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The Portable Edmund Burke Paperback – Jul 2 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (July 2 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140267603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140267600
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.8 x 2.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #358,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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First Sentence
WE LAID IT DOWN as a Certainty in our First Paper, that Taste and Virtue had a close Connection; in Consequence to which, before we attempted to reform the Morals of the People, we began with their Taste; and the Encouragement we have met with makes up hope, that our Industry may at last prove effectual to the Amendment of both: Several perhaps might have been alarmed, and attribute that to particular Prejudice, which was meant for the public Emolument: The Ladies might have feared this Paper was design'd to destroy their Pleasures, when its Aim was but to refine, and render them worthy their Attention. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jared J. Nelson on Jan. 23 2002
Format: Paperback
Presenting Edmund Burke thematically is perhaps the only way to really approach Burke, as Conor Cruise O'Brien or Russell Kirk (Burke's best biographers) would probably agree. So unlike 'On Empire, Liberty, and Reform,' which is chronological, the portable Edmund Burke instead tackles Burke under the themes of America, Ireland, India, and the French Revolution, and a couple other sub-themes, with invaluable commentary. By the end of the book, Burke is better enveloped here than in most biographies, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Broad but emasculated coverage Dec 6 2007
By Martin H. Ambuhl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"The Portable Edmund Burke" is useful in supplying a number of pieces not otherwise easily obtainable. It, like most books in the Viking Portable Library series, is missing the notes and especially the index that many people would have found useful. To make room for the 47 selections, several have been severely abridged. "Reflections on the Revolution is France" is whittled to leave only about 30% of it. Anyone needing this should look to a full-length treatment. Good ones include the Yale edition of Frank M. Turner, which has an excellent index, occasional notes, and several first-class essas; and Oxford World's Classic edition of L.G. Mitchell, which also has a helpful index and good notes. The speech on conciliation with America is similar chopped to a mere shadow of itself. The Lamont edition is not easily obtainable, which is a pity, but the notes and index of the Cambridge edition of Ian Harris will do well enough for most students. 'A Vindication of Natural Society' survives better (about half of it survives in this edition), but again the Harris edition is a better choice.

If you want a wide picture of Burke's writing, this text is probably for you. If you want to read any of his important texts, then choose something else.
51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Amputated rather than edited... May 11 2006
By Edmund More - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Burke's most important work "Reflections on the Revolution in France" is reduced from nearly 200 pages to 60 pages in this volume. Yet nowhere in the book does the editor describe what he selected or what he dropped, or the basis for his decisions.

Comparing my copy of "Reflections.." to this chopped version I found that Kramnick had dropped passages that were highly insightful.

When I discovered this, I could no longer be confident that the other works were not similarly mangled. I will now search for an anthology of works that is more respectful of the originals (or at least one where the editor is more open about his approach).
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Thematic is best Jan. 23 2002
By Jared J. Nelson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Presenting Edmund Burke thematically is perhaps the only way to really approach Burke, as Conor Cruise O'Brien or Russell Kirk (Burke's best biographers) would probably agree. So unlike `On Empire, Liberty, and Reform,' which is chronological, the portable Edmund Burke instead tackles Burke under the themes of America, Ireland, India, and the French Revolution, and a couple other sub-themes, with invaluable commentary. By the end of the book, Burke is better enveloped here than in most biographies, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Not meant to be All The Burke You'll Ever Need Oct. 18 2008
By A. Lowry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I think the 2-star reviewers are missing the point; the "Reflections" are widely available, whereas much of the best of Burke is found in shorter texts that are harder to find. One would expect the editors to favor those texts instead of providing yet another full text of a book that any Burke reader should already have.

(That said, one also suspects that Penguin wants to keep selling its edition of the full "Reflections" ....)

Whatever its faults, there's really no alternative to this volume for the common reader.

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