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In the Anglo-American political tradition, Gladstone and Disraeli are perhaps unique: it is hard to think of another pair of political figures who, in their decades-long rivalry, so embodied the politics of their time.
Richard Aldous’s lively account, based on an impressive array of sources, focuses on the contentious relationship of these two figures who encapsulated so much of Victorian political history. One impulse behind the book is the “need to reclaim the national story,” at a time of “fundamental debate about patriotism, liberal values, cultural identity and tradition.”
Compared to Gladstone and Disraeli, most modern political leaders, on both sides of the aisle, seem pale and anodyne. A rattling good story.
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