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Yikes! Yuval Levin is Resurrecting Edmund Burke (BOOK REVIEW)

By       Message Thomas Farrell       (Page 1 of 10 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   5 comments

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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) January 6, 2014: President Barack Obama's re-election victory in 2012 surprised not only his Republican opponent but also many other Republicans as well. Since then, the Republicans have been in disarray. But will they recuperate enough to win significant victories in the upcoming 2014 mid-term elections?


Yikes! Yuval Levin's book The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left (Basic Books, 2014), based on his 2010 doctoral dissertation at the University of Chicago, is clearly designed to be a feel-good read for American conservatives and thereby contribute to their recuperation in time to pull out significant victories in the 2014 mid-term elections.


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However, just as contemporary Republicans are up to no good politically, so too Levin is up to no good in this book, as I will explain momentarily.


For understandable reasons, many American progressives and liberals today are probably not as familiar with the political views of Edmund Burke (1729-1797) and Thomas Paine (1737-1809) as Levin is. As a result, many progressives and liberals today might quickly skip over Levin's book. But it might be a mistake for them to ignore or under-estimate what Levin is up to by giving his fellow American conservatives today a feel-good book to read to bolster their spirits in time for the 2014 mid-term elections.

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No, there's not a word in Levin's book about possibly repealing Obamacare -- if Republicans can gain enough seats in Congress in the 2014 mid-term elections to over-ride President Obama's predictable veto. Ah, wouldn't that be the greatest victory for the Republican obstructionists in Congress?


No, there's not a word in Levin's book about the obstructionist tactics of Republicans in Congress over the last two years.


No, there's not a word in Levin's book about the Republicans' efforts to overturn and reverse legalized abortion in the first trimester.

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No, there's not a word about outlawing the teaching of evolutionary theory in public secondary education, or about requiring equal time in public education for so-called intelligent-design theory, or about requiring textbooks to advertise that evolutionary theory is a theory, not a fact.


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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

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