Want to know what books James Purnell recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of James Purnell's favorite book recommendations of all time.
James PurnellThe Attack is worth reading just because Tawney is such an amazing writer and uses words better than anyone in British politics that I know of. But I also love this book because it makes the case that an important part of the Labour tradition doesn’t start with the state, but with individuals and communities and the way we build our lives together. Tawney is a good complement to Sen, actually.... (Source)
Between January and July 1919, after "the war to end all wars," men and women from around the world converged on Paris to shape the peace. Center stage, for the first time in history, was an American president, Woodrow Wilson, who with his Fourteen Points seemed to promise to so many people... more
Between January and July 1919, after "the war to end all wars," men and women from around the world converged on Paris to shape the peace. Center stage, for the first time in history, was an American president, Woodrow Wilson, who with his Fourteen Points seemed to promise to so many people the fulfillment of their dreams. Stern, intransigent, impatient when it came to security concerns and wildly idealistic in his dream of a League of Nations that would resolve all future conflict peacefully, Wilson is only one of the larger-than-life characters who fill the pages of this extraordinary book. David Lloyd George, the gregarious and wily British prime minister, brought Winston Churchill and John Maynard Keynes. Lawrence of Arabia joined the Arab delegation. Ho Chi Minh, a kitchen assistant at the Ritz, submitted a petition for an independent Vietnam.
For six months, Paris was effectively the center of the world as the peacemakers carved up bankrupt empires and created new countries. This book brings to life the personalities, ideals, and prejudices of the men who shaped the settlement. They pushed Russia to the sidelines, alienated China, and dismissed the Arabs. They struggled with the problems of Kosovo, of the Kurds, and of a homeland for the Jews.
The peacemakers, so it has been said, failed dismally; above all they failed to prevent another war. Margaret MacMillan argues that they have unfairly been made the scapegoats for the mistakes of those who came later. She refutes received ideas about the path from Versailles to World War II and debunks the widely accepted notion that reparations imposed on the Germans were in large part responsible for the Second World War.
A landmark work of narrative history, Paris 1919 is the first full-scale treatment of the Peace Conference in more than twenty-five years. It offers a scintillating view of those dramatic and fateful days when much of the modern world was sketched out, when countries were created--Iraq, Yugoslavia, Israel--whose troubles haunt us still.
Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize, the PEN Hessell Tiltman Prize and the Duff Cooper Prize less
Drawing on the work of Karl Polanyi, Glasman argues that there is no need to surrender solidarity and human rights to the march of the managers and the market. There is another tradition, represented by the labour movement and Catholic Church in postwar West Germany, and Solidarity in Poland before 1989, when statist communitarianism and the New Right took over. Unnecessary Suffering examines this tradition and issues a call that human beings and the environment cannot, should not, and will not be treated like commodities.
For all workers drowning in a sea of dogma and management.memos, Unnecesary Suffering is necessary reading. less
James PurnellGlasman is the perfect person for Sen to be having a conversation with. Maurice would argue that liberalism, as expressed by people like Rawls, has a huge amount to teach us, but starts from the wrong place – from individuals rather than from relationships. He would argue that almost all of what matters in life is about relationships – family, love, culture, community, place. Written in 1996, the... (Source)
The transcendental theory of justice, the subject of Sen's analysis, flourished in the Enlightenment and has proponents among some of the most distinguished... more
The transcendental theory of justice, the subject of Sen's analysis, flourished in the Enlightenment and has proponents among some of the most distinguished philosophers of our day; it is concerned with identifying perfectly just social arrangements, defining the nature of the perfectly just society. The approach Sen favors, on the other hand, focuses on the comparative judgments of what is "more" or "less" just, and on the comparative merits of the different societies that actually emerge from certain institutions and social interactions.
At the heart of Sen's argument is a respect for reasoned differences in our understanding of what a "just society" really is. People of different persuasions--for example, utilitarians, economic egalitarians, labor right theorists, no--nonsense libertarians--might each reasonably see a clear and straightforward resolution to questions of justice; and yet, these clear and straightforward resolutions would be completely different. In light of this, Sen argues for a comparative perspective on justice that can guide us in the choice between alternatives that we inevitably face. less
James PurnellThe unifying theme is the balance between power and ideas. You need both. If you have power without ideas you can hollow yourself out, be self-erasing, and if you’ve got ideas without power then the ideas become irrelevant. It is a betrayal really of the ideas themselves. You need a balance between the two. (Source)
James PurnellYes. Perhaps it’s only for the true believers. It is quite an enterprise to read, but compelling partly because Lyndon Johnson was such a beautifully unattractive character. He was a horrible bully who humiliated his staff and who found a way of endearing himself to the oil barons of Texas by launching a McCarthyite campaign, before McCarthy, against the electricity regulator. He ruined this... (Source)
Julian E. ZelizerI always tell people that this is one of the first books you should read if you’re really interested in congressional history. It’s a wonderful book, the third part of Caro’s multi-volume biography of President Lyndon Johnson that focuses on his time as Senate Majority Leader. It’s also a splendid history of the Senate itself. (Source)
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