The Great Debate (inbunden)
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Basic Books
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The Great Debate (inbunden)

The Great Debate

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

Inbunden Engelska, 2013-12-03
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For more than two centuries, our political life has been divided between a party of progress and a party of conservation. In The Great Debate , Yuval Levin explores the origins of the left/right divide by examining the views of the men who best represented each side of that debate at its outset: Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine. In a ground-breaking exploration of the roots of our political order, Levin shows that American partisanship originated in the debates over the French Revolution, fueled by the fiery rhetoric of these ideological titans. Levin masterfully shows how Burke's and Paine's differing views, a reforming conservatism and a restoring progressivism, continue to shape our current political discourse,on issues ranging from abortion to welfare, education, economics, and beyond. Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand Washington's often acrimonious rifts, The Great Debate offers a profound examination of what conservatism, liberalism, and the debate between them truly amount to.
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"The Great Debate's architecture is clever and intellectually persuasive... a thoughtful introduction to this famous paradigmatic opposition." -Washington Post "The Great Debate is a masterful and loving piece of work, the kind of solo performance that commands mute attention and makes even a crinkled cough-drop wrapper sound like an errant clang of the gong. It does more than announce Levin's arrival; it is, in itself, a refutation--this time with an inerrant clang--of the factitious notion that intellectual conservatism is a bygone thing." -Commentary "Levin enters into another great debate that riles academia: between historians insisting upon the uniqueness and specificity of events, which defy abstractions and generalizations, and philosophers impatient with the ephemera and contingency of events, which do not rise to the level of truth and certainty. Here too he rises to the occasion, satisfying the scruples of historians and philosophers alike. From a debate raged about an event centuries ago, he deduces truths that illuminate some of our most vexing political and social problems today." -Weekly Standard "In a Burkean manner, Mr. Levin enriches through wisdom rather than prescription. He gives us something more than a manual of past lessons--namely, the historical framework to achieve greater understanding." -Wall Street Journal "[A] wonderful book." -Los Angeles Times "In this lively and probing book, Levin, one of the most influential conservative writers in the United States, looks at the ideas of Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine, towering figures in the late-eighteenth-century transatlantic Enlightenment...The Great Debate won't settle any of the political disputes roiling U.S. politics today, but those who read it carefully will find it easier to understand their opponents-and perhaps even to find some common ground." -Foreign Affairs "A dazzling, engaging, clearly written examination...If America puts its faith in the political Right again, it is the perceptive mind of Yuval Levin that will help provide the answer." -The Standpoint, UK "A judicious, nuanced, and accessible precis that reveals both Burke and Paine to be complicated and compelling thinkers. This sympathetic treatment of the two men, in turn, allows Levin to paint an intellectual picture of right and left that is more gray than black and white, something all too rare today." -Democracy Journal "[Has] potential to have long-lasting impact on a reader...Levin's book forces the reader to stop and create space for thought and reflection, and does not spoon-feed easy answers or applications to today's politics. It does, however, raise serious questions about whether the new obsession with 'data-based' decision-making, the Nate Silver-ization of journalism and politics, could be taken too far if we come to believe that everything in public life can be answered by the scientific method. It also poses significant queries worth grappling with for those rightly concerned about the growing gap between rich and poor. Levin echoes Burke's challenge to reformers to proceed with caution, and with humility." -Huffington Post "[An] extremely absorbing book... indeed it makes one despair for the future of Burkeans in American politics--but you'll have to read this excellent book to know why." -Jesse Norman, American Conservative "While a passionate critic of the French revolution, Burke supported the claims of the American colonies to independence -- while never uttering the word 'revolution', of course -- on the grounds that the British crown had broken with tradition and custom by imposing new taxes. Perhaps it is fitting, then, that is has taken an American to bring Burke's ideas so vividly back to life." -Guardian, UK "The Great Debate's excellent writing about 18th-century history and political theory will inform and educate readers." -Washington I

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Yuval Levin is the Hertog Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy centre and the founder and editor of National Affairs. A contributing editor to the Weekly Standard and National Review, he lives in Maryland.