The best 52 Political Philosophy books

Political Philosophy delves into fundamental questions about power, justice, and governance, offering crucial insights into societal structures. Our meticulously curated book list unravels key theories from renowned philosophers, shedding light on complex political ideologies.

Embark on a journey through influential works that challenge your perspectives and deepen your understanding of political thought. Ready to explore these thought-provoking reads and enrich your grasp of the ever-evolving world of politics?

The best 52 Political Philosophy books
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1
Political Philosophy Books: Man, the State and War by Kenneth N. Waltz

Man, the State and War

Kenneth N. Waltz
A Theoretical Analysis
4.4 (67 ratings)
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What's Man, the State and War about?

In Man, the State and War, Kenneth Waltz develops a groundbreaking analysis of the nature and causes of war, offering readers a wide overview of the major political theories of war from the perspective of political philosophers, psychologists and anthropologists.

Who should read Man, the State and War?

  • Anyone studying international relations
  • Anyone interested in politics
  • Anyone curious about the long tradition of thinking about war and peace

2
Political Philosophy Books: Gang Leader For A Day by Sudhir Venkatesh

Gang Leader For A Day

Sudhir Venkatesh
A Rogue Sociologist Crosses The Line
3.8 (17 ratings)
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What's Gang Leader For A Day about?

Gang Leader For A Day is based on author Sudhir Venkatesh’s ten years of personal, in-depth research conducted on-site at the notorious Robert Taylor Homes public housing projects in Chicago. Ignored by city government and law enforcement, residents in the close-knit community rely only on local gangs and each other for basic services and social support.

Who should read Gang Leader For A Day?

  • Anyone interested in the influence of gangs in the United States
  • Anyone curious about what it takes to be a gang leader
  • Anyone interested in how poor communities are supported by underground economies

3
Political Philosophy Books: The Myth of the Strong Leader by Archie Brown

The Myth of the Strong Leader

Archie Brown
Political Leadership in the Modern Age
3.9 (84 ratings)
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What's The Myth of the Strong Leader about?

The Myth of the Strong Leader (2014) explores why people tend to favor charismatic leaders, those they perceive as “strong.” These blinks show which factors allow such leaders to rise to power and why such a personality type shouldn’t necessarily lead a democratic society. Importantly, you’ll learn what can happen on an international scale when ill-suited “strong leaders” take the reins of a democracy.

Who should read The Myth of the Strong Leader?

  • Students of politics or history
  • People curious how authoritarian leaders rise to power
  • Aspiring leaders who want to lead fairly

4
Political Philosophy Books: Engines of Liberty by David Cole

Engines of Liberty

David Cole
The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law
3.5 (17 ratings)
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What's Engines of Liberty about?

Engines of Liberty (2016) is an exploration into the influence citizens can have on government, and the changes that can be brought about through activism, the spreading of information and the mobilization of one’s peers. When it comes to the big issues of our time, like gay marriage, guns and human rights, it’s passionate citizens who are speaking up for what they believe in and bringing about change.

Who should read Engines of Liberty?

  • Activists passionate about civil liberties
  • Lawyers and politicians interested in the history of civil rights
  • Concerned citizens who want to become more active

5
Political Philosophy Books: How to Run the World by Parag Khanna

How to Run the World

Parag Khanna
Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance
3.7 (129 ratings)
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What's How to Run the World about?

How to Run the World (2011) is a guide to diplomacy in today’s chaotic world. These blinks paint a picture of how a new kind of diplomacy can make the world a better place, exploring the potential for new and meaningful partnerships across borders and sectors.

Who should read How to Run the World?

  • Students of public policy and geopolitics
  • Anyone interested in history and politics
  • People worried about the state of international diplomacy

6
Political Philosophy Books: Discipline & Punish by Michel Foucault

Discipline & Punish

Michel Foucault
The Birth of the Prison
4.3 (127 ratings)
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What's Discipline & Punish about?

Discipline & Punish (1975) is a celebrated work of renowned French philosopher and sociologist Michel Foucault. Foucault studies the history of forms of power, punishment, discipline and surveillance from the French Ancien Régime through to more modern times, seeing it as a reflection of a changing society.

