A Petty Statesman. Writings on War and International Affairs

David Hume was not only a lover of political speculation, who dealt with politics in his most important works, but also an expert in military strategies and techniques; a friend and confidant of generals, ministers, parliamentarians, local administrators, dukes, and barons. He was also a talented diplomat, a moderate member of the British government, and an original interpreter of international affairs and war, which he experienced first-hand on the battlefield. Nevertheless, until today, Hume’s practical experience as statesman has not been adequately considered. In this book, in the first complete edition, the five writings concerning Hume’s involvement in the practice of policy are collected: A True Account of the Behaviour and Conduct of Archibald Stewart, late Lord Provost of Edinburgh (1748); Account of the Descent on the Coast of Brittany and the Causes of its Failure (1746); Journal of the British Embassy to the Courts of Vienna and Turin (1748); Dispatches of a British Diplomat at Paris (1764-65); and Correspondence of an Under-Secretary of State (1767-68).

David Hume (1711-1776), Scottish historian, philosopher, economist, and statesman, is considered the most important author ever to write in English in the XVIII century. Along with the works that made him famous all over the world, such as A Treatise of Human Nature (1739); Essays, Moral and Political (1741-1742); and History of England (1754- 1762), he wrote deeply important accounts of his participation in public affairs, as the secretary of a general, an analyst of war, a diplomat and under-secretary of state.

Spartaco Pupo is Associate Professor of History of Political Thought at the University of Calabria. His research has mainly focused on David Hume’s political thought, to which he has dedicated several works with the purpose of rediscovering the figure of Hume as an influential political theorist and statesman. He has edited and introduced the Italian complete edition of Hume’s political writings (Libertà e moderazione, 2016), the first Italian edition of the Humean writings on war (Scritti sulla guerra, 2017), of the Hume-Rousseau dispute (Contro Rousseau, 2017), and of the Humean youthful writings (Civiltà e barbarie, 2018).