by Beka Feathers
Illustrated by Ally Shwed
Publication: June 14, 2022
Series: World Citizen Comics
**I received an eARC from the publisher. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**
The graphic novel provides a basic understanding of various forms of governments that exist but ultimately focuses on democracy and the role of the people. It is long but a relatively fast read. Examples of each governmental system are provided. The metaphors utilized help simplify the concepts and terms. There were even a few that made me chuckle.
The long-running metaphor used is travel with two passengers at the airport. One of the most useful metaphors presented the different governments as menu options; there are many on the menu. The implicit assumption here is that we, the people, have options in government systems, but that isn’t necessarily the case; we don’t always get to change our government. I still like the metaphor because it helps make it easy to understand. This is especially helpful when concerning the many options available with democracy. What kind of democracy are we looking at? Representative? Direct?
It’s important to emphasize that this only provides a basic overview and is not meant to be comprehensive. Not all forms of government are included nor are all features of those governments that are included. However, the book does an excellent job of highlighting the role of the people, if any, in the governments included. I particularly liked the diverse representation of the narrators and other passengers who pop in and out to help explain or ask more questions. Additionally, explaining the role of the people in a democracy was well done. Although not necessary, it would have been extremely pleasing to highlight a key term like collective action, and then have it broken down. That would have added the cherry on top for me.
If you don’t have to sit in on a semester-long comparative politics course and don’t want to read a several hundred pages long textbook, We the People is a graphic novel that makes it easy to learn about various forms of government. It provides additional resources at the end for those interested in learning more. The book can be useful for instructors who want to provide a basic overview before digging into the details. It can also be helpful for students who need a basic primer with an easy-to-understand framework they can use to remember concepts.