The French political philosopher and historian François Guizot (1787–1874) was one of the French Doctrinaires, thinkers who sought to avoid the interpretations of the Revolution advanced by either extreme of Left or Right. He argued that in order to understand the nature of political institutions it is necessary to study first the society, its composition, mores, and the relation between various classes. At the very center of his theory lies the principle of the sovereignty of reason.
John Randolph of Roanoke is unique in American political history. For most of his public career Randolph was a leader of the opposition—to both Jeffersonians and Federalists. Only twenty-six when first elected to Congress in 1799, he readily became the most forceful figure at the Capitol.
Renowned for his Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy and Reflections on History, Jacob Burckhardt (1818–1897) has well been described as “the most civilized historian of the nineteenth century.” Judgments on History and Historians consists of records collected by Emil Dürr from Burckhardt’s lecture notes for history courses at the University of Basel from 1865 to 1885. The 149 brief sections span five eras: Antiquity, the Middle Ages, History from 1450 to 1598, the History of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, and the Age of Revolution.
This collection of the lectures of Lord Acton on the French Revolution comprises a disciplined, thorough, and elegant history of the actual events of the bloody episode. It is as thorough a record as could be constructed in Acton’s time of the actions of the government of France during the Revolution.
As a rule, an author’s correspondence possesses only a secondary interest, but Jacob Burckhardt’s letters are of primary interest to students of history because of the nature of the man and of his major writings. Judgments on History and Historians, for example, consists not of Burckhardt’s own lectures, but of notes on his lectures by one of his greatest students. It is because Burckhardt was a remarkably private man who believed that contemplation was the key to insight into the nature of man and history, and because his approach to the study of history was reflective rather than systematic or dogmatic, that his letters possess a singular significance. For it is in his letters that Burckhardt provides additional and even personal observations on his learned explorations of antiquity, the Renaissance, and modern Europe, and it is in his letters that Burckhardt muses on the consequences that he believed—and feared—awaited a Europe that had given itself almost wholly to a rationalistic and materialistic understanding of history and destiny.
This famed Payne edition of Select Works of Edmund Burke is universally revered by students of English history and political thought.
The Liberty Fund second edition of James T. Schleifer’s celebrated study of Tocqueville includes a new preface by the author and an epilogue, “The Problem of the Two Democracies.” For the first time, the evolution of a number of Tocqueville’s central themes—democracy, individualism, centralization, despotism—emerges into clear relief.
This famed Payne edition of Select Works of Edmund Burke is universally revered by students of English history and political thought. Volume 1, Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents and The Two Speeches on America, contains Burke’s brilliant defense of the American colonists’ complaints of British policy, including “Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents” (1770), “Speech on American Taxation” (1774), and “Speech on Conciliation” (1775). Volume 2 consists of Burke’s renowned Reflections on the Revolution in France. Volume 3 presents Burke’s Four Letters on the Proposals for Peace with the Regicide Directory of France—generally styled Letters on a Regicide Peace (1795–1796).
Originally published in German in 1936, The Natural Law is the first work to clarify the differences between traditional natural law as represented in the writings of Cicero, Aquinas, and Hooker and the revolutionary doctrines of natural rights espoused by Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau.
The Rationale of Central Banking was first published in England in 1936. Vera Smith spent her professional career in a variety of research positions. She wrote articles and books on money, banking, economic development, and the labor market and translated into English books by Wilhelm Röpke, Oskar Morgenstern, and Fritz Machlup.
Originally published by Oxford University Press in the 1890s, the famed three-volume Payne edition of Select Works is universally revered by students of English history and political thought. Faithfully reproduced in each volume are E. J. Payne’s notes and introductory essays. Francis Canavan, one of the great Burke scholars of the twentieth century, has added forewords.