Trapeze Books has acquired End State: Nine Ways Society is Broken and How We Fix It by James Plunkett, a "bracing" investigation into how we must rethink, renew, and reform some of the most fundamental ways society is organised.
The synopsis explains: "As the shockwaves of Covid-19 continue to spread, and as the smoke clears from a year of anger and unrest, James Plunkett argues that we are living in times of hope, not despair, which should be viewed as a historic opportunity to build a fairer, happier future. From forcing big tech companies to open up their data, to sharing out the proceeds from a digital economy, to giving children more weight in decisions about the future, this is a book of big, bold ideas we all need to grapple with, coming not from the ivory tower of academia but from an author who has spent his working life at the heart of public policy."
Jamie Coleman, publishing director, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Giles MiIburn at the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency. Publication is slated for 24th June 2021.
Coleman said: "I was so drawn to the vaulting optimism of James’ vision and the sheer scale of his ambition in grappling with questions of this size. His background in public policy and how people actually live means it comes from a very different place to that top down academic feel. End State covers a dizzying sweep of geography and history, from London's 18th century sewage systems to the uneasy inequality of Silicon Valley; it’s a genuinely thrilling account of how society can not only survive, but thrive, in the digital age."
Plunkett has worked in public policy for more than 10 years. He commented: "Politics has felt like such a forlorn topic for the past few years, I’ve been itching for a chance to talk about how things could be better. This feels even more important now as we emerge from the pandemic and think about what kind of society we want to re-build. I know this might feel like an odd time for hope, but in End State I’ve tried to explore how this has all happened before. What at first feels like a gloomy ending turns out to be a new beginning.
"More than anything, though, I wanted to share the spirit of the reformers I’ve met over a decade in public policy. You wouldn’t get this impression from the debates you hear on the TV news, but we’re living through a real renaissance of exciting policy ideas. In End State I’ve tried to put the squabbles of party politics aside to give space to these big ideas. To do that with Orion and Trapeze is such a privilege. It’s Trapeze’s mission to start conversations, and I can’t wait to do that with End State."