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Edmund Burke: A Genius Reconsidered

by Russell Kirk

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1391153,000 (3.95)1
In this, the liveliest and most accessible one-volume life of Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk has ingeniously combined the public and the private man into a living whole. He lucidly unfolds Burke's philosophy and offers a fresh assessment of Burke, a statesman enjoying even greater influence today than in his own time. Kirk defines four great struggles in the life of Burke: his work for conciliation with the American colonies; his involvement in cutting down the domestic power of George III; his prosecution of Warren Hastings, the Governor-General of India; and his resistance to Jacobinism, the French Revolution's "armed doctrine." In each of these great phases of his public life, Burke fought with passionate eloquence and relentless logic for his ideals of justice, ideals that continue to appeal today.… (more)
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Russell Kirk’s sympathetic and admiring – but never sycophantic – intellectual biography of the great Edmund Burke is a joy to read. Kirk sketches out the salient details of Burke’s life, but concentrates on Burke’s work in his greatest intellectual and political campaigns: the question of independence for the American colonies; the conduct of the British colonial regime in India; the quest for Irish self-rule; and of course the French Revolution.

Kirk succeeds admirably in his stated aim, i.e. buttressing Burke’s reputation not just as a prominent voice in his time and circumstances, but as one of the great geniuses of political thought. My only complaint is that I wished this book longer; I particularly would have enjoyed more depth in Kirk’s review of Burke’s work on the French Revolution. ( )
1 vote mrtall | Jan 5, 2009 |
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Russell Kirkprimary authorall editionscalculated
Scruton, RogerForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In this, the liveliest and most accessible one-volume life of Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk has ingeniously combined the public and the private man into a living whole. He lucidly unfolds Burke's philosophy and offers a fresh assessment of Burke, a statesman enjoying even greater influence today than in his own time. Kirk defines four great struggles in the life of Burke: his work for conciliation with the American colonies; his involvement in cutting down the domestic power of George III; his prosecution of Warren Hastings, the Governor-General of India; and his resistance to Jacobinism, the French Revolution's "armed doctrine." In each of these great phases of his public life, Burke fought with passionate eloquence and relentless logic for his ideals of justice, ideals that continue to appeal today.

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