My new paperback ‘The Last Goodbye’ is out February 2016

 

The Last Goodbye: A History of the world In Resignations is available at all good bookstores from 6th February 2016.

 

A new, updated and expanded ‘reboot’ of F**k You & Goodbye for the mass market, The Last Goodbye brings the tale of human history’s most misunderstood driver bang up to date with revealing insights into some of the highlights of the past two years – from Pope Benedict XVI’s mysterious self-sacking to the will-he-won’t-he resignation antics of FIFA’s former president, Sepp Blatter.

 

The Last Goodbye F**k You & Goodbye Author Matt Potter

The Last Goodbye is published by Little, Brown in the UK and Commonwealth, and Silvertail Books in the USA, Europe and rest of the world. Here’s what they said about the hardback edition last year…

 

“Rage, wit or breathtaking chutzpah that will leave you silently applauding or, maybe, looking to the door yourself” (Metro)

“A hilarious history of the resignation letter… Potter examines our fascination with parting shots” (Daily Telegraph)

“There is a poetry to the best resignations that comes from having nothing to lose” (Independent)

“Will make you want to quit your job immediately” (Buzzfeed)

“Just magnificent – an alternate history of our time” (Monocle)

“A fascinating and profound look at how quitters shape history” (The Current)

“A cracking read” (The Daily Politics)

“The sort of book that makes you think, long after you’ve put it down” (Rev. Richard Coles BBC Saturday Live)

“Celebrates the art of the elegant – or explosive – resignation” (The Week)

 

For any media or rights enquiries, please contact me via my agent, Humfrey Hunter at Hunter Profiles.

 

‘Outlaws Inc’ film gets one of Hollywood’s hottest directors

 

Disney/Act of Valor helmer Scott Waugh has signed up to direct the Hollywood feature film of my first international book, Outlaws Inc.

 

Hollywood and disney director Scott Waugh is working on Matt Potter's film Outlaws Inc

 

Incredibly exciting news in Deadline magazine, as it’s been announced that the director of last year’s sleeper Navy SEAL hit Act of Valor, Scott Waugh, is to direct. The team at Thunder Road Pictures behind the Outlaws Inc. film has also announced that the film is also fully financed by Fundamental Films. Basil Iwonyk and Mark Gao are to produce.

 

Scott Waugh is one of Hollywood’s hottest, with Disney’s Need For Speed and Act Of Valor both doing the business. There are a few more developments, including some very exciting news on casting for Outlaws Inc., but I’m sworn to secrecy for the time being.

 

Watch this space…

‘F**k You & Goodbye’ is a Waterstone’s Christmas bestseller

 

Just got this stunning news from the people at Waterstone’s who compile the bestseller lists. F**k You & Goodbye is at No.22 the week before Christmas:

 

Christmas Bestseller list for Waterstone's features Matt Potter's Fuck You And Goodbye

Matt Potter’s F**k You & Goodbye at No.22 on the pre-Christmas bestseller list at Waterstone’s

 

Thanks to everyone who’s been so kind about my history of the resignation, and of course everyone who’s bought it. This is the second-best* Christmas present I’ve ever had. You can buy the book from Waterstone’s as a hardback here or ebook at a special price of £4.99 here.

 

*No. 1 is still the Airfix triceratops.

Matt Potter’s ‘F**k You & Goodbye’ is Christmas pick for Waterstone’s, Foyles & more

 

My new book, F**k You & Goodbye: The Dark & Hilarious History of the Resignation, is available to buy now in hardback and ebook, in shops and online.

 

F**k You & Goodbye by Matt Potter

Waterstone’s Christmas Recommendations 2014

 

 

It’s also now been promoted to the recommended Christmas gift buy for Waterstone’s and Foyles, who are offering extra Foyalty points with it as a bonus.

 

The book has been getting a lot of attention. It’s been treated to a four-page feature in The Independent, a 1,200 word piece in The Telegraph, a Buzzfeed viral piece where it became one of their Top 20 hits and hit the front page, been the topic of discussion from Radio 4’s Saturday Live to BBC 2’s The Daily Politics – where Andrew Neal grilled me and Clare Short (whose resignation to Tony Blair over Iraq is featured in the book) at length.

