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18 Best Political Authors That Challenge the Status Quo

These 18 best political authors will challenge your thinking about government and its role in society.

Where does political thought come from? Today’s political scene has heavy influences from ancient philosophers and modern ideas about society and human rights. Studying political authors, both current and historical, will help you better understand why today’s voters, politicians, and governments do what they do.

Political writers may be highly opinionated, or they may present facts and philosophy. Many strive to make changes in government and policy through their written works, while others try to record what happened politically for posterity. Either way, if you are looking for some political-inspired reading, this list of 18 authors will be a good starting point.

Political Authors to Read to Get Yourself Thinking

1. karl marx, 2. ben rhodes, 3. george orwell, 4. mussolini, 5. noam chomsky, 6. greg palast, 7. aristotle, 8. john locke, 9. joe klein, 10. bill o’reilly, 11. plato, 12. henry david thoreau, 13. ann coulter, 14. john rawls, 15. jean-jacques rousseau, 16. andy croft, 17. michael johns, 18. elizabeth drew.

Best political authors

Political authors are not people you pick up to read for enjoyment. Instead, these deep thinkers write about complicated, thought-provoking topics. Still, these 18 authors are worth reading if you want to learn more about political thought or streamline your own thinking about politics, government, and ethics.

The author of The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx, is, perhaps, one of the most influential political writers. His theories about society and economics created the Marxism system, and his ideas continue to influence political thinkers today. Moreover, his anti-capitalism thinking has tremendously impacted political history since the 1800s. For more books in a similar genre, check out our list of the best dystopian novels . 

The Communist Manifesto

Though he only has two works to his name, Ben Rhodes , a former adviser to Democratic President Barack Obama, has made it to the New York Times bestseller list for his book The World As It Is. He has an insider’s look at American politics, which he brings to his writing. He also works as a political commentator and national security analyst.

George Orwell  is considered one of the most influential writers in the world, writing about politics through fiction to make people think about the governments around them. Animal Farm is his most famous work, creating an allegorical world where a group of farm animals rebels against their farmer, only to end up under a different type of totalitarian rule. This story was written to criticize Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union.

Animal Farm: 75th Anniversary Edition


Before becoming an Italian dictator and one of the originators of Fascism, Benito Mussolini was a prolific writer. Most of his work was for Socialist newspapers. He did create one novel, The Cardinal’s Mistress, but he is primarily known for radical articles against capitalism, imperialism, and religion published for the soviets.

The Cardinals Mistress

Noam Chomsky is the founder of modern linguistics and is known as one of the most influential public intellectuals in the world and one of the most often cited scholars in modern history. He has over 150 books to his name, and many of those are written on topics of war and politics, including Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy and Requiem for the American Dream. His activism against war earned him the U.S. Peace Prize in 2011.

Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power

Greg Palast  is an investigative reporter who regularly writes on trending politics. His book How Trump Stole 2020 – The Hunt for America’s Vanished Voters showcased voting fraud under President Donald Trump’s leadership in the 2020 presidential election. In addition, he brings humor to serious political writing, which makes his political books easier to read than some other authors.

How Trump Stole 2020: The Hunt for America's Vanished Voters

Aristotle was considered the father of political science and a leader in political thought processes. His collection of essays on topics like the rule of law, citizenship, constitutionalism, and man’s social nature continue to educate political scientists today. His work Politics is a good indication of his political thought and discusses what makes good and bad governments. 

John Locke

The Father of Liberalism,  John Locke , helped develop political philosophy in the late 1600s. Two Treatises of Government is one of his most famous works, and he also had six of his works published after his death. In Two Treatises, he first attacks patriarchal government structures, then brings ideas for a civilized society based on contract theory and people’s natural rights. 

The First & Second Treatises of Government

Joe Klein  is a political writer who writes both fiction and non-fiction works, all with a political bent. His book The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton takes a hard look at what happened under the 42nd president, cutting through the scandals and controversies to showcase the truth. Another book, Politics Lost: How American Democracy Was Trivialized by People Who Think You’re Stupid, takes a hard look at the political parties and how they’re destroying America. 

