Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Political Animal: An Anatomy” as Want to Read:
Political Animal: An Anatomy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Political Animal: An Anatomy

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  252 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Jeremy Paxman knows every maneouvre a politician will make to avoid answering a difficult question, but in The Political Animal he seeks an answer to just one: What makes politicians tick? Embarking on a journey in which he encounters movers and shakers past and present, he discovers: that Prime Ministers have often lost a parent in childhood why Trollope is the ...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Penguin UK (first published October 21st 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Political Animal, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Political Animal

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]I met Jeremy Paxman, one of Britain's leading political journalists, twice in 1994, in my capacity as the captain of the Queen's University of Belfast's team in University Challenge (the British TV show where teams from different universities take each other on in a general knowledge quiz). He was as acerbic and funny is person as he is on the screen. I remember him growling at me to hurry up and answer a particular question, "Come on, some o ...more
Aug 16, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it
High 4. Paxman is far more accomplished in dealing with subject-matter with which he is much more familiar.In this work he has set out to determine the common characteristics and motivation behind those who pursue a career in politics. Key necessary attributes include high levels of self-confidence and eternal optimism that one's party will effect change, together with unswerving loyalty to party aims and boundless reserves physical energy.Intelligence is not an essential prerequisite as even ...more
Iain Parkes
Nov 13, 2016 Iain Parkes marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Mar 07, 2014 Si rated it really liked it
Power doesn’t change you. It reveals who you really are.

Jeremy Paxman‘s book is a perspicacious insight into the way politicians and politics work in the UK.

I enjoyed his book about the English people and this book is bigger and better: more in-depth and better researched.

Before I go any further I have to shout at anyone who says ‘ah, politics, boring, nothing to do with me‘. Rubbish. Politics is about how we interact; it’s about the rules by which we operate with each other and how the governme
Христо Блажев
Sep 25, 2011 Христо Блажев rated it it was amazing
Що е туй “Политическото животно” разказва Джеръми Паксман:

Да, има такова животно и то е със строго определени видови характеристики. Изследването на Паксман за съжаление обхваща само британската политическа система, но и така предоставя ред любопитни наблюдения за управлението на считаните за една от най-демократични държави в света.

Политическото животно във Великобритания обикновено идва от семейство на политик. Нерядко губи баща или майка на млади годи
Mar 06, 2010 Raj rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, politics
This is a book about politics and the people who choose to enter that troubled profession. It's written with Paxman's usual flair and cynicism in which he completely deconstructs the psyche of the sort of person who enters politics and then goes on to turn his attention to the institutions that make up our democracy and demolish those as well. He's obviously very cynical about the whole enterprise, but not entirely dismissive and ends by noting just how much has changed in the way we conduct ...more
Sep 04, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
Witty, entertaining and a must read for all would be MPs to see what yur entering into and all political watchers in order to take pitty on the poor sods who put themselves through the process. With the exception of chapter 7 (I confess I skipped half of that chapter but was rewarded with the last 2 chapters which were back on good form) It was a fantastic read! even better it could be picked up and put down and read around other books which is always a bonus for me!
Apr 18, 2012 Sarah rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
At times enthralling, but those times were on the whole to few and far between to make it a great book. He made a good point at the start and at the end, but as that point as far as I could tell was little connected to rest of the books content. Although perhaps I am not the best to judge, having a far smaller knowledge of british politicians from 30 or so years ago than the author assumes.
Richard Thomas
Nov 28, 2014 Richard Thomas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: uk-politics
Paxo complete and unalloyed before he came out as a moderate Tory. No surprise there Jemmy boy.

Having said that it is an insightful book by an intelligent if belligerent participant in the political world where he exhibited the danger of the channel becoming the story.
Oct 12, 2008 Sally rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reading-group-2
It started badly with Paxman scarcely able to contain his sneering cynicism but some of the later chapters about power and its loss are interesting even though he trots out well-rehearsed anecdotes. There's little new here.
Jun 29, 2009 Anastassiya rated it it was amazing
greatly enjoyed the book. Shows all sides of being a politician, life is not paved with gold for them.

Must quote : "However much British PM may dine with queens or dance with presidents, their destiny is in the hands of their own colleagues"
Feb 07, 2014 Tony rated it really liked it
Shelves: current-affairs
Solid stuff by Paxman. I think he's a fair judge, critical in parts but not afar in to give credit where it's due. What comes across to me is the sheer hard work involved in becoming and succeeding at politics.
Apr 26, 2014 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Jeremy Paxman at his best, brilliant witty insights into the lunacy of the British parliamentary system.
P. W. Lapwing
Jan 31, 2011 P. W. Lapwing rated it it was amazing
My lasting memory of this book is the fast pace. Paxman comes up with one informatve fact after another to make his case. A style I find very appealing.
Anamaria Badica
Nov 28, 2011 Anamaria Badica rated it it was amazing
An interesting perspective on the British political actors
Emily Harrison
Emily Harrison rated it it was amazing
May 21, 2015
Simon Marshall
Simon Marshall rated it really liked it
Feb 26, 2016
Jesse Honey
Jesse Honey rated it really liked it
Jun 02, 2015
Spiritia rated it it was amazing
Aug 15, 2009
Michael Oliver
Michael Oliver rated it really liked it
Oct 23, 2013
Narinder Singh Gill
Narinder Singh Gill rated it it was amazing
Dec 25, 2015
Lefluf rated it really liked it
Mar 01, 2010
Jamie rated it really liked it
Sep 03, 2016
Viki Allen
Mar 30, 2016 Viki Allen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
absolutely fantastic review of politics, would recommend 100% to anyone
Bruce Jones
Bruce Jones rated it really liked it
Sep 04, 2011
Steveking rated it it was amazing
Jan 12, 2012
Scott rated it really liked it
Aug 28, 2015
Max Gwynne
Max Gwynne rated it it was amazing
Nov 21, 2016
Suse Nielebock
Suse Nielebock rated it really liked it
Sep 21, 2014
Patrick Robert-nicoud
Patrick Robert-nicoud rated it it was amazing
Dec 22, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A View from the Foothills: The Diaries of Chris Mullin
  • Servants of the People: The Inside Story of New Labour
  • Diaries: 1983-1992
  • News from No Man's Land: Reporting the World
  • The Making of Modern Britain
  • Lost For Words
  • Never Had It So Good: A History of Britain from Suez to the Beatles
  • William Pitt the Younger
  • The Tudor Age
  • Things Can Only Get Better: Eighteen Miserable Years in the Life of a Labour Supporter, 1979-1997
  • Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front 1914-1918
  • Diaries Volume One: Prelude to Power
  • Shooting History
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Demokrasi:: Indonesia in the 21st Century
  • A Brief History of Life in Victorian Britain
  • The Audacity to Win: How Obama Won and How We Can Beat the Party of Limbaugh, Beck, and Palin
  • The Penguin History of Europe
Jeremy Dickson Paxman is a British journalist, author and television presenter. He has worked for the BBC since 1977. He is noted for a forthright and abrasive interviewing style, particularly when interrogating politicians. His regular appearances on the BBC2's Newsnight programme have been criticised as aggressive, intimidating, condescending and irreverent, and applauded as tough and incisive.
More about Jeremy Paxman...

Share This Book