A Free People's Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future

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InterVarsity Press, Jul 10, 2012 - Religion - 224 pages
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2013 Logos Book of the Year in Christianity/Culture! "If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." Abraham Lincoln Nothing is more daring in the American experiment than the founders' belief that the American republic could remain free forever. But how was this to be done, and are Americans doing it today? It is not enough for freedom to be won. It must also be sustained. Cultural observer Os Guinness argues that the American experiment in freedom is at risk. Summoning historical evidence on how democracies evolve, Guinness shows that contemporary views of freedom--most typically, a negative freedom from constraint-- are unsustainable because they undermine the conditions necessary for freedom to thrive. He calls us to reconsider the audacity of sustainable freedom and what it would take to restore it. "In the end," Guinness writes, "the ultimate threat to the American republic will be Americans. The problem is not wolves at the door but termites in the floor." The future of the republic depends on whether Americans will rise to the challenge of living up to America's unfulfilled potential for freedom, both for itself and for the world.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KMT01 - LibraryThing

This was a difficult book for me to get into and read. The author presents a problem for all of us. We claim to be free but only consider and work for freedom from constraints. We do not work at or ... Read full review

Os Guinness strikes a balanced approach.

User Review  - Will - Christianbook.com

This book is a must keep. Guinness realizes that the role of virtue is a necesary quality in public officials and its citizens; otherwise, the American experiment will inevitably collapse. This is not ... Read full review

Contents

What Kind of People Do You Think You Are?
13
Always Free Free Always
41
Using History to Defy History
69
The Golden Triangle of Freedom
93
The Completest Revolution of All
130
An Empire Worthy of Free People
171
The Eagle and the Sun
188
Grateful Acknowledgments
206
Notes
208
Name Index
220
Subject Index
222
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Os Guinness (DPhil, Oxford) is the author or editor of more than thirty books, including Fool's Talk, Renaissance, The Global Public Square, A Free People's Suicide, Unspeakable, The Call, Time for Truth and The Case for Civility. A frequent speaker and prominent social critic, he has addressed audiences worldwide from the British House of Commons to the U.S. Congress to the St. Petersburg Parliament. He founded the Trinity Forum and served as senior fellow there for fifteen years. Born in China to missionary parents, he is the great-great-great-grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer. After witnessing the climax of the Chinese revolution in 1949, he was expelled with many other foreigners in 1951 and returned to England where he was educated and served as a freelance reporter with the BBC. Since coming to the U.S. in 1984, he has been a guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was the lead drafter of the Williamsburg Charter, celebrating the First Amendment, and has also been senior fellow at the EastWest Institute in New York, where he drafted the Charter for Religious Freedom. He also co-authored the public school curriculum Living With Our Deepest Differences. Guinness has had a lifelong passion to make sense of our extraordinary modern world and to stand between the worlds of scholarship and ordinary life, helping each to understand the other - particularly when advanced modern life touches on the profound issues of faith. He lives with his wife, Jenny, in McLean, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.

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