Friendship & Betrayal

Ambition and the Limits of Loyalty
(Hardcover Edition)


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ISBN 978-0-297-64661-7

Category: Product ID: 792


Friendship & Betrayal illustrates the pleasures and pitfalls of friendship in the public eye and examines in detail three fascinating relationships that epitomize the problems friends confront when they enter the political arena together.

Can there be true friendship at the top?  This book explores the fragility of personal relationships in public life.

The book begins in the louche Restoration Court of late-seventeenth-century England where the future Queen Anne formed an intense attachment to one of her ladies-in-waiting, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough.  A tale of widening differences in rank and authority comes to a head when the introduction of a new ‘favourite’ causes a jealous and dangerous reaction from the jilted friend.

The second story concerns one of the United States’ greatest Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin.  It explores how the violent ideological struggle of the American War of Independence turned his friendship with his colleague, Joseph Galloway, into a mutual hatred that also ended up tearing Franklin’s family apart.

The third story unfolds in the high noon of Edwardian England.  It examines the bond between two Liberal politicians, Herbert Asquith and Richard Burdon Haldane, as they rise through the ranks to government.  But with success came harsh political necessities, and only one of them was marked out to pay the sacrifice.

Friendship and Betrayal shows how burning ambition can come between colleagues and asks whether it is possible – or even desirable – to put friends before principles.

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2 reviews for Friendship & Betrayal

  1. Jane Ridley, The Spectator

    An enthralling book – and one that points to a new way forward for political biography.

  2. Miranda Seymour, The Guardian

    Stewart’s engrossing book … One of the many merits of his book is that he writes with tremendous zest and clarity. … brought to life with breath-taking assurance and elegance.

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