Books on Politics
By: Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
The Kingdom of God is within you
The title of the book comes from Luke 17:21. It is a non-fiction work of the famous Russian author Leo Tolstoy. He wrote it after many years of reflexion on Christianity and Jesus. Many subjects are present such as wars, non-violence, misunderstanding by believers of the faith, etc.
The Slavery of Our Times
This little book shows, in a short, clear, and systematic manner, how the principle of Non-Resistance, about which Tolstoy has written so much, is related to economic and political life.
As Russia goes to war against Japan, Tolstoy urges those at all levels of society, from the Tsar down to the common soldier, to consider their actions in the light of Christ's teaching. "However strange this may appear, the most effective and certain deliverance of men from all the calamities which they inflict upon themselves and from the most dreadful of all—war—is attainable, not by any external general measures, but merely by that simple appeal to the consciousness of each separate man which, nineteen hundred years ago, was proposed by Jesus—that every man bethink himself, and ask himself, who is he, why he lives, and what he should and should not do...
By: Mark Twain (1835-1910)
The Gilded Age, A Tale of Today
The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today is an 1873 novel by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner that satirizes greed and political corruption in post-Civil War America. The term gilded age, commonly given to the era, comes from the title of this book. Twain and Warner got the name from Shakespeare's King John (1595): "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily... is wasteful and ridiculous excess." Gilding a lily, which is already beautiful and not in need of further adornment, is excessive and wasteful, characteristics of the age Twain and Warner wrote about in their novel...
Goldsmith's Friend Abroad Again
This satire on the U.S.A.'s myth of being the "Home of the Oppressed, where all men are free and equal", is unrelenting in its pursuit of justice through exposure. It draws a scathingly shameful portrait of how Chinese immigrants were treated in 19th century San Francisco. (Introduction by John Greenman)
By: William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
The Life and Death of King John, a history play by William Shakespeare, dramatises the reign of John, King of England (ruled 1199–1216), son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine and father of Henry III of England. It is believed to have been written in the mid-1590s but was not published until it appeared in the First Folio in 1623. John (24 December 1166 – 19 October 1216), also known as John Lackland or Softsword, was King of England from 6 April 1199 until his death. His reign...
By: Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall (1867-1941)
This Country of Ours
History made interesting for young readers—This Country of Ours by Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall provides a simple and easy to comprehend way of looking at the history of the United States. Arranged chronologically in seven long chapters, it presents events in a story form, making them memorable and very different from other formats. One of the challenges that writers of history face is about fleshing out the characters and making the bland repetition of dates and dynasties seem relevant to modern day readers...
By: H. G. Wells (1866-1946)
Ann Veronica was a controversial book detailing the development of a naive school girl into a “New Woman”. When it was published, the Spectator described it as a “poisonous book … capable of poisoning the minds of those who read it.” Although it is unlikely to offend modern listeners in this way, this novel addresses many feminist issues that are still relevant today.
By: Jack London (1876-1916)
The Iron Heel
A dystopian novel about the terrible oppressions of an American oligarchy at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, and the struggles of a socialist revolutionary movement. (Introduction by Matt Soar)
By: Daniel Defoe (1661?-1731)
|The True-Born Englishman A Satire
By: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
The Soul of Man
“(T)he past is what man should not have been. The present is what man ought not to be. The future is what artists are.”Published originally as “The Soul of Man Under Socialism,” this is not so much a work of sober political analysis; rather it can be summed up as a rhapsodic manifesto on behalf of the Individual. Socialism having deployed technology to liberate the whole of humanity from soul-destroying labour, the State obligingly withers away to allow the free development of a joyful, anarchic hedonism...
By: G. K. Chesterton
What's Wrong With the World
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874–1936) has been called the “prince of paradox.” Time magazine observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.” His prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy and detective fiction. The title of Chesteron’s 1910 collection of essays was inspired by a title given to him two years earlier by The Times newspaper, which had asked a number of authors to write on the topic: “What’s wrong with the world?”...
A Utopia of Usurers
“Now I have said again and again (and I shall continue to say again and again on all the most inappropriate occasions) that we must hit Capitalism, and hit it hard, for the plain and definite reason that it is growing stronger. Most of the excuses which serve the capitalists as masks are, of course, the excuses of hypocrites. They lie when they claim philanthropy; they no more feel any particular love of men than Albu felt an affection for Chinamen. They lie when they say they have reached their position through their own organising ability...
By: Anthony Trollope
Phineas Finn is the sequel to “Can you Forgive Her?” and the second novel in Trollope’s Palliser series. The eponymous hero is a young Irishman who becomes a member of the English parliament. Trollope aspired to become an M.P. himself, and he ably describes the workings of the English political scene. There is also a love interest, as the somewhat inconstant Phineas courts three different women: his Irish sweetheart, Mary Flood Jones; Lady Laura Standish, the daughter of a prominent Whig politician; and a lovely heiress, Violet Effingham.
