Disraeli and the Art of Victorian Politics
About This Book
'Dr St John has not merely given us a satisfying tool for analysing Disraeli. He has also provided a well-researched political biography...a solid work of scholarship.' John McLeod, Associate Professor of History, University of Louisville
'An excellent and enjoyable political biography of Benjamin Disraeli... Notable are the author's use of diaries and letters which provide a decidedly 'first-hand' commentary on the thoughts and actions of Disraeli and those with whom he came in contact.' Howard B. Fedrick, Assistant Professor, Department of History, King's College
'With welcome clarity and deft analysis, Ian St John unlocks the mind of one of the most fascinating figures in nineteenth-century England, and in so doing makes accessible to the uninitiated the mysteries, manoevrings and machinations of Victorian politics.' Tod E. Jones, Professor of English, University of Maryland and author of 'The Broad Church: A Biography of a Movement'
This book is a comprehensive review of the political career of Benjamin Disraeli, providing a thorough critical analysis of one of the most ambitious and controversial leaders in British history. 'Disraeli and the Art of Victorian Politics' explores the political journey of a man propelled by a tremendous self-belief and capacity for self-invention through the complex world of Victorian political life. Disraeli retains a powerful presence in contemporary political discourse; whether in terms of current debates concerning the direction and leadership within the Conservative party or in more general areas of social and political debate such as the nature of imperialism, the dangers posed by the centralization of government power, the scope for state intervention in the economy, the constitutional role of the monarch and the meaning of Judaism in British life. Dr Ian St John discusses Disraeli's Conservative ideology and its relationship to his identity and his practice as a politician. The author brings to life the often sharp historiographical debates surrounding Disraeli's career by reproducing within each chapter views from key historians an effective way to introduce the student and general reader to the contested nature of historical understanding. This title will be a major addition to our understanding of both Disraeli and the dynamics of nineteenth-century politics.
Ian St John has taught history at Haberdashers' Aske's School in Hertfordshire since 2002. His chief research interests are in Victorian history.
Table of Contents
Timeline; Introduction, I. Disraeli's Political Career, 1804-1846; II. The Politics of Opposition, 1846-1866; III. The 1867 Reform Act; IV. Disraeli's Political Ideology; V. Opposition Again, 1868-1874; VI. Prime Minister, 1874-1880: Domestic Policy; VII. Prime Minister: Foreign and Imperial Policy; VIII. Disraeli and the Art of Politics; Notes; Bibliography; Index