• Edmund Burke

  • A Genius Reconsidered
  • By: Russell Kirk
  • Narrated by: Jeff Riggenbach
  • Length: 6 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (139 ratings)

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Edmund Burke

By: Russell Kirk
Narrated by: Jeff Riggenbach
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Publisher's Summary

Russell Kirk has ingeniously combined into a living whole the private Burke and the public Burke. He gives us a fresh assessment of Burke, a statesman enjoying even greater influence today than in his own time.

He lucidly unfolds Burke's philosophy, showing how it revealed itself in concrete historical situations in the 18th century and how Burke, through his philosophy, "speaks to our age".

This volume makes vivid the four great struggles in the life of Burke: his work for conciliation with the American colonies; his involvement in cutting down the domestic power of George III; his prosecution of Warren Hastings, the Governor-General of India; and his resistance to Jacobinism, the French Revolution's "armed doctrine."

In each of these great phases of his public life, Burke fought with passionate eloquence and relentless logic for justice and for the proper balance of order and freedom. With sure instinct born of his sympathy and understanding, Russell Kirk gives us the incisive quotation, the illuminating highlight, the moving, all-too-human elements that bring Burke and his times to vivid life.

©1967 by Russell Kirk (P)1994 by Blackstone Audiobooks

What listeners say about Edmund Burke

Average Customer Ratings
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  • K
  • 01-16-13

Narration too Fast for Me

Edmund Burke is indeed a genius, and Kirk gives us an excellent book about him. It is part biography, part analysis of Burke's ideas and significance. If you want an extremely detailed biography or analysis, this book is not the place to go. But if you want Burke in a nutshell (200+ pages), this is ideal. My only complaint: the narrator reads too fast. If you are following along with the text of the book, this may not be a problem. But if you are just listening, you don't have time to digest what the reader just said because he's already racing on to the next sentence. A more moderate tempo is really needed...

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Exceptional book

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in Edmund Burke. Beautifully written, well narrated and very inspiring, Kirk offers a profound perspective into the life and times of Burke.

5 people found this helpful

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Good Intro to Edmund Burke

This book is very interesting and you will learn how relevant Edmund Burke was to the British reactions to the American and French revolutions. Most importantly, how Burke identified the evils of the French Revolution before others could detect the existential danger to civilization. Ultimately, the Jacobins of today (liberals and progressives) still believe the same twisted, dangerous things they believed in the 1700's, this makes Burke very important to the modern conservative.

The book is heavy on policy and light on personal life, which is very good. I am not particularly interested on details like favorite color, problems with mother, and how the hair was combed. Leave that to the new Ron Chernow books, that are basically garbage.

Riggenbach is a narrator that I like and is very clear, he was good in this book.

1 person found this helpful

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Timeless wisdom

I really enjoy learning more about Burke, as he is the father of conservatism I kinda saw Richard hooker as the grandfather.

He is someone who should definitely be taught in American history when speaking about the revolution as well as his reflections on the French revolution.

I like that there is a zoomer authentic conservative realignment, Burke is making a come back, but with dank memes

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A Great Biography by a Great Man

Russell Kirk captures the true essence of who Edmund Burke was. Jeff Riggenbauch’s narration was perfect, his pace kept it interesting while it never seemed rushed. Edmund Burke is a hero of mine, I have read or listened too a number of biographies about him, some were more complete but none were better.

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Audible has butchered a remarkable book

The book was excellent. The narration was excellent. Editing by Audible was both distracting and arbitrary. Chapters from the book ended and began in the middle of chapters in Audible. Finally, to add insult to injury, Audible repeated two Abstracts from the book in their entirety as if they needed to fill enough space to justify the cost of this Audible presentation. Shame on Audible.

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Burke was right

I thought this offered a great explanation of Burke and his philosophy. I find that having discovered Burke for myself, I am a Burkean.

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Oldie but goodie

The recording quality leaves a little bit to be desired but free is free. A+

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Excellent presentation of insightful subject

Learned much about a very influential figure. Narration is at the top on any list of performances.

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A principled conservative

Refreshing short biography of the parent of modern conservatism. A principled, respectable rational man who understood his present (late 1700s )and predicted future outcomes (most notable the carnage of the French Revolution). Sadly so-called conservatives in America today (early 21st century) are more like the radicals of the French Revolution than they are the principled Edmond Burke. Russell Kirks telling of Edmond Burke story is compelling, Burke’s approach to politics and power is as relevant today as ever.

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  • Tommy
  • 11-10-18

Timeless and elegant

A timeless and elegant portrayal of Burke and his ideas. Although the sound quality (from 1994) is mediocre, the quality of the book rewards attentive listening and re-listening.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Terje
  • 08-13-13

Edmund Burk, a great Genius.

If you could sum up Edmund Burke in three words, what would they be?

A great Statesman who understood the need for Individual Liberty. He did not like revolutions, as he predicted that they would be bloody events.

1 person found this helpful

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  • stupormundi
  • 08-24-22

Good general intro spoiled by poor recording

I really liked this book until the final chapter
The recording jumps forward and backward and it is very hard to follow the narrative,
A great shame and I am now wondering whether to abandon the book 52 minutes from the end

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  • M. Lowes
  • 08-22-22

Distracting narration

I was occasionally able to get into this biography but found the narration very off-putting. The reader sounded like a computer though with a strong American twang and a strange pronunciation of some words, such as Whigs (sounded like Hwigs) and absolutism. He also decided not to include the definite article in the names of monarchs, so George III was “George Third” rather than George the Third. I’ve never heard anyone deviate from the convention of including the article before and it took my focus away from the text. The narration was odd and idiosyncratic.

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  • RBM
  • 03-02-22

No complaints.

The life and works of Edmund Burke I knew very little about. I know quite a bit more than very little now. I look forward to re-listening to some of the chapters and taking notes. This audiobook has done a good job of laying the foundations of what might be the first step towards getting a generous whiff of the terrible revolutionary air of Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries.