Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002 - History - 398 pages
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From one of America's foremost historians, Inventing America compares Thomas Jefferson's original draft of the Declaration of Independence with the final, accepted version, thereby challenging many long-cherished assumptions about both the man and the document. Although Jefferson has long been idealized as a champion of individual rights, Wills argues that in fact his vision was one in which interdependence, not self-interest, lay at the foundation of society. "No one has offered so drastic a revision or so close or convincing an analysis as Wills has . . . The results are little short of astonishing" (Edmund S. Morgan New York Review of Books ).
 

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User Review  - JFBallenger - LibraryThing

This book is much broader than the title suggests. It does much to de-mythologize the Declaration itself, distinguishing the documents penned by Jefferson and approved by Congress from the symbolic ... Read full review

Contents

our sacred honor
3
17 pursuit
17
manly spirit bids us
19
3 former systems of government
34
right of the people to alter
49
5 assemblage of horrors
65
the circumstances of our emigration
76
A SCIENTIFIC PAPER
91
created equal
207
15 all men
218
inalienable rights
229
of happiness
248
19 of nature and of nature s god
259
agonizing affection
273
bands which have connected
284
one people
293

7 necessary
93
course of human events
111
9 let facts be submitted
132
1o effect their safety happiness
149
A MORAL PAPER
165
attentions to our British brethren
167
selfevident
181
13 endowed by their Creator
193
23 unfeeling brethren
307
opinions of mankind
323
25 decent respect
334
communication of grandeur
345
no part of our constitution
352
Epilogue
363
Paraphernalia
370
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

GARRY WILLS, a distinguished historian and critic, is the author of numerous books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lincoln at Gettysburg, Saint Augustine, and the best-selling Why I Am a Catholic. A regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, he has won many awards, among them two National Book Critics Circle Awards and the 1998 National Medal for the Humanities. He is a history professor emeritus at Northwestern University.

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