The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas

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Vintage Books, 1970 - History - 286 pages
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The Declaration of Independence

Carl L. Becker's important study is an analysis of the concepts expressed in the Declaration. Here is a lucid explanation of what the Declaration really is, what views it sets forth, where those views arose, and how they have been accepted or modified by succeeding generations. A book that every American should read.

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This famous document is examined as a window to the social philosophy of the time and as the beginning of US literature. Read full review


The Declaration of Independence
Historical Antecedents of the Declara
Theory of the British Empire

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About the author (1970)

Few historians of the United States have written as well as Carl Becker, Cornell University's famous professor of modern European history. Becker was born in Iowa and studied at the University of Wisconsin, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1907. His study The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers (1932), is a classic, as is The Heavenly City Revisited. Becker taught at Dartmouth and the University of Kansas before joining the Cornell faculty in 1917. After his retirement in 1941, Beck was professor emeritus and university historian at Cornell. His work continues to remain a model for writers of history, with its economy of words, keen analytical sense, and graceful style. As a distinguished essayist, practicing historian, and apostle of democracy, Becker almost always made freedom and responsibility his themes. Beck died in 1945.

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