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Book Cover
Author Allen, Danielle S., 1971-

Title Our Declaration : a reading of the Declaration of Independence in defense of equality / Danielle Allen.

Publication Info. New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, a Division of W.W. Norton & Company, [2014]


Location Call No. Status
 GDL Central Library Non-Fiction    973.313 ALL    Available
 PAS Central Library Non-Fiction, 1st Floor    973.313 ALL    Available
 PAS Hastings Branch Non-Fiction    973.313 ALL    Available
Edition First edition.
Description 315 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
text rdacontent
unmediated rdamedia
volume rdacarrier
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 297-299) and index.
Contents Night teaching -- Patrimony -- Loving democracy -- Animating the Declaration -- The writer -- The politicos -- The Committee -- The editors -- The people -- On memos -- On moral sense -- On doing things with words -- On words and power -- When in the course of human events -- Just another word for river -- One people -- We are your equals -- An echo -- It becomes necessary -- The laws of nature -- And nature's god -- Kinds of necessity -- We hold these truths -- Sound bites -- Sticks and stones -- Self-interest? -- Self-evidence -- Magic tricks -- The creator -- Creation -- Beautiful optimism -- Prudence -- Dreary pessimism -- Life's turning points -- Tyranny -- Facts? -- Life histories -- Plagues -- Portrait of a tyrant -- The thirteenth way of looking at a tyrant -- The use and abuse of history -- Dashboards -- On potlucks -- If actions speak louder than words -- Responsiveness -- We must, therefore, acquiesce -- Friends, enemies, and blood relations -- On oath -- Real equality -- What's in a name?
Summary Allen makes the case that we cannot have freedom as individuals without equality among us as a people. Evoking the colonial world between 1774 and 1777, Allen describes the challenges faced by John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston--the "Committee of Five" who had to write a document that reflected the aspirations of a restive population and forge an unprecedented social contract. Although the focus is usually on Jefferson, Allen restores credit not only to John Adams and Richard Henry Lee but also to clerk Timothy Matlack and printer Mary Katherine Goddard. Allen also restores the text of the Declaration itself. Its list of self-evident truths does not end with our individual right to the "pursuit of happiness" but with the collective right of the people to reform government so that it will "effect their Safety and Happiness." The sentence laying out the self-evident truths leads us from the individual to the community--from our individual rights to what we can achieve only together, as a community constituted by bonds of equality.
Subject United States. Declaration of Independence -- Criticism, Textual.
Equality -- United States.
ISBN 9780871406903 (hbk.)
087140690X (hbk.)

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