Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop Clothing clo_fly_aw15_NA_shoes Shop All Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Shop Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Shop Kindle Paperwhite Shop now Shop Now Shop now

Customer Reviews

27
4.1 out of 5 stars
British Politics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£4.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2004
The score here is perhaps a little harsh, as this is a good book, but there is a reason for it. For those that have read the 'Short Introduction To' series of books, you will know that these books are normally quite objective, and provide a good source of information for those who wish to learn about a subject, or are students of it.
Not so with this book. It makes a good stab at being objective and informative, especially at the beginning, but as the book goes on it becomes more and more of the author's view.
The author, Tony Wright, is a Labour politician, and this comes through very much in the writing. Here is someone who knows what really goes on, but for me I didn't want to know what really goes on, I wanted a dispassionate, informative account of what British Politics theoretically is. This is too one-sided, too involved in the subject.
It is certainly not a memoir, so does have use, and the writing is light and easy. If you don't want a 'textbook' on British Politics, it might be useful for you. If you have read other books, and want a more personal look at the subject, it will definitely be a good read. But as a starter book, which most of these 'Short Introductions' are, this isn't the best.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 September 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have read a number of books from the Very Short Introduction series and have been a bit disappointed - they tend to start nice and slow and then go into a level of detail beyond what is needed for a "very short introduction".

Written by a former MP, this book describes British politics and some of its nuances. It is interesting, thought provoking, easy to follow and overall an excellent book. There is some overlap with the British Constitution book, and having read them both, this one might be sufficient.

First published in 2013, this version is updated 2013 and includes a lot of reference to the Conservative/Liberal coalition government.

Overall this is the best VSI I have read so fa.r
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 5 September 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As the blurb says these books are designed to be readable, a way to get ahead in a new topic rapidly. The narrative gives a good overview on most subjects that are covered. The book also does a decent job at trying to attract the reader into each topic field. This is the second edition of British Politics VSI and is quite up-to-date. The narrative talks about the current position of British Politics and the coalition government that we have at this time (as of 2013).

However, there is a problem here, in a book that should remain neutral in its delivery, and as other reviewers have commented the author's politics seem to influence his writing as it progresses. So here in is the `rub', so to speak and hence my rating.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 2 September 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The author Tony Wright was a labour MP for many years before becoming Professor at UCL in the political field. Whereas it is easy to tell which party he represented from what he has written, he is reasonable fair to his ex-opponents and offers a couple of perspectives on most issues. He does a very good job of engaging the reader and making you think about your own political leanings. Our unique and vibrant history is engaged with to help connect the reader to key points about the way politics works in this country.

Importantly this is an updated edition of the 'Very Short Edition'.

The author engages with the truth of the party system and its impact on the way politics works in the UK, he also talks about party funding and the development of the British Constitution. Adversarial politics is discussed and examples given from history of its development. In this second edition there are references to our current rule by coalition and the relative success that this has been. There is also a lot of reference to the centre of British Politics but probably not enough to its heart?

Like all the books in this series it is a light read, but a thought provoking one, I felt I got a lot out of it and would have given it 4 1/2 stars had the system allowed me!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I would have liked books like this when I was revising for my finals at university nearly forty years ago. This one provides a useful commentary on British politics. However, the brevity of the book's coverage is both a strength and a weakness. You don't purchase a book in thie excellent OUP series expecting to read a comprehensive and revelatory discussion on politics in Britain. What these books do provide is an excellent summary. The clue is in the strap line: 'very short introductions'. So I would argue any volume in the series should be reviewed with this caveat in mind - hence my five stars. The book provides an insightful summary of British politics, and it is more than evident that Tony Wright knows his subject. So if you're not revising for an exam and want a starting point for finding out more about this subject then this slim volume provides an excellent starting point. It is well written, erudite and engaging.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 23 September 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Tony Wright is a great choice as an authors on British Politics because he has been there and done that. He has been an MP before becoming an academic and he has been in the House of Commons during some of the most significant constitutional changes we have seen in the UK. The book takes a quite light hearted style to what being British means and what the special significance of British Politics is. The three big changes in post-war Britain have been the socialist/nationalising government of Attlee, the reactionary neo-liberal privatising government of Thatcher and the centralising and reforming government of Blair. All of them have left a mark on the British political landscape and you cannot understand British politics wthout understanding these three movements.

