Skip to main content

In Defense of Politics

4th edition
In this illuminating celebration of the political world, Bernard Crick asserts that politics, with
its compromises and power struggles, remains the only tested alternative to government by
coercion, making both freedom and order possible in heterogeneous societies. For Crick,
politics is messy and complex, and his book defends it against those who would identify it with (and reduce it to) ideology, democracy, nationalism, or technology.

This Fourth edition has been updated to include an assessment of the revolutions in 1989 in
Eastern Europe. It also examines current situations in Northern Ireland, Israel and Palestine,
and South Africa.

“A short book written with verve and brilliance. . . . He has written an exceedingly clever and
disturbing book on important issues, all that he writes is alive and much of what he says, even when it seems perversely provocative, turns out to be penetrating and serious.”
—Isaiah Berlin, 20th Century

“One of the most thoughtful products of the political dialogues of the London School of
Economics since the great days of Tawney, Dalton, Wallas and Hobhouse. Its sobriety,
liberal spirit and toughness of mind are rare qualities in any political work.”
—Edward Shils, Guardian

272 pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 1962, 1964, 1972, 1982, 1992

Political Science: Political and Social Theory

Table of Contents

Preface to the Fourth American Edition
1. The Nature of Political Rule
2. A Defence of Politics Against Ideology
3. A Defence of Politics Against Democracy
4. A Defence of Politics Against Nationalism
5. A Defence of Politics Against Technology
6. A Defence of Politics Against False Friends
The non-political conservative
The a-political liberal
The anti-political socialist
7. In Praise of Politics
Three Footnotes:
A Footnote to Rally the Academic Professors of Politics
A Footnote to Rally Fellow Socialists
A Final Footnote to Rally Those Who Grudge the Price

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press