The best books about politics

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Valyrian
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Sup,

I want to do Politics and International studies for an undergrad course and I was just wondering what kind of politics books are out there to give me a deeper understanding without it being 10000% hard to read?

Thanks

P.S not sure if in right section
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Davij038
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Well you should probably be given a reading list with some suggestions, relevant to your particular course or university: You should also get used to reading the news regularly: The Guardian and Indepenent are free but if you're willing to spend extra The Times and the Economist are very good sources.

I would strongly recomend reading :

The Twenty Years Crisis By EH Carr
The Road to Serfdom, by Hayek
Whats Left? By Nick Cohen
1984 By George Orwell (if you havent already)

The first gives you an insight into one of the main schools of IR Thought, the next is a critique of lefimportant bookt wing economics and society, Whats Left? Is a non academic but nonetheless important book for modern political history, and 1984 is an awesome story about what could potentially happen when politics goes bad. Also check out Youtube- theres some great videos:

Michael Sandels Harvard Justice Lectures (Compulsory viewing!)
Oxford union debates
Many entertaining Question Time episodes(David Starkey is always amusing, and intersting even if you dont take everything he says seriously)

I've realised that this has a slight right wing bias to it, so to compensate here's a entertaining video from a Marxist professor:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOP2V_np2c0
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Valyrian
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(Original post by Davij038)
Well you should probably be given a reading list with some suggestions, relevant to your particular course or university: You should also get used to reading the news regularly: The Guardian and Indepenent are free but if you're willing to spend extra The Times and the Economist are very good sources.

I would strongly recomend reading :

The Twenty Years Crisis By EH Carr
The Road to Serfdom, by Hayek
Whats Left? By Nick Cohen
1984 By George Orwell (if you havent already)

The first gives you an insight into one of the main schools of IR Thought, the next is a critique of lefimportant bookt wing economics and society, Whats Left? Is a non academic but nonetheless important book for modern political history, and 1984 is an awesome story about what could potentially happen when politics goes bad. Also check out Youtube- theres some great videos:

Michael Sandels Harvard Justice Lectures (Compulsory viewing!)
Oxford union debates
Many entertaining Question Time episodes(David Starkey is always amusing, and intersting even if you dont take everything he says seriously)

I've realised that this has a slight right wing bias to it, so to compensate here's a entertaining video from a Marxist professor:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOP2V_np2c0
Thank you, I will read them! I love 1984, a really, really good book!
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zippity.doodah
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harry potter and the philosopher's stone's quite good but the politics within are very subtle and under the radar so you really have to be prepared to search for it and read between the lines with a good quality magnifying glass. you need to feel and be in touch with the motivation of each character and understand their internal politics (especially hermione and sometimes hagrid) in order to frame their outward diplomacy in the right light. you sometimes need to remember that hogwards school is kind of like a political institution in that its architecture is there but nobody really understands it just like the law; you can smell the fabric of the walls and ceilings just by smelling the politics of ron and miss granger on a few of the better pages of the book on certain days. but what I can't emphasise enough is that in order to perceive the politics of HPATPS is that you need to realise that J K rowling is actually a massive *massive* slut so her politics of sexual relations causes her writing to have a kind of flavour which really makes you think "let's go for it" and yeah I don't know what I'm going to say next so...
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brokenbassline
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I think a nice trip to Foyles would really help you. They have the most epic collection on books and their staff are so helpful. Honestly tell them precisely what your ideal book would be and they'll get you a really nice selection.
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brokenbassline
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HERE ARE SOME I ENJOY:

1. http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/histor...-9780141974996

2. http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/busine...-9780241956182

3. http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/busine...-9780141047973

4. http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biogra...-9780857892799

5. http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/histor...-9780241969601

6. http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/busine...-9781784780319

7. http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/busine...-9780718197384

8. http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/histor...-9780863564611

9. http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/histor...-9780241145388

10. http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biogra...-9781849547147

11. http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/busine...-9781846146978

12. http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/histor...-9781784782061
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brokenbassline
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LSE's undergrad reading list for international relations is:

C Alden and A Aron Foreign Policy Analysis: new approaches (Routledge, 2011)
J Baylis, S Smith and P Owens (Eds) The Globalization of World Politics: an introduction to international relations 6th ed (Oxford University Press, 2013)
C Brown, with K Ainley Understanding International Relations (Macmillan, 2009)
B Buzan and R Little International Systems in World History: remaking the study of international relations (Oxford University Press, 2000)
R Jackson and G Sorensen An Introduction to International Relations: theories and approaches 5th ed (Oxford University Press, 2012)
T G Weiss and R Wilkinson (eds) International Organization and Global Governance (Routledge, 2014)
J Young and J Kent International Relations since 1945: a global history 2nd ed (Oxford University Press, 2013
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Amy. J S
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(Original post by brokenbassline)
LSE's undergrad reading list for international relations is:

