A groundbreaking and shocking new work of non-fiction from one of the brightest young thinkers of today.
'Thoughtful and intelligent' Observer
'Inside the anti-political revolt that gave us Brexit and Trump' Evening Standard
'Fascinating... Excellent' Literary Review
'Must read … A radical odyssey' Daily Mail
In the last few years the world has changed in unexpected ways. The power of radical ideas and groups is growing. What was once considered extreme is now the mainstream. But what is life like on the political fringes? What is the real power of radicals?
Radicals is an exploration of the individuals, groups and movements who are rejecting the way we live now, and attempting to find alternatives. In it, Jamie Bartlett, one of the world’s leading thinkers on radical politics and technology, takes us inside the strange and exciting worlds of the innovators, disruptors, idealists and extremists who think society is broken, and believe they know how to fix it. From dawn raids into open mines to the darkest recesses of the internet, Radicals introduces us to some of the most secretive and influential movements today: techno-futurists questing for immortality, far-right groups seeking to close borders, militant environmentalists striving to save the planet's natural reserves by any means possible, libertarian movements founding new countries, autonomous cooperatives in self-sustaining micro-societies, and psychedelic pioneers attempting to heal society with the help of powerful hallucinogens.
As well as providing a fascinating glimpse at the people and ideas driving these groups, Radicals also presents a startling argument: radicals are not only the symptoms of a deep unrest within the world today, but might also offer the most plausible models for our future.
“Bartlett is an accomplished journalist: careful, dispassionate and willing to put the time in. And once again he does the work, spending time with people whom less committed reporters might wish to avoid. And he does so with a degree of sympathy that is as impressive as it is rare... All of the chapters contain thoughtful and intelligent reflections on the position of outsiders who, as Bartlett reminds us, could well be proven by history to be ahead of their time.”
Andrew Anthony, Observer
“Very interesting book, lots of fascinating details.”
Amber Rudd MP, Home Secretary
“Inside the anti-political revolt that gave us Brexit and Trump... Bartlett is right to remind us that democracies are not necessarily the natural order, and that they need fresh ideas to survive some very scary emerging challenges.”
Andrew Neather, Evening Standard
“Bartlett has put together a fascinating book and is an excellent narrator.”
James Bloodworth, Literary Review
“He is a natural storyteller and Radicals is a book of tales. Showing understanding and humility, whilst moving himself to the role of outsider or studied observer when needed, Bartlett exercises the art of storytelling. His ability to be probing whilst remaining sensitive and non-dismissive draws out intriguing details that could easily have been lost... Intriguing and sometimes fraught with a little jeopardy, you can’t help but get hooked on the narratives.”
David Beer, LSE Review of Books
“A smart, serious book that goes out into the world, reflecting on lives rather than headlines. Excellent.”
“Radicals sets out to describe and understand this new spirit of radicalism... Throughout, Mr Bartlett is a friendly guide, with a reporter's eye for detail and a willingness to engage with his subjects.”
Wall Street Journal
“Enlightening and unnerving... Bartlett, ever the knowledgeable guide through murky political and technological waters...embeds himself with these groups and approaches each with a commendable balance of genuine open-mindedness and healthy scepticism... A highly recommended read, Radicals could influence you to chase after some of these utopian organisations and ideas, or make you want to flee from them just the same.”
New York Journal of Books
“Entertaining... the apparently laconic approach disguises sharp insight and meticulous investigation. The narratives lead the reader to conclude that any state wishing to flourish should make more room for radicalism.”
Jonathan Bak, TLS
“Bartlett notes the amplifying effect of the Internet as an echo chamber for affirming beliefs that may not be widely accepted in broader society, and keeps his general observations upbeat, even in an age of angry political populism. He leaves readers with the observation that liberal societies are inherently risky and unstable, but their ability to accommodate radical views is also what allows them to change, and that change is generally for the better.”
“A hugely original account of how it is outsiders, often sitting uneasily on the traditional left to right spectrum who across the globe are forcing changes on the mainstream.”
Mark Perryman, Open Democracy
“Must read … A radical odyssey.”
“Radicals interestingly ... chronicles Bartlett’s experiences embedding himself in various radical groups ... Engaging ... Thoughtful and challenging.”
Winnipeg Free Press