The Politics Book

The Politics Book : Big Ideas Simply Explained

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Politics affects us all and the same questions reverberate across history. Who should rule? Is property theft? What's mightier - the bullet or the ballot?

Discover 80 of the world's greatest thinkers and their political big ideas that continue to shape our lives today.

Humankind has always asked profound questions about how we can best govern ourselves and how rulers should behave. The Politics Book charts the development of long-running themes, such as attitudes to democracy and violence, developed by thinkers from Confucius in ancient China to Mahatma Gandhi in 20th-century India.

Justice goes hand in hand with politics, and in this comprehensive guide you can explore the championing of people's rights from the Magna Carta to Thomas Jefferson's Bill of Rights and Malcolm X's call to arms. Ideologies inevitably clash and The Politics Book takes you through the big ideas such as capitalism, communism, and fascism exploring their beginnings and social contexts in step-by-step diagrams and illustrations, with clear explanations that cut through the jargon.

Filled with thought-provoking quotes from great thinkers such as Nietzsche, Karl Marx, and Mao Zedong, The Politics Book is a thought-provoking and unmissable read for both students and everyone interested in how the world of government and power works.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 200 x 240 x 25mm | 1,174g
  • DK
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • UK ed.
  • illustrations
  • 1409364453
  • 9781409364450
  • 13,921

Table of contents

1: Introduction
2: Ancient political thought 800BCE - 30CE

1: If your desire is for good, the people will be good, Confucius
2: The art of war is of vital importance to the state, Sun Tzu
3: Plans for the country are only to be shared with the learned, Mozi
4: Until philosophers are kings, cities will never have rest from their evils, Plato
5: Man is by nature a political animal, Aristotle
6: A single wheel does not move, Chanakya
7: If evil ministers enjoy safety and profit, this is the beginning of downfall, Han Fei Tzu
8: The government is bandied about like a ball, Cicero

3: Medieval politics 30CE - 1515CE

1: If justice be taken away, what are governments but great bands of robbers? Augustine of Hippo
2: Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you, Muhammed
3: The people refuse the rule of virtuous men, Al-Farabi
4: No free man shall be imprisoned, except by the law of the land, Barons of King John
5: For war to be just, there is required a just cause, Thomas Aquinas
6: To live politically means living in accordance with good laws, Giles of Rome
7: The Church should devote itself to imitating Christ and give up its secular power, Marsilius of Padua
8: Government prevents injustice, other than such as it commits itself, Ibn Khaldun
9: A prudent ruler cannot, and must not, honour his word, Niccolo Machiavelli

4: Rationality and enlightenment 1515 - 1770

1: In the beginning, everything was common to all, Francisco de Vitoria
2: Sovereignty is the absolute and perpetual power of a commonwealth, Jean Bodin
3: The natural law is the foundation of human law, Francisco Suarez
4: Politics is the art of associating men, Johannes Althusius
5: Liberty is the power that we have over ourselves, Hugo Grotius
6: The condition of man is a condition of war, Thomas Hobbes
7: The end of law is to preserve and enlarge freedom, John Locke
8: When legislative and executive powers are united in the same body, there can be no liberty, Montesquieu
9: Independent entrepreneurs make good citizens, Benjamin Franklin

5: Revolutionary thoughts 1770 - 1848

1: To renounce liberty is to renounce being a man, Jean-Jacques Rousseau
2: No generally valid principle of legislation can be based on happiness, Immanuel Kant
3: The passions of individuals should be subjected, Edmund Burke
4: Rights dependent on property are the most precarious, Thomas Paine
5: All men are created equal, Thomas Jefferson
6: Each nationality contains its centre of happiness within itself, Johann Gottfried Herder
7: Government has but a choice of evils, Jeremy Bentham
8: The people have a right to keep and bear arms, James Madison
9: The most respectable women are the most oppressed, Mary Wollstonecraft
10: The slave feels self-existence to be something external, Georg Hegel
11: War is the continuation of Politik by other means, Carl von Clausewitz
12: An educated and wise government recognizes the developmental needs of its society, Jose Maria Luis Mora
13: A state too extensive in itself ultimately falls into decay, Simon Bolivar
14: Abolition and the Union cannot co-exist, John C. Calhoun
15: The tendency to attack "the family" is a symptom of social chaos, Auguste Comte

