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The Idea of America [Hardcover]

Bill Bonner , Pierre Lemieux

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Book Description

March 1 2003
In their new book, visionaries Pierre Lemieux and William Bonner invite readers to reexamine long accepted notions of what America is and what it means to be an American. Lemieux and Bonner carefully chose each of the written works included in the striking anthology to spark imagination, thought, and debate.

Each of the selections--some well-known classics and others the thoughts of less conventional thinkers--builds on the next, engaging readers in an exploration of the concepts that are fundamental to our view of who we are. No stone is left unturned as subjects ranging from individual liberty to religion and self reliance are covered through the words of some of the most creative thinkers ever to put pen to paper.

This arresting collection contains one of the most unique mixes of works ever to be compiled. From the documents that gave birth to America--the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights--to the insightful reflections from the always delightful H.L. Mencken on the American character and Ralph Waldo Emerson's classic words on individual and religious self reliance. The Idea of America is a true celebration of the spirit that is America.

Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Agora Health Books (March 1 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891434136
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891434136
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for any true United States of America patriot . . . Feb. 9 2009
By Philip Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
The product description is apt and as such deserves serious attention to the content of this small but trenchant volume.
Living as we do in 2009 in a society where education is marginal at best in most areas, this terse volume elucidates what conceived and brought forth the constitutional republic that became the United States of America and what has made it unique in all of human history.
Much blood was willingly and even eagerly spilled to bring forth the freedoms in the USA that are now taken for granted and are in grave danger of being lost due to the lack of understanding of their value or how they were so dearly obtained.
More than mere history, this small volume illuminates the foundations of these freedoms; that once lost are not likely to ever be seen again within the great country that has been known as the United States of America.
This book cannot be recommended too highly.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old English documents focus on America's early history. Nov. 9 2010
By Augustina Hernandez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Worth reading for history buffs. Often difficult to understand due to the early style of writing in the late 17th Century. Well worth the effort. The collection of documents from American and European thinkers shed light on the ideas that began to shape America prior to the revolutionary war with England.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story; But Credit Due to Other Ignored Masses Aug. 4 2014
By bill greene - Published on Amazon.com
This is an excellent summary of America's founding principles--the successful ideas and social framework that allowed our spectacular rise from a remote wilderness to the world's leading free nation. It is a testament to the many Europeans who had struggled for 500 years since the Magna Carta to establish individual rights for every citizen. The protection of private property, trial by jury, and all the institutional and legal protections ever so gradually torn from the hands of European aristocracies outlined the intent of our founders. It must be noted that even after The beheading of Charles I in the 17th Century, most common people in Europe were denied full freedom. That discontented horde started a flood to the the New World and built on the principles they wanted their families to live under.

The material in this book recreates many of these yearnings, as expressed by the eminent contributing authors. What is not made clear is that these writers did not create these principles; it was not an intellectual elite who designed the perfect NEW World that became America the Beautiful. And the nation to be was not the work of central planners dictating from the top-down! The writers featured here merely summarized the principles already established by common merchants, lawyers, and farmers throughout history from the days of the Early Greek yeoman that Victor Davis Hanson has written about. After all, in 1581, before John Locke could take pen to paper, the common Dutch merchants had re-affirmed their God-given right to individual freedom when they successfully got rid of the hated Spanish rulers. Their "Oath of Abjuration," establishinhg their RIGHT to remove their King, reads like a first draft of our Declaration of Independence, almost a century ahead of Jefferson.

There was a long history of such common people demanding such rights; the famed "writers" merely summarized their demands, often poorly, and sometimes even limiting all that the American settlers really wanted. But the flood of ambitious free people to America left behind the aristocrats, intellectuals, and the old ideas about government, leaving them free to build a true democracy and a free and open economy.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Idea May 14 2007
By Robert B. Hall - Published on Amazon.com
No product link for this. This is a superb book and gives very good and varied ideas of America in its founding days. Should be recommended reading for all ages, especially in school. AMAZON has a great price as well. It is also very easy to read. The product link would read "The Idea of America" by Bill Bonner, Pierre Lemieux

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