Bill Kerwin's Reviews > Reflections on the Revolution in France

Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke
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Feb 25, 2016

it was amazing
bookshelves: history
Read in October, 2007


In this classic work, Burke--the father of modern conservatism--criticizes the architects of the French Revolution and the new revolutionary government for their unyielding radicalism and wanton destruction of society's institutions. In Burke's view, the traditions of a society should be respected and its institutions altered gradually; a tradition should be eliminated or an institution replaced only if there is a reasonable assurance that the society as a whole will benefit.

Some of this is pretty heavy-going (particularly the details about the composition of the Directory and the Cantons), but it is very wise and extremely well-written. Contemporary conservatism would benefit greatly from drinking deeply at the well of Burke.
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02/25/2016 marked as: read

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message 1: by Jamie (last edited Oct 21, 2015 10:44PM) (new)

Jamie Flower Have you read Thomas Paine's Rights of Man? If so, what do you think?


Bill  Kerwin Jamie wrote: "Have you read Thomas Paine's Rights of Man? If so, what do you think?"

I've read "Common Sense," but not "The Rights of Man," but I am familiar with what it says and find its concept of radical democracy more attractive than Burke's.

But Burke is a reasonable man, and worth paying attention to--unlike many of the reactionaries who claim to admire him.


Orion_metalhead I actually want to read this because of Paine's attack on Burke's position.


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