The Bodley Head has pre-empted an investigation into Britain’s "radical new politics" by political journalist Jack Shenker.
They Know Nothing: A Field-guide to the New Politics will draw on Shenker's knowledge of and access to Britain’s alternative political scene to provide "a revelatory and authoritative insider’s guide" to the country’s new political landscape.
According to The Bodley Head, Shenker will show there is "a revolution in our midst ... as profound as that of the 1960s". He will be reporting from the activist communities, campaigning organisations and protest movements that, it is argued, are subverting and replacing mainstream party politics throughout the country.
Shenker is a London-born journalist who has reported on politics and protest internationally. He was appointed the Guardian’s Egypt correspondent at the age of 25, in which role he covered the Egyptian revolution of 2011, leading to a book with Allen Lane entitled The Egyptians: A Radical Story published in 2016. In 2012 his investigation into the deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean was awarded news story of the year at the One World media awards, and his work has also explored ecological crises in central Asia, grassroots labour organising in southern Africa, and the corporate takeover of cities in the UK.
Will Hammond, deputy publishing director at The Bodley Head, pre-empted world rights from Karolina Sutton at Curtis Brown.
Hammond said Shenker's first-hand reporting represented something "trail-blazing and different" in the sea of voices offering commentary on today's politics.
"Every day brings a fresh deluge of commentary, analysis and opinion as we attempt to make sense of our current political moment," said Hammond. "Characteristically, Jack Shenker is doing something trail-blazing and different: he is reporting first-hand and from the inside the emergence of a new politics where none of the old assumptions apply and the birth of a newly politicised generation who will define Britain’s future. This is the book we need above all."
Shenker commented: "Following decades of staid, managerial politics, ideological combat has returned to the UK and transformed the political terrain around us beyond recognition. As one orthodoxy crumbles, a vast array of alternatives are sprouting from the wreckage – yet too often the pundits and commentators we rely on to navigate these spaces on our behalf appear lost, clutching outdated maps that no longer bear any relation to the reality of Britain on the ground. I hope this book can offer a new atlas, telling a story not of any one political party or election cycle but rather of a far larger historical moment of political possibility that will impact us all for many years to come."
Publication is provisionally scheduled for spring 2019.