C Alden and A Aron Foreign Policy Analysis: new approaches (Routledge, 2011)
J Baylis, S Smith and P Owens (Eds) The Globalization of World Politics: an introduction to international relations 6th ed (Oxford University Press, 2013)
C Brown, with K Ainley Understanding International Relations (Macmillan, 2009)
B Buzan and R Little International Systems in World History: remaking the study of international relations (Oxford University Press, 2000)
R Jackson and G Sorensen An Introduction to International Relations: theories and approaches 5th ed (Oxford University Press, 2012)
T G Weiss and R Wilkinson (eds) International Organization and Global Governance (Routledge, 2014)
J Young and J Kent International Relations since 1945: a global history 2nd ed (Oxford University Press, 2013


Can I just ask where you got this reading list from? I'm looking through the internet, and haven't come across it just yet. I've downloaded preliminary reading lists from LSE before- just can't seem to find this one.:dontknow:

Thanks!
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Valyrian
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(Original post by zippity.doodah)
harry potter and the philosopher's stone's quite good but the politics within are very subtle and under the radar so you really have to be prepared to search for it and read between the lines with a good quality magnifying glass. you need to feel and be in touch with the motivation of each character and understand their internal politics (especially hermione and sometimes hagrid) in order to frame their outward diplomacy in the right light. you sometimes need to remember that hogwards school is kind of like a political institution in that its architecture is there but nobody really understands it just like the law; you can smell the fabric of the walls and ceilings just by smelling the politics of ron and miss granger on a few of the better pages of the book on certain days. but what I can't emphasise enough is that in order to perceive the politics of HPATPS is that you need to realise that J K rowling is actually a massive *massive* slut so her politics of sexual relations causes her writing to have a kind of flavour which really makes you think "let's go for it" and yeah I don't know what I'm going to say next so...
I'm not sure if you're joking or not

Wow they're such good books thank you so much for recommending!!
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viddy9
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(Original post by Valyrian)
Sup,

I want to do Politics and International studies for an undergrad course and I was just wondering what kind of politics books are out there to give me a deeper understanding without it being 10000% hard to read?

Thanks

P.S not sure if in right section
I'd recommend Hegemony or Survival, Manufacturing Consent and How the World Works by Noam Chomsky. (EDIT: I see another person recommended at least one of these books as well).

I'd also recommend The Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate by Naomi Klein and Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell. Some essays in Arguably by Christopher Hitchens are also excellent; incidentally, I'd recommend his The Trial of Henry Kissinger as well.

As the other poster also said, I'd also recommend The Price of Inequality and The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them by the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz,
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brokenbassline
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(Original post by Amy. J S)
Can I just ask where you got this reading list from? I'm looking through the internet, and haven't come across it just yet. I've downloaded preliminary reading lists from LSE before- just can't seem to find this one.:dontknow:

Thanks!
Its on their 2016 undergrad degree programme for international relations on their website. It is under their preliminary reading list for 2016.

Heres a link:

http://www.lse.ac.uk/study/undergrad..._features.aspx
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Amy. J S
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(Original post by brokenbassline)
Its on their 2016 undergrad degree programme for international relations on their website. It is under their preliminary reading list for 2016.

Heres a link:

http://www.lse.ac.uk/study/undergrad..._features.aspx
You're a star! :adore:Thank you so much for your help!
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zippity.doodah
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(Original post by Valyrian)
I'm not sure if you're joking or not

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Rakas21
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You'll need a good grounding in certain strands of economics so comparative advantage, transnational capitalism and internalization theory would all be beneficial to you in addition to the political ideology which is obviously backed by Keynes, Hayek and others.

I'd add therefore..

Adam Smith - The Wealth of nations
Dickens - Global Shift
Cowling and Tomlinson (I think).
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Davij038
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(Original post by zippity.doodah)
harry potter and the philosopher's stone's quite good but the politics within are very subtle and under the radar so you really have to be prepared to search for it and read between the lines with a good quality magnifying glass. you need to feel and be in touch with the motivation of each character and understand their internal politics (especially hermione and sometimes hagrid) in order to frame their outward diplomacy in the right light. you sometimes need to remember that hogwards school is kind of like a political institution in that its architecture is there but nobody really understands it just like the law; you can smell the fabric of the walls and ceilings just by smelling the politics of ron and miss granger on a few of the better pages of the book on certain days. but what I can't emphasise enough is that in order to perceive the politics of HPATPS is that you need to realise that J K rowling is actually a massive *massive* slut so her politics of sexual relations causes her writing to have a kind of flavour which really makes you think "let's go for it" and yeah I don't know what I'm going to say next so...
Funnily enough what Voldemort says: 'there is no good or evil; only power and those too weak to seek it' encapsulates the theory of Realism pretty well.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Davij038)
Funnily enough what Voldemort says: 'there is no good or evil; only power and those too weak to seek it' encapsulates the theory of Realism pretty well.
When it comes to politics (and i suppose power in general) i'm of the opinion that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
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Davij038
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(Original post by Rakas21)
When it comes to politics (and i suppose power in general) i'm of the opinion that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Pretty much - that and Actons dictum of all power corrupts- and absolute power corrupts absolutely
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