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Reflections on the Revolution in France | [Edmund Burke]

Reflections on the Revolution in France

This famous treatise began as a letter to a young French friend who asked Edmund Burke’s opinion on whether France’s new ruling class would succeed in creating a better order. Doubtless the friend expected a favorable reply, but Burke was suspicious of certain tendencies of the Revolution from the start and perceived that the revolutionaries were actually subverting the true "social order". Blending history with principle and graceful imagery with profound practical maxims, this book is one of the most influential political treatises in the history of the world.
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Publisher's Summary

This famous treatise began as a letter to a young French friend who asked Edmund Burke’s opinion on whether France’s new ruling class would succeed in creating a better order. Doubtless the friend expected a favorable reply, but Burke was suspicious of certain tendencies of the Revolution from the start and perceived that the revolutionaries were actually subverting the true "social order". As a Christian - he was not a man of the Enlightenment - Burke knew religion to be man’s greatest good and established order to be a fundamental pillar of civilization.

Blending history with principle and graceful imagery with profound practical maxims, this book is one of the most influential political treatises in the history of the world. Said Russell Kirk, "The Reflections must be read by anyone who wishes to understand the great controversies of modern politics."

Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797) became a member of Parliament in 1765. He championed the unpopular cause of Catholic emancipation and a great part of his career became dedicated to the problem of India. The French Revolution prompted one of his best-known works, Reflections on the Revolution in France.

Public Domain (P)1990 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Burke’s views are as pertinent today as they were 200 years ago. His comments and criticisms of the French Revolution can be applied to 20th-century revolutions. It is interesting that his reflections are echoed by so many revisionist French Revolution historians in the past several years." (Professor Jeanne A. Ojala, University of Utah)

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  • Alan Michael Forrester
    Northampton
    7/8/13
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    "Great book and reading"

    Edmund Burke was an 18th century politician and philosopher and his most famous book is "Reflections on the Revolution in France". While many of the politicians and philosophers around Burke praised the French revolution, Burke condemned it in this book. The French revolutionaries were largely composed of people who had abstract ideas about the way people ought to behave that they were willing to impose by force and destroy the rule of law in the process. The regime they were throwing out was not tyrannical, rather the king was willing to make reforms. Burke was largely correct in his assessment and makes this argument at great length with great eloquence. Burke was condemned as a reactionary by many despite the fact that he had helped to bring about many liberal reforms and pursued the impeachement of Warren Hastings, the tyrranical head of the East India company. Apparently being willing to sanction violence and the destruction of the rule of law is required to be an enlightened political thinker. It is worth your while to listen to the book if you are interested in political philosophy or the French revolution.

    Bernard Mayes reads the book clearly and with good emphasis.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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