Exploring why conservatives have lost almost every political argument since 1945, Ed West looks at this endless litany of failure from the perspective of one of the losers, in a semi-autobiographical, self-deprecating way.
'An entertaining, wide-ranging defence and explanation of the conservative way of seeing the world . . . suffused with generosity and wit' Catholic Herald
Brought up by eccentric intellectuals, Ed West experienced what he believed was a fairly normal childhood of political pamphlets as bedtime reading, family holidays to East Germany and a father who was one political step away from advocating the return of serfdom. In his mid-twenties, West found himself embracing a mindset usually acquired alongside a realisation that all music post-1955 is garbage, agreeing with everything said in the Telegraph and all the other bad things people get in middle age. This is his journey to becoming a real-life Tory boy.
Forgoing the typically tedious and shouty tone of the Right, West provides that rare gem of a conservative book - one that people of any political alignment can read, if only to laugh at West's gallows humour and dry wit. Crammed with self-deprecating anecdotes and enlightening political insights, Tory Boy discloses a life shaped by politics and the realisation that perhaps this obsession does more harm than good.
'Anyone - liberal, conservative, whatever - would enjoy [this book]. It is full of the most fascinating facts, all mixed in with Ed's inimitable displays of self-mockery' Tom Holland 'A self-deprecating and often hilarious memoir of a born conservative watching the world go wrong. Sprinkled with gallows humour, like a political version of Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch' The Critic
Most enjoyable - John Rentoul
A self-deprecating and often hilarious memoir of a born conservative watching the world go wrong. Sprinkled with gallows humour, like a political version of Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch or a humorous version of John O'Farrell's Things Can Only Get Better, it is also crammed with history, political philosophy and social science . . . Behind the dry wit and self-mockery, [West] has something important to say - The Critic
Funny and thoughtful - Sam Leith
An entertaining, wide-ranging defence and explanation of the conservative way of seeing the world. Alongside some fine knockabout polemic, there is a colourful and lively account of the development of conservatism as a coherent tradition, and a good deal of amusing memoir showing the development of West's worldview . . . West's undoubtedly robust conservatism is nevertheless suffused with generosity and wit. Small Men is not only full of self-deprecating asides but is laugh-out-loud funny - Catholic Herald
Insightful, poignant and at times hilarious - The Times
Highly entertaining . . . an enjoyable history of conservative thought - Mail on Sunday
Anyone - liberal, conservative, whatever - would enjoy Ed West's Small Men on the Wrong Side of History. It is full of the most fascinating facts, all mixed in with Ed's inimitable displays of self-mockery - Tom Holland
Funny, candid, wise and prophetic - Colin Brazier