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on 20 January 2012
The Conservatives - A History by Robin Harris is a very good book exploring the history of the Party from its origins in the Tory grouping of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, through its formation as a modern party in the 1830s, to its current incarnation as the dominant party in the Coalition. The book primarily tells the story of the Conservatives through its numerous and diverse leaders who it is apparent have had a major impact on what the Party believes and aims to achieve. It is well-written, informative and opinionated with the author not afraid to show his views on individuals and events. Overall, a very good and immensely enjoyable book.
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on 19 April 2014
A bulk standard political narrative sweep across 150 years or so of political history as it involved the Tory Party. Much of it has been covered elsewhere but nevertheless worth a read so as to have that sweep in the first place. Target in later in my opinion.

So worth the read and a standard not particularly profound bt not too superficial read.

All round a useful text.
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on 12 May 2013
As Philip Ziegler said in his recent review of the author's book on Margaret Thatcher, Robin Harris "has a low opinion of politicians". My goodness, it shows in this history of the Conservative Party.
Hardly a politician, in the 250 year history of the party, merits a favourable rating: Thatcher, of course; Salisbury and Bonar Law (mainly because he died quickly after becoming leader). Most get end-of-term reports of between C plus and C minus (Balfour;Eden;Heath).
In my view the author makes too little allowance for the demands of the job (whether PM or just leader) or the problems of governing without a majority or with a divided party- par for the course with the Tories!
Even Disraeli is subject to a constant flow of niggling criticism throughout and yet would we have a party in this form without him?
The Tories are one of the oldest and most successful political parties in World history. No one would think so on reading this.
Finally, I read this in Kindle form: accessing the notes and the index were a problem, so this is a rare occasion on which paper is best.
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on 29 December 2011
I bought this book as a surprise Christmas present and the history buff I bought it for could not keep their nose out of it! Obviously a hit.
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on 3 March 2016
Clear, concise, opinionated, pungent, right minded - everything you could wish for.
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on 17 December 2014
The Conservatives - A History
bought as a present
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on 25 April 2014
Bought this as a political history lesson, which it is but not the most scintillating thing I have ever read. Only to be expected I suppose. Hard going!
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on 31 May 2012
This is a very concise History of the Party since its beginning. I was pleasanty suprised at discovering how the 'tories' arised as the people's party to overthrow the aristocratic ''whigs'' back in the day, who cared for no one except the rich. The Tories changed the political map forever, and have done a lot of good things ever since, from all of the greats - Sir Robert Peel, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, right through to the Neo-conservative Cameron. They have a great history, one that changed Britain for the better. We wouldnt be the democracy we are today without them! Recommended.
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on 17 October 2015
Brilliant!
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