What Does Burke Have to Do With America?
Cover of issue 40
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What Does Burke Have to Do With America? Europe and an American Conservatism. (2016). The Political Science Reviewer, 40, 37-56. https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/10


Perhaps American conservatives have not paid close enough attention to Edmund Burke. Rather than being too Burkean, as some allege, maybe traditionalists have been too selective, even cavalier, with their appropriation of the presumed European “roots” of the American order. Consider Burke’s most famous rhetorical flourish, the crescendo of his most famous work, where he declared that “the age of chivalry is gone.” If an age is over, then conservatism is for fools—reaction or adaptation are the only meaningful options. When looked at from this perspective, and taking Burke’s words seriously, Burke, the great defender of inherited liberty, seems like a most unlikely forefather of American conservatism.

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