Physics and Politics and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Physics and Politics

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1566632218
ISBN-10: 1566632218
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
$6.24
Buy new
$14.95
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, April 12, 1999
"Please retry"
$14.95
$9.75 $2.26
Textbook Binding
"Please retry"
More Buying Choices
15 New from $9.75 18 Used from $2.26
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$14.95 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Physics and Politics + Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market
Price for both: $33.52

One of these items ships sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

Finely imaginative...a remarkable book. (H.S. Jones H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online)

Unflinching...a perfect antidote to the omni-present, thought-destroying political correctness that afflicts our culture. (Gregory J. Sullivan The Trenton Times)

We go to Bagehot for something that seems very difficult: the true character of political man. (Jacques Barzun)

About the Author

Banker, editor, political thinker, and literary critic, Walter Bagehot (1826–1877) edited the Economist for the last seventeen years of his life and enjoyed intimate friendships with the leading political figures of his day. He also wrote The English Constitution and Lombard Street. Roger Kimball is managing editor of The New Criterion and author of Tenured Radicals (also published by Ivan R. Dee).
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 52%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.



Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ivan R. Dee (April 12, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566632218
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566632218
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,309,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5 star
50%
4 star
50%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By meadowreader on October 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very entertaining book, partly because Bagehot, writing in the 1870s, is so outrageously politically incorrect by today's standards. When he quotes with approval Herbert Spencer's assertion that "the brain of the civilized man is larger by nearly thirty percent than the brain of a savage," you know you are hearing from a very different era than the one we live in.

Bagehot argues that primitive man (sorry) lived by the tyranny of religiously-based "customary law," necessary to weld the group into a fighting unit able to defend itself militarily against aggressors. Civilization itself developed because it was a military advantage, and it was thus selected for in the constant warfare that characterized those times. "Conquest is the premium given by nature to those [whose] national customs have made most fit in war." The character type valued in those "fighting days" emphasized the masculine, military virtues -- at least in those groups that survived. The problem, he says, is for a society to move beyond those ways; getting out of the yoke of customary law is a very difficult step, but eventually necessary if the society is to progress. Some societies have accomplished that, but most did not. Progress is the exceptional thing, not the norm. Those societies that have managed to advance are characterized by action based on abstract discussion, rather than superstitious conformity and immediate emotion.

The idea of societal evolution was a very popular one in the years after Darwin's writings became widely known, with human progress seen as resulting from the competition between societies. The notion of "progress" eventually became problematic, as it was recognized that it needed a more value-free definition than simply change in the direction of Victorian society.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
Walter Bagehot (1826-1877) was a British businessman, essayist, Social Darwinist and journalist; this 1872 book is subtitled "Thoughts on the application of the principles of 'natural selection' and 'inheritance' to political society."

He states, "To sum up---LAW---rigid, definite, concise law---is the primary want of early mankind; that which they need above anything else, that which is requisite before they can gain anything else. But it is their greatest difficulty, as well as their first requisite..." (Pg. 11)

He says, "I want to bring home to others what every new observation of society brings more and more freshly to myself---that this unconscious imitation and encouragement of appreciated character, and this equally unconscious shrinking from and persecution of disliked character, is the main force which moulds and fashions men in society as we now see it." (Pg. 48)

He observes, "In a former essay, I attempted to show that slighter causes than is commonly thought may change a nation from the stationary to the progressive state of civilization, and from the stationary to the degrading. Commonly the effect of the agent... is considered as operating on every individual in the nation... [But] there is a second effect... a new model in character is created for the nation; those characters which resemble it are encouraged and multiplied; those contrasted with it are persecuted and made fewer. In a generation or two, the look of the nation, becomes quite different." (Pg. 101)

Bagehot's is a "classic" description of the tension between social institutions and innovations, and the historical evolution of social groups into nations.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: social psychology, politics