The Breakdown is a smart, entertaining handbook showing how we can understand – and feel better about – modern politics.

The Breakdown: Making Sense of Politics in a Messed-Up World
By Tatton Spiller
Elliott & Thompson / 30 May / hardback / £12.99

We’re in a time of enormous political engagement, but most of us are ill equipped to truly understand and debate the issues currently rocking our world. Instead, we become entrenched in our echo chambers, convinced that those with a different viewpoint are stupid, awful human beings whose actions must be stopped. This lack of political knowledge and wider understanding is unsurprising – after all, few of us are taught about our political system or about different ideologies – but it leaves us unable to engage in the conversation, to influence others’ opinions, or to effect change. It leaves us with no control.

With sections including How it All Works; How Different People Think; and Making Change Happen, this superbly clear-sighted, light-hearted and judgement-free book will equip readers with the tools they need to understand the different arguments, to work out what is happening and why – and then to do something about it.

In a shifting political landscape that can at times be frustrating, emotional or confusing, The Breakdown is an oasis of calm in a turbulent world.

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  • How subscription ‘news’ websites have a vested interest in keeping you angry

  • How we dehumanise the opposition thereby preventing any kind of meaningful debate

  • Why there is a reluctance to try and solve problems and find workable solutions, and the damage this is causing

  • Social media abuse and the damage it is doing to democracy

  • A snappy tour of different political ideologies (liberals; libertarians; socialists; traditional conservatives; one-nation conservatives; social democrats)

  • A tour of political battlegrounds – Education; Privatisation; Tax and Spend; Immigration; Free speech; Brexit

  • A look at successful changemakers of the 21st Century, and what drove that success

  • Tips to keep your head clear and out of your echo chamber


Tatton Spiller is the founder of Simple Politics, a hugely successful project that aims to explain and engage people with politics, both online and via talks. He has been a teacher and a journalist, and worked at the Houses of Parliament, devising, training and delivering education sessions for visiting school students. While at Parliament, he watched many, many debates, engaged thousands of people, and organised Q&A sessions with hundreds of MPs. This gave him a real insight into how the whole thing works. The nagging feeling that nobody was really breaking down politics in a way that engages people never left him.

Tatton is available for interviews, features and events.


For more information about this book, please don't hesitate to get in touch.