Rather, “Prudence favored reform beforenrevolution.”nStanlis’s chapters on “Burke and thenRevolution of the Enlightenment” andn”Burke and the Sensibility of Rousseau”nconstitute not only a tour de force ofnscholarship, but they serve as a critiquenof modernity. The chapter on thenEnlightenment serves to explain Burke’snapparent skepticism towards reason as anskepticism towards “discursive rationalism”nand “speculative ideology”—ntowards what Maritain regarded as “angelism.”nHere, abstract reason seeks tonimpose itself on politics disregarding circumstancesnand ignoring what Burkencalled “political reason,” or practical reason.nThe chapter on Rousseau bringsntogether the scathing charges of Burkenagainst the spirit of the French Revolutionnincluding its radical individualism,ncouched in Rousseau’s “central principlenthat people are by nature morally good”nbut are corrupted by “the demands ofnsocial customs and institutions.” It isnhere, especially, that Stanlis brings ournfocus to bear on the greatest relevance ofnBurke, which is his condemnation ofnextreme individualism and the elevationnof the sovereignty of the individualnwill. Consider Stanlis’s own words innhis chapter on “Burke the Perennial PoliticalnPhilosopher”: “But Burke’s greatestnrelevance in the twentieth centuryn… lies in his criticism of the respectivencrimes and follies of totalitarian tyrannynin all its modem forms, and of the anarchynof selfish egoists who think they cannlive in society as though they existednas isolated, atomized individuals in anpre-civil state of nature.” Clearly, atntimes Burke employed the modem languagenof “social contract” and “naturalnrights,” but he did so only in the contextnof a natural law philosophy, stressingnthe social nature of man, his place in annLIBERAL ARTSnPRISONS ANfD AIDSnAn Indiana prison inmate filed a lawsuitnthat would “force the state to providenprisoners with condoms,” the ChicagonTribune reported last February. ArthurnSquires, a convicted sex offender, fearsnthe effect “a high rate of homosexualnactivity” will have on the spread of AIDS.nA prison spokesman said providing condomsnwould contradict existing policynthat prohibits “the type of activity thatnspreads the AIDS virus.”n36/CHRONICLESnintelligible, created universe with a hierarchynof natures and in a civil society thatnhas as its main purpose the virtuous realizationnof human persons in community-nOne of Stanlis’s most insightful pointsnis lodged within an endnote in which henasserts that Burke is rtot a “status quo”nconservative. He pointedly unveils onenof the most stunning inanities of recentnjournalism, which identifies “as conservativenthe most radical and doctrinairenMarxist governments that resist everyneffort to reform or displace their totalitarianntyranny.” How absurd are suchnphrases as “the conservative, communistnhardliners in Beijing,” or descriptionsnof the failed coup in the Soviet Union lastnAugust as an example of “reactionary conservativesntrying to turn the clock back toncommunism,” and how deft is Stanlis’snexposure of a basic misunderstanding ofnBurkean conservatism.nFinally, we find in Stanlis’s work anfit assessment of Burke’s power as a writer.n”Burke did appeal to his reader’s reason,nsense, and emotions, but the merenpresence of these ingredients in hisnspeeches and writings did not, in themselves,nmake his style powerful. His imaginativenfusion of all of these elements, hisnskill in converting an image into a statenof mind and feeling, combined with hisnmoral imagination, intuition, and erudition,nenable his readers to leap fromnsight to insight, from the physical sensento the metaphysical essence of his subject,nso that at once they saw, understood,nand felt profoundly the whole point of hisnargument. . . . His ability to reason innmetaphor was the hallmark of his politicalnthought.”nIn the smooth, flowing, economical,nerudite, and deeply philosophical stylenof Peter Stanlis, Edmund Burke hasnacquired ^an expositor of uncommon abilitynand tempered passion. The Burkenscholar who has failed to engage Stanlis’snworks risks the earned disapproval of subsequentngenerations of Burke students.nThose who seriously study Burke in lightnof Stanlis are altogether likely to discovernthe evasive “golden key” to Burke’snpolitical philosophy.nJoseph Pappin III is chairman of thendepartment of philosophy and religiousnstudies of the University of Arkansas atnLittle Rock. He is the author of TTienMetaphysics of Edmund Burke, to benpublished by Fordham University Pressnthis summer.nnnSheer Christianitynby Frank BiownlownChesterton and thenModernist CrisisnEdited by Aidan Nichols, O.P.nSaskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada:nThe Chesterton Review Press;n222 pp., $24.50nThinkers of Our Time:nG.K. Chestertonnby Ian CrowthernLondon: The Claridge Press; $21.00nF or a long time after “modem” firstncame into the language, it was anninnocuous little word, the simple oppositenof “ancient,” and insofar as it hadnconnotations, they were not very goodnones. Shakespeare always used it to meann”commonplace,” with strong suggestionsnof the slipshod and the second-rate.nThe Enlightenment and the FrenchnRevolution changed that. The elite spiritsnof Europe, convinced they were livingnunder what George Bush would call an”new order,” consigned most thingsnancient to oblivion, and decided thatnbeing modem was a necessity. One resultnwas that every institution that tracednits origins to the distant past or that livednby tradition found itself in serious philosophicalntrouble. And of course thenCatholic Church, besieged by liberals,nsocialists, evolutionists, higher critics,nand Hegelians, was one of them. ThenChurch’s tussle with the new order producednthe “modernist crisis” of 1902-n1907, which ended (for the time being)nwith the condemnation of modemism asna synthesis of the heresies and the impositionnof an antimodemist oath. Chestertonnand the Modernist Crisis consists ofnnine essays placing Chesterton in relationnto those events, and offering some commentnon the crisis and on some of thenactors in it. The book originated in 1989nas an issue of the Chesterton Review.nThe essays are a varied group. For collectorsnof ecclesiastical eccentricity—nalways a wide and growing field—therenare fascinating contributions by ValentinenMoran and Aidan Nichols on thenEnglish modernist Father Tyrrell andnhis aristocratic backer, Maud Petre. Inn”The Politics of the Anglican Modemists,”nAlan Wilkinson describes somenpeculiar characters on the modernist siden