I’m looking for a general book on politics. Can anyone recommend a a good one?

 
sav
 
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sav
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15 September 2017 08:46
 

Hi all,

I’ve been listening to the podcast for a while and feel like I need to know more about politics in a general sense of the word.

So far I’m considering on buying The Politics Book published by DK (https://www.dk.com/uk/9781409364450-the-politics-book/)

Are there any other books you could recommend?

Thanks!

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Kalessin
 
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Kalessin
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15 September 2017 09:13
 

Welcome and it’s a very broad question.  Depends on whether your interest is academic, specific to a country or culture, whether you want an opening school-age primer or an encyclopaedia, whether you want something that lists and explains theories and terms or is a more general exploration of the way people think and act etc. etc.

In the absence of context I would say there’s no obvious ‘starting’ point as you have already been suffused with politics (both theory and practice) and indeed to a lesser or greater degree have political agency.  But the study of history is incredibly valuable in providing both context and insight, and perhaps more meaningful than simply a glossary of “what does Communism mean” etc.  There is no history that isn’t relevant, but the ancient Greeks are not a bad place to start as many of the terms we use (democracy, oligarch etc.) and many of the concepts about the role and nature of citizens, the state and the law were either formed or at least embodied in a very accessible and interesting way.  There are also plenty of wars, and a lot of explorations of science and morality, which all add to the entertainment!  There are some good podcasts on the history of ancient Greece and Rome which I think might be both educational and entertaining, the best ones are in the various charts. 

However, wherever   you start in history is not necessarily wrong, and you never need to finish smile.
Kalessin

 
Igawa
 
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Igawa
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15 September 2017 12:23
 

I could probably give specific recommendations if you were more specific, but otherwise I would actually recommend books and articles on psychology, especially psychology of social groups, and how groups influence the individual and vice versa. That’s probably the best possible knowledge foundation for building further knowledge of any sort of politics, political system, or history.

Also, welcome and stick around here on the forum! Our arguments and deliberation may not be a great source of knowledge per-se, but it can be helpful in finding topics which may be worth further exploration.

 
SkepticX
 
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SkepticX
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15 September 2017 14:21
 

The Political Mind: Why You Can’t Understand 21st Century American Politics with an 18th Century Brain, by George Lakoff

Don’t bullshit around with the symptoms. Cut to the chase—get right to the heart of the matter.

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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15 September 2017 22:20
 

Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle

 
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Skipshot
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15 September 2017 22:35
 

The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli.

 
TedApelt
 
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TedApelt
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30 October 2017 09:50
 

I would recommend “Listen Liberal” by Thomas Frank.

 
ubique13
 
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ubique13
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01 November 2017 14:14
 
Skipshot - 15 September 2017 10:35 PM

The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli.

Quoted for posterity. Machiavelli may have written his political treatise (a gift to Lorenzo “the Magnificent” Medici) with a great deal of irony, but that may or may not have been the point. Effectively ambiguous.

 
 
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Skipshot
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01 November 2017 14:59
 
ubique13 - 01 November 2017 02:14 PM
Skipshot - 15 September 2017 10:35 PM

The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli.

Quoted for posterity. Machiavelli may have written his political treatise (a gift to Lorenzo “the Magnificent” Medici) with a great deal of irony, but that may or may not have been the point. Effectively ambiguous.

Machiavelli explained in the introduction why he wrote it - to get his job back.

 
ubique13
 
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ubique13
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01 November 2017 15:21
 
Skipshot - 01 November 2017 02:59 PM

Machiavelli explained in the introduction why he wrote it - to get his job back.

Irony is…not what Alanis Morissette believes it to be (?).

Via Wikipedia:

“It is known from his personal correspondence that it was written during 1513, the year after the Medici took control of Florence, and a few months after Machiavelli’s arrest, torture, and banishment by the in-coming Medici regime.”

And

“Although the work advises princes how to tyrannize, Machiavelli is generally thought to have preferred some form of free republic.”

 

Nothing is as expensive as “free.”