 

The title caused some controversy, too (funny, that): Andrew Neal complained that he couldn’t mention it before the Watershed, so we arranged for the cover to be clearly visible throughout!

 

Buy it at a special discounted price for early birds at Amazon here, or via the Telegraph bookshop here.

 

Film: Feature documentary ‘The Notorious Mr Bout’ to premiere at Sundance

[Update to this story 12/1/14: The Notorious Mr Bout has just been added to the BBC’s Storyville season for 2015/16.]

 

The Notorious Mr Bout, a feature-length documentary film on ‘Merchant of Death’ Viktor Bout – in which I appear and on which I consulted – is to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

 

Matt Potter features in Maxim Pozdorovkin and Tony Gerber's Merchant of Death film about Viktor Bout

The Merchant of Death, behind bars in Thailand (Used by kind permission, from the film ‘The Notorious Mr Bout’)

 

 

The 90-minute documentary is produced and directed by Maxim Pozdorovkin and Tony Gerber, whose latest film on Pussy Riot won international acclaim and was banned in Russia. Its screening at Robert Redford’s Sundance Festival in Utah this January comes in advance of its international release and tour of European and American festivals.

 

The film follows the rise and fall of Viktor Bout – family man, polyglot, raconteur, and the world’s most notorious smuggler of illicit arms, currently serving time in a US jail – from Soviet military days to Africa, Afghanistan, through his arrest in Thailand for offering to supply arms to Colombia’s FARC rebels, to his conviction in a New York courtroom and beyond.

 

It’s exciting news here, and if you’re interested in organised crime, arms trafficking, the violent chaos of the Soviet breakup, modern terror tactics or the shadow world uncovered in Outlaws Inc, my guess is you’ll love it.

 

It promises to be a great film, and I’m making myself available for interview and comment both around the Sundance schedule and through the year’s releases. Just contact me via the comments, or on Twitter, where I’m @MattPotter.

 

 

‘Outlaws Inc.’ to appear in abridged form in Reader’s Digest editions worldwide

This autumn’s worldwide editions of legendary book-sampler The Reader’s Digest will see Matt’s latest book ‘Outlaws Inc.’ published in abridged form in a further 16 languages.

 

They will complement the full UK/Commonwealth, US, German, Italian, Finnish and Romanian editions currently published, while in the UK, the updated mass-market paperback edition currently on the shelves contains two chapters’ worth of new material written after the Merchant of Death trial and the Wikileaks case – all material that could not legally be published as the first editions went to press.

 

The abridged versions were prepared with Matt’s full co-operation, and give a good overview of the book’s main points, introducing the characters and their lives. We’ll be posting a taster here in the near future.

Free-Market Mercenaries: Matt speaking at Swansea University on 28th February

Matt will be talking transnational crime, Russian gunrunners and the deadly compromises between narco-mafias, FTSE 100 businesses, terrorists, ‘big aid’ and our own government at Swansea University on 28th February.

The event, titled ‘Free market mercenaries: Cocaine traffickers, Somali pirates, and how the Soviet Union won the Cold War’ is organised by Swansea University’s Research Institute in association with the History Faculty, and will start at 5.30pm in Fulton House on the main campus.

The topic is one the recent conviction of Russian businessman Viktor ‘Merchant of Death’ Bout has brought to global attention. Across the world, a secretive network of lawless, untraceable ex-Red Army airmen function as the delivery channel for everything from Afghan heroin and illicit guns to pirate ransoms, UN aid and supermarket flowers. They are living testament to what happened when the Soviet army met Western outsourcing, free-market economics and foreign policy. Matt has flown and worked with these fugitive airmen, and his adventures and investigations are revealed in the book Outlaws Inc, published globally last year and reissued this year in a new, updated edition featuring extra material on Britain’s part in what UN investigators call the “shadow network of illicit arms transfers” and transcripts of the secret tapes from the CIA’s wire during their sting operation on Viktor Bout.

