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Edmund Burke and the Perennial Battle, 1789-1797

Edmund Burke’s interpretation of the revolution in France, beginning 1789, is nothing short of an interpretation of human nature, and of Western civilization. Edmund Burke and the Perennial Battle, 1789-1797 collects the most penetrating and timeless passages of Burke's writings from 1789 until his death. Published in partnership with:

     

Endorsements of Edmund Burke and the Perennial Battle, 1789-1797

"This delightful book, learnedly introduced and annotated, distills to their essence Burke's reflections on a decisive decade. It is an invaluable resource for Burke scholars and Burkean citizens alike."

Gregory S. Weiner, Assumption University

"This new collection condenses the best of Burke’s late thought, making his timeless insights accessible to the general reader. A vital addition to any good library."

Marc Sidwell, New Culture Forum

“Edmund Burke’s writings of the era of the French Revolution provide ammunition for almost every variety of conservatism – liberal, reformist, or reactionary. Here is the armory.”

Jerry Z. Muller, Catholic University of America

"This volume is a vital resource for readers interested in the contribution to political thought of the great statesman Edmund Burke. Klein and Pino’s anthology of writings offers a rich storehouse of insight and reflection arising out of Burke’s engagement with the events of the French Revolution, illustrating some of his core values, and posing the question of how they might be relevant today."

Richard Bourke, King’s College, University of Cambridge, Author of Empire & Revolution: The Political Life of Edmund Burke

"This is a wonderful volume of Burke's most mature and most compelling thought, carefully curated and organized so as to be of maximal use to scholars and students of liberal thought. The introduction places Burke's thought and its seeming contradictions into the context of his times. The selections themselves place Burke’s thought into the context of the life of a statesman aware of the delicate balance between principles and politics and of the tradeoffs involved in human life."

Lauren Hall, Political Science, Rochester Institute of Technology

“What is Burke's political thought distilled to its essence? Daniel Klein and Dominic Pino capture it in this volume by selecting and annotating his prime quotations on the French Revolution from 1789 to 1797 with impressive discretion of judgment. And for those who think Burke’s thoughts on the Revolution hold no pressing application to contemporary public affairs—and particularly for those who conflate empty change with judicious reform—Klein and Pino’s deliciously provocative and eloquently written introduction, distilled to its essence, offers this sharp rejoinder: Guess again.”

Gregory M. Collins, Yale University, author of Commerce and Manners in Edmund Burke’s Political Economy

“Dan Klein and Dominic Pino have brought the wisdom of Edmund Burke alive again in this judicious and comprehensive selection of his ‘living voice’ during the last momentous decade of his life. The crisp, cogent passages chosen by the editors highlight a thought at once conservative and liberal, committed to reform but never to radical innovation, and alert as no one before or after to the totalitarianism implicit in the Jacobin project to transform the world. Burke’s famous self-description, that he loved ‘a manly, moral, regulated liberty,’ is evident on every page of this inspired compilation. And in an astute ‘Introduction,’ Klein and Pino show the coherence of Burke’s noble project to combine ‘liberty in policy’ and ‘stability in polity,’ an endeavor as welcome today as it was in the closing decade of the eighteenth century.”

Daniel J. Mahoney, author of The Statesman as Thinker: Portraits of Courage, Greatness, and Moderation (Encounter Books, 2022)

“Among the challenges of teaching Burke are his zesty style and the dispersion of ideas across numerous texts written amidst shifting circumstances. Klein and Pino have done a great service in collecting key passages 1789 to 1797. Astutely selected and deftly annotated, the passages platform the voice, the personality, of Burke, with all its prophetic wisdom.”

Richard Boyd, Georgetown University

Further Description

Now the most penetrating and timeless passages of Burke’s writings 1789 to his death in 1797 are collected for accessible enjoyment and edification. The passages come from Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), An Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs (1791), Letters on a Regicide Peace (1795-96), and six other writings penned during those momentous years. The editors of this volume have left the bulk of those texts behind, selecting only crisp and cogent passages. The result is not a mere collection of nuggets, but a sourcebook of Burke’s most profound body of thought.

Burke instills appreciation of liberty and of its dependence on a political order that is stable, functional, reasonable, and reformable. He interprets the French Revolution as downstream from human nature and human instinct, but also as the expression of a new and wrongheaded quasi-religion. He exposes its dogmatism, rationalism, hypocrisy, incivility, and chic radicalism. Our modern world, he exhorts, must not forsake the morals and beliefs upon which liberal arrangements depend.

Hear a living voice, now urgently relevant. With candor and openness Burke pours out his sentiments and bravely expresses the farthest reaches of his understanding of the moral universe. His brilliance, erudition, and passion are on full display, a soul offering a statement for the ages.