POLITICAL RIVALRIES

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					POLITICAL RIVALRIES
Richard Gaunt
Contemporary Review; Summer 2010; 292, 1697; Docstoc
pg. 246




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Description: Few relatively informed readers can be unaware of the historic rivalries enacted on the political stage by William Pitt the Younger and Charles James Fox (a case, as Mr Campbell notes, of the enmities of the fathers being revisited on the sons) or of the dislike entertained between Gladstone and Disraeli (which, as Roland Quinault has argued in an article which John Campbell has not used, is in serious danger of being overestimated), Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher or Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. What might have set this book apart from the current fashion for 'dual' biographies (many of them written by journalists or marketable academics) would have been some concentration on those secondary but equally compelling rivalries which tell us as much about the qualities of greatness, meanness and human frailty as the more titanic battles between political equals: hence, Gladstone's relations with Joseph Chamberlain, Salisbury's with Randolph Churchill, Winston Churchill's with Anthony Eden (or even Clement Attlee), Mrs Thatcher's with Michael Heseltine, Gordon Brown's with his constant gadfly irritant, Charles Clarke, would have provided original contrasts against which to set the received picture.
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