Who should read Discipline & Punish?

  • Concerned citizens worried about the overreach of mass surveillance
  • Philosophers, historians, cultural scientists and sociologists
  • Anyone interested in modern prisons

7
Political Philosophy Books: The Road to Unfreedom by Timothy Snyder

The Road to Unfreedom

Timothy Snyder
Russia, Europe, America
4.1 (270 ratings)
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What's The Road to Unfreedom about?

The Road to Unfreedom (2018) chronicles the extraordinary political age we are now living in. Russian expansionism, led by Vladimir Putin, threatens to encroach on the freedoms that people in Europe and America enjoy. After having successfully helping to bring about Brexit, the Kremlin set its gaze on the United States and, in doing so, played a central role in ushering in the Donald Trump presidency. And with Europe in the midst of a right-wing ascendancy, Russia is wielding a greater influence than ever before.

Who should read The Road to Unfreedom?

  • Anyone hoping to understand why right-wing populism is on the rise
  • Americans looking to find out how Russia influenced the 2016 election
  • Students of political science, international relations or history

8
Political Philosophy Books: Populism by Cas Mudde and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser

Populism

Cas Mudde and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser
A Very Short Introduction
4.2 (65 ratings)
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What's Populism about?

Populism (2017) investigates one of the political buzzwords of our age, which is often encountered in the media and thrown around by political opponents. Populist leaders attempt to mobilize the frustrations of the masses by claiming to speak for “the people.” By placing blame for social and economic problems on a supposed “elite,” populists attempt to gain political success.

Who should read Populism?

  • Citizens concerned with the rise of populist parties around the world
  • Students of politics or international relations
  • Politicians seeking to understand the populist phenomenon

9
Political Philosophy Books: Crashed by Adam Tooze

Crashed

Adam Tooze
How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World
4.4 (133 ratings)
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What's Crashed about?

Crashed (2018) unpacks the metaphorical seismograph to take the measure of an economic earthquake whose tremors can still be felt today – the 2008 financial crisis. Written with an eye to the global effects of what’s now known as the “Great Recession,” Adam Tooze traces the crash’s shockwaves from their epicenter in the American financial markets to their conclusions in Crimea, London, Athens and other geopolitical hotspots.

Who should read Crashed?

  • Economists, policymakers and anyone in financial trading
  • History buffs fascinated by the links between economics and politics
  • Disgruntled citizens wondering how politicians and bankers landed us in such a mess

10
Political Philosophy Books: Anarchism by Colin Ward

Anarchism

Colin Ward
A Very Short Introduction
4.4 (115 ratings)
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What's Anarchism about?

Anarchism (2004) lays out the history and principles behind an oft-misunderstood political ideology. Crucially, anarchists emphasize freedom over oppression, thereby seeking to do away with human life’s many hierarchies, be they those imposed by the modern nation-state, by patriarchal societies or even by religious organizations. Anarchism envisions a world free from any sort of coercion.

Who should read Anarchism?

  • Anyone looking to learn about alternative societal models
  • Students of politics or history
  • Citizens concerned about climate change and how we might stop it

11
Political Philosophy Books: Time of the Magicians by Wolfram Eilenberger

Time of the Magicians

Wolfram Eilenberger
Wittgenstein, Benjamin, Cassirer, Heidegger, and the Decade That Reinvented Philosophy
4.5 (184 ratings)
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What's Time of the Magicians about?

Time of the Magicians (2020) explores one of the greatest periods of German philosophy: the 1920s. In this decade of extraordinary intellectual productivity, thinkers like Martin Heidegger, Ernst Cassirer, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Walter Benjamin upended traditional philosophical thought completely and left a lasting mark on how we understand the world.

Who should read Time of the Magicians?

  • Armchair philosophers and critical thinkers
  • History buffs interested in Germany’s roaring twenties
  • Anyone who’s ever wondered about the meaning of life

12
Political Philosophy Books: Mine! by Michael A. Heller and James Salzman

Mine!

Michael A. Heller and James Salzman
How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives
3.9 (46 ratings)
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What's Mine! about?

