This is a reissue of a book published in 1869, which has exerted great influence over the years. ""In modern jargon he is dealing with power politics"" says Jacques Barzun in a brilliant introduction which is worth the price of the book. He further says that we can go to Bagehot for the true character of political man, for 19th century England, politically, financially and socially speaking. Bagehot defended dictatorship as ""an admirable government for coarse purposes; a detestable one for the future and for any life worth living"". Throughout his career- his writings- he was a moral and psychological paradox. And he reads well -- and challengingly- today.