Socialism: A Very Short Introduction and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $11.95
  • Save: $1.89 (16%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Shared Knowledge is a not for profit public charity! Check us out on facebook. We provide funding for educational programs in Richmond, Virginia. PLEASE READ FULL DESCRIPTION -USED GOOD- This book has been read and may show wear to the cover and or pages. There may be some dog-eared pages. In some cases the internal pages may contain highlighting/margin notes/underlining or any combination of these markings. The binding will be secure in all cases. This is a good reading and studying copy and has been verified that all pages are legible and intact. If the book contained a CD it is not guaranteed to still be included. Your purchase directly supports our scholarship program as well as our partner charities. All items are packed and shipped from the Amazon warehouse. Thanks so much for your purchase!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Socialism: A Very Short Introduction Paperback – September 22, 2005

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$3.68 $3.66

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more.

  • Get a $100 Gift Card: Get the Discover it card and get a $100.00 Gift Card* after your first purchase within 3 months. Learn more.

Frequently Bought Together

Socialism: A Very Short Introduction + Capitalism: A Very Short Introduction
Price for both: $19.27

Buy the selected items together


Holiday Deals in Books
Holiday Deals in Books
Find deals for every reader in the Holiday Deals in Books store, featuring savings of up to 50% on cookbooks, children's books, literature & fiction, and more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 4th edition (September 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192804316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192804310
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.7 x 4.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


`"well written and enjoyable to read."' Giles Bentley, Socialist Review

About the Author

Michael Newman is Director of the London European Research Center Faculty of Humanities and Teacher Education at the University of North London. He is the author of Democracy, Sovereignty and the European Union, Harold Laski--A Political Biography, and Socialism and European Unity.

More About the Author

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

Customer Reviews

This one, like all of the ones I have read, was well written, informative, interesting, and easy to read and understand.
Michael Newman has written an excellent introduction to socialism, especially the varieties of socialism expressed in the 20th and, so far, 21st centuries.
Dana Garrett
Now that I've read three books in the "very short introduction" series, it has been a pleasant surprise to see how formidable these book are.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 68 people found the following review helpful By calmly on March 12, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An outstanding introduction and a meaty one too. Now that I've read three books in the "very short introduction" series, it has been a pleasant surprise to see how formidable these book are.

References, suggestions for further reading and a 9 page index are included.

Newman does not hide the problems that socialists have had but neither does he fail to recognize the ways in which they might help.

The analyses of Cuban communism and Swedish social democracy were illuminating. Socialism may not have dominated, but it has not always been the failure that it is made out to be.

Newman claims "What can be maintained with confidence is that capitalism will not be able to resolve the problems and injustices that it causes...and that socialist arguments remain relevant". He notes the challenge, beyond whatever problems socialists themselves have in running an economy, that "At present, Washington is opposed to any international regimes that might limit its autonomy and is willing to use its power to thwart their development."

Unlike the literature I've read of many socialist parties, which tend to be simplistic and shallow in analysis, Newman does manage in this "very short introduction" multi-dimensional explorations of the challenges facing socialism. He continues to value the role of trade unions, the greens and feminists. The socialist effort is fragmented and it is not clear in what ways it can be effective. Like many socialists, Newman's moral concerns seem clear but Newman's openness and flexibility seems all the more valuable at a time when many socialist groups seem dogmatic and rigid.

Newman's "very short introduction" seems one of the best statements on what Socialism today has to offer.
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
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Walters VINE VOICE on July 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Author Michael Newman acknowledges at the beginning of his Very Short Introduction that writing a "very short introduction" to socialism is a daunting task. So he decides that, after a chapter-length introductory discussion of "Socialist Traditions," the wisest approach would be to examine representative periods and movements. Consequently, Chapter 2 focuses on Cuban communism and Swedish social democracy and Chapter 3 on feminist socialism and eco-socialism. Chapter 4 is a forecast of what socialism must do to retain vitality into the future.

For Newman, the hallmark of socialism is that it offers a social and political alternative to capitalism based on the values of equality and cooperation between humans. Socialism of course adapts itself to historical and cultural contexts, but these are its necessary conditions. When socialism perverts into the state domination displayed by the Soviet Union or the liberal capitalism which the British Labor Party has embraced, it's no longer socialism.

While I appreciate Newman's need to be selective in his discussion of socialism, I have to admit that I found his second chapter utterly tedious. The facts about Cuban communism are so well known that much of what he says about it is all too familiar. The history of Sweden's social democracy is so unexciting that it takes a great deal of patience to get through Newman's discussion.

On the other hand, his discussion of the "New Left" infusions of feminism and environmentalism/ecologism is potentially exciting, but too abbreviated to do more than whet the reader's appetite (which, I suppose, is a good thing).
Read more ›
6 Comments 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
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Sareinhart on March 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book because I want to know more about socialism. The problem I faced is that socialism is such a big topic that I didn't even know where to begin. I saw this "Short Introduction" and thought it seemed like a perfect introduction to frame up future studies. This book accomplished EXACTLY that. I am very pleased. The author is obviously well informed on the topic and is a good writer. I found it to be an enjoyable read. The author is obviously a committed socialist. I was glad to see that, too. I have no use for a book introducing a topic with the author is trying to convince me that the toping being introduced is wrong.

The book starts out with the early socialists, covers Marx, the Soviet revolution, Trotsky and the whole socialist freak show up to the present day. It contains speculation on socialism's next move and a look to the future.

That being said, after finishing the book I did check the author out on the internet because the last few pages basically consist of 'socialism has failed everywhere it has been tried' and 'no one wants us'. It reminded me of stuff I'VE said about socialism. I wondered if he was a really a capitalist pretending to be a socialist. But, no he's an HONEST socialist and believes SO thoroughly in the idea of socialism that despite ALL the evidence we need to keep trying. I thought that was the perfect ending.

If you want to understand socialism - and not waste a lot of time doing it-this is the book for you.
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
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marvin D. Pipher on March 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rank-and-file Socialists who read this book will likely be gratified to find that there are many different types of victims suffering oppression in Capitalist societies and that; indeed, the Capitalist glass is half empty. Conservative readers, neo-Liberals, who approach this book with little concrete knowledge of socialist theory, on the other hand, will likely remain cheerfully convinced that the Capitalist glass is already half full but; in all probability, will end up concerned for their nation upon discovering that for the past hundred and fifty years there has been a relentless effort by socialists to destroy everything they believe in. Moderates, if they read the book at all, will likely be persuaded by this author that socialism is the only way to go, since that is essentially what this book is all about. What one takes from the book, then, will likely depend on what one brings to it.

What did I take from it? Quite a few things: for one, a greater respect for Karl Marx. He certainly was a great theoretician who was able to identify a significant flaw in the Capitalist system but, as near as I can tell, was unable to formulate a better one. I was also surprised to learn that `Utopianism' and `Anarchism,' along with `Marxism' were the three original `forms' of Socialism and that more recently `Feminism' and `Green Socialism', among other factions have joined forces. I was also surprised to learn that the Hippie flower-children of the 1960s were essentially the manifestation of the much earlier Utopian theory and that Anarchism is the ultimate form of Socialism, since it offers complete equality with no leadership.
Read more ›
2 Comments 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

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?