Disraeli: The Novel Politician, By David Cesarani

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mishBookBenjamin Disraeli, the only Jewish-born prime minister of the United Kingdom, may have been Jewish by birth, but his life and  descriptions of the Jewish people were anything but orthodox.

David Cesarani’s new monograph of the historic leader begins with a short introduction about Disraeli’s father and grandfather. As a child, Disraeli becomes a Christian after his father gets into a bitter dispute with their synagogue.


This defining moment in Disraeli’s life sets the stage for his somewhat confused relationship with Judaism and the Jewish people.

Cesarani takes the reader through all aspects of Disraeli’s life, such as the overwhelming amount of debt he incurred, his several failed attempts at establishing a political career and his novels, which give insight on some of the stereotypes he associated with Jews.

What is most intriguing about Disraeli is his attempt to reconcile the public perception of Jews with his unrelenting determination to be a political force in the United Kingdom during the late 19th century.

jkatz@midatlanticmedia.com

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