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Benjamin Disraeli (Jewish Encounters Series) by [Kirsch, Adam]
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Benjamin Disraeli (Jewish Encounters Series) 1st , Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Review

"Adam Kirsch has produced a charming and absorbing apercu into one of the most fascinating statesmen of modern history. A delightful read.:
--Howard M. Sachar, author of "A History of Israel
""Kirsch has written an important and compelling book about Benjamin Disraeli, the first Jewish prime minister of England, who famously replied, 'Yes, I am a Jew, and when the ancestors of the right honorable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon.' This engaging biography gives nuance and meaning to one of the most enigmatic men of the Victorian era."
--Amanda Foreman, author of "Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire"

About the Author

Adam Kirsch, a book critic for "The New York Sun, "is a frequent contributor to "The New Yorker "and "The New Republic." He is the author of two poetry collections, "The Thousand Wells "and "Invasions, "and two works of nonfiction on poetry, "The Wounded Surgeon "and "The Modern Element. "He lives in New York City.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 708 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Schocken; 1 edition (2 Sept. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001ROAERM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,403,365 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent book written largely,but not exclusively, from the perspective of Disraeli's relationship with christianity and his jewish ancestry. These 2 factors combined in this book to give a complex perspective the light of day. I hope the author can go deeper into this subject if he has a mind to! I am fascinated by the man Disraeli, and am delighted by seeing so many books coming out about him. He was an enigma, and I love hearing about the history of the times he lived in. This is in marked contrast to my life as an 'A' level history student when I found all such talk 'tedious'.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NEW PERSPECTIVE ON LEADERSHIP 25 Feb. 2009
By Yehezkel Dror - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Capacity to Govern: A Report to the Club of Rome
From my perspective of the study and improvement of leadership, this book provides some fascinating perspectives. It demonstrates that every determined and talented person, to paraphrase Napoleon, carries in his kitbag the scepter of leadership, though much depends on brain, will and luck. Disraeli was the first (and still only) Jew, as he regarded and presented himself in spite of having been converted at a young age, to become Prime Minister of Great Britain, breaking through a steel ceiling. He succeeded thanks to being "special" in dress and behavior, standing out from the crowd of Aristocrats monopolizing at that time British politics. Being handsome helped a lot, as did his liking for rich and older women who served as mother-surrogates. But his main assets were total ambition, iron will and peak mental abilities.
Being an outstanding novelist maintained his mental balance during long periods of political failure. And, being mentally an outsider helped him to be a proto-neoconservative radical innovator, leading the Tories towards adopting a radical Reform Bill enlarging the franchise.
According to the author, Disraeli considered the option of becoming a Jewish People leader and return them to the Holy Land, but decided to become a leader of Great Britain instead. But, in bridging the abyss between being a Jew in mentality and a British in action, he helped bring about catastrophe. He advocated the idea that Jews are a "race", so that his having converted leaves his Jewish identity intact. Thus, he inadvertently helped lay the foundation for racial antisemitism leading ultimately to the Shoah.
Such fascinating insights make this book into obligatory reading for all students of leadership. Analogues with President Obama, who also broke through a social divide and knows to write, make the case of Disraeli all the more interested. But the shortness of the book results in some superficiality. I wish the author had added another fifty pages and gone deeper in presenting and supporting his conjectures.
Yehezkel Dror
Professor of Political Science, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 30 May 2015
By Philip Galea - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
interesting as a subject but not very enjoyable as a read.
4.0 out of 5 stars Benjamin Disraeli (Jewish Ecounters) 8 Mar. 2009
By Carol - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was an excellent book on an interesting character. The first Jewish Prime Minister of Great Britian and how he got there. Anyone interested in the Jewish dimension and how an outsider became the PM of England is fascinating reading.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A monograph, not a biography 13 Feb. 2009
By Dr. Emily Kurtz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Again with the disappointments. This book is fine when it discusses D'Israeli's political life, but when it tries to use his novels as illustrators of his Jewish identity and of his authorial intentions, it lost me. Any kind of fictional analyses dealing with intention or personal biography are faulty and conjectural at best. Plus the way the author goes through each novel, summarizing its plot, is mind-numbingly boring. The thesis here is thin so I guess that is why Kirsch had to resort to analyzing the novels.

This would not even qualify as a dissertation--it is a monograph. So read with a grain of salt, enjoying the political profile but ignoring the "literary" exegeses.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 5 May 2016
By Simon O - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful, learned so much from it!
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