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Edmund Burke : the first conservative

Author: Jesse Norman
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, [2013]
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Examines the life of the great Irish philosopher, statesman, and political thinker, who supported abolition, free markets, and Catholic equality in Ireland in the eighteenth century, while warning of the dangers of a corporate state.
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Genre/Form: Biographies
Biography
Named Person: Edmund Burke; Edmund Burke
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jesse Norman
ISBN: 9780465058976 0465058973 9780465044948 0465044948
OCLC Number: 811598750
Description: 325 pages : illustrations, portraits, maps ; 25 cm
Contents: Pt. I : Life --
An Irishman abroad, 1730-1759 --
In and out of power, 1759-1774 --
Ireland, America and King Mob, 1774-1780 --
India, economical reform and the King's madness, 1780-1789 --
Reflecting on revolution, 1789-1797 --
Pt. II : Thought --
Reputation, reason and the enlightenment project --
The social self --
Forging modern politics --
The rise of liberal individualism --
The recovery of value --
Conclusion : Burke today.
Responsibility: Jesse Norman.

Abstract:

Examines the life of the great Irish philosopher, statesman, and political thinker, who supported abolition, free markets, and Catholic equality in Ireland in the eighteenth century, while warning of the dangers of a corporate state.

"Edmund Burke is both the greatest and the most underrated political thinker of the past three hundred years. A brilliant 18th-century Irish philosopher and statesman, Burke was a fierce champion of human rights and the Anglo-American constitutional tradition, and a lifelong campaigner against arbitrary power. Revered by great Americans including Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, Burke has been almost forgotten in recent years. But as politician and political philosopher Jesse Norman argues in this penetrating biography, we cannot understand modern politics without him. As Norman reveals, Burke was often ahead of his time, anticipating the abolition of slavery and arguing for free markets, equality for Catholics in Ireland, and responsible government in India, among many other things. He was not always popular in his own lifetime, but his ideas about power, community, and civic virtue have endured long past his death. Indeed, Burke engaged with many of the same issues politicians face today, including the rise of ideological extremism, the loss of social cohesion, the dangers of the corporate state, and the effects of revolution on societies. He offers us now a compelling critique of liberal individualism, and a vision of society based not on a self-interested agreement among individuals, but rather on an enduring covenant between generations. Burke won admirers in the American colonies for recognizing their fierce spirit of liberty and for speaking out against British oppression, but his greatest triumph was seeing through the utopian aura of the French Revolution. In repudiating that revolution, Burke laid the basis for much of the robust conservative ideology that remains with us to this day: one that is adaptable and forward-thinking, but also mindful of the debt we owe to past generations and our duty to preserve and uphold the institutions we have inherited. He is the first conservative."--Publisher's description.

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