10 Political Books Every Student in College Should Read in Politics

Politics professors require some of these books, while some are integrated as parts of college textbooks. Deepen your understanding of politics through these written works of prominent political figures.
  1. The Federalist Papers. Written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, the Federalist Papers is a collection of 85 articles which aim to endorse the ratification of the Constitution of the United States. It is included in some college textbooks because it is considered a classic in the exposition of the Constitution.

  2. Democracy in America. French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville wrote Democracy in America. A book looks at the American democracy through a European man's eyes in the 1800s.

  3. The Republic. Often a required as part of college textbooks on basic politics, The Republic, Plato's best known work, was written in the early 400 AD. It talks about justice, forms of government, and the characteristics of a just city-state, as well as the just man.

  4. The Politics. The Politics was Aristotle's political philosophical work which regarded men as natural political animals. It discussed a range of political subjects including the community, citizenship, constitutions, and states.

  5. Nichomachean Ethics. Another work by Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics is comprised of ten books, and has become an essential part of medieval philosophy. At the core, it attempts to answer the question: 'how should men best live?'

  6. Leviathan. In this book, Thomas Hobbes constructed his social contract theory which questions the origin of any given society, and the legitimacy of the state's power over its citizens.

  7. Animal Farm. George Orwell's novel is an allegory to the Russian revolution during the 1940s. Using farm animals as main characters, he addressed the how the revolution was corrupted by self-indulgence, ignorance, apathy, and even its own leaders.

  8. Caesar's Commentaries. The Commentaries may refer to one or both of written works of Julius Caesar: Commentarii de Bello Gallico (58-50BC) and Commentarii de Bello Civili (49-48BC). The Commentaries contain Caesar's description of the battles he went through, including the intrigues he witnessed thereof.

  9. Discourses on Livy. Written by Niccolo Machiavelli, the Discourses on Livy focuses on the structure and advantages of a republic. The novel is a contrast to Machiavelli's better-known work The Prince, which holds the total authority of monarchs over the people.

  10. Reflections on the Revolution in France. Reflections shows intellectual opposition against the young French Revolution. Although written in the 1790 by Irish political theorist Edmund Burke, the book influenced many modern conservatives and classical liberalists who are against communism and socialism.

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