America Declares Independence
By Alan Dershowitz
(Wiley, Hardcover, 9780471264828, 208pp.)
Publication Date: March 2003
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The Declaration of Independence as you've never seen it before
Some of us cherish it with near-scriptural reverence. Others simply take it for granted. In this contentious new look at the Declaration of Independence, however, celebrated attorney Alan Dershowitz takes "America's birth certificate" and its principal author, Thomas Jefferson, to task.
Dershowitz searches for the sources, history, and underlying reasoning that produced the Declaration and its particular language, from its reference to the "Laws of Nature and Nature's God" through the long list of complaints against the abuses of King George III. He points out contradictions within the document, notes how the meanings of Jefferson's words have changed over the centuries, and asks many disturbing questions, including:
* Where do rights come from?
* Do we have "unalienable rights"?
* Do rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" have any meaning?
* How could slaveowners claim to believe that "all men are created equal"?
* Is the God of the Declaration the God of the Bible?
* Does the Declaration establish a Christian State?
* Are there "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God"?
Challenging, upsetting, and controversial, this brilliant polemic may anger you, delight you, or force you to reexamine your opinions. One thing's for sure: after reading America Declares Independence, you'll never take the Declaration of Independence for granted again.
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, a professor at Harvard Law School, is considered one of Americas foremost appellate lawyers and most distinguished defenders of individual rights. He has written numerous bestselling books, is a newspaper columnist, and has written for dozens of periodicals, including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Yale Law Journal, and the Harvard Law Review. His previous books include the #1 New York Times bestseller Chutzpah.