Book reviews

Book review | Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics

Book review | Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics

In Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics, Nicole Hemmer argues that broadcasters like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are but the second generation of conservative media activists. Americans, says Hemmer, are used to thinking of such figures as being integral to contemporary conservatism; her book tells the story of the […]

Book Review | After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality

Book Review | After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality

In After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality, editors Heather Boushey, J Bradford DeLong and Marshall Steinbaum bring together contributors to reflect on the influence of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century and to draw attention to topics less explored in Piketty’s analysis. While this is a work of serious scholarship that is suited primarily to an academic audience, these reflections on […]

Book review | Voices from the ‘Jungle’: Stories from the Calais refugee camp

Book review | Voices from the ‘Jungle’: Stories from the Calais refugee camp

Voices from the ‘Jungle’: Stories from the Calais Refugee Camp offers a collection of individual testimonies written by a number of people residing in the so-termed Calais ‘Jungle’, the refugee camp in Northern France. While more accounts from women would have been welcome, this is a moving and timely anthology that seeks to give a voice […]

Book review: An Unsuccessful Prime Minister? Reappraising John Major, ed. Kevin Hickson and Ben Williams

Book review: An Unsuccessful Prime Minister? Reappraising John Major, ed. Kevin Hickson and Ben Williams

In John Major: An Unsuccessful Prime Minister? Reappraising John Major, editors Kevin Hickson and Ben Williams offer a balanced reappraisal of the tumultuous years of the Major government, challenging perceptions of the former Prime Minister as simply an interlude between Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. While the volume could have included more on the Major’s government approach to foreign policy, Robert […]

Book reviews | Deplorable Me, Devil’s Bargain & Kill All Normies

Book reviews | Deplorable Me, Devil’s Bargain & Kill All Normies

JA Smith reflects on two recent books that help us to take stock of the election of President Donald Trump as part of the wider rise of the ‘alt-right’, questioning furthermore how the left today might contend with the emergence of those at one time termed ‘a basket of deplorables’.  Similar PostsBook review | Messengers of […]

Book review | Handbook on Political Trust, ed. Sonja Zmerli & Tom W G van der Meer

Book review | Handbook on Political Trust, ed. Sonja Zmerli & Tom W G van der Meer

In Handbook on Political Trust, edited by Sonja Zmerli and Tom W G van der Meer, an international body of 41 experts offers an excellent overview of the scholarly literature on political trust, complemented by original empirical research and analysis. Across the chapters, the authors pinpoint gaps in the literature and identify new venues for research, making this handbook […]

Book review | Democracy Protests: Origins, Features and Significance, by Dawn Brancati

Book review | Democracy Protests: Origins, Features and Significance, by Dawn Brancati

In Democracy Protests: Origins, Features and Significance, Dawn Brancati examines the conditions under which citizen discontent with governments transforms into democracy protests, placing particular emphasis upon the role played by economic crises. Drawing upon an original dataset based on 180 states between 1989 and 2011, this is a significant contribution to better understanding the factors and dynamics behind […]

Book review | Popular Democracy: The Paradox of Participation, by Gianpaolo Baiocchi & Ernesto Ganuza

Book review | Popular Democracy: The Paradox of Participation, by Gianpaolo Baiocchi & Ernesto Ganuza

In Popular Democracy: The Paradox of Participation, Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Ernesto Ganuza examine contemporary forms of participatory governance by tracing the origins and development of participatory budgeting (PB) from its roots in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to its adoption in two cases, Cordoba, Spain and Chicago, USA. While acknowledging that PB has been seen as being too easily co-opted by neoliberalism, the […]

Book review | Utopia for Realists, and How We Can Get There by Rutger Bregman

Book review | Utopia for Realists, and How We Can Get There by Rutger Bregman

With Utopia for Realists and How We Can Get There, Rutger Bregman offers a new blueprint for constructing a better society for all, advocating the implementation of seemingly ‘utopian’ ideas, such as universal basic income, along the way. This is an assured and ambitious book, writes Peter Carrol, that deserves to be widely read.  Utopia for Realists and How We […]

Book review | Radicals: Outsiders Changing the World, by Jamie Bartlett

Book review | Radicals: Outsiders Changing the World, by Jamie Bartlett

In Radicals: Outsiders Changing the World, Jamie Bartlett probes into the worldviews and lives of individuals, groups and movements who are seeking to change the way we live now and examines their ostensibly radical properties. Bartlett’s natural storytelling abilities, shaped by his sensitive yet probing approach, make for an engaging read. This book inspires both enthusiasm and caution about radical […]

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