Do Great Political Novels Exist?

Over on one of our favorite websites, Crooked Timber, there’s a been a fascinating discussion going on, inspired by Christopher Hayes’ recent review of Ralph Nader’s “practical utopia” Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!

Crooked Timber contributor Henry Farrell, in commenting on the review, raised the question ” of whether there are any genuinely good, genuinely political novels out there.” The responses have been fascinating — not least because the definition of “political novel” seems to inspire as much debate as — well, as politics does. Crooked Timber readers have made suggestions ranging from Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, to Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, George Eliot’s Middlemarch and the entire novelistic output of Anthony Trollope.

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