Politics is important and obscure and difficult? Must it be so? How can anyone even begin to understand politics? In fact, why bother to try to understand it at all? This book endeavours to answer all these questions.
Britain's greatest political historian and scientist shows HOW politics works. Wittily and clearly written, this unique book is the best introduction to the art and the science of politics for the student, the novice and the simply bemused. Politics is inevitably disappointing. Why is this so? Politics is important and obscure and difficult? Must it be so? How can anyone even begin to understand politics? In fact, why bother to try to understand it at all? This, possibly the first genuinely, unblinkingly honest book about politics, endeavours to answer all these questions. The Cunning of Unreason shirks nothing, no aspect of political thought or theory. It explains first in the abstract (what is politics? etc.) and then makes this concrete, tying the ideas into a fascinating re-interpretation of Thatcher's Britain. Dunn shows how this lasted and then fell apart, in all its complexity. The focus then becomes more general, spanning ideas of state, judgment, corruption, democracy and its failings, economics, markets, etc, etc. The final part is one of consolidation: what is political science; what are the implications of our and the world's current political situation and how can we use this knowledge to choose better? Very much part of the tradition of great political writing, of Aristotle, Machiavelli and Hobbes, The Cunning of Unreason offers a deeply penetrating study of the science and reality of all political structures.