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Politics for teenagers

(22 Posts)
Hullygully Wed 03-Oct-12 10:28:54

Any suggestions?

DS 15 wants to learn about politics, my ranting won't cover all the bases, he needs something ultra straightforward and accessible...

MrsWobble Wed 03-Oct-12 10:46:14

i would start by encouraging him to read the newspaper and then discussing particular commentators views. any factual explanation of the Uk constitution, for example, is likely to be very dry and boring. why is your ds interested? what has sparked this? assuming it's not the legal/constitutional stuff then there's a book by matthew parris called something like Great Parliamentary Scandals which is quite a good read and has quite a lot of background as well as the details of the individual cases.

Hullygully Wed 03-Oct-12 10:50:27

He wants to understand the different political parties, history, theories, devpt, policies etc. I have Radio 4 going every morning and shout at it a lot and he asks about all the different stuff. I said I'd try and find a nice clear concise beginner's guide rather than my extremely partisan exposition!

I have found a couple on Amazon: This May Help You Understand the World is one, but not one that specifically covers British politics.

I'll have a look at the Parris one.

MMMarmite Wed 03-Oct-12 10:52:34

Not exactly what you were asking, but have you watched the West Wing? He might like it, it's a drama at heart but it got me really interested in US politics.

Hullygully Wed 03-Oct-12 10:53:37

He might get a box set for chrimbo, especially as I haven't seen it either.

I've just ordered British Politics for Dummies - it looked a good start.

greenhill Wed 03-Oct-12 11:07:05

I know it isn't a book but can you get him to have a look at the "democracy live" feeds on the BBC website as they do a range of links to the House of Commons, etc?

Hullygully Wed 03-Oct-12 11:08:38

He needs to start a the beginning first. He wants to win arguments, he says...

greenhill Wed 03-Oct-12 11:18:27

Duh, but no one wins in politics! I think the Dummies book is a great start.

Takver Wed 03-Oct-12 16:51:53

Good on your DS. Probably not the first thing to read, but he might find Anthony Sampson's book 'Who Runs This Place?' an interesting read to understand the role of the civil service, how that interacts with government, where the judiciary comes in etc. Although it was printed a few years back (most recent edition probably from the late 90s?) I think it would still be relevant.

Its the sort of thing that would probably be available from the library, too, so no loss if he didn't like it grin

vesela Wed 03-Oct-12 22:17:25

If you look this one up on Amazon it looks very thorough, if he doesn't mind a textbook - expensive new but 62p in good condition on Abe Books.

Hullygully Thu 04-Oct-12 08:39:59

Thanks all.

Let the ordering begin..

wisden Thu 04-Oct-12 08:47:51

Good thread. I watch the news with my DS (12) (and he reads the papers) and give him my opinion on things, but I can't always explain things in the best way so would like to find him something to read that explains it all in a child friendly way.
Wish they covered this more in schools.

Hullygully Thu 04-Oct-12 08:51:00

Me too, wisden.

But then you'd have educated voters and where would that end...?

Longtalljosie Thu 04-Oct-12 08:56:36

If he wants to win arguments perhaps some sort of debating society? Do they even exist any more?

It's probably a better grounding in politics than anything else actually. The understanding of how an argument can be turned on its head.

Hullygully Thu 04-Oct-12 09:13:17

Yes, he does go to debating club at school, partly why he wants to be stronger in his factual knowledge.

Longtalljosie Thu 04-Oct-12 12:23:03

Ah there you go then - back to the books.

Newsbeat's website has quite a few explainers...

bigmouthstrikesagain Thu 04-Oct-12 12:40:44

Hi Hully - I am quite evangelical when it comes to the subject of teenagers (and younger) learning politics and philosphy, they should be taught more at school as they are expected to be able to vote at 18 - how can they if they don't understand what they are voting for!!??

So kudos to your ds for being interested. smile Anyway I imagine if wants to win arguements he may find a basic understanding of the history of philosphy useful - Plato to Nato if you like. There is a really good set of books called "Introducing.." with different themes - I have Introducing Postmodernism but there is an Introducing Philosophy and Ethics etc. For an accessible introduction to post '45 Britain then this looks very good The very bloody History of Britain. Happy book hunting!

RatherBeOnThePiste Thu 04-Oct-12 12:45:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hullygully Thu 04-Oct-12 12:47:45

That looks great, I've ordered it. he used to love all the Horrible Histories so should be good.

Hullygully Thu 04-Oct-12 12:48:00

Quite Pistey

RatherBeOnThePiste Fri 05-Oct-12 10:39:36

I used that message ^^ to send a question grin I even asked for it not to be deleted. Trigger happy methinks!!

jongleuse Fri 05-Oct-12 21:19:09

Has he done Orwell, 1984 etc at school? If so might like Homage to Catalonia. There's also a new YA book by Lydia Syson about the Spanish civil war called A World Between Us which looks good. I'm afraid all my suggestions are entirely partisan. Marx for Beginners (Marx in cartoons) is excellent too...(!)

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