Contemporary & International Issues

The facts behind the news - Intelligent introductions to contemporary issues for adults.

John Farndon writes lively, accessible, easy-to-read, insightful introductions to contemporary issues, from what really goes into food to the progress of modern China. His specialities include science-based topics and gepolitcs and the human geography of the world.

Energy Bulb

Iran: Everything You Need to Know by John Farndon

128 pages Icon (April, 2006)/Disinformation

'Iran: Everything You Need to Know', provides capsule histories of the US-engineered coup that overthrew the mildly reformist Prime Minister Mossadeq in 1953, the events that led to the Revolution in 1979, the return from exile of Ayatollah Khomeini and the resulting rule of the mullahs.It gives a valuable overview of the US/Iran relationship of mutual antipathy that has seen Iranians categorize America as the 'Great Satan', while Bush has included Iran in his fatuous 'Axis of Evil'.

Radio, TV and Web

  • The Joe Teehan Show 'The Liberal Outpost' Radio KGMI
  • BBC Radio Scotland


John Farndon's Iran: Everything You Need to Know is an excellent and corrective primer on the culture and politics of this fascinating and complex country...a valuable overview.

Peter Whittaker, New Internationalist

John Farndon offers an insightful depiction of a country shrouded in controversy yet deeply embedded in fascinating history...This book will let you formulate your own opinion.

Felicity Reynolds, South Coast Register

Farndon demolishes myths about [Iran] with lots of facts about the way Britain, America and Russia have manipulated the rulers of Iran in their quest for influence, land and oil.

Harry Mottram, Western Daily Press

Surprisingly, Farndon's effortless writing style manages to make an elaborately expansive history lesson fly by like an adventure novel....Any Western reader wishing to develop a better understanding of this important Middle Eastern country should take it upon themselves to read this book. Many books may offer information on Iran, but few will offer it in such an engaging, non-biased, easy-to-digest format.

Zach Freeman, Blogger News Network

The book takes us back to Persia's beginnings with Farndon's easy-to-read condensed history of Iran (not an easy thing to do considering Iran's status as one of the oldest places of human inhabitance in the world)...It's a book to pick up when the Western press's hysteria about Iran needs a bit of a balance.

Sophie Larder, Passport Moscow

Bird Flu by John Farndon

Bird Flu: Everything You Need to Know by John Farndon

128 pages Icon Books Ltd (24 Nov 2005)/Disinformation

A Bird Flu pandemic is inevitable - so we are told. First identified in China, this apparently merciless virus which originated in chickens supposedly has the potential to mutate and kill thousands, even millions, of people. But how accurate is this picture. Is it a panic created by the media. Or a genuine threat we should protect ourselves against immediately - and how can we do this. What exactly is it and what do terms like 'mutate' actually mean. John Farndon answers these questions and much more. Whether you are worried about the implications of bird flu for you and your family, or you are simply interested in learn more than what you see and read in the media, this book is for you.

Radio, TV and Web

  • Boing Boing, USA
  • Phil Lempert WOR Radio, USA
  • Louie Free, Free FM, USA
  • Newstalk 930 WHON, USA
  • Dr Health radio, Hawaii, USA
  • BBC Radio Wales,UK
  • BBC Radio Merseyside,UK
  • Richard and Judy TV show, Channel 4, UK
  • Channel 4 TV, More 4 News,UK
  • BBC TV Weekend 24, UK

Related feature articles

  • Press & Journal Aberdeen
  • Manchester Evening News
  • Yorkshire Post
  • Huddersfield Daily Examiner


Clear, lucid and objective...It gives you an amazing amount of information; an edifying account that is recommended to anyone who wants to learn about how to avoid chaos and uncertainty in the near-term future with the threat of Influenza hanging over the world.

Kent Manthie, Reviewer magazine

John Farndon is a science writer and has a clear accessible style. He covers basic concepts succinctly. At just 125 small pages it is an excellent introduction to the topic.

Claire Dodman, Keeper of Snails

101 Facts About Your Food by John Farndon

101 Facts You Should Know About Food (Paperback) by John Farndon

224 pages Icon Books Ltd (Jan 2007)

From the extraordinary distance most of our food travels to reach our tables to the remarkable benefits of eating tomatoes, John Farndon shows the amazing, often shocking, truth behind the food we eat. Covering everything from the big businesses that control food production around the world to the dangers of food dyes, this book reveals the complex facts behind the simplest of meals. Find out just what GM food is and why you may eat it unknowingly, how food gets its flavour, how some foods are not quite as nutritious as they should be, how bringing exotic foods to your table may literally be costing the Earth, and much more. This is an essential guide to the facts behind food, the one vital thing in your life besides air and water and the world's biggest business.

