“Politics: What the Heck is it All About?” is a fun and easy read for anyone who has ever stepped into an office of high political office. In a nutshell, politics is a game of public policy that exists to benefit the powerful and the well-connected. There are various types of politics, from Fair Trade to Pluralism, from Dictatorship to democracy, and from Military To Civilian Control.
This isn’t a book for those who dislike politics, or those who want to blow off steam with a good yarn about government. In Politics: What the Heck is It All About?, the reader gets to experience the politics of both the European and American worlds with amusing, and sometimes disturbing, insights into how politics really works. It’s a quick read, and in some ways a refreshing change of pace from the usual media fare. Whether you’re already fascinated with American or European history or just interested in how politics affects us all, this is a must-read for everyone.
The book starts with an account of the origins of democracy, from ancient Rome to modern Greece. Alexander the Great loved Greek literature, and this book covers some of that ancient literature with great detail, while at the same time showing how the political system of his day was formed through deliberative assembly. Plato’s ideal of democracy gives the Americans something similar to how Athens operated when he was alive, with Plato’s idea of Democrats controlling the decisions of the masses through popular vote. We learn early on, however, that Athens is much more than a “people’s forum,” and the political system that Plato modeled wasn’t limited to just Athens.
Reading about the politics of other cultures, such as China, Russia, India, and Africa, gives the United States a different view of how our government works. This book looks closely at how social norms vary throughout these different countries and how they affect politics, economics, and even war. These chapters also provide insight into ancient cultures, war strategies, and more, allowing the reader to gain a fuller understanding of the political system of these countries and how they operate today. The book ends with an interesting case study of an African tribe who kills all the males as part of a ritualistic act of hunting. Although there may be some controversy over the killing, it does provide a unique look at the politics and culture of certain groups of people in the world.
Politics and Parity continue with chapters on Latin American political systems, Indian constitutionalism, South Asian societies, and Western perspectives on democracy. The South Asian countries are a major force in world politics because of their large populations and open societies. Although democracy has been practiced for decades in some areas of India, such as its centrally planned economy, other areas have had little success without an underlying authoritarian structure. South Asians has always looked to neighboring countries for economic and political support, but this book looks closely at how these nations affect each other due to competing political and social pressures. The history of war and negotiation is also covered, giving students the chance to see how past generations have affected current interactions in politics.
Politics and Parity are a great choice for college students because it offers a quick introduction to the many different types of politics, history of politics, and the ways that we regulate our political system today. This book will serve as a class tool to introduce students to the various types of political systems around the world. It will also give them the opportunity to see how these systems affect each other in both the short and long term. For anyone who values an understanding of the world’s politics, and wants to understand how political systems work, this is an essential book to read.