The Prime Minister
The Prime Minister is the fifth in Trollope's series of six Palliser novels. With Phineas' difficulties resolved, Trollope introduces new characters. A respectable young girl forsakes the man her family had always intended her to marry when she falls in love with a man of foreign extraction and an unknown family. He has a gentleman's education and manners, but his family background and financial means are mysterious. Is he really a gentleman? Meanwhile, Plantagenet Palliser becomes Prime Minister of a shaky coalition government, and Glencora and Madame Goessler are busy with the ensuing social obligations.
The Small House at Allington
Fifth novel in the Barsetshire series, The Small House at Allington is largely focused on the Small House's inhabitants, Mrs. Dale and her two marriageable daughters, Lily and Bell. The two girls, of course, have suitors: their cousin, Bernard Dale, his friend Adolphus Crosbie, and the local boy, Johnny Eames, whose career in London is to mark him as far more than the "hobbledehoy" that he has earlier been considered. Crosbie is a social climber, and his connection with the dysfunctional de Courcys of Barsetshire give the author a chance for a splendid portrayal of an aristocratic family in decline...
|North America — Volume 1
By: Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527)
History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy
History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy is an historical account by Niccolò Machiavelli. Toward the end of 1520, the Cardinal Giulio of Medici, later Pope Clement VII, offered Machiavelli the appointment to write a history of Florence. Although Machiavelli was reluctant to accept, accepting was his only way to regain the good graces of the Medici who had regained power and were in a position to offer him employment and protection. Doing the history also provided a way for Machiavelli’s views to become the “official” history of Florentine and Italian affairs. Once completed, the work was presented officially to Giulio, now Pope, in May of 1526.
By: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind
This work presents Rousseau’s belief in the profoundly transformational effects of the development of civilization on human nature, which Rousseau claims other political philosophers had failed to grasp. Specifically, before the onset of civilization, according to Rousseau, natural man lived a contented, solitary life, naturally good and happy. It is only with the onset of civilization, Rousseau claims, that humans become social beings, and, concomitant with their civilization, natural man becomes corrupted with the social vices of pride, vanity, greed and servility.
The Social Contract
The Social Contract outlines Rousseau’s views on political justice, explaining how a just and legitimate state is to be founded, organized and administered. Rousseau sets forth, in his characteristically brazen and iconoclastic manner, the case for direct democracy, while simultaneously casting every other form of government as illegitimate and tantamount to slavery. Often hailed as a revolutionary document which sparked the French Revolution, The Social Contract serves both to inculcate dissatisfaction with actually-existing governments and to allow its readers to envision and desire a radically different form of political and social organization. (Summary by Eric Jonas)
By: Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
|Abraham Lincoln Writings
|Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address
|Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address
|State of the Union Address
By: Aristotle (384-322)
The Politics, by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, is one of the most influential texts in political philosophy. In it, Aristotle explores the role that the political community should play in developing the virtue of its citizens. One of his central ideas is that “Man is a political animal,” meaning that people can only become virtuous by active participation in the political community. Aristotle also criticizes his teacher Plato, classifies and evaluates six different types of constitutions and political institutions, and describes his vision of the ideal state...
By: Karl Marx
Capital: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production
Karl Marx’s Capital: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production is a critical analysis of the political economy or the capitalist system. In this 3 volume work, he says that a capitalist economy can only survive by exploiting the working class. The concepts discussed in this book laid the foundations of the political doctrine that would later be known as communism. This book has three volumes, the first volume is Marx’s critical analysis of the capitalist mode of production and how it’s effects on poor people...
Wage-Labour and Capital
Orignally written as a series of newspaper articles in 1847, Wage-Labour and Capital was intended to give a short overview, for popular consumption, of Marx’s central threories regarding the economic relationships between workers and capitalists. These theories outlined include the Marxian form of the Labour Theory of Value, which distinguishes “labour” from “labour-power”, and the Theory of Concentration of Capital, which states that capitalism tends towards the creation of monopolies and the disenfranchisement of the middle and working classes...
Eleven Theses on Feuerbach
The “Theses on Feuerbach” are eleven short philosophical notes written by Karl Marx in 1845. They outline a critique of the ideas of Marx’s fellow Young Hegelian philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach. The theses form a basis for the activism emphasised by Marx’s work, and this short text is perhaps best know for its ending – a Eureka for revolutionary socialism. The theses were written in 1845, but not published until 1888 (five years after Marx’s death), with slight modifications by Friedrich Engels. The original text was published in 1924. This translation is based on the 1888 version.
|Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte
By: Alexander Hamilton (1755/1757-1804)
The Federalist Papers
In order to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution in the late 1780s, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Hay wrote a series of 85 articles and essays explaining their reasons to support the constitution. Most of these articles were published in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet and they later became known as “The Federalist Papers.” In reading the articles, one will encounter very interesting issues like Hamilton’s opposition to including the Bill of Rights in the Constitution and why he thinks a Union is better than a Confederation...