A 'gripping, succinct and lethal' (Matthew Parris, the times) reappraisal of the life of Benjamin Disraeli, the most celebrated and colourful politician of the nineteenth century.
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 SUNDAY
About the Authors
Douglas Hurd is a former diplomat, member of parliament, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary. He is the author of a number of works of fiction and history, including a much-admired biography of Robert Peel and, most recently, Choose Your Weapons, a history of British foreign policy. He lives in Oxfordshire and London.
Edward Young gained a first-class degree in history from Clare College, Cambridge, and studies as a Mellon Scholar at Yale University. He has worked as a speechwriter 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 in collaboration with Douglas Hurd. He lives in London.
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 What distinguishes this volume is its accessibility and clear-sightedness. -- Dominic Sandbrook SUNDAY TIMES 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 Disraeli's faults and virtues are carefully examined in this hugely impressive biography THE MAIL ON SUNDAY 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. THE TIMES
Number Of Pages: 400
Published: 13th May 2014
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9 x 3.2
Weight (kg): 0.3
Edition Number: 1