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Your politics

(44 Posts)
Enviousamerican Sun 05-May-13 19:27:56

I know nothing about your politics and don't see me reading "history of" type of books but if anyone could recommend a interesting book I might read to be better informed? Today I was at a second hand book store and found a free copy of a book called Diaries by Alan Clark and I ordered a book by Jack Straw.Also got a free book called Sea Room an island life in the Hebrides by Adam Nicolson.Looked good for a free book!

MiceElf Sun 05-May-13 20:34:51

Start with Eric Hobsbaum. The age of capital. The age of revolution. The age of empire.

Anything by Asa Briggs is good. And anything by Lisa Jardine.

Also try Simon Schama, he's an English historian now based in the USA at Harvard I think. Brilliant books beautifully written. And he has a very international perspective, as befits someone married to an American with Jewish roots in middle Europe.

MiceElf Sun 05-May-13 20:39:04

BTW Alan Clark was a rich Tory of loose morals who had a drink problem and was an MP. His diaries are very funny and well written But the man was a s****.

Jack Straw is a Labour politician, not so funny. For well written diaries / memories from the Labour side read Dennis Healy. Beautiful prose. And funny. Tony Benn's diaries are good too.

Enviousamerican Sun 05-May-13 21:01:42

Great! Just what I needed to know.

MiceElf Sun 05-May-13 21:07:52

It's a pleasure. BTW I've just looked at your profile. What a gorgeous, gorgeous puss. I want to catnap him. He's beautiful.

Nonu Sun 05-May-13 21:11:45

Also of course ,depending on which side of the political fence one sits , will influence recomended reading matter .

I.E. Republican or Democrat

Nonu Sun 05-May-13 21:18:58

Republican = Conservatives

Democrats = Labour

Nonu Sun 05-May-13 21:23:40

BTW , you cannot say to Envious Alan Clark was a Tory , that will confuse her,

say Conservative .

Enviousamerican Sun 05-May-13 21:25:42

I'm interested in both sides. Ive watched Commons Questions Time over the years,but you don't learn much. I was entertained watching Jack Straw sticking his tongue out, just a unconscious habit while sitting on the bench during The Blair years. It does make you aware of how they try to take care of your people.At least to me it does.

MiceElf Sun 05-May-13 21:29:47

Oh not really. Republican and Democrat although somewhat different from each other are both much more right wing than most British political parties. And these change of course over the years.

The political landscape in the States is so different from Britain, inevitably reflecting the history of both nations. The big divide between the Southern States and the north has no parallel here, and the very individualistic viewpoint of the USA is special to that country.

I think it's hard for us to get a handle on the huge differences between each state and how the federal government works. And of course there i s the massive difference of a President who is elected, not by the party, but by the people and therefore separate from the legislature. The historical reasons were sound, but the impasse that this can lead to often makes American politics sclerotic.

MiceElf Sun 05-May-13 21:31:07

I'm sure EA is very bright and knows full well that Tory means Conservative. After all she's watched PMQ.

Enviousamerican Sun 05-May-13 21:32:44

MiceElf,that's Savannah,she is pretty but not the friendliest cat to strangers.Ive had Siamese cats during my lifetime and they seem to be either vary friendly or grumpy.Seaking do catnapping,I have another Siamese car I called Catnip.

Ana Sun 05-May-13 21:33:48

It would still be helpful if Envious could be given a more balanced view of UK politics than just recommending Labour diaries/memoirs. I'm sure someone must be able to think of some decent Conservative/Other Parties' literature?

Enviousamerican Sun 05-May-13 21:34:01

Did have,she passed on 15 years ago.

MiceElf Sun 05-May-13 21:42:46

She's lovely Envious.

Ana, could you explain to me why you think that Simon Schama is a Labour party diarist?! Or Lisa Jardine for that matter.

EA has two diarists to read. Alan Clark, whom I described accurately and Denis Healy whom I also described. One from each side. Feel free to recommend others.

Ana Sun 05-May-13 21:44:10

I stand corrected, MiceElf, no need to be snippy!

MiceElf Sun 05-May-13 21:45:43

Not snippy, just an historian striving for accuracy.

nanaej Sun 05-May-13 21:48:00

Churchill /Thatcher/The Hamiltons / heath /MacmIllan/ Doulas Home.. all Tories and all have biogs and some political writings too. is that a better balance?

Also if you can get copies of Private Eye magazine it has a go at all parties and politicians..not biased but gives a picture of political life in UK!

Enviousamerican Sun 05-May-13 21:51:38

I just picked up the Alan Clark book cause it was free.Didnt realize the man lived in a castle! Reading Jack Straw book because I am interested in the Labour party but I amagine it's mostly about him,noticing the cover.So,I'll look into conservative next,after skimming the Alan Clark book. It does seem to have a index to look up who he talks about.

nanaej Sun 05-May-13 21:51:41

or for real balance try the Morning Star.

Enviousamerican Sun 05-May-13 21:57:05

Oh a magazine,that's a good idea! I'll look that up and Morning star.

MiceElf Sun 05-May-13 21:57:11

Nanaej, that's cruel.

MiceElf Sun 05-May-13 22:00:36

EA there are two weeklies published here. The New Statesman is left of centre and The Spectator is to the right. both well written and I think available on line.

New Society is worth reading too, it has a wide range of articles about many matters of currant interest.

Enviousamerican Sun 05-May-13 22:00:39

I need the best laymans terms possible.

Nonu Sun 05-May-13 22:03:53

mice , you certainly seem to have a handle on American politics , well done you .

Have you been as many times as i have .

Going now to watch a little more snooker .