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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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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 24 January 2022

The Emergence of Disraeli’s Jewishness

The Emergence of Disraeli’s Jewishness

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

Todd M. Endelman

Liverpool University Press

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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