Sample #4 (Book report)

Title: Martin Hollis and Steve Smith “Explaining and understanding in International Relations”

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The book “Explaining and understanding in International Relations” by Martin Hollis and Steve Smith is a very useful and extremely accessible book for people who are involved in international relations. It tends to give a practical judgment in certain situations. The accuracy of the theories mentioned in this guide depends not so much on research tests, but most probably on their possibility to apply it while helping people to apply their knowledge in an intelligent and skillful way. The book mirrors the progress in technology and methodology and gives the necessary support to specialists in the new millennium.

Sample #4 (Book report)

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In the book Martin Hollis and Steve Smith discover such important aspects of international relations as realism, liberalism, behaviorism and others. They examine the international system, the state, bureaucracies, and the individual. The authors of “Explaining and understanding in International Relations” explain the material so that even those readers who have no prior knowledge of international relations or experience of the subject will get the success. The guide is written in simple words and it takes the reader little by little through all the stages of understanding in international relations.

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The authors state the problem of the book in the very first page writing that “The social sciences thrive on two intellectual traditions. One is founded on the triumphant rise of natural science since the 16th century. The other is rooted in the 19th century ideas of history and the writing of history from the inside. This book is guided by our belief that both traditions are fertile for the study of international relations, despite a lively tension between them. In international affairs, and throughout the social world, there are two sorts of story to tell and a range of theories to go with each”. (Hollis & Smith, 1990, p.3)
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Martin Hollis and Steve Smith speak directly to the reader; very often give the examples from the experience. The book is full of warnings concerning the pitfalls that a student should avoid. It is a practical guide for students who are involved in international relations study. This book sets a number of important aspects involved in the process of understanding international relations and by examples will help the student to understand the material.
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