Politics: A Very Short Introduction, Paperback

Politics: A Very Short Introduction Paperback

Part of the Very Short Introductions series

3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


In this provocative but balanced essay, Kenneth Minogue discusses the development of politics from the ancient world to the twentieth century.

He prompts us to consider why political systems evolve, how politics offers both power and order in our society, whether democracy is always a good thing, and what future politics may have in the twenty-first century.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area.

These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly.

Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Politics & government
  • ISBN: 9780192853882



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

All of the authors in Oxford's Very Short Introduction series face the challenge of compressing a very large topic into a very small space. By neccesity, much is left out. In my view, the success or failure of these books depends on the ability of the author to bring a novel point of view to the standard overview.In writing on politics, Minogue faced a particular challenge in that, unlike say Buddhism or literary theory, politics in some form is part of the standard curriculum of secondary and higher education. So I found it unfortunate that Mignone took a very conservative and narrow view of politics as the basis of his discussion. He states clearly in the introduction that he prefers the old definition of politics as the work of "monarchs, parliaments and ministers" as opposed to more expanisive revisionist views.I am rather uninterested with this focus on high politics and I would contest Minogue's apparent view it is this politics which is most central to historical outcomes. Even more, the story of high politics has been done to death. Perhaps Minogue believed he was recapuring some essential wisdom which has been obscured by the raucus debates of post-modernism. But I found this book to be simply superfluous.

Review by

This book makes me want to go out and study politics, even enter politics, though preferably not in the politically dreary country that Norway is.One thing: "History of Politics" seems to me a more appropriate title; I sorely missed a definition of what politics <i>is</i>.