Lord Reading: Rufus Isaacs, First Marquess of Reading, Lord Chief Justice and Viceroy of India, 1860–1935
Rufus Isaacs was in his day the first commoner to rise to the rank of marquess since the Duke of Wellington. Born into a lively Jewish family, he left school aged 14, yet made his name as a brilliant QC before being elected to the Commons as a Liberal in 1904. Smeared during the Marconi scandal of 1913 he survived to be appointed Lord Chief Justice, and elevated to the peerage in 1914. He would go on to be Ambassador to the United States, Viceroy of India, and Foreign Secretary.
For this major work, first published in 1982, Denis Judd drew upon private papers in order to place Rufus Isaacs' complex career in perspective and so provide an overdue reassessment of one of the most outstanding public figures of the twentieth century.
'Excellent.' A.J.P. Taylor, Observer