"A magisterial guide to Castlereagh's life that should inform the general understanding of international politics today." --Brendan Simms, Foreign Affairs
"In a totally different genre, the best political biography of the year for my taste is John Bew's Castlereagh
, a penetrating account of this supercilious and depressive Anglo-Irish nobleman who directed English foreign policy with consummate skill and intelligence in the final years and immediate aftermath of the Napoleonic wars, making himself the most hated man in England and ending up by killing himself." --The Spectator
"Bew's book is not only unparalleled in its size and sweep; it is also drenched in the Irish dimension, enriched by the author's own Ulster heritage, as well as the sagacity, scholarship and charm that make this a Life so nearly complete that it need never be written again." --Ferdinand Mount, Times Literary Supplement
"In this well-researched and judicious book, John Bew successfully readjusts the picture...this excellent biography tells a cautionary tale."--Literary Review
"John Bew has some heavy lifting to do in this consciously revisionist take. It is a great testament to his skills as a scholar and writer that he manages to do so with such aplomb ...stellar."--Tristram Hunt, Daily Telegraph
"More than simply a biography of Castlereagh, it is a fascinating review of the war against Napoleon and authoritative assessment of the personalities involved in the Congress of Vienna and the issues they wrestled with in remoulding the face of Europe.... This is a book that offers insights not only into its subject but the nature and practice of diplomacy, statecraft,nationalism and internationalism."--Irish Independent
"In a formidable biography, John Bew has addressed the reputation of Castlereagh, one of the dominant political personalities of Regency Britain."--Rt. Hon. Keith Simpson MP, Total Politics Books of 2011.
"Monumental." --Mark D'Arcy, BBC Political Books of the Year.
"John Bew is the outstanding historian of his generation. His biography of Castlereagh displays a knowledge of character, a grasp of political intrigue and a talent for story-telling any writer would envy. He brings magnificently to life one of the most enigmatic, and influential, statesmen in Britain's history." --Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP, UK Education Secretary
"Bew is above all a very fine historian, very thorough and an extremely good writer -- he tells a damn good story." --Rt. Hon. Stephen Pound MP, BBC Booktalk