Radio, TV and Web

  • BBC Radio Scotland,UK
  • Food Radio,UK
  • Radio Europe Mediterraneo, Spain
  • National Talk Radio
  • KOFM Radio, Australia
  • C91.3 radio, Australia

Related feature articles

  • New! magazine
  • That’s Life magazine
  • Scotland’s Weekly News
  • Scotland on Sunday


From the extraordinary figure that a third of all food in the UK is simply thrown away, to the remarkable benefits of eating blueberries and avocadoes, [Farndon] shows the amazing, often shocking, truth behind the foods we eat. You’ll never look at things the same way again.”

Cambridgeshire Journal

"...When it comes to food, it pays to be better informed. John Farndon’s book lists some frightening facts..."

Marylebone Express

"Eat like a superhero...Know the ready-made risks...Pre-packaged salads are short on vitamins. They're washed in heavily chlorinated water." explains John Farndon

Men’s Health

"In his book, 101 Facts You Should Know About Food John Farndon reveals that long term, a diet with excess sugars can actually slow down the activity of the brain; Feed the body continually with a high sugar diet and it adjusts by becoming less sensitive to insulin. Low insulin sensitivity means that body cells, especially brain cells, begin to starve themselves of sugar. Toronto Professor Carol Greenwood showed that people with insulin resistance, who were already slower learners, got much worse after a sugary snack. Scary stuff, and clearly not what you need to get you through a busy work day."

Girls Day Out 365

India Booms by John Farndon

India Booms: The Breathtaking Development and Influence of Modern India (Paperback) by John Farndon

224 pages Virgin Books (Sep 2007)

Everything you need to know about India – as it is now and as it is soon to become.


"...this is an excellent, well-balanced overview of the world’s largest democracy...Farndon’s exploration of modern India is informative and enlightening"

Carla McKay, Daily Mail

"...a very enjoyable book. Well written and easygoing, it is to be recommended as a starting place for anyone new to Indian society and culture...excellent reading."

Student Direct

"Teenage girls admiring Mahatma Gandhi and wearing saris, as much as they like wearing tight blue jeans and high heels, drinking sodas and even alcopops and watching MTV, just like their counterparts in the West. This is the ‘Miss India’ that John Farndon describes in India Booms....Roller-coaster read" 

Kaapi Shastra, Hindu Business Line

"India will soon rival China, and perhaps even the United States, on the world stage. We all need to know more about this fascinating country and "India Booms" is the perfect place to begin. This entertaining, up-to-date and informative guide provides all the information readers need on the India of today - and looks to the future to reveal what lies ahead for the India of tomorrow."

Omtale, Bokkilden

"John Farndon has done the same excellent job here as he did in his book on Iran...If you want the facts in an accessible form, this is the book on India for you."

Reeta, Amazon customer review

China Rises by John Farndon

China Rises: How China's Astonishing Growth Will Change the World (Paperback) by John Farndon

240 pages Virgin Books (Sep 2007)

With a population of 1.25 billion people and an economy that is the second largest in the world, China is a country we all need to take notice of. This entertaining, informative, up-to-date book is the ideal guide to this fascinating country's present - and its future. China is one of the world's oldest continuous civilizations and has produced some of the most significant human achievements of all time. With its current economic growth and increasing role in international affairs, it is fast becoming one of the most powerful and important countries in the world.

But China refuses to conform to the expectations of the outside world. It is a communist state, but one in which business is booming. It is a nation that continues to support North Korea, even as it develops its relationships with the West. The Chinese government's controversial policies, from the one child policy to its history of repression of opposition groups and its policies towards Tibet and Taiwan, place it at odds with many of the world's most powerful nations. And yet as China's economy continues to grow, so will its influence and importance in the world. "China Rises" reveals the true nature of modern China and looks to the future to examine how China's growth will affect all of us.

It will give readers a complete picture of this intriguing country - as it is now and as it will develop in the future.

Other Books

Economist Business Travellers Guide: West Germany  (Economist books/Prentice Hall)
Economist Business Travellers Guide:  USA  (Economist books/Prentice Hall)
Economist Business Travellers Guide:  Russia (Economist books/Prentice Hall)