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  • Sybil, or the Two Nations.

The success of Disraeli in opposing this ideology is found in his rich imagination. But the most important parallel between Marx and Disraeli is their conception of class. Marx taught that men exist in classes and that warfare among the classes both a historical fact and a future certainty which will end, or rather must be made to end, in the annihilation of all classes except the proletariat.

Disraeli also believed that men are naturally ordered in classes, but he also understood that the classes have often been too separated from one another.

The Making of Benjamin Disraeli: Adam Kirsch's New Biography

Consider this famous passage from his novel Sybil: It would be easy to interpret this passage as the prelude to a Marxist call for the poor to overthrow the rich, and the two classes to be merged into one. But Disraeli had more wisdom than Marx. He bemoaned the existence of two nations, not two classes. His political goal was to reconcile these classes and to restore them to one harmonious nation. One nation with multiple classes, who are not at war, but living together in harmony.

One nation, with classes who must rise and fall together. Al Sharpton and others of his ilk have made a career instigating and inflaming racial warfare, and examining society in a black-vs.

The Making of Benjamin Disraeli: Adam Kirsch's New Biography

In this, Sharpton and his allies have abandoned the noble thought of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Both of these groups have been the victims of injustice and oppression in the past, but to interpret the noble quest for equal justice as a war only serves to further rend the fabric of society. During the Presidential campaign, Obama used this kind of Marxist rhetoric to great effect.

And facts usually lose to ideas, regardless of the truth and wisdom of the ideas and facts in question.


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  6. Romney and his campaign should have followed the example of Disraeli and countered ideas with ideas. The life of Disraeli provides an example of an important conservative principle: Disraeli was born into a thoroughly middle-class family.

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    He was ethnically Jewish, although his family converted to Anglicanism when he was twelve. This is all the more remarkable because England was still, in many ways, an aristocracy, where birth mattered a great deal more than today. Classes are not static groups, and are not separated by some vast chasm. Economic classes exist in an economically free society, but not because the richer oppress the poorer.

    From Poverty to Power by James Allen

    Inequality is not inherently unjust. It is simply a result of the inherent inequality among human talents, ambition, and circumstances. The second approach, reflecting the turn to history and politics in literary studies, has produced historical readings that tend to see the novels as more or less reliable reflections of ideas existing outside the text, either in history or in politics. When reading criticism of the novels, then, one needs to be aware that much critical commentary on them is not written by literary critics—and thus, strictly speaking, is not literary criticism at all—and is often motivated by non-literary purposes.

    Because of his distinguished political career, his long career as a novelist from to , his enigmatic personality, and his puzzling pronouncements on race and religion, Disraeli has attracted a large number of biographers. Indeed, the biographical approach, to both his political career and his fiction, has dominated scholarship and commentary on him.


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    4. Biographies tend to be divided between those that see Disraeli as ambitious, manipulative, and less than principled Blake and Ridley and those that admire him Weintraub Early biographies, such as Meynell and Monypenny and Buckle , are of limited use for criticism of the novels. Ridley and Weintraub reflect, respectively, the two prevailing attitudes to Disraeli: Of the biographies since Blake , Smith has received the highest praise and is probably the most balanced.

      Of the many popular biographies Bradford and Hibbert are probably the best. A note of caution: Matthews and later scholars and need to be supplemented with later ones.

      What Disraeli Can Teach Modern Conservatives

      Still regarded as the most authoritative biography of Disraeli. Balanced and judicious, this also contains the best critical commentary on the novels by a biographer. George Weidenfeld and Nicolson, This is the first biography to take advantage of the first two volumes of the Letters , edited by the Disraeli Project. A digitized version is available online. Though perhaps too admiring of its subject for modern tastes, this is still a major source of historical information.

      The discussion of the novels, however, is dated. First published in Cambridge University Press,