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America Declares Independence
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0471264822, Hardcover)The Declaration of Independence as you've never seen it before
Some of us cherish it with near-scriptural reverence. Others simply take it for granted. In this contentious new look at the Declaration of Independence, however, celebrated attorney Alan Dershowitz takes "America's birth certificate" and its principal author, Thomas Jefferson, to task.
Dershowitz searches for the sources, history, and underlying reasoning that produced the Declaration and its particular language, from its reference to the "Laws of Nature and Nature's God" through the long list of complaints against the abuses of King George III. He points out contradictions within the document, notes how the meanings of Jefferson's words have changed over the centuries, and asks many disturbing questions, including:
* Where do rights come from?
* Do we have "unalienable rights"?
* Do rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" have any meaning?
* How could slaveowners claim to believe that "all men are created equal"?
* Is the God of the Declaration the God of the Bible?
* Does the Declaration establish a Christian State?
* Are there "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God"?
Challenging, upsetting, and controversial, this brilliant polemic may anger you, delight you, or force you to reexamine your opinions. One thing's for sure: after reading America Declares Independence, you'll never take the Declaration of Independence for granted again.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:37:24 -0500)
"In America Declares Independence, one of the nation's most distinguished and celebrated attorneys tackles disturbing questions head on. Noting that portions of the Declaration are frequently "wrenched out of context by partisan pleaders to promote parochial causes," Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz explores the document's history, theology, and political theory in search of its true and enduring meaning. No stranger to controversy, Dershowitz also assails some of the Declaration's underlying assumptions and questions the conclusions that these assumptions produced."."Drawing on the personal letters and published writings of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and others, Dershowitz demonstrates that the men who wrote and revised the Declaration had no intention of establishing a Christian nation. He reveals that Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration, "rejected all the central tenets of orthodox Christianity" and closely resembled what today's Religious Right would call a "secular humanist."" "In his examinations of the contradictions inherent in the Declaration regarding equality and slavery, Dershowitz points out Jefferson's personal contradictions on the issue. His complex set of conflicting ideas and beliefs is seen as a microcosm of the conflicts over slavery that existed at the time and would eventually lead to the Civil War."--BOOK JACKET.
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