The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton

Host of the podcast The O’Reilly Update,  Bill O’Reilly  is also an author of bestselling history and politics books. In his Killing series, he looks at major historical and political events, like the ending of World War II. These works are engaging reads and bring to light the political ideals that impacted these critical actions and decisions. 

Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency (Bill O'Reilly's Killing Series)

Plato’s famous work, Republic, outlines his political thinking. In the work, Socrates criticizes democracy in favor of aristocracy, and some believe his teachings eventually led to the rise of totalitarianism in the twentieth century. Still, ancient Greek deserves study when discussing political authors, as political theory was a favorite subject. For further reading check out our list of the best philosophy books . 


Henry David Thoreau

The 19th-century philosopher  Henry David Thoreau  has over 20 volumes to his name, including his famous book Walden. A staunch abolitionist, he often wrote against slavery. He also advocated for the use of civil disobedience, eventually influencing Martin Luther King, Jr. He wrote about this idea in an essay entitled “Resistance to Civil Government.” 

Walden and Civil Disobedience

Ann Colter is a prolific political author with 13 New York Times bestsellers to her name. She writes from a Republican point of view and writes a syndicated column weekly. Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right is one of her famous works. Looking for more? Check out our guide to the best political fiction authors !

Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right

Born in 1921, John Rawls was an American political philosopher who followed liberal thinking. In his writing, he explores how political power can have legitimate uses within a democracy. One of his modern works, Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy, is one of the greatest explanations of liberal philosophy.

Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a political thinker of the 1700s. His writings fielded the thought behind the French Revolution and were influential on modern political thought. The Social Contract and Discourse on Inequality are his two most influential political works. 

The Social Contract

Andy Croft is an English political writer who has seven novels and 42 young adult books in his name. Several of his novels cover political topics, but Red Letter Days is the most famous. This book is a history of political fiction of the 1930s in England.

Red Letter Days: British Fiction in the 1930s

Michael Johns is a political analyst who was the speechwriter for President George H. W. Bush. He often writes for many national publications, like The Wall Street Journal and the National Review. His books Freedom in the World: The Annual Guide of Political Rights and Civil Liberties and Facing Our Future: America’s 21st Century have a decidedly conservative viewpoint.

Finding Our Roots, Facing Our Future: America in the 21st Century

Elizabeth Drew is a Washington, D.C. resident who was a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker. She has 14 political books to her name, including On the Edge: The Clinton Presidency and George W. Bush’s Washington. She occasionally appears on radio and television programs. If you liked this post, check out our round-up of the best books to give !

On the Edge: The Clinton Presidency

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Who authored the first treatise of political science "The Politics"?

The correct option is d aristotle aristotle wrote the first treatise of political science called “the politics”. in this famous book aristotle discussed the origin, development and functions of state..


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author of book politics

The Politics Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained Hardcover – Illustrated, February 18, 2013

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"With easy-to-follow graphics, succinct quotations, and accessible text, The Politics Book is an essential reference for students and anyone wondering how politics works." –

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Cover image for The Politics of the Book: A Study on the Materiality of Ideas By Filipe Carreira da Silva and Monica Brito Vieira

The Politics of the Book

A Study on the Materiality of Ideas

Filipe Carreira da Silva and Monica Brito Vieira

The Pennsylvania State University Press

$95.95 | Hardcover Edition ISBN: 978-0-271-08342-1

$34.95 | Paperback Edition ISBN: 978-0-271-08343-8

Available as an e-book

272 pages 6" × 9" 2019

Penn State Series in the History of the Book

“This engaging, knowledgeable project significantly extends debates about the nature and stability of the sociological canon (implicitly, almost any disciplinary canon). While emphasizing the materiality of the making of intellectual authority, the authors also offer interesting interpretative analyses of the selected 'classics.'” —Gregor McLennan, author of Story of Sociology

