- Paperback: 152 pages
- Publisher: OUP Oxford; 2 edition (30 May 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199661103
- ISBN-13: 978-0199661107
- Product Dimensions: 17 x 1.8 x 11.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
British Politics: A Very Short Introduction 2/e (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 30 May 2013
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Review from previous edition a useful book (The Guardian (Review))
About the Author
Tony Wright was a Member of Parliament for Cannock Chase from 1997 to 2010. He is now Professorial Fellow in the Department of Politics at Birkbeck College, University of London, where he is working on the development of the new Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life.
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Top Customer Reviews
The author does keep coming back to the same point over and over again, which is that the legislature is impotent in the face of the administration. It's true and is an up pretentious fact bit there's more that we need to know.
I was expecting an explanation if only in outline of the British political process with some brief commentary on what works and what is ripe for reform. So I have read this book and am still none the wiser about how a bill becomes law. I don't really know in what circumstances committees are appointed. I don't know what happens when the whip is defied. I don't know what the Lords does etc.
The book assumed quite a lot of knowledge. Eg, there was very little explanation of what a whip was and how it interacted with the MPs.
I would skip this book if you're looking for an introduction to British Politics.
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!
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.
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
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tony Wright does a fantastic job of introducing the reader to the uniqueness of the British Political model. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Technetium
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. Read morePublished on 31 Mar. 2015 by Sussman
Lovely little book to carry around with some really nice information in them, I love the very short introduction booksPublished on 19 Feb. 2015 by Amber
A slightly interesting and informative account of British politics, but it unfortunately becomes tiresome and repetitive about 2/3 of the way through. Read morePublished on 20 Mar. 2014 by Tay Eff
It took a while to get to me, but it's everything i wanted. perfect book. brand new, I'm very happy.Published on 25 Oct. 2013 by Eric Ward
Why get a member of the Labour party to write this book?
All the axes come out. All the snide references couched in politicospeak that come across as propaganda. Read more