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on 18 April 2017
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on 16 July 2011
So this book really does what it says on the tin. It's a brief overview of different political ideas, explaining their origins and impact in the world. As part of the excellent 50 ideas series and written by Ben Dupre (50 Philosophy Ideas and 50 Ideas You Really Need to Know) I had high expectations and I really wasn't disappointed.
The hallmark of the 50 ideas series is to condense ideas to a 4 page spread, make them accessible and understandable without dumbing them down too much. They don't lose focus on the ideas, or distort them in the explanation so much they lose all meaning.
In particular, this book has an excellent selection of material covered which I would recommend to A-Level students or anyone beginning a social science based undergraduate degree, just to get to grips with general scholarship in the area. This is not a book for children and can, at times, be a fairly challenging read, so I wouldn't recommend it for children.
It works really well as a reference guide. I think the cover illustration shows exactly what this book is; a signpost for those interested in the subject to begin their studies.
My only criticism is that the pages can occasionally be quite 'busy'. They put so much content in that you're not sure what to read first and you have to stop between paragraphs to read separate boxes. It's a pet hate but it doesn't distract from the content of the book!
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on 10 May 2011
I really enjoyed Ben Dupre's excellent 50 Philosophy Ideas and bought this hoping it would not disappoint. It doesn't. Dupre writes with elegance, precision and wit. The selection of political ideas is terrific and the treatment challenging, yet accessible, as in his first book. Anyone interested in politics will find this book a thoroughly good read but it is also a handy extra text for politics A level students (and their teachers perhaps).
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on 28 October 2011
Normally I would run a mile from a book title like '50 political ideas' afterall an explanation of 1 political idea is usually enough to send me into a coma.
I guess I just felt that my lack of knowledge on the subject was so great that I had better grit my teeth and take a look. I'm glad I did.
Ben Dupre's writing is clear and concise. Exactly what this subject requires and also what I require.

The book provides 50 political ideas explained one at a time, a chapter for each idea, which means you can read the book cover to cover or skip between chapters. It really is easy to read.
Each subject has a simple introductory paragraph which is then is followed by more detail, including examples, quotes and a useful timeline running along the bottom of the pages. Each idea is summed up in about 4 pages, just enough to get beneath the surface and get some useful insight to the topic, without becoming too heavy.

I would most definately recommend this book and I believe it's appeal is to a wide audience, not just students of politics who would no doubt benefit from this handy overview. It contains basic general knowledge that everyone should know and much more besides.

I haven't yet read any of the other titles in this series (50...), but if this is anything to go by I will read the lot.
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on 29 May 2014
I am not sure that all fifty items are justified, e.g. poverty as a political idea. But I found the whole book interesting in that it does systematically look at all the issues and tries to set out some of the arguments that need to be balanced. A good use of the time though more reading needed
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on 11 May 2013
bought this as i am currently studying government and politics. found it very helpful and concise while still being written in an intelligent and academic way. :)
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on 27 March 2013
For each topic you get was the original enlightenment types said, one from each end of the spectrum (such as "Hume said this, Roussau said that").

You then get what a couple of more modern day thinkers say, again, one from both ends of the spectrum.

If is extremely informative, interesting and thought provoking. It is utterly neutral and objective and also enjoyable.

I've read the odd politician's biographys and and actuallyI found myself wishing that they'd read book such as this - but that is another topic.
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on 20 January 2016
I'm really not political so this was perfect and concise reading with about four pages covering all the different political ideas. Great buy.
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on 20 February 2014
Politics is the utilization of whatever means, be it diplomacy, knowledge or experience, skill or even the rough power to achieve certain goal pursued by the individual and his affiliates. The ideas in the books come from different spheres, including the political theory itself (state, republic, conservatism); but also concepts studied by other disciplines (war, globalization, media) even philosophy (realism). Indeed, politics is present almost everywhere – economy, finances, psychology... even small children with many toys will buy the benevolence of those empty handed.
What I like was that the author Ben Dupre does not limit himself to the theoretical definition. It looks like that he took the pains and explored each of the 50 terms in detail, gathering facts, authentic materials and quotations. He even cites Shakespeare when introducing the concept of welfare ‚Only the truly blessed get through the life without ever needing the support of others’(Shakespeare, Timon of Athens). Or, when Winston Churchill fittingly joked that the best argument against democracy was a 5 minute conversation with an average voter. Well quotation often says more than thousands words of definition. Pity, that the book does not contain any pictures, they would add even more authenticity. I recommend 50 Political Ideas to everyone who wants find out which issues shape the world, find quick definition of some political terms or his own definition of politics.
Do you know what Plato and Aristotle said about democracy , why the US walked out of the isolation after the attack on Pearl Harbour and why the poor people simply do not ring the bell at dinner?
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on 24 March 2015
Really wordy. Uses vocabulary that is above my head. Sometimes takes ages to explain what turns out to be a simple idea.
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