The Great Debate

The Great Debate

Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left

Book - 2013
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Grand Central Pub
An acclaimed portrait of Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the origins of modern conservatism and liberalism

In The Great Debate, Yuval Levin explores the roots of the left/right political divide in America by examining the views of the men who best represented each side at its origin: Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine. Striving to forge a new political path in the tumultuous age of the American and French revolutions, these two ideological titans sparred over moral and philosophical questions about the nature of political life and the best approach to social change: radical and swift, or gradual and incremental. The division they articulated continues to shape our political life today.

Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the basis of our political order and Washington's acrimonious rifts today, The Great Debate offers a profound examination of what conservatism, progressivism, and the debate between them truly amount to.

Baker & Taylor
Argues that the liberal and conservative divide in politics began with the debate between Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine over the merits of the French Revolution and how that debate continues to influence the American political discourse.

Perseus Publishing
An acclaimed portrait of Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the origins of modern conservatism and liberalism

In The Great Debate, Yuval Levin explores the roots of the left/right political divide in America by examining the views of the men who best represented each side at its origin: Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine. Striving to forge a new political path in the tumultuous age of the American and French revolutions, these two ideological titans sparred over moral and philosophical questions about the nature of political life and the best approach to social change: radical and swift, or gradual and incremental. The division they articulated continues to shape our political life today.

Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the basis of our political order and Washington's acrimonious rifts today, The Great Debate offers a profound examination of what conservatism, progressivism, and the debate between them truly amount to.


Baker
& Taylor

"In The Great Debate Yuval Levin explores the origins of the familiar left/right divide in American politics by examining the views of the men who best represent each side of that debate: Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine. In a groundbreaking exploration of the origins of our political order, Levin shows that our political divide did not originate (as many historians argue) in the French Revolution, but rather in the Anglo-American debate about that revolution. Burke and Paine were both utterly fascinating figures--active in politics, versed in philosophy, and two of the best, most effective and powerful political writers and polemicists in the history of the English speaking world. Levin sets the work of these two men against the dramatic history of their era and shows how they mixed theory and practice to advance their very different notions of liberty, equality, nature, history, reason, revolution, and reform. Paine believed in radical change and saw the American and French Revolutions as catalysts for creating a new society; Burke believed in a significantly more gradual approach with each generation acting merely as part of a long chain of history. These differing approaches to revolution and reform created a division that continues to shape our currentpolitical discourse--including issues ranging from gun control and abortion to welfare and economic reform"--
Using the historic debates and rhetoric that raged between Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine, a noted conservative thinker explains how the division between the modern day right and left-wingers began.

Publisher: New York : Basic Books, [2013]
ISBN: 9780465050970
0465050972
Branch Call Number: 320.5 L578g
Characteristics: xix, 275 pages ; 25 cm

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DavidSpencer99
May 25, 2017

I read a reference to this one in another book on current political thought and hoped to learn more about the fine points of Burke that conservatives find so compelling these days. Unfortunately, the interesting points were submerged in too much comparison of attitudes and lifestyles. This book should've been a monograph, way shorter and concentrated. It's worthwhile only if you have the time to wade through it.

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