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> Political/History Books, What are you reading?
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Steve201
post Jun 10 2020, 12:43 PM
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I did a MA in Politics and International Studies many moons ago and mainly read books about history and politics as opposed to fiction titles.

What do people on here read with regards to this?

I'm currently reading 'Citizen Clem' a biography of one of my political heroes Clement Atlee. Written by John Bew and winner of the Orwell award in 2017 it's a fantastic read and would recommend to anyone!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Citizen-Clem-Biogr...ag=hydrukspg-21


This post has been edited by Steve201: Jun 10 2020, 12:46 PM
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Doctor Blind
post Jun 10 2020, 01:01 PM
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I recently read ‘Why We Get The Wrong Politicians’ by Isabel Hardman which was a really interesting read, and 'Another Day In The Death of America' by Gary Younge which is a really tough read and focusses primarily on gun violence looking at 10 young lives lost to it on one day (23 November 2013).

I will check that book out though Steve because I am a big fan of Atlee and what his governments of 1945-51 achieved, but have never really read into him that much.
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Steve201
post Jun 10 2020, 05:39 PM
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QUOTE(Doctor Blind @ Jun 10 2020, 02:01 PM) *
I recently read ‘Why We Get The Wrong Politicians’ by Isabel Hardman which was a really interesting read, and 'Another Day In The Death of America' by Gary Younge which is a really tough read and focusses primarily on gun violence looking at 10 young lives lost to it on one day (23 November 2013).

I will check that book out though Steve because I am a big fan of Atlee and what his governments of 1945-51 achieved, but have never really read into him that much.


Anything by Gary Younge is always pretty well written, always enjoy his Guardian articles especially on the US race issue.

Yeh the Clem book is first class and so easy to read, I'm currently on the relationship with Churchill during the war hence my prolonged analysis in the other thread about Churchills European tendencies 😂

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Brett-Butler
post Jun 10 2020, 07:55 PM
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A lot of the books I've read in the past few years have been those of a historical/political bent. I've mentioned a few of them before in the other thread (including that Isabel Hardman book - did you read it on my recommendation?). A few other books I've read recently on these topics are:

Small Men on the Wrong Side of History by Ed West - if I were to recommend one conservative writer that people of a liberal persuasion should read (which in Buzzjack terms, is basically everyone on this site bar me), then it would be Ed West. It's an interesting book where he looks at the history and development of conservative thought, why he believes he is one, and where he thinks its future lies (spoiler - he doesn't think it has much of a future, baring a massive plague). It's a fairly funny and humane book, and quite touching when he discusses his family and nearly losing his daughter.

The Road To Wigan Pier by George Orwell - I'd always meant to get around to reading George Orwell's non-fiction, and when I heard James Bloodworth's wonderful "Hired" being compared favourably to this book, I picked it up. The first half of the book is an eye opening look at the life of the working classes in northern England in the 1930s, depicting the squalor of working class life in a world pre-welfare state & NHS, as well as the absolutely appalling working conditions that miners faced at the time (I got claustrophobia just reading the description of the workers' travels to the coalface. The 2nd half of the book is a series of musings on why Orwell, despite being a socialist, thinks that those working class people he thinks would benefit from it continually reject socialism. These chapters absolutely riled socialists at the time, and you can see why, and I do feel that if any would-be socialists wanted to convert people to their cause, they would be advised to read the book first to understand just why they will struggle to get them on side.

Dominion by Tom Holland - a book that traces the history of Christianity from its roots right through to the present day, showing just how important Christianity was to the development of the Western world, and how every advancement has its antecedent in Christian roots. There's quite a lot of stories presented in the book that are quite prescient to today's world - one chapter mentions that a plague in 1348 was followed by the removal of statues from a long-begone time that offended their sensibilities. Plus ça change...

I'd also say that the most important political book I've read in the past 10 years is The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt, which is a primer in why "liberals" and "conservatives" disagree and how they can communicate and/or persuade the other better - basically because each set has a different set of moral foundations, any attempts at persuasion will need to be presented in a way that matches their moral framework ie arguments to a liberal should be framed in a way that highlights fairness and caring, whilst arguments meant to persuade a conservative should be framed in language emphasising order and loyalty. It's a book that should be handed out on the first day to anyone who is trying to become a persuader.
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Steve201
post Jun 10 2020, 08:41 PM
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I must have a read at a few of these Brett, 'Dominion' especially looks an interesting read. I've read most of Orwells books except 'The Road to Wigan Pier' must find time for it. 'Down And Out In Paris' was a great read and 'Animal Farm' is one of my favourite fictions ever.

Anyone ever read 'Fame Is the Spur'? I purchased it on the back of its mention in 'Citizen Clem' is a fiction book about an ambitious socialist politician and said to be about Ramsay Mcadonald, Il let you know my thoughts when I read it.
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mick745
post Jun 21 2020, 08:35 AM
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Hi mate, i have a degree in politics and international relations. I read lots of non fiction, history, political biographries etc. I am always intetested to know what others are reading.
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