The Conservative Party Conference 2014 takes place in Birmingham from Sunday 28 September to Wednesday 1 October. After Tory scandals this weekend, David Cameron, Theresa May and George Osborne will all be trying to attract more positive media coverage. Here is our round-up of 6 key books that cover the history and future of the Conservative Party.
Interested in key quotes and ideas from famous Conservatives?
The Dictionary of Conservative Quotations by Iain Dale
In this book, Iain Dale presents an assembly of more than 2000 key-quotes from famous Conservatives, ranging from Aquinas to Bagehot, Churchill to Cameron, Shakespeare to Thatcher. The author provides an interesting insight into how broadly defined conservative sympathisers see their ideology in the early part of the 21st century, writes Andrew S Crines. Read the full review.
Interested in the philosophical underpinnings of the Conservative party?
The Foundations of the British Conservative Party: Essays on Conservatism from Lord Salisbury to David Cameron edited by Bradley W. Hart and Richard Carr
This collection of essays, edited by Bradley W. Hart and Richard Carr, provides a detailed intellectual anatomy of the British Conservative Party, its philosophical and historical underpinnings, and offers a perspective on what lessons it can learn from its past. Alastair Hill argues that the volume is impressive in scope, and shows that the party must adapt to the modern world if it is to repeat the successes of the previous century. Read the full review.
Interested in the history of the Conservative Party?
Portrait of a Party: The Conservative Party in Britain, 1918-1945 by Stuart Ball
The Conservative Party is the least investigated and understood of British political parties, despite its long record of success. Using an original approach and a wide range of sources, Stuart Ball analyses the nature and working of the Conservative Party during one of the most significant and successful periods in its history. Academic historians will likely find Ball’s study a fruitful endeavour, especially if they are working on related or tangential historical themes, concludes Jason Brock. Read the full review.
Interested in Conservative feminism?
Sex, Gender and the Conservative Party: From Iron Lady to Kitten Heels by Sarah Childs and Paul Webb
Studies into female Conservatives are sparse compared to that of their Labour counterparts. The term “Conservative feminist” is still for many the ultimate oxymoron. Sex, Gender and the Conservative Party attempts to address this gap in the literature by examining the political choices and associations of female Tories. Krista Cowman thinks the book captures a party on the verge of change and offers a clear and concise picture of how it shifted its focus to its female members, merging quantitative and qualitative approaches into a highly readable account. Read the full review.
Interested in the Conservative Party’s relationship with homosexual law?
Tory Pride and Prejudice: The Conservative Party and Homosexual Law Reform by Michael McManus
How far have the Conservative Party really come with supporting gay rights and accepting the LGBT community? Michael McManus attempts to persuade us that being pro-gay rights is a natural stance for the Tories in this chronological take on the Party’s relationship with homosexual law since the nineteenth century. However, Emma Spruce finds that parts of the book sorely lack analytical material, and that gay people of colour and gay women are entirely absent, rendering the argument for an alliance of LGBTs and the Tories indefensibly incomplete. Read the full review,
Interested in how the Party has gained success since Thatcher?
The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron by Tim Bale
In Tim Bale’s book, The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron, Steve Coulter finds an excellent and readable account of how the Conservatives have turned themselves around. It should be studied closely by all those in the Labour Party who think their government lost because it was not left-wing enough. Read the full review.