This important first book, using a mass of unpublished material, not only sheds new light on Balfour's puzzling personality but it also makes a significant contribution to the history of the British Empire.
Balfour's political career spanned the years from 1874 to 1929, during which time he saw the acquisition of a new colonial empire, the disastrous Boer War, the beginning of India's progress towards independence, and the emergence of the Dominions as equal partners in the British Commonwealth. Towards many imperial problems Balfour showed a far-sightedness and a discernment which enabled him to encourage essential reform and also to point out paths of broader imperial development.
Apart from offering a serious study of Balfour, this book also provides fascinating insights into the great men of Balfour's time - Disraeli, Salisbury, Campbell-Bannerman, Kitchener, Winston Churchill, Chamberlain, Milner, Curzon and others.
"A remarkable book… it makes an arresting, controversial study."
- Charles Curran, Sunday Telegraph
"Judd deserves our thanks for publishing a well-documented and readable book."
- Lord (RAB) Butler, Spectator
"A scholarly and analytical study of Balfour… [with] brilliant judgements."
- Maurice Edelman, Punch
"Denis Judd has written an excellent study of British Imperial ideas; his book is firmly based on an astute handling of material and a sensible and dispassionate presentation of it."
- Times Literary Supplement