Tag Archives: Tony Blair

Thoughts About Political Biographies

My Political Bookshelf

The Politics section in most bookshops is often an odd one.  I think there are two explanations for this.  Firstly, it is because books about current affairs usually go out of date very quickly – politics changes pretty much everyday and a lot of books about ongoing events can end up in a bargain bin faster than you can say ‘Yes, we can’.  Secondly, I think it is because politics tends to overlap with so many other subjects like history, sociology, economics and biographies.  In your average Waterstone’s shop, the Politics section will typically consist of a slew of memoirs and biographies of New Labour era politicians, a couple of AS Level Government and Politics textbooks, some books which claim to explain the origins of the credit crunch/globalisation/some other trendy political buzzword in layman’s terms and maybe a few George W. Bush-bashing books.  Overall, it isn’t particularly inspiring and doesn’t really reflect the diversity of the subject especially when there is so much quality political journalism out there.  It also demonstrates how books have become sidelined, as far as politics is concerned, in favour of more modern media which can be updated instantly. A 140 character tweet is likely to reach and influence millions more people than an exhaustively researched tome about the state of the nation today.  Overall, the cycle of the publishing industry is incompatible with the fickle 24 hour news cycle that we have today.

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