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The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle that Changed the World

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

54 out of 64 people found this review helpful.

A TREASURE OF INFORMATION

I would recommend anyone who is interested at all in the history of our country and where it is headed today to read this book. I bought my most recent copy for my 16 year old niece to read. I believe it is imperative that Americans RELEARN the history of our country: t...
I would recommend anyone who is interested at all in the history of our country and where it is headed today to read this book. I bought my most recent copy for my 16 year old niece to read. I believe it is imperative that Americans RELEARN the history of our country: the service and sacrifices of our Founding Fathers and the principles that are the core of our country are all presented clearly and accurately in THE 5000 YEAR LEAP. Ronald Reagan wanted this book to be required reading for schools in America. Unfortunately, this idea was shot down by a liberal senator.
It SHOULD be read by every high school student. Learn the history of our country or we're going to lose our country.
This is an excellent place to start!

posted by xapis on March 2, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

66 out of 171 people found this review helpful.

Historical Revisionism & Religious (LDS) Apologia

I'm surprised that this book is categorized as "history" instead of "religion" since Skousen's theory is predicated on the notion that religion (Christianity in particular) is the basis of US Government. For those who don't know, as a writer Skousen is an apologist for ...
I'm surprised that this book is categorized as "history" instead of "religion" since Skousen's theory is predicated on the notion that religion (Christianity in particular) is the basis of US Government. For those who don't know, as a writer Skousen is an apologist for the LDS (Mormon) Church--as was his father his father before him: Cleon Skousen, the author of the 1950's radical Right Wing polemic "The Naked Communist," a supporter of Joe McCarthy and the John Birch Society.
The LDS Church preaches that the US Constitution was created by the Founding Father who were laboring under divine inspiration(a notion that John Adams warned AGAINST), that one day "Constitution will hang by a thread" and that just as the United States is about to fall the Elders of the LDS Church (of which Skousen is one) will step forward and save it. This book, while not mentioning LDS doctrine, sets up the foundation for that THEOLOGY through careful historical revisionism and by making giant leaps logically.
For instance: Skousen correctly quotes Roman philosophers and the Founding Fathers in their conviction that for freedom to remain a government's official and citizens must be virtuous.
But then he leaps ahead and asserts that religion (Christianity) is the foundation for virtue and morality. He then leaps ahead and asserts that the existence of God is something that can be taken as objective fact. (At no time did the Founders say that the existence of GOD was self-evident; only that it was self evident that individuals are endowed with rights by "their Creator"--a non-sectarian phrase that could just as well be taken as a reference to nature or biology itself. In fact, Benjamin Franklin inserted the pharse "self-evident" into the Delcaration of Independence in place of phrases which he said "smacked of the pulpit" and religion.)
Skousen asserts (against historical evidence to the contrary) that the US government rested on a religious (Christian) foundation; that belief in a Creator God is essential to the government's survival and the nation's morality. (Interestingly enough, Mormon founder Joseph Smith--in his King Follet Discourse and in the Doctrine & Covenants--taught that the mind of man was NOT created by God; that "God never had the power to create the mind of man" and that "the very idea lessens man in my estimation.")
Skousen asserts that the Isrealites of the Old Testament lived by many of the same principles upon which ths US was founded when in fact the ancient Isrealites lived by NONE of these principles. The ancient Israelites lived by a TRIBAL collectivist ethos and have a theoractic form of government that punished such things as breaking the sabbath and using Yahweh's name with public execution. (The governments of moderm Islamist governments have much more in common with that of Ancient Israel.)
Skousen is merely another voice from the extreme Religious Right, attempting to rewrite US history in order to fit into his particular religious (LDS) paradigm.
If you want an accurate account of what the Founding Fathers REALLY thought regarding religion and religious freedom, I recommend either of the two books below. "Founding Faith" in particular is an excellent book that is pro-religion AND supports the Founder's idea of a totally secular government as the ONLY way to protect religious freedom and support public virtue.

posted by dec0558 on April 22, 2009

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A TREASURE OF INFORMATION

    I would recommend anyone who is interested at all in the history of our country and where it is headed today to read this book. I bought my most recent copy for my 16 year old niece to read. I believe it is imperative that Americans RELEARN the history of our country: the service and sacrifices of our Founding Fathers and the principles that are the core of our country are all presented clearly and accurately in THE 5000 YEAR LEAP. Ronald Reagan wanted this book to be required reading for schools in America. Unfortunately, this idea was shot down by a liberal senator.
    It SHOULD be read by every high school student. Learn the history of our country or we're going to lose our country.
    This is an excellent place to start!

