Professor James Bernard Murphy and Graeme Garrard – Bloomsbury: £10.49
In an overview of the great political thinkers of the ages, comprising thirty of the most trenchant minds in history, you would imagine that there would be room for the Sage of Hounslow. But for some reason Plato, Aquinas, Hobbes and Kant are all preferred to Tim Haigh, who doesn’t rate a chapter to himself. Go figure.
“Politics”, wrote Lord Roseberry, “…is an evil-smelling bog.” It is the thesis of this brisk tour d’horizon that on the contrary, ideas matter in political discourse, and the writers pursue this notion with a kind of Plutarch’s lives of great philosophers. Highly readable, and with a subtly understated agenda – that the greatest political thinking of the past might provide a sort of corrective to the malaise of the present nadir – How To Think Politically is an elegant primer in the field.