6: The rise of the masses 1848 - 1910

1: Socialism is a new system of serfdom, Alexis de Tocqueville
2: Say not I, but we, Giuseppe Mazzini
3: That so few dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time, John Stuart Mill
4: No man is good enough to govern another man, without that other's consent, Abraham Lincoln
5: Property is theft, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
6: The privileged man is a man depraved in intellect and heart, Mikhail Bakunin
7: That government is best which governs not at all, Henry David Thoreau
8: Communism is the riddle of history solved, Karl Marx
9: The men who proclaimed the republic became the assassins of freedom, Alexander Herzen
10: We must look for a central axis for our nation, Ito Hirobumi
11: The will to power, Friedrich Nietzsche
12: It is the myth that is alone important, Georges Sorel
13: We have to take working men as they are, Eduard Bernstein
14: The disdain of our formidable neighbour is the greatest danger for Latin America, Jose Marti
15: It is necessary to dare in order to succeed, Peter Kropotkin
16: Either women are to be killed, or women are to have the vote, Emmeline Pankhurst
17: It is ridiculous to deny the existence of a Jewish nation, Theodor Herzl
18: Nothing will avail to save a nation whose workers have decayed, Beatrice Webb
19: Protective legislation in America is shamefully inadequate, Jane Addams
20: Land to the tillers! Sun Yat-Sen
21: The individual is a single cog in an ever-moving mechanism, Max Weber

7: The clash of ideologies 1910 - 1945

1: Non-violence is the first article of my faith, Mahatma Gandhi
2: Politics begin where the masses are, Vladimir Lenin
3: The mass strike results from social conditions with historical inevitability, Rosa Luxemburg
4: An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last, Winston Churchill
5: The Fascist conception of the state is all-embracing, Giovanni Gentile
6: The wealthy farmers must be deprived of the sources of their existence, Joseph Stalin
7: If the end justifies the means, what justifies the end? Leon Trotsky
8: We will unite Mexicans by giving guarantees to the peasant and the businessman, Emiliano Zapata
8: War is a racket, Smedley D. Butler
9: Sovereignty is not given, it is taken, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
10: Europe has been left without a moral code, Jose Ortega y Gasset
11: We are 400 million people asking for liberty, Marcus Garvey
12: India cannot really be free unless separated from the British empire, Manabendra Nath Roy
13: Sovereign is he who decides on the exception, Carl Schmitt
14: Communism is as bad as imperialism, Jomo Kenyatta
15: The state must be conceived of as an "educator", Antonio Gramsci
16: Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun, Mao Zedong

8: Post-war politics 1945 - present

1: The chief evil is unlimited government, Friedrich Hayek
2: Parliamentary government and rationalist politics do not belong to the same system, Michael Oakeshott
3: The objective of the Islamic jihad is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system, Abul Ala Maududi
4: There is nothing to take a man's freedom away from him, save other men, Ayn Rand
5: Every known and established fact can be denied, Hannah Arendt
6: What is a woman? Simone de Beauvoir
7: No natural object is solely a resource, Arne Naess
8: We are not anti-white, we are against white supremacy, Nelson Mandela
9: Only the weak-minded believe that politics is a place of collaboration, Gianfranco Miglio
10: During the initial stage of the struggle, the oppressed tend to become oppressors, Paulo Freire
11: Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, John Rawls
12: Colonialism is violence in its natural state, Frantz Fanon
13: The ballot or the bullet, Malcolm X
14: We need to "cut off the king's head", Michel Foucault
15: Liberators do not exist. The people liberate themselves, Che Guevara
16: Everybody has to make sure that the rich folk are happy, Noam Chomsky
17: Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance, Martin Luther King
18: Perestroika unites socialism with democracy, Mikhail Gorbachev
19: The intellectuals erroneously fought Islam, Ali Shariati
20: The hellishness of war drives us to break with every restraint, Michael Walzer
21: No state more extensive than the minimal state can be justified, Robert Nozick
22: No Islamic law says violate women's rights, Shirin Ebadi
23: Suicide terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation, Robert Pape

9: Directory
10: Glossary
11: Index
12: Acknowledgements
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Review Text

Fascinating material, well presented Jon Sutton The Psychologist (Review of The Psychology Book)
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Review quote

Fascinating material, well presented -- Jon Sutton * The Psychologist (Review of The Psychology Book) *
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