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John Bright: Statesman, Orator, Agitator

John Bright: Statesman, Orator, Agitator
Bill Cash

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  • Hardback | In Stock | $58.00

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John Bright was one of the greatest British statesmen of the nineteenth century. In a series of Punch cartoons in 1878, Bright featured alongside Disraeli and Gladstone as among the most influential politicians of the age. However, his profound contribution to British politics and society has been virtually forgotten in the modern world. Bright played a critical role in many of the most important political movements of the Victorian era, from the repeal of the Corn Laws to Home Rule. In his great campaign leading up to the Reform Act 1867, he fought for parliamentary reform on behalf of the working class and for the abolition of newspaper taxes. Internationally renowned as an orator, he was a dedicated opponent of slavery and champion of the North in the American Civil War. His testimonial for Abraham Lincoln's re-election was found in the President's pocket on his assassination. He was vigorously opposed to the Crimean War and campaigned against the oppression of the Irish tenantry and colonial subjects throughout the Empire. Fiercely independent, he eventually split from the Liberal Party over Home Rule, becoming a Liberal Unionist.

In this new biography, the first for over 30 years, Bill Cash provides an incisive and engaging portrait of a man who influenced the politics of his generation more than virtually any other, with important implications for the present day.

Author Info

Bill Cash in MP for Stone. He read History at Oxford before pursuing a career as a lawyer. He has been an MP since 1984 and was Chairman of the Conservative Backbench Committee on European Affairs from 1989-1991. From 2001 to 2003, he served as Shadow Attorney General and has also been responsible for shadowing Constitutional Affairs in the House of Commons.


‘…thoughtful and perceptive…[Bright] would surely have appreciated Cash’s intellectually subtle and deftly written work. At last, his extraordinary life has the biography it deserves.’
– George Eaton, The New Statesman

‘Historians will enjoy this fine political portrait.’
– The Economist

‘Bright – a radical rooted in traditional social values – has found a fitting biographer.’
– The Times

‘Sturdy, readable… Bill Cash is to be congratulated on writing an enthusiastic and enjoyable biography that redresses the unjust neglect of John Bright’s role and achievements.’
– Times Literary Supplement

'Cash’s study is not only a useful addition to Bright’s historiography but also a timely contribution to the current debate about the conduct and principles of elected politicians.’
– History Today

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781848859968
Publication Date: 29 Oct 2011
Number of Pages: 360
Height: 234
Width: 156
Illustrations: 17 bw in 8pp plates, 4 bw integrated

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