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Volume 3 of Peter Raina's magisterial history covers the 1960s and draws on newly released documents. In astonishing detail, it traces new plans drawn up during the Macmillan-Wilson era to reform the House of Lords. 'Mission impossible,' a civil servant declared. But when, to remain a Commons MP, Tony Benn insisted on disclaiming an inherited peerage, he started off a fresh willingness to tackle old problems. The Peerages Act 1963 allowed peers the option of disclaimer and, at last, gave equal rights in the Upper House to Scottish and women inheritors. A Labour government came in, and in 1967 gained the majority needed to embark on bold legislation. But it feared interference, so comprehensive plans were backed for changing the whole complexion of two-chamber politics. Led by Lord Shackleton and the intellectual Richard Crossman, schemes were devised and inter-party talks got under way - at first in a spirit of cooperation. But had the party elites listened to their fiery back-benchers? When a bill was introduced into parliament, the scenes were unforgettable...This volume tells not just the story, but reveals the intricate thinking of those who wanted to make a bicameral system work in the age of modern party politics.
The three plays in this volume, each written a decade apart, demonstrate different sides of Henrik Ibsen's genius, but all deal with themes of alienation from society and the breaking down of convention. A Doll's House (1879) portrays a woman questioning her duty to her husband and seeking to escape the stifling confines of her marriage - a theme that shocked contemporary audiences and established Ibsen's name outside Scandinavia. In The League of Youth (1869), his first prose drama, Ibsen created a vivid comedy about a hypocritical politician, and in The Lady from the Sea (1888), he depicts a woman who longs to return to the life she enjoyed before she was married. Peter Watts' lively modern translation is accompanied by an introduction examining Ibsen's life and times, with individual discussions of each of the three plays.
American Government and Politics is a completely new introductory textbook designed and written for all students of politics coming to the subject for the first time. It provides a lively and accessible introduction and guide to all the main features and characteristics of one of the most distinctive and complex contemporary political systems in the world.
From the impeachment of Bill Clinton, to the controversy surrounding the 2000 presidential election, and the Bush administration's responses to September 11, students will gain a balanced and critical understanding of all the key issues and debates in contemporary American government and politics today.
A number of key underlying themes include:
- the nature of American values and identity
- the influence of the constitution on political development
- the ways in which key governing institutions function to produce domestic and foreign policy.
Key features include:
- comprehensive glossary of key terms
- discussion and summary boxes
- web links and guides to further reading
Robert Singh is a lecturer in politics at Birkbeck College, London.
American Government and Politics: A Concise Introduction is the foundation companion text to Contemporary American Politics: Issues and Controversies also published by SAGE.
Rob Singh has written a finely organized and informative textbook that combines to an unusually high degree analytical clarity, accessibility of style and form, and an enlightened scepticism about received wisdom. This is an admirable book' - "Nigel Bowles, St Anne's College, Oxford
"Full of topical information and written with sparkling clarity, this book is a short-cut to excellence for the discriminating student' - "Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, Professor of American History, University of Edinburgh
In American Government and Politics Robert Singh provides an excellent introduction to the subject. His approach is wide ranging, his examples well selected and his style is accessible. It will make an ideal book for introductory and more advanced university courses on US government. I strongly recommend the book to teachers and students' - "Desmond King, Mellon Professor of American Government, University of Oxford
This is a well written and lively book that is an important addition to the ranks of textbooks on American politics. One of its many virtues is its recognition that the textbook today is useful to a student only if it links to the world of web-based resources. Highly recommended'" - Alan Ware, Worcester College, Oxford
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