- Paperback: 392 pages
- Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; Fifth edition (12 March 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0230367259
- ISBN-13: 978-0230367258
- Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.3 x 23.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
Political Ideologies: An Introduction Paperback – 12 Mar 2012
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'The great merit of Andrew Heywood's book is that he takes ideology seriously, and explores patiently and with admirable clarity the different characteristics of the classic western ideologies, as well as the new themes and directions of recent ideological thought. He has produced one of the best available introductions to the subject anywhere in print.' - Professor Andrew Gamble, University of Cambridge, UK
Thoroughly revised and updated, this bestselling text provides a clear and accessible introduction to the political creeds and doctrines that have dominated and shaped world politics
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Very very easy to grasp
Good for non background ppl
Must read for PSIR optional
Buy from a book store for just 600 don't look here
Before going for OP gauba refer this book lucid language very easy to understand
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Following an introductory chapter that discusses ideology in general terms, there are ten chapters covering the world's major ideologies (presented in roughly chronological order, from oldest to newest): Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism, Anarchism, Nationalism, Fascism, Feminism, Ecologism, Religious Fundamentalism, and Multiculturalism. These are then followed by a concluding chapter that discusses whether ideology is still relevant today. Within each of the ten chapters covering specific ideologies, there is a brief (one page) preview of the ideology, a section on its origin and development, a discussion of the core themes of that ideology, a discussion of the major divisions within the ideology itself (e.g. between classical liberalism and modern liberalism) and of hybrid ideological forms (e.g. socialist feminism or conservative nationalism), and a final section discussing how the ideology has responded to the challenges of globalization. Scattered throughout the text are "boxes" that discuss (a) key figures within each ideology (e.g. for Liberalism: John Locke, Adam Smith, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Jefferson, Jeremy Bentham, James Madison, John Stuart Mill, T.H. Green, and John Rawls), (b) key concepts central to each ideology (e.g. for Conservatism: pragmatism, authoritarianism, paternalism, Toryism, and libertarianism), (c) contrasting perspectives on various issues (e.g. freedom, democracy, human nature, equality, the state, gender, religion, culture, etc.) that highlight the many ways in which different ideologies view the world differently, and (d) cleavages within each ideology (e.g. the differences between "Equality feminism" and "Difference feminism" or between "Shallow ecology" and "Deep ecology"). There are also "boxed" definitions of key terms throughout the text, as well as a number of figures that are meant to illustrate some of the ideas discussed in the text. The definitions are quite helpful, though a bit oversimplified at times. Most of the figures are also helpful; though a few of them seem like little more than pointless filler that doesn't add any real value to the text. The layout of the book is visually appealing; and the text is well written and easy to read. Students with little or no background in political science or the history of ideas should be able to follow the text without encountering any serious problems. But don't jump to the false conclusion that, because this text is easy to understand, it must be "dumbed down" in some way. While it may eschew the obscure and intellectually challenging language favored by political philosophers in favor of a more plainspoken style, it still manages to cover pretty much everything that an introductory textbook on ideology could reasonably be expected to cover. If you want to add a bit more depth to the discussion of ideology, you might consider supplementing this textbook with a reader such as Festenstein and Kenny, "Political Ideologies: A Reader and Guide" (2005), which could almost be seen as a companion volume to this textbook. (I'm pretty sure it was not designed specifically to be a companion to this text, since it comes from a different publisher; but, in terms of content, it's hard to imagine a better match between a textbook and a reader.) But even if you choose to use this textbook by itself, without a reader, it should prove satisfactory for an undergraduate-level course. Other ideology textbooks I've examined -- most notably the one by Baradat -- are far inferior to this one in terms of the quality and depth of their contents. (In my opinion, if you want to learn about political ideologies, Wikipedia is a better source than Baradat's textbook.) But if you really want to learn about ideologies, Heywood's textbook is a great place to begin.
But even this text has its flaws. The content is excellent; the writing style is great; even the layout is wonderful. But the typos ... oh, God, the typos! I don't think I've ever seen a textbook with this many typos before. Don't textbook publishers employ proofreaders anymore? (I'll gladly take the job if it pays reasonably well and I can do it from home, BTW. I can't think of a job I would find more appealing or would be better suited for: reading textbooks all day and correcting other people's grammar and spelling. Sign me up!) Fortunately, most of the typos in this book are of the harmless variety -- using the wrong form of a word (e.g. singular instead of plural, present tense instead of past tense, finite verb form instead of participle), omitting a definite or indefinite article, or mistyping or omitting a letter (e.g. "irrekevent" for "irrelevant", "is" for "it", "he" for "the") -- and are little more than annoying distractions in an otherwise excellent text. But some of these typos are so obvious that there's simply no excuse for them, such as when multiple cross-references on the same page read: "see p. 000" (apparently a place-holder for the correct page number, which should have been added before the book went to print). This sort of thing reflects very poorly on the editorial standards at Palgrave Macmillan, the publisher of this textbook. These typos were irksome, to be sure; but we shouldn't exaggerate their importance. What really matters when evaluating a textbook is the quality of its contents. And the contents of this textbook are of such high quality that I am willing to overlook the many, many (far too many) typos, and recommend this textbook over its competitors.
I should also point out -- this is not a criticism, mind you, just something that you might want to be aware of -- that this textbook was published in the UK, and thus is written in British English rather than American English; so it uses British spelling, vocabulary, and punctuation throughout. Some American students might not be all that familiar with the differences between British and American English; but I seriously doubt they'll have too much difficulty understanding the text. Some of the spellings might look a bit odd to them (e.g. "labour" instead of "labor"), and they might encounter a handful of unfamiliar words (e.g. "cooker" instead of "stove"); but this shouldn't cause American students too much of a problem, so long as they have college-level reading skills. Professors might want to let their students know what to expect before they start reading, and advise them to be sure to look up any words they don't understand; but I don't see any reason why this textbook shouldn't be used in American colleges and universities.
My bottom line: This is an excellent introductory textbook on political ideologies; and I highly recommend it. I plan to use it if I ever teach a course on the subject. I also plan to use it as a reference source the next time I need to prepare a lecture on ideology. And I will be recommending it to any of my students who want to learn more about ideology.