Political Thought

Our titles in political thought encompass the ideals of the classical liberal tradition, such as self-government, the rule of law, and constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and of the press. The collection includes foundational writings from such thinkers as John Locke, David Hume, Bernard Mandeville, and Alexis de Tocqueville, as well as twentieth-century perspectives from writers like Michael Oakeshott and Bertrand de Jouvenel. These titles represent thinkers from different times and contexts, offering the reader a variety of texts that have helped shape the ideas of liberty in today’s society.

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  • In Defense of Freedom and Related Essays

    by Frank S. Meyer

    When it first appeared in 1962, In Defense of Freedom was hailed by Richard M. Weaver as “a brilliant defense of the primacy of the person” and an effective “indictment of statism and bureaucratism.” Meyer examines the tension between the freedom of the person and the power of social institutions. In his view, both the dominant Liberalism and the “New…

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  • In Defense of the Constitution

    by George W. Carey

    In Defense of the Constitution argues that modern disciples of Progressivism who subtly distort fundamental principles of the Constitution are determined to centralize political control in Washington, D.C., to achieve their goal of an egalitarian national society. It is in their distrust of self-government and representative institutions that Progressivists advocate, albeit indirectly, an elitist regime based on the power of…

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  • In Defense of Tradition

    by Richard M. Weaver

    Richard M. Weaver, a thinker and writer celebrated for his unsparing diagnoses and realistic remedies for the ills of our age, is known largely through a few of his works that remain in print. This new collection of Weaver’s shorter writings, assembled by Ted J. Smith III, Weaver’s leading biographer, presents many long-out-of-print and never-before-published works that give new range…

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  • In Pursuit: Of Happiness and Good Government

    by Charles Murray

    Respected author, scholar, and columnist Charles Murray has long challenged accepted notions of public and social policy issues. In this volume, originally published in 1988, Murray presents a persuasive and practical argument that reconsiders commonly held beliefs of what constitutes success in social policy by examining the scope of government and its role in people’s pursuit of happiness. In Pursuit:

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  • The Isle of Pines and Plato Redivivus

    by Henry Neville

    Henry Neville (1620–1694), writes David Womersley in his Introduction, was “an experienced political actor who united a practitioner’s sense of possibility with literary flair and imagination as he struggled to achieve headway for his republican commitments in the deceptive waters of late Stuart monarchy.” Educated at Oxford, Neville made an extended visit to Italy in 1643–44, where he formed long-standing…

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  • John Randolph of Roanoke

    by Russell Kirk

    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. He was, writes Russell Kirk, “devoted to state rights, the agricultural interest, economy in…

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  • Justice and Its Surroundings

    by Anthony de Jasay

    Anthony de Jasay breaks new ground with Justice and Its Surroundings—a collection of trenchant essays that seek to redefine the concept of justice and to highlight the frontier between it and the surrounding issues that encroach upon it and are mistakenly associated with it. This straightforward and terse book analyzes the roles of collective choice, redistribution, and socialism and the…

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  • Lectures on the French Revolution

    by John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

    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. Delivered at Cambridge University between 1895 and 1899, Lectures

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  • Leisure the Basis of Culture

    by Josef Pieper

    This elegantly written work introduces the reader to an understanding that leisure is nothing less than “an attitude of mind and a condition of the soul that fosters a capacity to perceive the reality of the world.” Pieper demonstrates that “Leisure has been, and always will be, the first foundation of any culture,” and observes, “in our bourgeois Western world…

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  • A Letter Concerning Toleration and Other Writings

    by John Locke

    This volume opens with Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration (1689) and also contains his earlier Essay Concerning Toleration (1667), extracts from the Third Letter for Toleration (1692), and a large body of his briefer essays and memoranda on this theme. As editor Mark Goldie writes in the introduction, A Letter Concerning Toleration “was one of the seventeenth century’s most eloquent pleas…

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  • Select Works of Edmund Burke: Letters on a Regicide Peace

    by Edmund Burke

    This famed Payne edition of Select Works of Edmund Burke is universally revered by students of English history and political thought. 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). The Letters, Payne believed, deserve to “rank even before [Burke’s] Reflections, and to be called…

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  • The Liberal Mind

    by Kenneth Minogue

    Kenneth Minogue offers a brilliant and provocative exploration of liberalism in the Western world today: its roots and its influences, its present state, and its prospects in the new century. The Liberal Mind limns the taxonomy of a way of thinking that constitutes the very consciousness of most people in most Western countries. Kenneth Minogue is Emeritus Professor of Political…

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