Mine! (2021) explores the hidden rules of ownership that govern our world and influence our behavior. From who rides first at Disney World to who owns the space behind your seat on an airplane, it reveals the secrets of who gets what and why.

Who should read Mine!?

  • Fans of Freakonomics or Nudge
  • Law students
  • Pop culture enthusiasts

13
Political Philosophy Books: Mission Economy by Mariana Mazzucato

Mission Economy

Mariana Mazzucato
A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism
4.0 (211 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
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What's Mission Economy about?

Mission Economy (2021) explains how we can rethink our approaches toward government and capitalism through the concept of missions – huge, ambitious projects that inspire people across society to think big. These blinks show how we can change the world by taking inspiration from one of the most famous missions of all: the moon landing.

Who should read Mission Economy?

  • Visionary thinkers who want to transform society
  • Economists and politics fans in search of bold new ideas
  • Critics of capitalism who want to see change

14
Political Philosophy Books: The Dying Citizen by Victor Davis Hanson

The Dying Citizen

Victor Davis Hanson
How Progressive Elites, Tribalism, and Globalization Are Destroying the Idea of America
2.8 (673 ratings)
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What's The Dying Citizen about?

The Dying Citizen (2021) explores the ways in which modern American democracy is being weakened. Touching on issues like globalization and identity politics, it discusses how left-wing progressives are damaging the foundations of the United States. 

Who should read The Dying Citizen?

  • Conservatives looking for fresh insights
  • Fans of Donald Trump 
  • Anyone interested in politics and current affairs

15
Political Philosophy Books: Economic Facts and Fallacies by Thomas Sowell

Economic Facts and Fallacies

Thomas Sowell
3.4 (749 ratings)
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What's Economic Facts and Fallacies about?

Economic Facts and Fallacies (2008) takes some common assumptions about economics and politics and reveals them as fallacies. It’s only by facing uncomfortable truths, the book argues, that we can begin to solve the problems in front of us.

Who should read Economic Facts and Fallacies?

  • Those interested in politics and economics
  • Anyone looking for a contrary perspective
  • Libertarians and conservatives

16
Political Philosophy Books: The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The Social Contract

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
A cornerstone in modern political and social thought
4.5 (342 ratings)
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What's The Social Contract about?

The Social Contract (1762) is a seminal work of political and social theory, and is Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s most important and influential text. In the book, Rousseau lays out the conditions required for the legitimate founding and governing of a nation state. Playing a role in both the French Revolution and the founding of the US Constitution, The Social Contract is a cornerstone of modern political thought and essential reading for anyone interested in political theory.

Who should read The Social Contract?

  • Students looking for an introduction to Rousseau
  • Politics buffs interested in the foundational texts of liberalism
  • Life-long learners who want to know all the classics of Western thought

17
Political Philosophy Books: The Constitution of Liberty by Friedrich A. Hayek

The Constitution of Liberty

Friedrich A. Hayek
In Defense of Freedom and a Free Society
3.9 (305 ratings)
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What's The Constitution of Liberty about?

The Constitution of Liberty (1960) is a classic of economic philosophy. As one of the seminal texts of modern liberalism, it reminds us of the values of individual freedom, limited government, and universal principles of law. First published in the 1960s, it contends that social progress depends on the free market rather than on socialist planning. This work remains relevant in an age where socialist ideas are gaining new popularity. 

Who should read The Constitution of Liberty?

  • Students of twentieth-century history, politics, and economy 
  • Progressives and conservatives curious about liberalism 
  • Anyone interested in economic philosophy

18
Political Philosophy Books: After the Fall by Ben Rhodes

After the Fall

Ben Rhodes
Being American in the World We've Made
3.9 (232 ratings)
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What's After the Fall about?

After the Fall (2021) takes a sobering look at the rise of nationalism and authoritarianism in places like Hungary, China, Russia, and the United States of America. It examines how the standing and influence of the US changed in the years following the Cold War, and how this has led to the current challenges facing democracy around the world. 

Who should read After the Fall?

