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Broadening Jewish History$
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Todd M. Endelman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113010

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113010.001.0001

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The Emergence of Disraeli’s Jewishness

The Emergence of Disraeli’s Jewishness

Chapter:
(p.201) Chapter Nine The Emergence of Disraeli’s Jewishness
Source:
Broadening Jewish History
Author(s):

Todd M. Endelman

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113010.003.0010

This chapter talks about Benjamin Disraeli and his policies, which elicited strong reactions, and who was known to some as a vulgar, cynical careerist and for others a visionary, patriotic statesman. The chapter emphasizes Disraeli as a Jew, and being Jewish was central to his self-understanding despite having been baptized at the age of 12. It also reviews accounts of Disraeli's Jewishness in which historians and biographers have labelled him variously a proto-Zionist, a Marrano, a racist, a proud Jew, and a self-hating Jew. The chapter examines the complex, ambivalent character of what being Jewish meant to Disraeli at different times in his life. It investigates Disraeli's consciousness of being a Jew as a fixed cultural or biological inheritance that emerged and evolved over several decades in response to external changes in his life and stabilized only when he was in his forties.

Keywords:   Benjamin Disraeli, Jewishness, proto-Zionist, self-hating Jew

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