The Idea of America Hardcover – Mar 1 2003
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.