Applied Economics

As evidenced by the yellow vests protest movement that began in France in 2018, the state of the French nation inspires gloom among many of its citizens. Brigitte Granville views this malaise as a peculiarly French symptom of the difficulties experienced by many advanced industrial democracies in the face of globalization, technology, and mass immigration.

A refreshing, ideologically freewheeling discussion, What Ails France? provides a positive take on the innovations of our digital age, exploring their potential to bring about a more representative democracy and a fairer society.

The Pope and the pill - David Geiringer, Associate Lecturer

This book is about the sexual and religious lives of Catholic women in post-war England. It uses original oral history material to uncover the way Catholic women negotiated spiritual and sexual demands at a moment when the two increasingly seemed at odds with each other.

It also examines the public pronouncements and secretive internal documents of the central Catholic Church, offering a ground-breaking new explanation of the Pope's decision to prohibit the Pill in 1968

The book will be essential reading not only for scholars of sexuality, religion, gender and oral history, but anyone interested in social and cultural change more broadly.


We are Lady Parts

Shot at Queen Mary, the comedy has already garnered significant attention in the UK and across the pond for its fresh look at the highs and lows of a punk feminist Muslim band in East London.

Critics and fans have praised the show’s humour as well as what it has done to challenge negative stereotypes of Muslim women. Its complexity, brilliant a performances, and sheer uniqueness make it a must-watch.

Baptiste – Conrad Khan, Film Studies student

Queen Mary Film Studies student Conrad Khan features in the BBC drama Baptiste, which follows fictional French detective Julien Baptiste who specialises in missing persons cases.

The second series recently returned to screens with the detective immersing himself in an intriguing new case in Hungary.

Conrad plays Will Chambers, whose journey is centred on coping and dealing with a horrifying and life-altering incident.

Black Holes: The Edge of All We Know - Malcolm Perry, Professor of Theoretical Physics

In the recently released documentary Black Holes: The Edge of All We Know, filmmakers follow two powerhouse research collaborations; one such group involves the late Stephen Hawking and Malcolm Perry, Professor of Theoretical Physics from the Centre for Research in String Theory at Queen Mary University of London.

The documentary shows Hawking and Perry, alongside a group of theoretical physicists, working on the long-standing ‘information paradox”, one of the most interesting questions in modern physics.


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