Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781399612890

Price: £9.99

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These small guides to (very) big ideas are an antidote to confusion and conspiracism, bringing clarity to the conversations we have about politics.

Centrism: a coherent political philosophy or a vacuous cop-out? A pragmatic middle way between the extremes of left and right or a cynical strategy to secure power and neuter debate?

Politicians have long invoked centrism as both a term of abuse (Margaret Thatcher) and a badge of pride (Tony Blair). Figures as important as John Maynard Keynes, Roy Jenkins, Bill Clinton and Emmanuel Macron have all had different ideas about how to make sure the centre holds. But for a term that purports to describe consensus, it’s ironic just how little agreement there is over what ‘centrism’ actually means.

In Centrism: The Story of an Idea, Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey trace the evolution of centrism from ancient Greece to the French Revolution, the Second World War to the 2024 elections. They find a story that is much bigger than the sum of its parts – and that raises some uncomfortable questions about tribalism and compromise.

An Origin Story Book