  • Political junkies
  • Fans of democracy
  • Students of modern history

19
Political Philosophy Books: Maoism by Julia Lovell

Maoism

Julia Lovell
A Global History
4.3 (86 ratings)
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What's Maoism about?

Maoism (2019) is a deep dive into Maoist ideology, tracing the origins of the movement in the caves of northwest China to the jungles of India, the high Andean sierra, and the California city parks where The Black Panthers did their military drills. Maoism is a movement that’s hardly limited to China or even Asia.

Who should read Maoism?

  • Anyone looking to bone up on Chinese history
  • Followers of leftist politics
  • Those interested in transnational historical arcs

20
Political Philosophy Books: A Hunter-Gatherer's Guide to the 21st Century by Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein

A Hunter-Gatherer's Guide to the 21st Century

Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein
Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life
3.8 (428 ratings)
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What's A Hunter-Gatherer's Guide to the 21st Century about?

Hunter Gatherers (2021) explores the mismatch between our evolutionary tendencies and our modern environments. It outlines how seemingly innocuous aspects of contemporary living are harming us, and stifling our true nature and potential.

Who should read A Hunter-Gatherer's Guide to the 21st Century?

  • Psychology buffs looking for fresh insights
  • Anyone interested in evolutionary biology
  • Fans of natural history

21
Political Philosophy Books: Abortion and the Law in America by Mary Ziegler

Abortion and the Law in America

Mary Ziegler
Roe v. Wade to the Present
4.4 (132 ratings)
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What's Abortion and the Law in America about?

Abortion and the Law in America (2020) offers a comprehensive legal history of abortion rights in the US. It highlights the social and cultural shifts that have contributed to the abortion debate and looks closely at the types of arguments invoked by both sides.

Who should read Abortion and the Law in America?

  • People who want to learn more about the complexity of the American abortion debate
  • Those interested in the relationship between cultural values and law
  • Anyone following US politics

22
Political Philosophy Books: Perversion of Justice by Julie K. Brown

Perversion of Justice

Julie K. Brown
The Jeffrey Epstein Story
4.4 (36 ratings)
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What's Perversion of Justice about?

Perversion of Justice (2021) reveals how a reporter for the Miami Herald broke the story behind Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes and the scandalous deal he got from the US justice system in 2008. It explains the history of the case, how the mysterious financier was able to escape justice for so long, and the important questions that remain unanswered.

Who should read Perversion of Justice?

  • Anyone curious how a serial sex offender can elude punishment
  • Fans of true crime investigations
  • People interested in the ongoing mystery behind Epstein and his accomplices

23
Political Philosophy Books: How to be a Conservative by Roger Scruton

How to be a Conservative

Roger Scruton
3.7 (177 ratings)
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What's How to be a Conservative about?

How to be a Conservative (2014) presents the case for traditional conservatism in a world that seems inhospitable to its existence. In this short volume, English philosopher Sir Roger Scruton lays out the case for the nation-state, a free market, and a more sensible approach to multiculturalism and human rights.

Who should read How to be a Conservative?

  • Those who walk on the right side of politics
  • Anyone interested in political philosophy
  • Leftists looking for an alternative perspective

24
Political Philosophy Books: The Narrow Corridor by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

The Narrow Corridor

Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson
States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty
4.3 (156 ratings)
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What's The Narrow Corridor about?

The Narrow Corridor (2019) weaves together a rich tapestry from disparate parts of history to answer the question: Why do some countries achieve liberty while others do not? From the ancient city of Uruk to Revolutionary America, from 1950s China to modern-day Argentina, it examines the conditions that enable governments and citizens to thrive as one –⁠ and the consequences when this fails to occur.

Who should read The Narrow Corridor?

  • Fans of world history, philosophy, economics, and political science
  • Citizens concerned about the fate of liberty in their countries
  • Anyone fascinated by a gripping historical tale

25
Political Philosophy Books: The Black Agenda by Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman

The Black Agenda

Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman
Bold Solutions for a Broken System
3.5 (169 ratings)
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What's The Black Agenda about?

The Black Agenda (2022) is a compilation of essays by Black experts reflecting the latest developments and challenges in diverse fields such as wellness, criminal justice, climate activism, and AI.

