In This Review

David Lloyd George: A Political Life. the Architect of Change, 1863-1912
David Lloyd George: A Political Life. the Architect of Change, 1863-1912
By Bentley Brinkerhoff Gilbert
Ohio State University Press, 1987, 546 pp.

An overly elaborate biography of one of the titans of 20th-century British politics, breaking off just before his emergence as the dominant leader during and after the Great War. Copious citations from unpublished sources give breadth to this study of a full-time professional politician with radical passion and ambition. He turned an impoverished childhood in Wales into a permanent political asset and still resented that, at Balmoral, the Court with its Tory atmosphere showed "everybody very civil to me as they would be to a dangerous wild animal. . . ." The book is good on his conversion from a pro- to an anti-German position between 1908 and 1911, but is otherwise and understandably devoted to Lloyd George's part in domestic politics and his preeminent role in fashioning the New Liberalism.