Political Novels

These novels have characters who are involved in politics and will show the behind-the-scenes scheming or bureaucracy associated with it.

Politics in Novels

All the King’s Men | Robert Penn Warren

In 1936 Jack Burden is an assistant to Governor Willie Stark. They are visiting the governor’s childhood home for some publicity shots. They also visit Judge Irwin, who has changed his mind about doing Willie a favor. The narrative goes back to 1922 and recounts Willie’s political rise, and Jack’s role in it.

Darkness at Noon | Arthur Koestler

Rubashov is in solitary confinement. He remembers some foreign missions he undertook in support of the USSR Communist Party. He is taken before Ivanov, the examining magistrate, and charged with planning an assassination attempt on No. 1’s life. Rubashov is urged to partially confess to ease his sentence, but he is scornful and resistant.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being | Milan Kundera

Tomas is a surgeon and womanizer who falls in love with Tereza. He marries her but continues to see other women, one of whom is Sabina, an artist. Some of the same story is then told from Tereza’s point of view. We later meet Franz, a professor who has an affair with Sabina.

The Prince | Niccolo Machiavelli

Machiavelli sends his book to Lorenzo de Medici, a member of an Italian ruling family. Its purpose is to teach the most effective ways to rule and stay in power. It covers the various types of principalities and their merits, how to organize an army and keep them loyal and focused, how to deal with subordinates, and encouragement to be vigilant and leave nothing to chance.

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The Man in the Iron Mask | Alexandre Dumas

Louis XIV is the king of France. Aramis, a bishop, seeks to increase his influence, including participating in a plot to remove Louis XIV and replace him with his imprisoned twin brother. Fouquet and Colbert, financial ministers in service to the king, maneuver to secure their positions. Aramis and his three friends – Athos, Porthos, and d’Artagnan – have a history of adventures and continue in their loyalty to each other.

Read “The Man in the Iron Mask”

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