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The Great Debate

The Great Debate

Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left
Yuval Levin, The Great Debate. Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left, New York, Basic Books, 2014, 273 p., ISBN : 978-0-465-05097-0.
Notice publiée le 15 janvier 2014

Présentation de l'éditeur

A noted conservative intellectual and commentator looks to the late 18th century debate between two legendary thinkers, Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine, for the roots of America's contemporary political divide.

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 groundbreaking 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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Yuval Levin

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

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