Upper Room Town Hall

From Hong Kong to New York Mafias affect politics, finance, art and everyday life.
Federico Varese presents his latest book: his lifetime’s research into some of the world’s most secretive societies, answering the questions, What it is like to belong to the Mafia? How do you join? What happens to your family?
How do you succeed? How do you manage a Mafia? And what happens if you break the rules?
Federico Varese graduated from Bologna University, holds an M.Phil in Social and Political Theory from King’s College, Cambridge and D.Phil in Sociology from the University of Oxford where he is now Professor of Criminology in the Department of Sociology. He is also the Director of the Extra-Legal Governance Institute, a Research Associate of the Centre of Criminology, and a Senior Research Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford. He is currently working on the application of network analysis to criminal behaviour and the rescue of persecuted minorities during the Nazi occupation of Europe. He has published papers internationally in many journals and edits the journal Global Crime. His other books are The Russian Mafia (Ed Hewitt Prize 2002) and Mafias on the Move.

Upper Room Town Hall

…fourteen, and shown a photo of the man chosen to be her husband…
Sue Cook interviews Jasvinder Sanghera on her international best selling story of her struggle as a young girl to escape from a cruel and claustrophobic world where family honour mattered more than anything – sometimes more than life itself.
‘A success story to inspire anyone’ Time Magazine
‘An inspiring book, not least because of it’s honesty’ The Sunday Times
Jasvinder Sanghera CBE, Honorary Doctor of the University of Derby, Woman Of The Year 2007, The Pride of Britain Award 2009, Cosmopolitan Ultimate Woman of the Year 2010, The Guardian top 100 Most Inspirational Women in the World 2011, and Legal Campaigner of the Year 2014, was born and brought up in Derby. She is the founder of Karma Nirvana, a national award winning charity that supports both men and women affected by honour based abuse and forced marriages. An expert advisor to the courts, Jasvinder’s work is recognised as being pivotal to the creation
of a specific UK forced marriage criminal offence in 2014.
Sue Cook is well known as a BBC presenter of the 1980s and 90s – Nationwide, Breakfast Time, Crimewatch and Children in Need on TV; You and Yours and Making History on Radio 4. Her books include the novels On Dangerous Ground and Force of Nature, and she is writing a third novel.

Upper Room Town Hall

Craig Murray brings a belated measure of both justice and forgiveness to Alexander Burnes, the main antagonist of the Great Game as Britain strove with Russia for control of Central Asia and the routes to the Raj. Craig’s book is in a real sense a prequel, 200 years earlier, to his controversial memoir Murder in Samarkand. Among the astonishing revelations are that Alexander and his brother invented and published the myths about Scottish Freemasons and Knights Templar that form the plot of the Da Vinci Code.
‘If you are a fan of the Flashman series of books, you will be gripped’– The Sun
‘a terrific read’ Daily Mail
Craig Murray, University of Dundee educated and Rector (2007-10), joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a member of the Diplomatic Service in 1984, and became British Ambassador to Uzbekistan in 2002. He was removed from this post in 2004 for exposing appalling human rights abuses by the US-funded regime of President Islam Karimov. He is a close associate of Julian Assange. In The Guardian of 10th December 2016, he described the CIA allegations of hacking relating to the 2016 US Presidential election as ‘bullshit’.

Upper Room Town Hall

Diana Darke’s insider’s view of the Syrian Revolution: in 2005 Diana bankrupted herself buying a semi-derelict 18th century courtyard house in the Old Walled City of Damascus. It became a refuge for displaced friends, and was stolen by war profiteers.
‘the pace of a novel and the colour of the best travel writing’ TLS
Diana Darke, after graduating in Arabic from Oxford University, worked at GCHQ in Cheltenham before living and working in a range of Arabic countries as a translator and consultant. She has written 16 travel guides to the region, and been back six times since the Syrian crisis began, most recently to retake her house. She’s committed to helping Syrians achieve a better future. She has written for the BBC website, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The
Daily Telegraph and The Financial Times and has been a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent.
For every copy sold Haus Publishing will donate 15% of their receipts and Diana Darke 15% of her royalty to a Higher Education Fund for Syrians, administered by the Saïd Foundation.

Upper Room Town Hall

Doors open at 6.30pm TOKE’S Wine Bar

Every Monday evening, six people gather in a smart North London house to talk about shame. A respected doctor, a well-heeled housewife, a young male prostitute …..… All they have in common is …………
Sue Cook chairs this informal discussion between Mark Billingham and the audience on Mark’s 2016 crime novel.
A Mark Lawson The Guardian Best of 2016 Crime and Thrillers
‘perfectly pitched and elegantly plotted’ Daily Mail
‘A riveting tale’ The Times
Mark Billingham has twice  on the Theakston Old Peculiar Award for Best Crime Novel, and has also won a Sherlock Award for Best Detective created by a British Writer. Each of the Tom Thorne novels has been a Sunday Times best seller and Sleepyhead and Scared Cat were made into a hit series on Sky 1 starring David Morrissey.
For Sue Cook’s biography see ’Shame’ above
With thanks to TOKE’S Food and Drink
Tel: 01386 849345

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