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Empire and Revolution: A Satisfyingly Massive Political Biography of Edmund Burke that is still Too Short.

July 9, 2016

Cos Burke died on this day



I think this is the best book of its kind that has been or will be.  Following fairly soon in the wake of David Bromwich and F.P. Lock, Richard Bourke’s 1000 page epic offers perhaps the definitive attempt to make sense of Edmund Burke’s political thought – to investigate apparent (to his contemporaries glaring) inconsistencies and demonstrate defining continuities in the life of a very busy man.  In terms of serious analysis of the values and imperatives that defined Burke’s political interventions, this book is, quite simply, top.

Yet, at the end of it all, we’re left lacking something.  Indeed, the book itself feels rather short and Burke himself seems somewhat truncated.

Edmund Burke was the hardest working man in eighteenth-century politics.  He opened his mouth often, and once that mouth was open it stayed open for hours at a time.  Yet he never commenced shooting his mouth off until…

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