Who should read The Black Agenda?

  • Activists of all stripes
  • Anyone who wants to know how tech perpetuates racism
  • Anyone who wants to know how climate change and racial justice are linked

26
Political Philosophy Books: On War by Carl von Clausewitz

On War

Carl von Clausewitz
4.3 (389 ratings)
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What's On War about?

On War (1832) is widely considered to be a landmark book on the subject of war. In its serious and thoughtful consideration of why and how states engage in warfare, it continues to be an influential piece of writing centuries later.

Who should read On War?

  • History buffs
  • Those interested in the politics and morality of war
  • Anyone curious about military strategy

27
Political Philosophy Books: Free Speech by Jacob Mchangama

Free Speech

Jacob Mchangama
A History from Socrates to Social Media
4.4 (169 ratings)
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What's Free Speech about?

Free Speech (2022) traces the history of this world-defining idea. It provides a soapbox for some of free speech’s greatest proponents and highlights key events that pushed the idea forward from ancient times to the present. Offering an evenhanded treatment of the costs and benefits of free speech throughout history, it’s a powerful retort to all those forces that threaten to erode free speech today.

Who should read Free Speech?

  • Passionate defenders of free speech who could use more argumentative ammunition 
  • Students preparing for campus debates on whether free speech should be limited
  • Anyone on the left or right seeking insight into modern-day debates on free speech

28
Political Philosophy Books: Dear America by Graham Allen

Dear America

Graham Allen
Live Like It's 9/12
3.4 (196 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
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What's Dear America about?

Dear America (2021) is a call to action for Americans. It implores them to unite despite differences – and preserve their nation before it’s too late.

Who should read Dear America?

  • Americans of all political stripes
  • Anyone interested in US history
  • People intent on preserving free speech and diversity of thought

29
Political Philosophy Books: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) by George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

George Orwell
4.8 (1,667 ratings)
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What's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) about?

Nineteen Eighty-Four, also published as 1984, is a dystopian novel from 1949 that deals with the perils of totalitarianism. It’s set in an imagined future in a superstate called Oceania, which is ruled by an authoritarian government that maintains power through constant surveillance and other insidious means.

Who should read Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)?

  • Anyone who’d like to know more about this must-read classic
  • People interested in politics and history
  • Those who are worried about freedom of thought

30
Political Philosophy Books: Propaganda by Edward Bernays

Propaganda

Edward Bernays
4.7 (374 ratings)
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What's Propaganda about?

Propaganda (1928) is a plain-speaking and unashamed defense of the techniques of political and social manipulation. Far from being a dark art practiced by despots and dictators, Bernays suggests that propaganda instead plays an essential and necessary role in the life of modern democracies. Not everyone agrees, of course, but nearly 100 years later the enduring influence of Bernays’s arguments is reason enough to engage with them.

Who should read Propaganda?

  • Anyone who works in PR, advertising, or marketing
  • History buffs
  • Politicos interested in American democracy

31
Political Philosophy Books: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley
4.5 (345 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
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What's Brave New World about?

Brave New World (1932) is a dystopian novel set in a world where citizens are socially engineered to be complacent and pleasure-seeking. It’s a world that worships Henry Ford –⁠ a scaled-up version of an assembly line that’s mass produced, homogenous, and ultimately consumable. 

Who should read Brave New World?

  • Anyone fascinated by dystopias, utopias, and everything in between
  • People concerned about the state of modern society
  • Fans of George Orwell who want a very different take on dystopia

32
Political Philosophy Books: Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Macbeth

William Shakespeare
4.7 (134 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
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What's Macbeth about?

Macbeth (1606) is the Shakespearean tragedy of Scottish general Macbeth and his doomed attempt to seize his country’s throne. His ambitions ignited by a prophecy spoken to him by three witches, Macbeth’s path to power begins with anxiety and reticence and ends with callousness and cruelty. His story is a timeless exploration of guilt, paranoia, madness, prophecy, and the evils of ambition.

Who should read Macbeth?