    54 out of 64 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 10, 2009

    Are you intrested in our country - what are we in danger of loosing?

    A fascinating read for every American... See how far we have moved from the direction our founders laid out for our country... this is an easy, interseting read, that will hold your attention. It shows the average American where we should be, what we are in danger of loosing, what will really cause us to loose our country. Democrat or Republican, Liberal or Conservative, we all need to read this book.

    44 out of 48 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    A factual, must read for those who want to know what our founding fathers based our Constitution on. This book should be incorporated in every High School student's U.S.'s government class.

    A very well researched book that every High School Student in the U.S. should be required to read in their US Government Class before their graduation. I also believe it should be widely read and studied further in depth at the University level. And for those who yearn for this accurate account of U.S. History; that has almost been invalidated by those who have tried to sweep it under the rug, by writing "their versions" of U.S. History.

    26 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    Every American should have this book.

    The second best book I have read this year. I wish it could be taught in school.

    17 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2009

    Americans, please read this...!

    The founding fathers understood history and human nature. This book simply elaborates on this fact, and while doing so, causes the reader to come to a solid conclusion about our history and future as a nation. This is a must read for anyone who calls himself/herself an American. Understanding how we have achieved so much as a nation over the past 200 years helps us acknowledge and perserve our liberty today! Reading this book more than once isn't such a bad thing either.

    14 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Emotionally thought-provoking; Essential reading for every American

    This book opens up with an explanation of how far the post-United States world has advanced society as opposed to the 5,000 years of civilization that occurred beforehand. It goes on to explain the founding principles that lead to this prosperity and how the founders of this nation struggled and argued to find the perfect balance of Religion, Liberty, Law, and Personal Responsibility so that the nation could triumph. Obviously, they found the perfect balance, which went on to become the United States Constitution and the nation exploded with prosperity. The irony of the book is that you realize as you read it that these principles no longer apply. Our politicians and representatives are no longer "principal led". They find new ways to bind our hands with laws and litigation. They pick our pockets in order to line theirs. Several times while reading this book I became emotional because it clarified how far off America is from the path that was intended by the founders. This should be required reading for all Americans, and HS/College students. If you need an introduction to US History, this book is THE starting place.

    12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2009

    A must read for every American

    This book is a must! We all need to understand our country and how it came to be the most powerful nation of the world. This book is an easy read, containing quotes from our founding fathers. It is scary how far we have moved in the opposite direction from what our fore fathers intended this country to be. It should be required reading for all high school graduates. We need to instill these truths in our youth before our country is lost!

    12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2009

    Fall in Love with America Again

    I don't know whether "The 5000 Year Leap" should be required reading, but it is most definitely a book that will make one proud of the process and principals our forefathers used to build the constitution of America. Most people think of the U.S. as a Democratic state. This book will explain that is not what was intended. We were meant to be a Republic--there is a substantial difference. If you love the United States, and you want to love it even more, this is one of the best reads you will find.
    I was amazed at how well educated and how very intelligent our founders were. When reading "The 5000 Year Leap", try to set aside your political leanings. Just let the writing allow you to either question and research, or to accept that the United States is the greatest country on earth.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    Freedom

    For all who are interested in the history of the Unites States Constitution. What our Founding Fathers intended and where we came from.
    The content was presented very straight forward and understandable. This should be required reading for all high school students.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    All Americans Should Read This Book

    I am not an avid book reader ,but this one ,This 5000 Year Leap, I could not put down.The author tells how our founding fathers,took their time and got it right.If this book would have been used back in high school,or college, studying would have been so much easier.This is a must read book,thanks to the author for such a great job.

    9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Read it, then give it to someone else.

