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Benjamin Disraeli, Modern Icon?

Simon Doonan Says So

by
Michael Weiss
October 05, 2009
(TheDailyBeast.com)
(TheDailyBeast.com)

Daily Beast columnist Simon Doonan thinks the new face of cool is the old face of Benjamin Disraeli, “who, despite a penchant for wearing his hair in Shirley Temple ringlets and sporting canary yellow velvet waistcoats, managed to claw his way to prominence.” More praised by Doonan for his foppish self-indulgences than for his savvy domestic policies (or imperialist foreign policies), Disraeli’s style is the apex of “think Yiddish, dress British,” a coupling explored by Adam Kirsch in his Nextbook Press biography of Britain’s only Jewish prime minister. And while it may not be likely that a novel-writing parlor wit with a fondness for older married women will soon grace the ranks of the American Republican party, that’s exactly what the GOP—and the country—could use now that tea parties mean shouting on Glenn Beck’s TV show rather than securing huge loans from the Rothschilds.

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