Examining the evolving form of classic works of social and political thought, including W. E. B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk , G. H. Mead’s Mind, Self, and Society , and Karl Marx’s 1844 Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts , Carreira da Silva and Brito Vieira show that making these books involved many hands. They explore what publishers, editors, translators, and commentators accomplish by offering the reading public new versions of the works under consideration, examine debates about the intended meaning of the works and discussions over their present relevance, and elucidate the various ways in which content and material form are interwoven. In doing so, Carreira da Silva and Brito Vieira characterize the editorial process as a meaning-producing action involving both collaboration and an ongoing battle for the importance of the book form to a work’s disciplinary belonging, ideological positioning, and political significance.

Theoretically sophisticated and thoroughly researched, The Politics of the Book radically changes our understanding of what doing social and political theory—and its history—implies. It will be welcomed by scholars of book history, the history of social and political thought, and social and political theory.

“Carreira da Silva and Brito Vieira do a compelling job of showing how single-authored classics may actually be produced by, and achieve their star status through, the work of many competing contributors.” —Rebecca Aili Ploof, Perspectives on Politics
“Injects new energy into, and furnishes perspectives for, the study of sociology’s canon. This lively, engagingly written, often fascinating, and if I may, handsomely-produced book, or individual chapters thereof, ought to become recommended reading material for college and graduate courses on social thought.” —Oz Frankel, Textual Cultures

Filipe Carreira da Silva is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Lisbon and a Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge. He is the author of the prizewinning Mead and Modernity: Science, Selfhood, and Democratic Politics .

Mónica Brito Vieira is Professor of Political Theory at the University of York and the author of The Elements of Representation in Hobbes: Aesthetics, Theatre, Law, and Theology in the Construction of Hobbes’s Theory of the State . She is also a coauthor of Representation .



1. Elementary Forms and the Cultural Durkheim

2. A Classic with No Author: G. H. Mead’s Mind, Self, and Society

3. The Dialectic of Dissent: Marx’s 1844 Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts

4. When Souls Came to Matter: The Many Lives of Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk

5. A Work in Translation: Weber’s The Protestant Ethic

6. Prophets and Princes: On the Editing and Translation of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America

Literary Studies

           History of the Book

Also of Interest

Also of interest book cover

Making the Archives Talk

New and Selected Essays in Bibliography, Editing, and Book History

James L. W. West III

Also of interest book cover

An Empire of Print

The New York Publishing Trade in the Early American Republic

Steven Carl Smith

Also of interest book cover

Textuality and Knowledge

Peter Shillingsburg

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Every state is a community of some kind, and every community is established with a view to some good; for mankind always acts in order to obtain that which they think good. But, if all communities aim at some good, the state or political community, which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a greater degree than any other, and at the highest good.

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Smith authors book on 'Friendly Politics'

author of book politics

Article By: Clark Leonard

Dr. Glen Smith , a University of North Georgia (UNG) professor of political science, has published a book aimed at helping people navigate relationships in the midst of political differences.

Smith said "Friendly Politics" offers a different route than the status quo.

"The fictional narrative that Americans are divided up into red and blue has led to mistrust and disgust even though we have a lot more in common than we think," Smith said. "This misguided narrative has already torn apart far too many initiatives, friendships and even families. It's time for us to reconnect with our true values, with each other and with our political system."

Smith has researched how partisan media outlets impact viewer opinions and has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. He was interviewed by WABE, WDUN, WSB-TV, Fox 5 Atlanta, the AJC, and E&E News during the presidential elections of 2020.

"In my book, I offer a step-by-step guide for people to cure partisanship in their friends, family, community, and country," Smith said. "This is the first book to use proven techniques from therapy, psychology, communication, and political science to help people deal with political disagreement in a more constructive manner."

Morgan-Ellis publishes article with students

Morgan-Ellis publishes article with students

Visual arts students support community

Visual arts students support community

Chand publishes paper on Nepal

Chand publishes paper on Nepal

Northam publishes textbook through USG

Northam publishes textbook through USG


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