A Fever at the Core: The Idealist in Politics by Jeffrey Meyers

A Fever at the Core: The Idealist in Politics by Jeffrey Meyers lands on the shelves of my shop, where it will be found in my Political section.

London: London Magazine Editions, 1976, (First Edition) Hardback in dust wrapper.

Contains: Maps;

From the cover: Conrad told Cunninghame Graham, Youre a Hamlet choosing to be a Quixote. Wilfred Blunt, Graham, Roger Casement, T. E. Lawrence, Gabriele DAnnunzio and Andre Malraux were all Hamlet types, who yielded to the quixotic impulse and propelled themselves into political life with disastrous or tragic results. Three of these men were deeply committed to the struggle for Irish Home Rule. Blunt was involved in the land war in Ireland in 1887; his friend Graham in the Battle of Trafalgar Square the same year; and Casement in the Easter Rising of 1916.

Both Blunt and Lawrence actively fought for Arab independence. The former predicted the rise of Arab nationalism that was first manifest in the Mahdi, and the latter sparked this nascent nationalism into the Arab Revolt and captured Damascus in 1918. As Lawrence argued the Arab cause before the Great Powers at the Paris Peace Conference, DAnnunzio defied these Powers when he took Fiume in 1919 and held the city for two years. The narcissistic romantic individualism of Lawrence and DAnnunzio culminates in Malraux who led the Escadre Espana in the Spanish Civil War in 1936.

All six figures are significant not for what they achieved, but for what they were and what they represented. These six men committed themselves to political activity, but failed to resolve the Byronic conflict between egoism and idealism.

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper. Price Clipped. Pages very gently age-tanned.

Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 172 pages. Bibliography. 8¾” x 6″.

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