Disraeli

Disraeli : or, The Two Lives

3.63 (66 ratings by Goodreads)
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Benjamin Disraeli was the most gifted parliamentarian of the nineteenth century and a superb orator, writer and wit - but how much do we really know about the man behind the words?'As Douglas Hurd and Edward Young point out in their splendidly written, finely judged and thoroughly persuasive book, a vast chasm yawned between the real Disraeli and his posthumous reinvention' Dominic Sandbrook, SUNDAY TIMES'Not only, they tell us in this vigorously debunking romp through his political life, did he never use the phrases "One Nation" or "Tory Democracy", he was actively hostile to the concepts that they are now understood to represent' Sam Leith, THE SPECTATOR'The book is more a study in character . . . than a staid political narrative. As a result, Disraeli: Or the Two Lives is full of unexpected jolts and paradoxes . . . It proves an unflagging pleasure to read' Richard Davenport-Hines, GUARDIAN'So intoxicating that you will find yourself snorting it up in one go, as I did, with great pleasure' Boris Johnson, MAIL ON SUNDAYshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 26mm | 339.99g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • UK ed.
  • 0753828324
  • 9780753828328
  • 212,618

Review quote

Disraeli's faults and virtues are carefully examined in this hugely impressive biography * THE MAIL ON SUNDAY * An engaging reassessment of the paradoxes at the heart of Disraeli's "two lives": a dandy and a gambler on the one had, a devoted servant and favourite of Queen Victoria on the other. * SUNDAY TELEGRAPH * What distinguishes this volume is its accessibility and clear-sightedness. -- Dominic Sandbrook * SUNDAY TIMES * Disraeli's faults and virtues are carefully examined in this hugely impressive biography * THE MAIL ON SUNDAY * An engaging reassessment of the paradoxes at the heart of Disraeli's "two lives": a dandy and a gambler on the one had, a devoted servant and favourite of Queen Victoria on the other. * SUNDAY TELEGRAPH * What distinguishes this volume is its accessibility and clear-sightedness. -- Dominic Sandbrook * SUNDAY TIMES * Former British Foreign Secretary, Douglas Hurd, and British Prime Minister David Cameron's former speech writer Edward Young vividly bring to life Disraeli's persona in their book Disraeli or Two Lives... The book has wonderful anecdotes especially to do with Disraeli's colourful private life... He made politics interesting, colourful and engaging and that is why Disraeli is one of those few British politicians whose life story has been chronicled by Hollywood * THE TIMES OF ISRAEL * The great Victorian prime minister Benjamin Disraeli has become a political football lately, with Ed Miliband and David Cameron both staking claims to his 'One Nation' legacy. But as Douglas Hurd and Edward Young show, he never even used the phrase. Disraeli's faults and virtues are carefully examined in this hugely impressive biography. * IRISH MAIL ON SUNDAY * The virtue of Douglas Hurd and Edward Young's sparkling new study lies in its succinctness and the analytical skills of its authors * FINANCIAL MAIL (South Africa) * Twice a prime minister and a dazzling parliamentarian, Disraeli was actually motivated by fame and was barely a democrat, according to this fascinating character study. * BIG ISSUE IN THE NORTH * Were the hatchet a less brutal tool, this gripping, succinct and lethal book would deserve the name of hatchet job. The authors get right inside their subject and stay there; this is where their work is done; and, before the reader's eyes and wholly unassaulted, Benjamin Disraeli dies from the inside. Disraeli was not a "one-nation" politician. He neither used the phrase nor implied the idea. Hurd and Young bring to life his wishful dream of the order of things that he had himself mythologised, and wished to protect: nobility, breeding, monarchy, finery, feasting, good-looking young men and grand old ladies. -- Matthew Parris * THE TIMES *show more

About Rt. Hon Lord Douglas Hurd

Douglas Hurd (Author) Former diplomat, private secretary to Edward Heath (as Ldr of the Opposition and as PM); MP 1974-97. Served Margaret Thatcher as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, as Home Secretary and as Foreign Secretary. As a writer is the (co-)author of many thrillers including IMAGE IN THE WATER, his MEMOIRS in 2003 and other non-fiction titles.Edward Young (Author) Edward Young gained a first-class degree in history from Clare College, Cambridge, and won a Mellon Scholarship to Yale where he studied history and international relations as part of the Grand Strategy Program. He has since worked as a speechwriter for David Cameron and as Chief of Staff to the Conservative Party Chairman. He currently works at Brunswick Group LLC. Disraeli is Edward's third book in collaboration with Lord Hurd, having worked as a research assistant for his biography of Sir Robert Peel, and co-authoring Choose Your Weapons, a history of British foreign policy.show more

Rating details

66 ratings
3.63 out of 5 stars
5 14% (9)
4 45% (30)
3 33% (22)
2 6% (4)
1 2% (1)
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