Acclaimed after the Second World War as England's greatest historian, Sir Lewis Namier was an eastern European immigrant who came to idealise the English gentleman and enjoyed close friendship with leading figures of his day, including Winston Churchill. Today, Namier is associated with the belief that the thoughts and actions of elites matter most, and with a view of politics in which those who enter public life do so only in pursuit of personal and material advantage. This exaggerated view has made him a hero to social and political conservatives, and a demonic figure to the Left.
Preoccupied by nationalism, empire, and human motivation, Namier also remains famous in academic circles for supposedly declaring that any reference to ideas in political discourse was nothing more than 'flapdoodle'. In this comprehensive biography, the first in over thirty years, Emeritus Professor of History at Queen’s University, Belfast, David Hayton
, examines these manifold issues. Based on a vast range of sources, including rich new archival material, Conservative Revolutionary: The Lives of Lewis Namier
(Manchester University Press, 2019) will no doubt prove to be the definitive study for the next generation of scholars. According to acclaimed Professor of History, Michael Bentley, Hayton’s book is: “an important and compelling study. The product of many years of research, this scholarly and well-written biography goes beyond a familiar English environment to expand Namier's significance as a major figure in European and Jewish historiography.”
Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for Chatham House’s