  • Shakespeare lovers who haven’t had the chance to read Macbeth 
  • Those who find Shakespeare’s original language difficult to enjoy
  • Macbeth fans who want a refresher

33
Political Philosophy Books: A Theory of Justice by John Rawls

A Theory of Justice

John Rawls
4.2 (286 ratings)
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What's A Theory of Justice about?

A Theory of Justice (1971) is a seminal work of political philosophy, in the social contract tradition. One of the most widely debated philosophical works of the twentieth century, it provides a framework for evaluating societies and social outcomes in terms of justice, fairness, and rights.

Who should read A Theory of Justice?

  • Political philosophy buffs
  • Those wishing to deepen their understanding of social inequality
  • Anyone who cares about creating a fairer society

34
Political Philosophy Books: The Shadow Docket by Stephen Vladeck

The Shadow Docket

Stephen Vladeck
How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic
4.5 (13 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Shadow Docket about?

The Shadow Docket (2022) explores the Supreme Court’s growing abuse of its shadow docket – the procedural rulings it issues, often anonymously and without explanation. Since the mid-2010s, the conservative wing of the Court has increasingly relied on this opaque tactic to empower Republican administrations, influence elections, and transform the law in ways that threaten their own legitimacy.

Who should read The Shadow Docket?

  • Citizens affected by the Supreme Court’s decisions
  • Students curious about the court system
  • Anyone interested in the rule of law

35
Political Philosophy Books: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged

Ayn Rand
3.7 (208 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Atlas Shrugged about?

Atlas Shrugged (1957) plunges you into a dystopian America where the economy stagnates and society crumbles. As you navigate this complex narrative, you'll meet ambitious industrialists and scheming bureaucrats, and encounter the enigmatic question, "Who is John Galt?" Prepare to grapple with philosophical themes of capitalism, individualism, and self-interest in this intricate web of economics, politics, and human resilience.

Who should read Atlas Shrugged?

  • Fans of philosophical fiction and thought-provoking narratives
  • Advocates of individualism and laissez-faire capitalism
  • Readers interested in dystopian novels and societal critique

36
Political Philosophy Books: Capital by Karl Marx

Capital

Karl Marx
A Critique of Political Economy
4.3 (366 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Capital about?

Capital (1867) represents a groundbreaking analysis of money and its many roles at the height of the industrial revolution. By focusing on the exploitation of the working class, the text challenges traditional economic theories and frames a capitalist economy as a system inherently leading to social inequality and class struggle.

Who should read Capital?

  • Students studying political theory, economics, or sociology
  • Those curious about one of the most influential texts in economics
  • Readers seeking insights on class struggles and social inequalities

37
Political Philosophy Books: How to Think Like a Philosopher by Peter Cave

How to Think Like a Philosopher

Peter Cave
Scholars, Dreamers and Sages Who Can Teach Us How to Live
4.2 (252 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's How to Think Like a Philosopher about?

How to Think Like a Philosopher (2023) draws from the lives and work of thinkers through history to reveal unique perspectives on beauty, truth, and the nature of reality. It presents philosophy as an all-too-human search for meaning, and encourages everyone to do the same.

Who should read How to Think Like a Philosopher?

  • Deep thinkers looking for inspiration and wisdom from the past
  • Those curious about the ideas that have shaped the ways we approach life 
  • Anyone craving new ways to think about things

38
Political Philosophy Books: Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond

Poverty, by America

Matthew Desmond
3.8 (182 ratings)
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What's Poverty, by America about?

Poverty, by America (2023) delves into the paradoxical issue of poverty in the abundant country of the United States. It explores potential solutions to this pervasive issue, based on extensive research.

Who should read Poverty, by America?

  • Poverty abolitionists
  • Lawmakers
  • Corporate leaders and shareholders

39
Political Philosophy Books: The Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill

The Subjection of Women

John Stuart Mill
4.4 (11 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Subjection of Women about?

The Subjection of Women (1869) explores the unequal relationships between men and women, challenging ingrained societal norms. It argues for equal rights and opportunities, leading the way for feminist movement ideas.

Who should read The Subjection of Women?

