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Customer Review

on 30 September 2005
I first came across this book several years ago in an earlier edition and found it, in conjunction with Pummett's British Government and Politics, to provide excellent coverage of the rudimentary aspects of the British political sytem.
Now that I live in the United States, I had not expected to need such a text today but a project requirement for my high schooler caused me to change my mind. I discovered that Pummett has not bad a new edition for some considerable years and a subsequent call to Politico's provided me with a number of titles to follow up and purchase. Fortunately summer intervened and I had an opportunity once more to immerse myself in the machinations of the Westminster model and particularly in the reforms instituted by the first Blair government. Incidently, I would highly recommend Anthony Seldon's sterling work in this area and particularly for the excellent Blair.
At the end of my studies it was clear to me that this is the ultimate textbook to read and study if one wishes to make head and tail of the apparently arcane system of British government. Try as I might to find gaps or inaccuracies I could not find any. I was struck by the clarity of the writing and the lucidity of the exposition. The use of diagrams etc is not overwhelming which to me is a failure of much of what passes for modern textbooks and the prose is written in a clear style which is very readable and understandable. The references are useful and the inclusion of website addresses is a great boon.
My high schooler was a little deterred by all of the writing but adapted to it very quickly and the flood of questions slowed to a trickle. There is some difficulties in tyring to undestand such an alien system particularly when approaching the subject from a pre-college level especially on the vexed question of an unwritten constitution but this is a releatively minor disconjunction.
For myself I confess to a great admiration for this text, an admiration which suggests two prompts for other readers of this review.
Firstly, I hope that another volume is inpreparation following the recent British general Election and, secondly, I hope this book could stimulate the production of an American equivalent from such authoritative sources as these which could form the basis of a standardized sourse throughout the United States.
An excellent book indeed!
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