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Extended Audio Sample Edmund Burke: The First Conservative Audiobook, by Jesse Norman Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jesse Norman Narrator: Antony Ferguson Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2013 ISBN: 9781452687322
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Edmund Burke is both the greatest and the most underrated political thinker of the past three hundred years. A brilliant 18th-century Irish philosopher and statesman, Burke was a fierce champion of human rights and the Anglo-American constitutional tradition, and a lifelong campaigner against arbitrary power. Revered by great Americans including Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, Burke has been almost forgotten in recent years. But as politician and political philosopher Jesse Norman argues in this penetrating biography, we cannot understand modern politics without him. As Norman reveals, Burke was often ahead of his time, anticipating the abolition of slavery and arguing for free markets, equality for Catholics in Ireland, and responsible government in India, among many other things. He was not always popular in his own lifetime, but his ideas about power, community, and civic virtue have endured long past his death. Indeed, Burke engaged with many of the same issues politicians face today, including the rise of ideological extremism, the loss of social cohesion, the dangers of the corporate state, and the effects of revolution on societies. He offers us now a compelling critique of liberal individualism, and a vision of society based not on a self-interested agreement among individuals, but rather on an enduring covenant between generations. Burke won admirers in the American colonies for recognizing their fierce spirit of liberty and for speaking out against British oppression, but his greatest triumph was seeing through the utopian aura of the French Revolution. In repudiating that revolution, Burke laid the basis for much of the robust conservative ideology that remains with us to this day: one that is adaptable and forward-thinking, but also mindful of the debt we owe to past generations and our duty to preserve and uphold the institutions we have inherited. He is the first conservative. A rich, accessible, and provocative biography, Edmund Burke describes Burke's life and achievements alongside his momentous legacy, showing how Burke's analytical mind and deep capacity for empathy made him such a vital thinker-both for his own age, and for ours. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A top-notch introduction to Burke and his paternity of political systems throughout the Western Hemisphere. Even better, the author points out where ignoring Burke's thoughts have caused unnecessary difficulties. Kirkus Starred Review
  • “You won’t find a more impressive political philosopher than the eighteenth-century MP who more or less invented Anglosphere conservatism. And you won’t find a pithier, more readable treatise on his life and works than this one. I reckon any open-minded reader will finish the book as a conservative.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Norman has the knack for presenting in clear and cogent terms notions taken from political theory, philosophy, and the social sciences…The call for political prudence, the emphasis on provisional solutions, and the reminder that change, while it must be moderated, is necessary: our era’s conservative activists are trampling these Burkean conservative ideals. At the very least, Jesse Norman’s account of Edmund Burke’s thought leads us to our own reflections on the current revolution in America.”

    Los Angeles Times Review of Books

  • “Norman’s Burke biography ought to be one of the hot books for the Right over the next year. Like Burke, Norman is a philosopher as well as a politician. He offers a brisk and engaging introduction to the iconic thinker’s life and thought.”

    Washington Post

  • [A] lucid and thrilling exposition of [Burke’s] political philosophy…The second part of the book is pure brilliance, a refreshingly candid and discursive examination of Burke’s philosophy, and how the West might be wise to readopt it…There are many, many original and excellent thoughts about Burke in this volume, too many to be discussed here…Any amateur or professional student of political philosophy should take Mr. Norman’s book seriously.”

    Washington Times

  • “[A] superb new biography…Burke may be a conservative but, as he would have explained better than anyone, his is an inheritance for all of society.”

    Financial Times (London)

  • AudioFile Earphones Award winner
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About the Author

Jesse Norman is widely regarded as one of the rising stars of the British House of Commons. As a member of parliament for Hereford and South Herefordshire, he was given the prestigious Parliamentarian of the Year award in 2012. Educated at Oxford University (BA) and University College London (MPhil, PhD), he has taught philosophy at University College London and is the author of several books and political works, including Compassionate Conservatism. He lives in Hereford and London.

About the Narrator

Antony Ferguson was born in London. He has performed successfully on both sides of the Atlantic and has played many leading roles in theater, film, and television. He has over fifty audiobooks to his credit and is an AudioFile Earphones Award winner.