The story I am writing involves the 10 steps of turning a democracy into a police state. And to make it more real, I thught the people who are doing it should explain it to the main character relaistically. This would mean that I need to be aware of how it works, and historical examples. I am using Naomi Wolf's "The End of America" as a source of leaning about these steps. She references that the turn The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell, when she about democracy closing down in tipping points, I found on the Wiki page for Turning Point an outline / summary of what it is. Should I read the 300 page book or just read a summary. The character isn't gonna go into so much detail about every information about the 10 steps. And with tipping points being one element of many, he is not going to talk super in depth about this once concept as Gladwell did? I know this could be in the Politics SE page, but it is more about whether this source is worth diving deep into - which seems to be fitterd here.
Absolutely. I've read lots of books as research for writing stories, and I'm not even a compulsive researcher the way that some writers are.
However, there's an obvious limit on how much effort you can put into a short story. Perhaps reading a 300-page book is too much effort, or perhaps only a portion of the book would be relevant to you. In that case, I have one word for you: skim. Look at chapter and heading titles. Read the sections that are most relevant or interesting to you. Glance lightly over the rest. It's possible to get the most important bits of a very large book in a short space of time this way, and that may be just what you need in this case.
Yes, research is worthwhile - to a point.
This is difficult to answer because you're asking people to make a value judgment about how worthwhile research is. My opinion is that if your story is based on a concept, it behooves you to know about that concept.
If you want to base a story on a particular concept, then you need to decide how well you want to know that concept. If you decide that this will take more work than is warranted for a short story, then you have a few choices: abandon the story, write the story on sketchy information, or decide that the story could end up being the seed for a longer project. for that last option, you might be able to justify doing more work than usual for a short story.
Finally, it's worth keeping the following in mind: Malcolm Gladwell has been criticized for choosing examples that back up his theories, and for presenting a somewhat oversimplified treatment of the topic. (Having read The Tipping Point and Blink, this rings true for me. Even the Wikipedia article on him touches on some of this.) However, he is undeniably a talented writer who presents thoughtful ideas to the reader. And his books are very well-researched and filled with fascinating details and settings. If I wanted an in-depth knowledge of what a "tipping point" is, I'd read well beyond Gladwell's book. On the other hand, it's an easy-to-read and fun book that you could probably read in an afternoon. Why not read it anyway and see if you want to know more?