This abridgement of Reflections on the Revolution in France preserves the dynamism of Edmund Burke’s polemic while excising a number of detail-laden passages that may be of less interest to modern readers. Brian R. Clack’s introduction offers a compelling overview of the text and explores the consistency and coherence of Burke’s views on revolution. Burke’s critique of revolutionary politics is illuminated further by the extensive supplementary materials collected in a number of themed appendices.
For an illuminating discussion of Brian R. Clack’s process in abridging this edition, click here.
“In this expertly curated edition of Burke’s Reflections, Brian Clack makes a convincing, well-researched, and beautifully written case against the view that Burke’s political views changed drastically with the penning of the Reflections—that he was once the defender of liberty and reform and suddenly became a reactionary defender of the monarchical status quo. Clack’s introduction is masterful—gracefully written, balanced, and well researched. Nearly every anticipation I felt as I read was met, as Clack has both an understanding of the scholarship on Burke and a writing style that takes the reader down a winding path, unveiling insights that the reader hopes are just around the next turn.” — Seth Vannatta, Morgan State University
"Clack’s abridgement of Burke’s Reflections is a joy to read. All of the essential aspects of Burke’s analysis are still there, and presented in a way that renders that analysis both clearer and more easily accessible for students coming to Burke for the first time. But the real value of this edition is in the remarkable appendices, which situate Burke’s thought in historical and intellectual context. These appendices allow the reader to see not only how the Reflections fit in with Burke’s wider body of thought but also how contemporaries such as Thomas Paine, James Mackintosh, and Mary Wollstonecraft responded to it. What a fantastic resource!" — Matt Zwolinski, University of San Diego
“Burke believed that structures, edifices, and supports were necessary for the perpetuation and prosperity of civil society. In his careful and judicious selection of Burke’s writings and speeches—and those of his adversaries—Clack provides the intellectual structures, edifices, and supports necessary to comprehend the foundations of Reflections on the Revolution in France in its philosophical and practical dimensions. An invaluable and accessible guide for anyone interested in Burke, the intellectual fissures of the Revolution, and the political ideologies they wrought.” — Gregory M. Collins, Yale University, author of Commerce and Manners in Edmund Burke's Political Economy