In his talk, will be asking what their industry means for our self-image as citizens of an enlightened, post-Soviet world. Matt is speaking at the invitation of Dr Kelly Hignett, Lecturer in the School of History and Classics at Swansea University, specialist in crime and deviancy in the former Eastern Bloc and author of ‘Transnational Organised Crime and the Global Village’. Dr Hignett is also the woman behind the highly regarded blog The View East.

For a free invitation to the event as Matt’s guest, or if you’d like Matt to speak at an event, just email matt [at] mattpotterbooks [dot] com, or tweet me @MattPotter.

 

Full press information, interview requests, serialization or review copies of the new, expanded edition of his acclaimed book Outlaws Inc., are available from Dusty Miller, Director of Publicity at Pan Macmillan in London. Email: D.Miller@macmillan.co.uk; Telephone: (+44) 20 7014 6188.

 

 

 

 

Review download: ‘Outlaws Inc.’ launches in Germany, gets full-page rave in The Literary Review!

Thanks to Britain’s leading literary magazine, The Literary Review, for their full-page write-up on Outlaws Inc. this month, by veteran BBC man John Sweeney. You can read the review by clicking on the scan above to enlarge – but suffice to say, I’m framing it and the cover. Coming on the heels of the Washington Post‘s “Fascinating… great writing” and the Seattle Times piece, this has been a great month for the book. My heartfelt thanks to all concerned.

 

Meanwhile, Outlaws Inc. launched under its German title Tödliche Fracht (‘Deadly Cargo’) in Germany, with a party at Ullstein Verlag’s HQ on Berlin’s Friedrichstrasse. Radio interviews in German with ARD and RTL as well as press interviews with newspapers from Kiel to Cologne and Potsdam to Münster saw it off. I’ll be posting some of the features and interviews, in German, in the very near future.

Analysis: Chewbacca, Kurt Cobain & cheap thrills, or life in a post-Soviet West

What if…? is a popular parlour game among historians. How would the world look had World War Two ended differently? What would a Confederate-won Civil War have meant in a parallel 21st-century USA? What if the DDR’s army hadn’t wavered, and the Berlin Wall had never fallen?

 

This week brought a chance to play a different, even more tantalizing game. Truthdig Radio and the KPFK network in Los Angeles devoted a half-hour segment of their weekend show to discussion with Matt this week, talking Outlaws Inc., the 20th anniversary of the Soviet collapse, and its continuing aftermath.

 

Titled ‘Dodging Missiles With Russian Smugglers‘, the segment looked at the way in which everything from free trade to terrorism, our own governments’ foreign and fiscal policy, and even our own view of democracy, society and the world continues to be affected by what Soviets called the Cataclysm of 1991. While we in the West were all obsessing about a Reagan/Lucasfilm showdown with the Evil Empire and its Politburo of Darth Vaders that never materialized, should we have been watching instead for the thousands upon thousands of demobbed, unaccountable and nigh-untraceable Han Solos and Chewbaccas in their rusty old Millennium Falcons that suddenly swamped the skies? And what, from Afghanistan to Iraq and Colombia to Haiti, might have been different if we had?

 

Were we distracted by our own propaganda into believing a Cold War could be won outright, to the point of ignoring the aftermath of cheap AK-47s and Strela rocket launchers flooding the market? Is the War on Terror floundering precisely because it’s based on the fatal assumption that the War on Communism ended nice and neatly? Where would Rumsfeld and co have found all the ‘non-state actors’ to fly materiel to Iraq and Afghanistan without all the cheap ex-military Russian labour? How did we not predict the USSR’s military-assisted heroin pipelines suddenly redirecting through Europe and America as its newly freelance – and impoverished – ex-servicemen strove to make a buck out of their old infrastructure?

 

Could it be that, as well as arming a rash of conflicts from Somalia to Afghanistan and Armenia to Liberia and creating the generation of highly educated software dabblers who more or less invented the DDOS and spawned the download and piracy industry, the suddenness of the Soviet collapse was what killed Kurt Cobain and that guy from Alice In Chains?

 

So, how much of all our lives in the West 20 years on is secretly, subtly, Soviet-influenced? Are we ourselves living inside one of those ‘What if…?’ games after all? You can listen to the interview here, read the book if you want to, and make your own mind up…