Empire and Revolution: The Political Life of Edmund Burke

A major new account of one of the leading philosopher-statesmen of the eighteenth century


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Sep 8, 2015
9 halftones. 1 table. 2 maps.
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Edmund Burke (1730–97) lived during one of the most extraordinary periods of world history. He grappled with the significance of the British Empire in India, fought for reconciliation with the American colonies, and was a vocal critic of national policy during three European wars. He also advocated reform in Britain and became a central protagonist in the great debate on the French Revolution. Drawing on the complete range of printed and manuscript sources, Empire and Revolution offers a vivid reconstruction of the major concerns of this outstanding statesman, orator, and philosopher. In restoring Burke to his original political and intellectual context, this book overturns the conventional picture of a partisan of tradition against progress and presents a multifaceted portrait of one of the most captivating figures in eighteenth-century life and thought. A boldly ambitious work of scholarship, this book challenges us to rethink the legacy of Burke and the turbulent era in which he played so pivotal a role.

Awards and Recognition

  • Co-Winner of the 2015 István Hont Book Prize, Institute of Intellectual History
  • Honorable Mention for the 2018 Laura Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies, Nanovic Institute
  • Honorable Mention for the 2016 PROSE Award in Biography & Autobiography, Association of American Publishers
  • Selected for the Claremont Review of Books CRB Christmas Reading List 2015
  • One of The Guardian’s Best Books of 2015
  • One of The Indian Express Stand-Out Books of the Year 2015
  • One of the Irish Times 2015 Readers’ Books of the Year
  • Selected for National Review Online’s “Some Great 2015 Books”
  • One of The Spectator 2015 Books of the Year