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Disraeli (W&N)

Disraeli (W&N)

A reappraisal of the life of the most celebrated and colourful 19th-century politician.

Benjamin Disraeli was the most gifted parliamentarian of the nineteenth century. A superb orator, writer and wit, he twice rose to become Prime Minister, dazzling many with his famous epigrams along the way.
But how much do we really know about the man behind the words? How did this bankrupt Jewish school dropout and trashy novelist reach the top of the Victorian Conservative Party? And why does his reputation continue to have such a hold over British politics today?

In this engaging reassessment, Douglas Hurd and Edward Young explore the paradoxes at the centre of Disraeli's 'two lives': a dandy and gambler on the one hand, a devoted servant and favourite Prime Minister of the Queen on the other. A passionately ambitious politician, he intrigued and manoeuvred with unmatched skill to get to - in his own words - 'the top of the greasy pole', but he also developed a set of ideas to which he was devoted. His political achievements are never quite what they seem: he despised the idea of a more classless society, he never used the phrase 'One Nation', and although he passed the Second Reform Act he was no believer in democracy.

By stripping away the many myths which surround his career, Douglas Hurd and Edward Young bring alive the true genius of Disraeli in this wonderfully entertaining exploration of his life.

About the Author

Douglas Hurd & Edward Young

Douglas Hurd

Former diplomat and MP from 1974 to 1997, Douglas Hurd served Margaret Thatcher as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, as Home Secretary and as Foreign Secretary. He is the author of a highly acclaimed biography of Robert Peel, as well as a number of thrillers and his autobiography. He lives in Oxfordshire and London.

Edward Young

Edward Young gained a first-class degree in history from Clare College, Cambridge, and studied international relations with a Mellon Scholarship at Yale University. He has worked as a speech writer for David Cameron and as Chief of Staff to the Conservative Party Chairman. He currently works at Brunswick Group LLP. Disraeli is Edward’s third book written in collaboration with Douglas Hurd. He lives in London.

Read a Q&A with Douglas Hurd and Edward Young here.

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