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Whether one is seeking out background information or a grounding
in political knowledge there are some books worth owning and many
more worth reading.
Clearly the selection here will reflect 'some' taste but we have, as
the list has grown absorbed the taste of others and added our own
flavour. We have also added some passing personal comments, to help
you build your library. Having myself had a 50 year+relationship
with politics, pwer, military, history and travel and 25 years+
owning and running a secondhand and antiquarian book and collectors
shop I have had the opportunity to, of not read, at least dip into
most of the books on the list.
IF you feel we have left out an item of essential reading may we ask
you to eMail the relevant details for consideration as a book to
You will note AFTER the books is a brief listing of films and DVDs
that may also help.
Some essential reading & more
You need to know what you are letting yourself in for.
Politics is ONLY the pragmatic art of the possible!
How Parliament Works by: Rogers &
Walters - ISBN 1-4058-3255-X
More than you ever wanted to know about the running of
parliament. If only more of THEM would read it!
Commons Knowledge by: Paul Flynn - ISBN 1-85411-206-6
An essential guide to a back bencher’s
~~~~~~~~Some General Politics~~~~~~~~
Bloodless Revolution by: Vernon Coleman - ISBN
Puts the case for the end of political Parties & rise of
Contemporary Political Ideologies by: Eatwell & Wright - ISBN
A background glance at the main political ideologies in worldwide
History of Modern Britain, A by: Andrew Marr -
Easy reading over view of Britain since WW2.
Independent Member by: AP Herber & Howard Baker
An autobiography of a university MP, no longer a position!.
Mastering British Politics by: Forman & Baldwin - ISBN 13
A background reader on British politics.
Myth of the Rational Vote, The by: Bryan Caplan - ISBN -13:
An interesting polemic.
New Labour, The Rise of by Robin Ramsay - ISBN - 1-903047-83-8
A small book of big details of Labour's rise to nemesis!
Political Theory by: Andrew Haywood - ISBN 0-333-96180-3
A general reader on the theory & practice.
Post-Democracy by: Colin Crouch - ISBN 978-0-7456-3315-2
A polemic that shows how easily we can lose what our ancestors
Silent State, The
- by Heather Brooke - ISBN
The woman who spilled the beans on MPs'
expenses. However it really details our overblown bureaucracy, the
surveillance of everyone, the expensive data bases being contrived
to keep tabs on us all. Worth getting hold of. it is published by
Triumph of the Political Class, The by: Peter Oborn - ISBN
A polemic thesis unsurprisingly cautionary.
Wyre Forest to Westminster by: Elizabeth Hoggarth & Bewdley
Printing Company Ltd
Richard Taylor’s rise to Westminster.
Inspirational for any wanabe Independents.
~~~~~~~~Political Biographies of Parties & People~~~~~~~~
Cranks & Gadflies by Mark Daniels - ISBN 1-85725-209-8
A fun, frivolous summary of UKIP so far beset with intrigue
amateur hour and outright idiocy
Hard Pounding by: Peter Gardner - ISBN 0-9534-6974-3
A turgid one sided story of the rise of UKIP of limited interest.
Nigel Farage Fighting Bull by: Anon - ISBN 978-1-84954-039-1
A man taking himself seriously by an author who clearly couldn't
a light and self serving book.
Understanding Power by: Noam Chomsky - ISBN 978-0-099-46606-2
A rather heavy going polemic –
interesting in places and small doses.
~~~~~~~~EUropean Union - Considerations & Facts~~~~~~~~
EUropean Parliament, The by: Richard Corbett, Francis Jacobs
& Michael Shackleton - ISBN 0-9543811-1-4
An excellent well researched authoritative book the authors being
functionaries of the EU bring their experience to bear showing what
a ghastly concept it is despite their clear intent at praise!! Dull
as ditchwater but containing nuggets!
Great Deception, The by: Christopher Booker & Dr, Richatd
North - ISBN 0-8264-71056
The book on the history background and thought process in the
structure of The EU.
Well researched and readable.
Another Bloody Century by: Colin Gray - ISBN 0 29784 627 2
For those with an interest in future defense policy. Chilling.
Ministry of Defeat by: Dr. Richard North - ISBN 9781441169976
An embarrassing and highly informative revelation of the British
defeat in the 2003-2009 war in Iraq
~~~~~~~~Finance & Recession~~~~~~~~
Constant Economy, The by: Zac Goldsmith - ISBN
Provocative. This book lefty me provoked into wonder at its sheer
naiivity - so nice to have inheritted the wealth to show no interest
in the truth if it gets in the way of one's pet projects!
On The Wealth of Nations by: PJ O’Rourke
- ISBN 978-1-84354-388-6
A polemic that is irritating but provides an insight into the
Dark Side – neo-liberal unregulated free
Where Are the Customer’s Yachts?
by: Fred Schwed - ISBN 0-471-11978-4
An account of Wall Street around the time of the Depression by a
tyro dealer. Plus ça change...
Who Runs Britain? by: Robert Peston - ISBN978-0-340-83944-7
Peston is very readable and this lucid account of recent events
will make you angry.
Storm, The by: Vince Cable - ISBN 978-1-84887-057-4
Mr. Cable understands as an economist and writes as an economist
because he is an economist. This very readable book beautifully
illustrates the hazards of a uni-dimensional world view
– there is so much non-economic context
that remains unaccounted for.
Half Gone by: Jeremy Leggett - ISBN 1 84627 004 9
A lifetime of working for big oil may explain his conviction and
alarm - which I for one do not share!
~~~~~~~~Energy & Perceptions of Sustainability~~~~~~~~
Without the hot air by: David
MacKay - ISBN 0-9544529-3-3
An easy read, just a general book on the topic.
Reckoning with Risk by: Gerd
Gigerenzer - ISBN 0-140-29786-3
Statistically I'm sure this book will be most useful as few
politicians have much command of the ability to adjudge raw data -
personally I find working with my shoes and socks off for all
numbers over 10 something of an inconvenience!
I am assured this is the place to start for general politics.
illiteracy or allergy is the bane of many parliamentarians. This
book will get you started. I know enough of the subject to know that
I do not know enough yet and this is the book to which i will turn