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John Bright: Statesman, Orator, Agitator [Hardcover]

Bill Cash
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 27.00
Price: 24.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

25 Oct 2011
John Bright was one of the greatest British statesmen of the nineteenth century. In a series of Punch cartoons in 1878, Bright featured alongside Disraeli and Gladstone as among the most influential politicians of the age. However, his profound contribution to British politics and society has been virtually forgotten in the modern world. Bright played a critical role in many of the most important political movements of the Victorian era, from the repeal of the Corn Laws to Home Rule. In his great campaign leading up to the Reform Act 1867, he fought for parliamentary reform on behalf of the working class and for the abolition of newspaper taxes. Internationally renowned as an orator, he was a dedicated opponent of slavery and champion of the North in the American Civil War. His testimonial for Abraham Lincoln's re-election was found in the President's pocket on his assassination. He was vigorously opposed to the Crimean War and campaigned against the oppression of the Irish tenantry and colonial subjects throughout the Empire. Fiercely independent, he eventually split from the Liberal Party over Home Rule, becoming a Liberal Unionist. In this new biography, the first for over 30 years, Bill Cash provides an incisive and engaging portrait of a man who influenced the politics of his generation more than virtually any other, with important implications for the present day.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris (25 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848859961
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848859968
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 15.3 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 677,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'With this well-researched, well-written and sometimes deeply passionate book, Bill Cash has singlehandedly saved one of Britain's greatest statesmen from an ill-deserved obscurity. Often using Bright's own fiery language, he has turned the once-forbidding Victorian granite statue back into a flesh-and-blood fighter for justice and human decency. John Bright was a key figure perhaps even the key figure in the struggle for democracy in Britain, yet his legacy was largely forgotten until this first-class, encapsulating biography.' --Andrew Roberts, author of Salisbury - Victorian Titan

'John Bright is a major biography about one of the towering politicians of the Victorian era. Bill Cash not only breathes new life into Bright but delivers an entirely fresh view of both the man himself and his stance as the professional scourge of the upper classes. Bright was always his country's greatest critic, and yet also its greatest parliamentarian. This and all the other contradictions that made up Bright's character receive their full due in Cash's nuanced portrait.' --Amanda Foreman, author of A World on Fire and Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire

'From the campaign for popular democracy to the fate of empire, the American Civil War to the roots of globalisation, John Bright was one of the most influential figures of the nineteenth century. Bill Cash's biography restores Bright not only to his rightful place at the heart of Victorian England but also as one of the creators of the modern age.' --Graham Stewart, author of Burying Caesar: Churchill, Chamberlain and the Battle for the Tory Party

'Historians will enjoy this fine political portrait.' --The Economist

'From the campaign for popular democracy to the fate of empire, the American Civil War to the roots of globalisation, John Bright was one of the most influential figures of the nineteenth century. Bill Cash's biography restores Bright not only to his rightful place at the heart of Victorian England but also as one of the creators of the modern age.' --Graham Stewart, author of Burying Caesar: Churchill, Chamberlain and the Battle for the Tory Party

...thoughtful and perceptive...[Bright] would surely have appreciated Cash s intellectually subtle and deftly written work. At last, his extraordinary life has the biography it deserves. --George Eaton, The New Statesman

'From the campaign for popular democracy to the fate of empire, the American Civil War to the roots of globalisation, John Bright was one of the most influential figures of the nineteenth century. Bill Cash's biography restores Bright not only to his rightful place at the heart of Victorian England but also as one of the creators of the modern age.' --Graham Stewart, author of Burying Caesar: Churchill, Chamberlain and the Battle for the Tory Party

Bright a radical rooted in traditional social values has found a fitting biographer. --The Times

'From the campaign for popular democracy to the fate of empire, the American Civil War to the roots of globalisation, John Bright was one of the most influential figures of the nineteenth century. Bill Cash's biography restores Bright not only to his rightful place at the heart of Victorian England but also as one of the creators of the modern age.' --Graham Stewart, author of Burying Caesar: Churchill, Chamberlain and the Battle for the Tory Party

'Cash s study is not only a useful addition to Bright s historiography but also a timely contribution to the current debate about the conduct and principles of elected politicians.' --History Today

'From the campaign for popular democracy to the fate of empire, the American Civil War to the roots of globalisation, John Bright was one of the most influential figures of the nineteenth century. Bill Cash's biography restores Bright not only to his rightful place at the heart of Victorian England but also as one of the creators of the modern age.' --Graham Stewart, author of Burying Caesar: Churchill, Chamberlain and the Battle for the Tory Party

About the Author

Bill Cash is the Member of Parliament for Stone. He was educated at Stonyhurst College and Lincoln College, Oxford, where he read History, and has since practised law as a solicitor. He has been in Parliament for 27 years and was Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs. He is Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee of the House of Commons. The Spectator named him Parliamentary Campaigner of the Year in 1991. As well as being the author of several books on European affairs, Bill Cash writes regularly for national newspapers, including The Times and the Daily Telegraph and has made frequent appearances on radio and television. John Bright was his great-grandfather's cousin.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fifty years out of date 26 Jan 2012
Format:Hardcover
A hagiography of a pretty mediocre man. Worse, the scholarship is at least a half century out of date (his most recent secondary source seems to be G.M Trevelyan for Christ's sakes). Just for starers, few serious scholars of British history now credit Bright as being central to either Britain's adoption of free trade policies or the Reform Act of 1867. The material in here on the Crimean War and American Civil War, meantime, fails to cite the mountain of scholarship that has appeared over the last five decades -- see, for example, Andrew Lambert's material on the Crimean War and Phil Myers' on the American conflict just to begin. Cash's pals such as Andrew Roberts and historically illiterate journalists will praise this book but it's frankly embarrassing. If I could give it negative stars I would.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent review of a great man 28 Dec 2011
By duncan
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bill Cash has produced a very readable and entertaining account of one of the greatest Victorian Statesmen. I highly recommend this book to anyone.John Bright: Statesman, Orator, Agitator
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Service 1 Feb 2012
By aranyos
Format:Hardcover
I bought this as a gift and thus I haven't read the book. I was very impressed with the service I received though. I have also contacted the author of the book who sent me a personalised note for the person the book was intended for.
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