On Empire, Liberty, and Reform


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Speeches and Letters

Edmund Burke; Edited by David Bromwich

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The great British statesman Edmund Burke had a genius for political argument, and his impassioned speeches and writings shaped English public life in the second half of the eighteenth century. This anthology of Burke’s speeches, letters, and pamphlets, selected, introduced, and annotated by David Bromwich, shows Burke to be concerned with not only preserving but also reforming the British empire.

Bromwich includes eighteen works of Burke, all but one in its complete form. These writings, among them the “Speech on Conciliation with the American Colonies,” A Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol, the “Speech at Guildhall Previous to the Election” of 1780, the “Speech on Fox’s India Bill,” A Letter to a Noble Lord, and several private letters, demonstrate the depth of Burke’s efforts to reform the empire in India, America, and Ireland. On these various fronts he defended the human rights of native peoples, the respect owed to partners in trade, and the civil liberties that the empire was losing at home while extending its power abroad.

David Bromwich is Housum Professor of English at Yale University. He is the author of Hazlitt: The Mind of a Critic and Politics by Other Means, both published by Yale University Press.

“With its imaginative, well-constructed, and challenging Introduction . . . this book will offer any reader fresh and provocative insights into the complex genius of Burke. . . . It is good to encounter such a refreshing appreciation of the enduring significance of Burke’s thought, and there is much in Bromwich’s intriguing concepts of representation that will exercise the student of Burke.”—Ian Crowe, Modern Age

"A wonderfully intelligent and well-selected edition which teases out the complexity and consistencies of Burke’s arguments at all stages of his career."—Linda Colley, Leverhulme Research Professor of History, London School of Economics

“This book is a model for anthology and for sagacious commentary. Bromwich’s general introduction and the particular introductions to each of the items are of the highest quality, combining literary analysis, historical knowledge and judgment, and political philosophy.”—Harvey Mansfield, Harvard University

“Those students and scholars interested in Edmund Burke’s meditations on the American Revolution, the nature of eighteenth-century imperialism, and, above all, his long struggle against Warren Hastings and the East India Company, will be decidedly rewarded by a perusal of On Empire, Liberty, and Reform.James J. Sack, H-Net Reviews

ISBN: 9780300081473
Publication Date: April 10, 2000
536 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
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