Saturday, July 01, 2006


Adam Gopnik, writing in The New Yorker, on a new book about Disraeli:

One reason that Disraeli is such an appealing subject is that, unlike other romantic adventurers, he had a successful career and a happy life. Things worked out pretty much as he had planned, even though the plan was one of the most improbable ever devised by the mind of man: a debt-scarred, overdressed, effeminate, literary Jew set himself to become Prime Minister of England, and the leader of its right-wing party, at the height of the British Empire. He is himself proof, in slightly comic form, of the principle of heroic imagination that he fabulized so passionately in his fiction. Any responsible historian can see that Disraeli couldn’t have happened. But he did.

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