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 a review 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: Government by Referendum by Matt Qvortrup

In Government by Referendum, Matt Qvortrup makes the case that rather than pose a challenge to democracy, referendums are a force for good and can work to enhance it, provided they are not exploited opportunistically by governments and politicians. This concise book contains many thought-provoking observations and factual details, finds Chris Stafford, that serve to underscore its key message […]

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    Book Review: The People vs Tech: How the Internet is Killing Democracy (and How We Can Save It)

Book Review: The People vs Tech: How the Internet is Killing Democracy (and How We Can Save It)

In The People vs Tech: How the Internet is Killing Democracy (and How We Can Save It), Jamie Bartlett offers an incisive account of the key challenges that Western democracy faces in light of the growing power of technology companies, presented alongside twenty suggestions for how to save it. While it could attend more to the role of capitalism in fostering such behaviour, the book will […]

Book Review: On Race: 34 Conversations in a Time of Crisis

In On Race: 34 Conversations in a Time of Crisis, George Yancy brings together scholars to reflect on how race and racism have shaped their careers and intellectual work. The collection is a great example of how scholarly dialogue can contribute to pressing public debate, writes Leonardo Custódio, building bridges between personal experiences of racism and philosophical reflections on race and racism’s implications for everyday […]

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    Book Review: Public Sector Reform in Ireland: Countering Crisis

Book Review: Public Sector Reform in Ireland: Countering Crisis

In Public Sector Reform in Ireland: Countering Crisis, Muiris MacCarthaigh focuses on the unprecedented public sector reform agenda of the Irish government introduced to counter the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). This book provides a valuable, ‘thick’ academic analysis of cutback management by studying the case of Ireland, one of the most badly affected states. Yao Han appreciated its contribution to research […]

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    Book Review: Against Meritocracy: Culture, Power and Myths of Mobility

Book Review: Against Meritocracy: Culture, Power and Myths of Mobility

In Against Meritocracy: Culture, Power and Myths of Mobility, Jo Littler offers a rich analysis that intricately teases out the grasp ‘merit’ and ‘meritocracy’ have on everyday cultural and social narratives of value and power in contemporary society. This is a rewarding contribution to the shared work of challenging hegemonic, neoliberal myths that uphold the status quo, recommends Sarah Burton, and to the building of […]

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    Book Review: The Tories and Television, 1951–1964: Broadcasting an Elite

Book Review: The Tories and Television, 1951–1964: Broadcasting an Elite

In The Tories and Television, 1951-1964: Broadcasting an Elite, Anthony Ridge-Newmanreflects on how historical developments in television broadcasting have influenced the structure of UK political parties, focusing specifically on the Conservative Party between 1951 and 1964. Backed up by rigorous archival research and interdisciplinary in scope, this is a fascinating, persuasive read that will be welcomed by both political scientists and […]

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    Book Review: Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think like a 21st-Century Economist

Book Review: Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think like a 21st-Century Economist

In Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist, Kate Raworth offers a new model for economics, based around the ‘doughnut’, which values human well-being and advocates for a ‘regenerative and distributive economy’. While the book holds multidisciplinary promise and Raworth draws upon appealing and evocative metaphors and examples to convey economic concepts in accessible terms, Maria […]

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    Book Review: Race News: Black Journalists and the Fight for Racial Justice in the Twentieth Century

Book Review: Race News: Black Journalists and the Fight for Racial Justice in the Twentieth Century

In Race News: Black Journalists and the Fight for Racial Justice in the Twentieth Century, Fred Carroll traces the history of black journalism in the USA from the turn of the twentieth century to the 1980s, focusing on the porous boundaries between ‘commercial’ and ‘alternative’ outlets. This is a well-researched, readable and comprehensive account that will offer valuable insights […]