  • Feminist theory enthusiasts
  • Students of political philosophy
  • Advocates for equal rights

40
Political Philosophy Books: Areopagitica by John Milton

Areopagitica

John Milton
4.3 (12 ratings)
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What's Areopagitica about?

Areopagitica (1644) details Milton's passionate appeal for freedom of the press and against censorship. Arguing for the right to freely express and circulate ideas, it erects a crucial pillar of democratic society.

Who should read Areopagitica?

  •  Freedom of speech advocates
  •  Aspiring political scientists
  •  Literature enthusiasts

41
Political Philosophy Books: You Will Own Nothing by Carol Roth

You Will Own Nothing

Carol Roth
Your War with a New Financial World Order and How to Fight Back
3.2 (355 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's You Will Own Nothing about?

You Will Own Nothing (2023) challenges you to confront a possible future where global elites dictate what you do and don’t have. Dive into an investigation of the forces striving to reshape our very notions of ownership, and discover strategies to ensure your autonomy and assets aren't just safe but thriving. Brace yourself: it's time to redefine your future.

Who should read You Will Own Nothing?

  • Financial enthusiasts exploring global economic shifts.
  • Technological futurists keen on societal implications.
  • Advocates for personal rights and wealth autonomy.

42
Political Philosophy Books: Destined for War by Graham Allison

Destined for War

Graham Allison
Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?
4.2 (130 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Destined for War about?

Destined for War (2017) applies ancient military thinking to a very contemporary conflict: the power struggle between the established power of the US, and the rising power of China. It uncovers how this dynamic has led to conflict in past centuries, and spells out what the US and China must do in the future to avoid all-out war.

Who should read Destined for War?

  • News junkies who want a deeper understanding of the US’s relationship with China
  • Those interested in how ancient political theory can be applied to contemporary conflicts
  • Those new to world politics who are curious about the current power struggle between China and the US

43
Political Philosophy Books: Social Justice Fallacies by Thomas Sowell

Social Justice Fallacies

Thomas Sowell
3.7 (164 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
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What's Social Justice Fallacies about?

Social Justice Fallacies (2023) unravels the myths and misconceptions driving today's social justice movement. It turns out that many popular beliefs about how society should be improved often conflict with concrete facts. This exploration sheds light on the perilous path of good intentions paired with fallacious assertions.

Who should read Social Justice Fallacies?

  • Critical thinkers who find themselves questioning social justice movements
  • Enthusiasts of fact-driven political discourse
  • Anyone wanting to debunk widely accepted social narratives

44
Political Philosophy Books: Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky, Peter R. Mitchell & John Schoeffel

Understanding Power

Noam Chomsky, Peter R. Mitchell & John Schoeffel
The Indispensable Chomsky
4.4 (152 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Understanding Power about?

Understanding Power (2002) is a compilation of discussions and seminars by Noam Chomsky curated by Peter R. Mitchell and John Schoeffel. Throughout this collection, Chomsky delves into a wide range of topics, primarily focusing on how power and politics shape societies – critiquing media, corporate power, and governmental control, all while examining how these forces influence public opinion, policy, and democracy. With a focus on America, it reinterprets events of the past concerning foreign and social policy, highlighting the many challenges that Americans continue to face.

Who should read Understanding Power?

  • Political and sociology students
  • Citizen historians interested in America
  • Changemakers and activists

45
Political Philosophy Books: Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher

Capitalist Realism

Mark Fisher
Is There No Alternative?
3.9 (232 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Capitalist Realism about?

Capitalist Realism (2009) offers an analysis of how contemporary society is shaped and constrained by capitalist ideology. You'll explore the concept of “capitalist realism” – the pervasive sense that no alternative to capitalism is possible. This influential work challenges you to consider the psychological and cultural impacts of living under such a dominant economic system, prompting a reevaluation of societal structures and personal beliefs.

Who should read Capitalist Realism?

  • Anyone feeling let down by our current social or economic systems
  • Activists seeking insights on capitalist influence in society
  • Students of political theory or philosophy

46
Political Philosophy Books: Escape from Freedom by Erich Fromm

Escape from Freedom

Erich Fromm
3.7 (26 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Escape from Freedom about?

