The classic work by the father of modern conservatism. Burke 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.