This is a great little read and I recommend it for anyone who wants to get an insight into the fundamentals of politics in the UK.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 31 March 2015
As the blurb says these books are designed to be readable, a way to get ahead in a new topic rapidly. The narrative gives a good overview on most subjects that are covered. The book also does a decent job at trying to attract the reader into each topic field. This is the second edition of British Politics VSI and is quite up-to-date. The narrative talks about the current position of British Politics and the coalition government that we have at this time (as of 2013).

However, there is a problem here, in a book that should remain neutral in its delivery, and as other reviewers have commented the author's politics seem to influence his writing as it progresses. So here in is the `rub', so to speak and hence my rating.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 9 October 2013
As the blurb says these books are designed to be readable, a way to get ahead in a new topic rapidly. The narrative gives a good overview on most subjects that are covered. The book also does a decent job at trying to attract the reader into each topic field. This is the second edition of British Politics VSI and is quite up-to-date. The narrative talks about the current position of British Politics and the coalition government that we have at this time (as of 2013).

However, there is a problem here, in a book that should remain neutral in its delivery, and as other reviewers have commented the author's politics seem to influence his writing as it progresses. So here in is the `rub', so to speak and hence my rating.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
TW is a former MP turned academic and is currently Professor at UCL and Birkbeck. His book has drawn plaudits and comparison with Bagehot, Tawney and Orwell. He believes that we have an enviable model of democratic government with a history of political stability. However there have been problems which have brought a distrust of politicians including the expenses scandal, cash for questions conflicts of interest,MPs going to prison for lying on oath and those who find the adversarial system irksome. For the background of all this TW's book provdes an excellent introduction.

Rating 5 out of 5
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 31 August 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was quite shocked when I read this book; I expect an unbiased (or as unbiased as possible) representation of the information. What I don't expect is a party political booklet.

Tony Wright is a Labour politician and boy does it show! He had obviously been unable to leave his personal politics at the home when he wrote this. Don't get me wrong I'm not averse to Labour party politics (afte rall I'm a miner's daughter, niece, granddaughter, great niece, great great granddaughter, and so on) but when I read a text about British politics I want to read an even handed piece of work so that I can assess what to scoff at - and that's one thing that annoys me with the current crop of politician's from all parties ... they have the arrogance and ignorance to try and tell people what to think rather than let us decide for ourselves.

I believe that there should have been a declaration on the book, or at least a retitling of the book, to say that this is British Labour Politics not general British Politics.

I am starting to believe that the days of politicians being able to put a coherent case to the public allowing us to assess the merits of parties policies for ourselves are long gone.

I also wonder what makes a party think that someone will be swayed by celebrity endorsement. Do they really think that putting out leaflets with Alex Ferguson (a Scot and football manager Man U at the time), along with a couple of people out of the soap Coronation Street (one who lives in Yorkshire and one who lives in Stoke) would sway people in a small town in Lancashire (which isn't near Manchester) telling us to vote Labour; or that a sentence from London based Myleene Klass saying vote Tory would work here.

Not to mention the candidates which were standing: Labour - a Tory turncoat who was parachuted in and is never seen here unless the local club win something; and the Conservative- another parachute candidate; and then there was the Liberal Democrat candidate who, it turned out, was standing in 2 separate boroughs (which I understood was against the rules). In fact the only local candidate was the BNP one!

The problem with British Politics, as I see it, is that the people standing are no longer invested in the areas they represent because they tend not to come from the towns they are standing in. They are truly party political now rather than being representative of their constituency's needs. The parties are so condescending that they believe if any celebrity tells the public who to vote for then we the voting people will follow their lead like sheep behind a bellwether in to the slaughterhouse.

The problem with British Politics is that the politicians are professional politicians and don't really care about anything or anyone but themselves and as such they would sell their granny, spouse and children to the devil in order to keep their place in the gravy boat that has become politics.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
British Politics For Dummies (For Dummies Series)
British Politics For Dummies (For Dummies Series) by Julian Knight (Paperback - 6 Feb. 2015)
£14.18

Politics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Politics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Kenneth Minogue (Paperback - 24 Feb. 2000)
£4.99

 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.