All human action lies under the shadow of prospective regret, but there are few areas of contemporary life over which that shadow falls so darkly as it does over politics. We hear constantly that Americans are less likely than ever to vote and are increasingly cynical about the ability of politicians to effect change. Why is politics so consistently disappointing? Starting from the premise that the professional study of politics can offer us a way to understand why we have so little faith in the political process, The Cunning of Unreason explores competing definitions of politics, probing the hidden assumptions and implications of each. In energetic and engaging prose, Cambridge political theorist John Dunn makes a convincing case for the ongoing relevance of great political thinkers from Aristotle to Marx. Along the way, he bridges the academic world of political theory and the public world of debate about democracy, corruption, globalization, and the recent trend toward conservatism. A must read for every politician, spin doctor, and professional pundit, The Cunning of Unreason offers a greater understanding of the way politics works in contemporary society and what its promise is for the future.

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