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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 September 2013
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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
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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.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 2 September 2013
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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!
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VINE VOICEon 7 October 2013
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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.
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VINE VOICEon 22 August 2013
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The Very Short Introduction series are written by professors of the subject and are aimed at provoking cross-discipline intrigue in the reader that may incite further investigation and reading - and boy, are they good at achieving exactly that; often they leave more questions than answers.

This is the second edition of this VSI, updated to include a critique of the bi-party government we currently have. This is obviously a pertinent point when considering politics of late. This 120 page A6 book spans the origin of the political system we have in Britain, it's history, major milestones and examples where it has served well and fallen short, this is all wrapped up in Tony Wright's excellent writing style which is often peppered with satirical cartoons that serve to emphasise the point being made. A nice touch that had me chuckling on more than one occasion despite subject material that can be considered rather dry.

The rejuvenation of this title could not be more apt and the assessment of the coalition government and it's short comings have created political malaise in Britain where voting is no longer seen as a civic duty. It apprises the value of the 2012 Olympics on British morale and attitude and is very relevant. Highly recommended for an insightful, occasionally funny but very informative look at British Politics.

P.s. Loved the Red/Blue cover, very fitting.
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VINE VOICEon 5 September 2013
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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.
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VINE VOICEon 23 September 2013
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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.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 6 September 2013
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Tony Wright was the Labour MP for Cannock Chase (and its predecessor) from 1992 to 2010 when the seat was won by the Tory candidate Aidan Burley. He has written a number of books on politics over the years and Oxford's" British Politics - A Very Short Introduction" was originally published in 2003. This latest version, published this year (2013,) has been updated to include changes that have occurred in the ten years since the first edition. The demise of New Labour, the coalition, the financial crisis and terrorism all get considered here.

Although Tony Wright is obviously a left-wing politician I did not find his overview of British Politics to be overly biased - but I would recommend it more to those who appreciate the author's background than to those who don't. Amazon has provided their useful Click to Look Inside feature for this book and that gives you the chance to have a flick through like in a book shop so you should get an idea of this books appeal to you.

Like the other Very Short Introductions I have read this one is not too short and provides a bit more than an introduction. Politics was very black and white when I was younger - I'm not sure I understand who represents who these days! I did find Tony Wright gave me an idea of how we got here though.
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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.
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on 11 September 2013
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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
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