Book Reviews

In this section of the blog you can read reviews of all the latest books relevant to British politics and policy. Each Sunday we publish two reviews, originating from the LSE Review of Books, aiming to cover a wide range of academic and non-academic books on all aspects of public policy and politics. Whether you’re interested in Benjamin Disraeli’s influence on David Cameron’s policies, the inside story of the Miliband Labour leadership battle, or the history of women in British politics since the 1700s, you’re sure to find all the essential information on these pages. Scroll down to browse the archive.

If you’d like to read more reviews of academic titles from across the social sciences, visit our sister blog, the LSE Review of Books. And if you’re interested in writing a review for the blog or if you would like to see your book reviewed here, please contact our our book reviews editor Amy Mollett at lsereviewofbooks@lse.ac.uk.

Book Review: Islam: An Introduction

Islam: An Introduction gives much attention to questions of universal values, Islam and democracy, gender issues, women’s rights and pluralism, while attempting to constrain the thinking of Jihadists and radical Islamism with liberal reformist voices within Islam. William Eichler thinks a more nuanced understanding of Islam is certainly needed in the English-speaking world and this book will contribute to that. 

Islam: An […]

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    Book Review: On the Commodity Trail: The Journey of a Bargain Store Product from East to West

Book Review: On the Commodity Trail: The Journey of a Bargain Store Product from East to West

Inspired by Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project, On the Commodity Trail explores the colourful and fascinating histories of everyday objects. Susan Marie Martin finds the author’s writing style, which includes historical ironies, and parallels between concepts and lived experience, have created a text accessible to a broad, curious readership.
On the Commodity Trail: The Journey of a Bargain Store Product from East to West. Alison Hulme. Bloomsbury. […]

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    Book Review: The Problem-solving Capacity of the Modern State

Book Review: The Problem-solving Capacity of the Modern State

The early 21st century has presented considerable challenges to the problem-solving capacity of the contemporary state in the industrialised world. Among the many uncertainties, anxieties and tensions, it is, however, the cumulative challenge of fiscal austerity, demographic developments, and climate change that presents the key test for contemporary states. This book considers the state of governance in the current period […]

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    Book Review: Truth Wars: The Politics of Climate Change, Military Intervention and Financial Crisis

Book Review: Truth Wars: The Politics of Climate Change, Military Intervention and Financial Crisis

The language of war has been increasingly deployed across a whole spectrum of ecological, social and economic problems: war on terror; war on warming; war on want; war on bankers’ bonuses; war on drugs; war on waste; war on genocidal leaders. Peter Lee examines climate change, military intervention and financial collapse to reveal how truth is used by competing […]

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    Book Review: Good times, bad times: The welfare myth of them and us

Book Review: Good times, bad times: The welfare myth of them and us

Two-thirds of UK government spending now goes on the welfare state and where the money is spent – healthcare, education, pensions, benefits – is the centre of political and public debate. Good Times, bad times says this debate is dominated by the myth that the population divides into those who benefit from the welfare state and those who pay […]

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    Book Review: Measuring Happiness: the Economics of Wellbeing

Book Review: Measuring Happiness: the Economics of Wellbeing

This book examines the evolution of happiness research, considering the famous “Easterlin Paradox,” which found that people’s average life satisfaction didn’t seem to depend on their income. But they question whether happiness research can measure what needs to be measured. Laura Kudrna argues this book is well worth a read for its excellent coverage of much of the happiness literature […]

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    Book Review: Pressed for time: The acceleration of life in digital capitalism

Book Review: Pressed for time: The acceleration of life in digital capitalism

In Pressed for Time, Judy Wajcman explains why we immediately interpret our experiences with digital technology as inexorably accelerating everyday life. She argues that we are not mere hostages to communication devices, and the sense of always being rushed is the result of the priorities and parameters we ourselves set rather than the machines that help us set them. Casey Brienza […]

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    Book Review: Networks of sound, style and subversion: The punk and post-punk worlds of Manchester, London, Liverpool and Sheffield, 1975–80

Book Review: Networks of sound, style and subversion: The punk and post-punk worlds of Manchester, London, Liverpool and Sheffield, 1975–80

This book examines the birth of punk in the UK and its transformation, within a short period of time, into post-punk. Deploying innovative concepts of ‘critical mass’, ‘social networks’ and ‘music worlds’, and using sophisticated techniques of ‘social network analysis’, it teases out the events and mechanisms involved in punk’s ‘micro-mobilisation’, its diffusion across the UK and its transformation […]

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
This work by British Politics and Policy at LSE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.