BookNight with Patrick Cockburn

Talk Monday 15 September 2014, 7:00 PM


The idea behind members’ BookNights is to have a thoroughly good time, encourage reading and discussion of reading, and to end the night happier and wiser than when it began. For more information about membership and the other benefits on offer, please contact Membership Coordinator, Sophie Kayes.

Following the success of our BookNights with Carlotta Gall, Tim Butcher and Nick Davies, it is our honour to announce the forthcoming dinner.

On Monday 15 September, we welcome Patrick Cockburn, who will – with striking topicality – talk about his new book, The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising. Patrick needs no introduction to Frontline members, who in turn do not need persuading of the fact that he is alone and unique in the depth of his knowledge and experience in Iraq. Where many of us have roamed – Bosnia here, Iraq there, Afghanistan and wherever – Patrick has ploughed his furrow since before the West’s first Iraq adventure in 1991, breaking only to write a poignantly powerful and intimate book with his son. The Jihadis Return is a bit like a packed-explosive IED itself: small and super-charged.

While the West remains torn between belligerence and war-weariness in Iraq, ISIS marches on; and as the crisis deepens, there is no one who can inform us better than Patrick, from the ground he has trodden for 25 years, on the options and lack of them. Here, while you wait for your copy of the book to arrive, are his latest thoughts, in the wake of the execution of our colleague James Foley.

The format for the night will be as tried and tested: drinks from 7:00 PM, dinner at 7:30 PM – getting to know one another over starters before the introduction of the evening’s guest author. Patrick will then speak a while, after which the discussion begins. Carlotta Gall and Tim Butcher needed no ‘chairing’, but the discourse with Nick Davies needed, perhaps, a tighter rein. We’ll gauge that as we go. Same ethos as usual: this is NOT a “book club”, more a 19th century salon after which people leave drunker, better-fed and wiser than when they arrived, having hopefully made new acquaintances, friends, lovers, who knows.

Very best wishes, see you there –

Ed Vulliamy

Frontline Club BookNights

Menu £25 per person excluding drinks

Smoked Mackerel fillet with beetroot & horseradish cream
Pork belly salad with caramelised apple & dandelion
Pea & watercress soup
Main Courses
Roast rump of Norfolk Lamb with courgette, mash & black olive jus
Wild sea trout with linguine & lobster bisque
Pumpkin & chickpea tagine with couscous & minted yogurt
Raspberry & blackcurrant parfait
Dark chocolate & salted caramel tart with creme fraiche
Lemon posset with shortbread