Book Reviews

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Reading this book, as a Politics teacher, was either informative or interesting throughout, it never failed to deliver on one of these criteria. It was a thoroughly enjoyable book to read. It is packed full of interesting anecdotes, alongside considerations of how Downing Street has impacted the way British government works.

The author has confirmed that the paperback version will be updated to include the New Labour era, so I would recommend waiting for this before purchase.

Use for Students:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Use for Teachers:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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An interesting book, written by someone with real authority on the subject matter. It argues that the growth of the role and power of the judiciary needs to be checked and that this has to be through a reform of the British political system. Sumption’s views are interesting an perhaps outside what you would expect of someone who held his role at the top of the Judiciary.

Use for Students:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Use for Teachers:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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This is an extremely entertaining and enlightening book. It clearly achieve its fundamental aim in showing that there is so much more to PMQs than initially meets the public eye. It is well researched with interviews with many of the key players since the 1980s. Having read this, you will look at PMQs differently and with a better understanding of what you are really watching unfold.

Use for Students:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Use for Teachers:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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A fascinating book, albeit one that is frustrating at times. There are many great insights into the role of Speaker, for example the process of choosing MPs to speak, the considerations over granting Urgent Questions and the scope of rulings under Standing Orders. However, the tone of the book is often one of bitterness, as Bercow seeks to settle scores that he could not whilst in the chair.

Use for Students:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Use for Teachers:

Rating: 4 out of 5.