Faced with political scandal, broken promises and the seeming impotence of governments in the face of economic globalization, cynicism about politics is rampant in the established democracies of the west. Meanwhile, the 'Arab Spring' of 2011 saw people out on the streets willing to put their lives on the line for the sake of the very political freedoms others took for granted. Against this backdrop, Bernard Crick's classic In Defence of Politics remains as important and inspiring a read as ever. First published in 1962 and regularly revised up until its final edition in 2002, this book argues passionately that politics - however messy and complex it might be and for all its seeming compromises and bitter divisions - is a vital freedom that we take for granted at our peril. It is also a freedom that must be constantly defended against the pressures of narrow ideologies, small-minded national self-interest and the short term populism of career politicians.