Books: Greatest Prime Minister

SIR ROBERT PEEL—A. A. W. Ramsay— Dodd, Mead ($5).

" 'No man who in life was so hated and reviled was ever so lamented and honored at his death.' " Hated in life for his stern unfriendliness, reviled for advocating measures that his party did not support, Sir Robert Peel was honored at death for sacrificing popular favor and party goodwill to the welfare of the nation. That welfare he fostered by an impressive array of reforms—most of them in the face of impassioned opposition: Catholic Emancipation in Ireland; establishment of constabulary forces—the London...