The Great Debate
Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left
Publication Date: January 2014
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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.
Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep talks to writer Yuval Levin about the origins of the American political right and left. In his new book The Great Debate, Levin traces the birth of the left/right divide to the views of two men: Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine. More at NPR.org
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