My soon to be 11th grader wants to study comparative government next year. The sort of course we are aiming for is one where he reads primary sources and thinks about what forms of government have worked, what characterizes them, etc. Does anyone have any good book suggestions for a sort of spine book that would give an overview of the topic or of the history of government in a general way (not the history of one country)?
Well, I’ve been slowly gathering some titles over the past few days so I’ll post what I thought was interesting:
First, check out the selections at Liberty Fund; Hillsdale College
This is the only spine I’m aware of: Comparative Government and Politics: An Introduction 10th Edition by Rod Hague (Author), Martin Harrop (Author), John McCormick
A Short History of Western Civilization, by Sullivan
Republic – Plato
Delaration of Independence, Articles of COnfederation; Federalist papers; original Constitution; Bill of Rights;
The Revolutionary Writings of John Adams
Declaration on the Rights of Man (France);
Reflections on the Revolution in France (Burke) (AO)
The Social Contract (Rousseau)-1762
Utopia – Thomas More -1516
The Rights of Man – Thomas Paine 1792 – response to Burke
Law – Frederic Bastiat – 1850 – opposite Rousseau
Communist Manifesto – Marx/Engels – 1848
Democracy in America – De Toqueville
Videos from 1980 Free To Choose – Milton Freedman (economics, but tied to Government-free online
The Black Book of Communism: Jean-Lois Panne – chronicles devastation of human suffering in all contries which adopted Communism
There’s a pretty rough documentary available, thogh it’s valuable called The Soviet Story (intergrates/compares national Socialism of Germany): https://www.amazon.com/Soviet-Story-Edvins-Snore/dp/B00BJH1IW2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468385365&sr=8-1&keywords=the+soviet+story
Also, a PBS documentary – American Experience- about the forced 1920 Soviet Famine and our response: https://www.amazon.com/American-Experience-Great-Famine/dp/B004FM2EPS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1468385242&sr=8-2&keywords=PBS+famine
Communism: A History – Richard Pipes (and others by him)
There’s a book by GK Chesterton called Eugenics and Other Evils which is related to the implementation of Commnism and Socialism; it’s completely state-run practice
Propaganda – Bernays? Can’t have these governments without it
The Road to Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek
Essays at AO: Francis Bacon, Thomas Sowell,
Sorry, I don’t know anything that tells abot the benefits of monarchy
I know you said not specific countries, but I thought it’d be instructive to contrast the founding charter of Hamas (which instructs their governing) and governing docs of other Sharia-controlled countries, like Saudi Arabia, Iran. Versus slightly moderate, or at least Western-friendly countries like Jordan and, after ousting the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt.
Contrast those countries with Israel’s Proclamation of Independence and her governing bodies. This might help:
It’s interesting to study how 20+ Arab countries handle Sharia law and governing the people v/s the Jewish Law and Israel’s governing. Also, questions like: which countries have been required to hold free elections periodically, but have not? Which countries do?
What’s the difference between Parliamentary gov., different types of republics, the purpose of a country with both presidents and prime ministers (for ex: Russia and Israel do, but they are function differently); the countries that have both parliaments and monarchies: why are some monarchies stronger than others?
What about the tribal nations? The structure of the Commonwealth of England, how do that work?
Just some thoughts and ideas on the subjectnebbyParticipant
Thanks so much, Rachel! I can’t believe all that info. It’s very helpful.
Sorry about some my grammar and structure; I was in a hurry and sometimes my phone keyboard self corrects, incorrectly!:)
Anyway, I came across a title when skimming through home school classifieds that may be useful. I looked it up on Amazon and was turned off by one of the two reviewers (an obvious conspiracy theorist). But, the other review was “normal”.
So, I’ll present with an * of caution, or preread may be necessary disclaimer. Hopefully, it’s just a factual presentation if a time period and not itself, a piece of propaganda for the anti-Western Civilization, anti-WASP crowd.
Also, some exposure to Keynesian economic theory would coincide with Socialist, Communist, and Statist governments, in contrast to the Economists from Austrian theorists for more Liberty governments. I forgot to put in Adam Smith, famous economist.
Currently, MP Daniel Hannon (sp?) is an amazing British speaker on Liberty and Sovereignty. He’s a delight to listen to!
Also, the concept of the “strongman” being brought in or voted in (remember, Hitler was voted in by a majority in their democratic system-not the same as ours, since the populace has no right to actually vote for the president, a presidential election isn’t majority rule, etc.) as it relates to government headship, and being able to recognize them looking back through history (Napoleon, others); Democracy v/s Constitutional Republic (our Founders are good sources for these arguments).
That should set him up for awhile! HTH
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