Escape from Freedom (1941) examines the paradox of human freedom: though it is cherished, increased freedom also brings anxiety, responsibility, and a quest for surrendering individuality, which human history and individual development vividly illustrate.

Who should read Escape from Freedom?

  • Psychology enthusiasts
  • History buffs
  • Social science students

47
Political Philosophy Books: On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

On Liberty

John Stuart Mill
4.6 (26 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's On Liberty about?

On Liberty (1859) is a classic text on the relationship between society, government, and individual liberty. It defends the importance of personal liberty and self-expression, claiming that social progress is dependent on the protection of individual liberties from majority rule.

Who should read On Liberty?

  • Social philosophy scholars
  • Free speech advocates
  • Diverse thought leaders

48
Political Philosophy Books: The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory by Tim Alberta

The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory

Tim Alberta
American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism
4.1 (166 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory about?

The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory (2023) is an expansive and critical portrait of evangelical Christians in post-Trump America. Penned by the son of a pastor, it tells the story of a religious movement that has subordinated its faith to worldly politics – and lost its way.

Who should read The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory?

  • History buffs and politicos
  • Readers curious about evangelical politics
  • Those exploring the societal impact of faith

49
Political Philosophy Books: Common Sense by Thomas Paine

Common Sense

Thomas Paine
4.3 (34 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Common Sense about?

Common Sense argues for American independence from British rule, combining clear moral principles with practical economic and political insights. It played a crucial role in persuading Americans to pursue a revolutionary break from Britain.

Who should read Common Sense?

  • History enthusiasts
  • Political theory students
  • Revolutionary thought admirers

50
Political Philosophy Books: The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay

The Federalist Papers

Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay
4.4 (71 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Federalist Papers about?

The Federalist Papers (1787) present insightful arguments for the ratification of the United States Constitution. Offering fascinating insights into the minds of the Founding Fathers, it explores the fundamental principles of American governance and legal system. It remains on the most influencial texts ever written.

Who should read The Federalist Papers?

  • Constitutional law students
  • American history buffs 
  • Aspiring politicians

51
Political Philosophy Books: Get It Together by Jesse Watters

Get It Together

Jesse Watters
Troubling Tales from the Liberal Fringe
2.9 (12 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Get It Together about?

Get It Together (2024) is based on a series of interviews with radical activists in the US, including a vocal supporter of Black Lives Matter. While these people’s beliefs vary, there are some common factors in their backgrounds.

Who should read Get It Together?

  • People intrigued by the beliefs of radical activists
  • Conservatives who want to understand the other side
  • Anyone interested in the current state of US society

52
Political Philosophy Books: Atlas of AI by Kate Crawford

Atlas of AI

Kate Crawford
Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence
3.8 (39 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Atlas of AI about?

Atlas of AI (2021) reveals how AI is a technology of extraction, from minerals to labor to data. It presents AI as a global network which is driving a shift toward undemocratic governance and political centralization.

Who should read Atlas of AI?

  • Entrepreneurs and policymakers seeking to inform themselves about the AI industry
  • People interested in the intersection of technology, politics, and society
  • Anyone concerned about the social and moral consequences of emerging technologies

Related Topics

Political Philosophy Books
 FAQs 

What's the best Political Philosophy book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard Man, the State and War as the ultimate read on Political Philosophy.

What are the Top 10 Political Philosophy books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • Man, the State and War by Kenneth N. Waltz
  • Gang Leader For A Day by Sudhir Venkatesh
  • The Myth of the Strong Leader by Archie Brown
  • Engines of Liberty by David Cole
  • How to Run the World by Parag Khanna
  • Discipline & Punish by Michel Foucault
  • The Road to Unfreedom by Timothy Snyder
  • Populism by Cas Mudde and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser
  • Crashed by Adam Tooze
  • Anarchism by Colin Ward

Who are the top Political Philosophy book authors?

When it comes to Political Philosophy, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Kenneth N. Waltz
  • Sudhir Venkatesh
  • Archie Brown
  • David Cole
  • Parag Khanna