    This is a fascinating read. It is filled with quotes and facts, not opinion. This made me take a hard honest look, not only to what our government has become, but what I have become as well. It has inspired me to read more, get involved more, and try to engage more people on the most important issues of our great nation. As soon as I finished it, I could hardly wait to give it to my 18 year old daughter who, I feel, has lost her way. She has already started reading it, and I look forward to many discussions on this material.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2009

    The 5,000 Year Leap

    I found this to be one of the most provocative books I have read in a very long time. This book explains in very clear and concise language the fundamental thoughts and ideals our Founding Fathers envisioned for our country. It is not "high-brow" reading; it is written in everyday language that everyone can understand and discuss. It is also amazing to read this simultaneously with a copy of the U.S. Constitution and to realize that almost EVERY basic fundamental principle of our Constitution has been or is being violated this very day by our politico and current media organizations. This is a great read for book club discussion.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2009

    Should Be Required Reading For Every Newly-Elected Politician!

    The author does a marvelous job of explaining how the Founders settled upon the timeless principles that went into the Constitution. These principles are timeless because they flow from an all-wise, all-knowing creator, God. The Constitution took years to draft through much debate. It is plain to see that the guiding hand of providence led the way. We would do well to return not only to the principles that have made this country great, but also to the one who made it great.

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    5000 Leap Year

    I bought this book for my boyfriend. It was a book he had been wanting to read. He has not yet finished reading the book but has loved what he has read so far!!

    8 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2009

    Fantastically Refreshing and Frustrating

    Reading the actual quotes from our Founders was inspiring and frustrating at the same time. It is clear just how far from the miracle of the Constitutional Convention we have come when you read this book.

    I'm having a hard time reading it because of my frustration level at where we are now. I long for what our Founders intended and despair that we will ever see it again.

    If you want to know the real history of our founding, read this book.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2009

    An awesome read

    I have already recommended this book to friends, family, strangers...and even my dentist! The lack of knowledge by most Americans, myself included, about how our country was truly founded is appalling. It is shocking how our history books have changed and deleted the truth about this great country's start. THIS IS A MUST READ...and I'm not even into history! I've already purchased 5 more copies to give to friends and family because we must understand what this great nation was based on to know what it is that we're in danger of losing. READ THIS BOOK!!!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This book should be required reading in high school.

    Very well researched and well written. "The 5000 Year Leap" describes the steps that were taken by our Founding Fathers while writing our magnificent Constitution. The logic, reasoning, and discussions used by our Founders for writing each Article, and for creating the original Ammendments, are presented in a clear format. "The 5000 Year Leap" warrents the status of required reading for all high school History/Civics classes. Too much of this information is missing from our current public school ciriculum, and our children are being short-changed when it comes to being taught how our Constitution came about and why we are who we are as US citizens. I highly reccomend "The 5000 Year Leap" to anyone who is interested in understanding why our Constitution was designed and written in the manner that it was.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2010

    The introduction to our Constitution you never got in high school!

    This is a wonderful read. Great for middle school students and older. A simple and enlightening look at our founders and the principles they staked their lives on and built our Constitution around. A must read for anyone wanting to understand the uniqueness of our country and the true basis of our Constitution.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    Awesome read. The Framers rock.

    This was one of the most historically enlightening books that I have ever read. Many things in this book were never taught in history class in all of my schooling. I think that everyone should read this book. It should be used in middle and highschool and college for American History and possibly for debate classes.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    As Good As It Gets

    Do not be put off by reviewers who prefer to launch an ad hominem attacke on the author. You don't have to agree with all of Cleon Skousen's political or religious views in order to find this an outstanding book!

    I have spent twenty years reading Madison, Hamilton, Jay, Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, George Mason, and as many others of the Founders as I could lay my hands on. I have repeatedly read Locke, Montesquieu (more frequently cited by the Founders than Locke), Tocqueville , and Beccaria. I have been a student of Tudor and Stuart England, including the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution so frequently alluded to in political writings of the Founders. I have studied the Supreme Court, particularly under John Marshall and then during the 20th century.

    By contrast, I began my career as a student and teacher of the French Revolution, the European revolutions of the 19th century, and -- in particular -- the Russian Revolution and the Stalinist period of Soviet history.

    Enough of that. With all that said, this obscure little book, of which I had never heard until recently, is hands-down the best short summary and introduction to the principles and provisions of the Constitution of the United States that I have ever seen. The opening chapter on the influence of Marcus Tullius Cicero on the political thinking of the Founders is a treasure all by itself! This book may even surpass Justice Story's short volume "A Familiar History of the Constitution of the United States." This is a fresh exposition with the benefit of hindsight over Justice Story to remind us of the perils that the Founder's so presciently designed the Constitution to discourage.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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