Comparative Politics by Michael J. Sodaro

Divided into two parts, Comparative Politics delves into the concepts and methods of different political systems and uses different countries as case studies. The first part uses the scientific method (question, hypothesis, observation) to explore and understand political realities while the second part takes the scientific method and applies it to major countries (Germany, Brazil, China, France). For example, in the chapter about China, the scientific method is applied to Mao and his impact on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

In the interest of full disclosure, I have not read the entirely of this textbook as my Intro to Comparative Politics class focused solely on Britain, Germany, China, and Mexico. Therefore, I only read the chapters on these countries and a handful of others dealing with political economy, conditions for democracy, conditions for development, and the like.

Comparative Politics offers a fairly compact look at the political system of each country it delves into, and it’s fairly easy to get the “gist” of a country. However, I found that the book was pretty dry. It wasn’t boring, per say, but lacked a little pizazz to keep the reader interested. If you’re not interested in the country you’re reading about, Sodaro isn’t going to give you a reason to. And, personally, I found the journal articles my professor assigned to be much more interesting than the chapters of this textbook.

Book Mentioned:

  • Sodaro, Michael J. Comparative Politics: A Global Introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007. Print. 848 pgs. ISBN: 9780073526317. Source: Purchased.
Book Cover © McGraw-Hill. Retrieved: November 16, 2009.
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