Cas Mudde – Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe (2007)
I’m not convinced by Mudde’s classification system. He identifies radical right parties partly by features, such as populism, that may actually be consequences of the political landscape. (Ie. an army that finds itself in a good defensive position, is likely to defend, but this reflects the landscape, more than the army. Same with populism: It reflects a relative position as an outsider.) And some features he identifies with the “radical right” exist in parties of all types, such as their typology of enemies. The radical right itself, for instance, is the “within the state, within the nation” enemy of the mainstream parties, in the same way that the political elite is to the radical right.
Recommended: Strongly. Partly for what it reveals about the difficulty of classifying political parties from different countries, and partly for the specifics about these parties, which provide what is usually missing in discussions of the radical right: Perspective. (Amusingly, Norway’s supposedly radical right Progress Party is excluded for being too moderate.)
Alfred Bester – Who He? (1953)
Bester wrote two of the greatest SF novels of all time, but this isn’t one of them. It’s a mainstream novel, and, although less interesting, in its best sections it gives you the same feeling of sitting in the backseat of a manic driver’s car.
Read: 165 pages.
Recommended: No. It starts electric, like a non-absurd Steve Aylett novel, but goes flat, aiming towards an obvious multiple personalities gimmick.