For Liberty and Equality

For Liberty and Equality : The Life and Times of the Declaration of Independence

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The Declaration of Independence is one of the most influential documents in modern history, the inspiration for what would become the most powerful democracy in the world. In this sweeping synthesis of the Declaration's impact on American life, Alexander Tsesis offers a deeply researched narrative that highlights the many surprising ways in which this document has influenced American politics, laws, and society. The drafting of the Bill of Rights, the Reconstruction Amendments, the New Deal, and the Civil Rights movement are all heavily indebted to the Declaration's principles of representative government. Tsesis demonstrates that from the founding to the present, the Declaration has played a central role in American political and social advocacy, congressional debates, and presidential decisions. His focus is on how successive generations internalized, adapted, and interpreted its meaning. Tsesis also shines a light on the many American failures to live up to the ideals enshrined in the document. Evenhanded throughout, this sweeping synthesis shows how our founding document shaped America through successive eras, and why its influence has been crucial to the nation and our way of more

Product details

  • Hardback | 408 pages
  • 164 x 236 x 36mm | 662.24g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 8 b&w illustrations
  • 0195379691
  • 9780195379693
  • 1,228,031

Review quote

No document is as cherished, or misused, by Americans as the Declaration of Independence. For Liberty and Equality is a remarkably perceptive history of the Declaration, elegantly written and carefully argued, by one of our brightest and most original legal scholars. There is no better book on this subject in print today. * David Oshinsky, Jack S. Blanton Chair in History, University of Texas; Distinguished Scholar in Residence, New York University; and Winner, Pulitzer Prize for History, 2006 * Tsesis provides a significant commentary on the revolutionary legacy and Jefferson's eternally memorable text. * Jack Rakove, The New Republic * Utilizing speeches and newspaper articles, Tsesis traces the importance of the Declaration of Independence as the purveyor of 'transcendent' American norms...Recommended. * CHOICE * An exceptional history of the Declaration in American political rhetoric... Alexander Tsesis meticulously details how the Declaration of Independence has stimulated and justified reform movements throughout American history. * Tulsa Law Review * Alexander Tsesis deserves applause for his depth of research, clear organization, and his detailed writing. He skillfully draws your interest towards diverse stories of oppression and causes emotional response that is not common for a history book. For Liberty and Equality: The Life and Times of the Declaration of Independence is a compelling narrative of a formative document and a country that has come a long way in terms of human equality. * Unbound: Annual Review of Legislative History and Rare Books *show more

About Alexander Tsesis

Alexander Tsesis is a professor at the Loyola University School of Law. He is the author of We Shall Overcome: A History of Civil Rights and the Law; The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom; and Destructive Messages: How Hate Speech Paves the Way for Harmful Social more

Table of contents

Chapter I: Preface ; Chapter II: Becoming Independent ; Chapter III: The Nation's Infancy ; Chapter IV: Youthful Republic ; Chapter V. Compromising for the Sake of Expansion ; Chapter VI. Jacksonian Era Democracy ; Chapter VII. Subordination ; Chapter VIII: The Unraveling Bonds of Union ; Chapter IX: Sectional Cataclysm ; Chapter X: Reconstruction ; Chapter XI: Gilded Populism ; Chapter XII: Inconsistent Progress ; Chapter XIII: The Declaration in a New Deal State ; Chapter XIV: Independence Principles in the Civil Rights Era ; Chapter XV: Epilogue ; Appendix: The Declaration of Independenceshow more

Rating details

7 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 43% (3)
4 29% (2)
3 29% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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