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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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Benjamin Disraeli and the Myth of Sephardi Superiority

Benjamin Disraeli and the Myth of Sephardi Superiority

(p.225) Chapter Ten Benjamin Disraeli and the Myth of Sephardi Superiority
Broadening Jewish History

Todd M. Endelman

Liverpool University Press

This chapter considers Lady Battersea's observation of Benjamin Disraeli's ideas about race that were central to his self-definition and was consistent with contemporary interpretations of his character and beliefs. It links Disraeli's political behaviour and thinking to his ethnic background, which Lady Battersea called his racial instincts. It also mentions Disraeli's biographers, historians, and political scientists who hesitated to view his racial concerns as central to his identity and career, preferring to ignore or at least minimize them. The chapter talks about Stephen Graubard, who confessed that it was difficult to understand why Disraeli charged Sidonia to instruct Coningsby in the greatness of the Jewish race. It refers to Disraeli's biographer Robert Blake who dismissed Disraeli's Jewishness in favour of the Italian 'streak' in his character.

Keywords:   Lady Battersea, Benjamin Disraeli, political behaviour, Stephen Graubard, Jewish race, Jewishness, ethnic background

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