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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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| | |-+  Book Reviews and Discussion (Moderator: Beet)
| | | |-+  Political Books/Articles Still Worth Reading
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Author Topic: Political Books/Articles Still Worth Reading  (Read 2234 times)
National Progressive
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« on: August 27, 2013, 07:17:56 pm »
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Its my opinion that political books (the polemics written by politicians or pundits not deep works of political theory) get outdated pretty quickly within a few years of publication. Which in your opinion are still worth reading even after all these years?
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2013, 07:20:12 pm »
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It is my deep pleasure to inform you that that is not just your opinion.
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 10:33:17 pm »
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The only "political book" remotely worth reading is Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2013, 10:40:50 pm »
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This isn't really political, but a couple weeks ago I came across a fairly old article about the theology of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Much of what it says can be applied to the issues of today.
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 06:06:39 pm »
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The only "political book" remotely worth reading is Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.

This and Richard Ben Kramer's What It Takes.
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2013, 10:22:09 pm »
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The Making of the President 1960
The Making of the President 1964
The Making of the President 1968
The Making of the President 1972
America in Search of Itself

by Theodore H White
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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2013, 11:04:41 pm »
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The only "political book" remotely worth reading is Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2013, 11:06:26 am »
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The only "political book" remotely worth reading is Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.

I also would recommend a book called 'Divided They Stand', by a British journalist named David English, about the 1968 election.  as a 15 year old I thought it was the sh**t and even now am capable of appreciating it.  unfortunately it's long out of print; I got it from a used bookstore around here at age 13 that is long, long out of business.

EDIT: a brief look around the usual places (Amazon, eBay) suggests that it's easier and cheaper to track down than I'd thought.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 11:08:09 am by © Maybe Tweed, No One Else Worth It »Logged

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« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2013, 08:04:25 pm »
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The only "political book" remotely worth reading is Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.
I really despise this position, as awesome as Fear and Loathing was. I have found great value in political books, and biographies in particular. I just checked out The Years of Lyndon Johnson/Path to Power by Robert Caro. I also have The Power Broker (also Caro), which I intend to start reading after I finish Double Down.

Campaign books are great, and having worked on a few small to medium scale campaigns, they are surprisingly accurate and less West Wing/House of Cardsish then you would think. While Double Down and Game Change both focus around what is basically supermarket tabloid gossip, the actual interactions/decisions behind the stories are what interest me. I could care less if Christie shared a hotel room with a fellow US Attorney who happened to be female, but I am intrigued as to how the staff found out about it, and how they reasoned the media would deal with it. Of course, I plan on working in this field:P.
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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2013, 10:59:23 pm »
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Stayin' Alive by Jefferson Cowie is a good read if you want to get a closer look at the cracking up of the New Deal coalition and the emergence of the New Right in the United States.
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« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2013, 11:06:14 pm »
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Stayin' Alive by Jefferson Cowie is a good read if you want to get a closer look at the cracking up of the New Deal coalition and the emergence of the New Right in the United States.

hah, I had a course with Cowie.  he is one of the most visible ILR professors.  I never read Stayin' Alive but the more orthodox-Marxian professors I came into contact with hated it (or begrudged him the attention he was getting from the bourgeois press - who knows).
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“They cheated us again and again, made decisions behind our back, presenting us with completed facts. That’s the way it was with the expansion of NATO in the East, with the deployment of military infrastructure at our borders. They always told us the same thing: 'Well, this doesn't concern you.'" -Vladimir Putin
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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2013, 03:43:36 pm »
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The only "political book" remotely worth reading is Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.

This and Richard Ben Kramer's What It Takes.

I should note that I read this on Nix's recommendation and would thus edit my opinion to "the only two political books worth reading...".
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I love fedoras, I have a huge hat collection of fedoras, trilbies, bowler hats, pork pie hats, caps, berets, etc...
he turned in a very sour person wanting to ban pretty much anyone and complaining about everything.
Mynheer Peeperkorn
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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2014, 04:33:14 am »
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All the classics of Political Philosophy.

Thucydides (for international studies).
Plato (father of totalitarism).
Aristotle (for political categories)
Machiavelli (first ethos for politics)
Hobbes (brilliant).
Montesquieu is "meh".
Locke: it's more difficult than you would think in a first time).
Voltaire (not very original, but one of the finest writers in history).
Rousseau. (a son of a binch, but necessary).
Feuerbach (Hegel would be very difficult).
Adam Smith (some compilation).
Marx (a lot of Marx if possible...according to Althusser, read the younger marx's books and try to find a good compilation of Das Kapital).
Stuart Mill.
Mosca and Paretto (elites theory).
Max Weber. Protestant Ethic and his essays concerning politicians and bureaucracy).
Schumpeter: Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
A compilation of XIX century anarchism.
A compilation of Nietzsche concerning politics.
Political essays or conferences from Heidegger (they will be useful for further readings).

Popper's The Open Society and its Enemies.

Then going to Political Science or related Sociology.

Marcuse (first you should read Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents)
Avoid Horckeimer and Adorno.
Almond & Powell's structuralism.
Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism (in fact they are three books: anti-semitism, imperialism and totalitarianism) and if you want The Human Condition.
Dahl's Polyarchy.
Rawls.
Nozick.
Any good book of Game's Theory.
Foucault: it's more sociology but there are lots of essays concerning politics.


Avoid postmarxism like Hardt, Negri and Zizek and focus in Guillermo O'Donnell and Ernesto Laclau (populism as rethoric).


« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 04:43:22 am by Mynheer Peeperkorn »Logged
Mynheer Peeperkorn
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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2014, 04:42:15 am »
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Its my opinion that political books (the polemics written by politicians or pundits not deep works of political theory)

Oh, didn't read that. My apologies but I won't delete my list if it is for any use for someone.

Anyway, I would not recommend anything from politicians or pundits. They write what their population target wants to read. I have two books of Dick Morris and they are hilariously stupid.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 04:47:53 am by Mynheer Peeperkorn »Logged
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2014, 09:25:00 pm »
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Its my opinion that political books (the polemics written by politicians or pundits not deep works of political theory)

Oh, didn't read that. My apologies but I won't delete my list if it is for any use for someone.

Anyway, I would not recommend anything from politicians or pundits. They write what their population target wants to read. I have two books of Dick Morris and they are hilariously stupid.
That may not be a representative sample....
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2014, 10:15:04 am »
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"What's the Matter With White People?" by Joan Walsh.  It's almost like reading the personal political autobiography.
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« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2015, 11:51:48 am »
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Still in the wake of the events in France I think it makes sense to turn to a book that really explores the tragic impossibilities of a pure liberalism: Nixon Agonistes.  I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned in this thread originally.

Actually any Gary Willis is good from what I've read.  Very good book on Jefferson's writing of the declaration.
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