Friday, December 04, 2020

Political Novels?

I would like suggestions to add to this list:
  • Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby or the New Generation.
  • Anthony Trollope, The Way We Live Now.
  • Allen Drury, Advise and Consent: A Novel of Washington Politics.
  • John Ehrlichman, The Company.
  • Anonymous (Joel Klein) Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics.

This is not for Christmas, but some of my personal reading. I am aware that Coningsby is the first of a trilogy, that Advise and Consent is the first of a series, and that Primary Colors has a sequel. Ehrlichman's novel did not make a lasting impression on me. As usual, I find it hard to define what I think groups these together.

Disraeli writing his novels in the midst of trying to climb the greasy pole is hard to fathom:

"The Duke talks to me of Conservative principles; but he does not inform me what they are. I observe indeed a party in the State whose rule it is to consent to no change, until it is clamorously called for, and then instantly to yield; but those are Concessionary, not Conservative principles. This party treats institutions as we do our pheasants, they preserve only to destroy them. But is there a statesman among these Conservatives who offers us a dogma for a guide, or defines any great political truth which we should aspire to establish? It seems to me a barren thing, this Conservatism, an unhappy cross-breed; the mule of politics that engenders nothing." -- Disraeli

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