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Gladstone: A Biography

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  122 ratings  ·  12 reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of Churchill, a towering historical biography, available for the first time in paperback.

William Gladstone was, with Tennyson, Newman, Dickens, Carlyle, and Darwin, one of the stars of nineteenth-century British life. He spent sixty-three of his eighty-nine years in the House of Commons and was prime minister four times, a unique
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Paperback, 768 pages
Published November 12th 2002 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1995)
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Erunion
I am not much of a reader, but I have at least read all the way through some truly difficult books such as the Critique of Pure Reason and the Phenomenology of Spirit. This book, however, was a dog of a work to get through, and I considered putting it down at many different times. It seems to focus all too much on the details Gladstone; his daily actions are discussed at great length, to the detriment of what his beliefs were, and who he really was. A great deal of time is spent on the odd marki ...more
Jonnie Enloe
Sort of a slow read but an inside look at this bizarre little man with such great impact. Author gets drawn out on details outside the main subject. Should be read alongside a good book on Disraeli who was a contempory as well as maybe Queen Victoria(which bores me to tears). However for historical context you need the background noise for Gladstone for insight into his charactor.
Lauren Albert
As I was heading towards the end of the book, I was thinking that I would give it 4 stars. But when I got to the end of the book, and started tearing up at Gladstone’s death and his memorials, I had to give it a 5. Somehow, with all of the (occasionally excruciating) detail about his political life, Jenkins conveyed a man—a man who was somehow a force of nature—but a man nonetheless.

This is very much a political biography. While discussing Gladstone’s interactions with prostitutes who he was tr
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Philip Persinger
A classic example of a great man succeeding despite himself. No relation to the Duke of Omnium of course. Best character traits: wander the streets at night to "save" wayward women then scourging himself for impure thoughts afterward and chopping down trees for recreation when a houseguest.
Ainsley
There is a Statue of William Ewert Gladstone on the Aldwych. Read this book to find out who he was, inspired in part by the same author's brilliant coverage of Churchill. Wasn't disappointed. The author is an authority on british politics (as an ex chancellor of the exchequer) and writes very well.
Malcolm Burtt
Fascinating! This opened my eyes to elements of UK politics that I simply hadn't been aware of. I'm tempted to read a bio of Disraeli now to get the other side of some of their story.
Steve
I try to always finish a book that I start. I did it but it wasn't easy. There is some background knowledge of the 19th Century here, but it BORING.
Eric
I don't like rating books this low and I'm fond of history; I just found this one difficult to pick up at times.
Alex
Incredibly detailed, but dry at times. Less talk about his rivalry with Disraeli than I would have thought.
Anna Pervukhin
A bit of a slog. Too hagiographic. Only read half...
May return to it later.

Tim Robinson
This book is simply too long. Section headings would be a good idea.
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Misses Something 1 6 Mar 10, 2010 07:31PM  
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There is more than one author with this name

Roy Harris Jenkins, Baron Jenkins of Hillhead OM PC was a British politician. Once prominent as a Labour Member of Parliament (MP) and government minister in the 1960s and 1970s, he became the first (and so far only) British President of the European Commission (1977-81) and one of the four principal founders of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1981.
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