by George A. Panichas
Edmund Burke: A Genius Reconsidered, by Russell Kirk, with a Foreword by Roger Scruton, Wilmington, Delaware: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 1997.
Russell Kirk’s book on Edmund Burke, first published in 1967, now revised and handsomely re-issued, testifies not only to the “enduring Burke,” but also to the enduring Kirk. As a British statesman and political philosopher of “inspired wisdom,” Burke (1729-1797) continues to address our time and condition. And as an American man of letters, Kirk (1918-1994) fully possesses the critical and sapiential acumen-and the sympathy of vision-to elucidate Burke’s life and thought. In essence this book serves an introduction to the meaning and importance of Burke’s achievement. Indeed Kirk’s book, in its clarity of expression, its illumination of ideas, its cogency of organization and development, exemplifies standards that a critical study, if it is to have lasting value, has to satisfy. At the same time, its conveyed insight and wisdom make it far more than an introduction, and give it an added critical dimension. Unpretentious and straightforward, and with an impelling honesty of approach and interpretation, this book has the wonderful ability to guide a reader through the most significant and intricate avenues of Burke’s contribution. [Read more...]