Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown
©Rex Features

Britain vs the banks

How financial hubris and excess gave way to crisis, scandal – and an uncertain future. Philip Augar reviews books by Ian Fraser, Hugh Pym and Alex Brummer

Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan and their interpreters at a summit in Geneva, Switzerland
©Peter Marlow/Magnum Photos

The men who made peace

Lessons for today’s policy makers in this look at the final years of the cold war. Review by Robert Zoellick

Illustration of a man with a mop
©Juliana Wang

‘England and Other Stories’, by Graham Swift

Well-honed tales of England over the centuries. Review by Rachel Seiffert

‘The House of Twenty Thousand Books’, by Sasha Abramsky

A turbulent century is reflected in the story of a leftwing book collector. Review by Rebecca Abrams

‘In Love and War’, by Alex Preston

Passion and fascism in the heat of 1930s Florence. Review by Suzi Feay

A northern goshawk
©Corbis Images

‘H is for Hawk’, by Helen Macdonald

Falconry provides the backdrop for a stunning exploration of personal trauma past and present. Review by Melissa Harrison

book cover of 'Too Difficult Box', edited by Charles Clarke

‘The Too Difficult Box’, edited by Charles Clarke

The thorny issues that governments avoid. Review by Philip Stephens

‘Friendship’, by Emily Gould

Review by India Ross

‘Through the Woods’, by Emily Carroll

Review by Carl Wilkinson

‘Impact’, by Adam Baker

Review by James Lovegrove