Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World

Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World

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by Daniel Hannan
     
 

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British politician Daniel Hannan's Inventing Freedom is an ambitious account of the historical origin and spread of the principles that have made America great, and their role in creating a sphere of economic and political liberty that is as crucial as it is imperiled.

According to Hannan, the ideas and institutions we consider essential to maintaining and

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Overview

British politician Daniel Hannan's Inventing Freedom is an ambitious account of the historical origin and spread of the principles that have made America great, and their role in creating a sphere of economic and political liberty that is as crucial as it is imperiled.

According to Hannan, the ideas and institutions we consider essential to maintaining and preserving our freedoms—individual rights, private property, the rule of law, and the institutions of representative government—are the legacy of a very specific tradition that was born in England and that we Americans, along with other former British colonies, inherited.

By the tenth century, England was a nation-state whose people were already starting to define themselves with reference to inherited common-law rights. The story of liberty is the story of how that model triumphed. How it was enshrined in a series of landmark victories—the Magna Carta, the English Civil War, the Glorious Revolution, the U.S. Constitution—and how it came to defeat every international rival.

Today we see those ideas abandoned and scorned in the places where they once went unchallenged. Inventing Freedom is a chronicle of the success of Anglosphere exceptionalism. And it is offered at a time that may turn out to be the end of the age of political freedom.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/11/2013
Hannan, a well-known conservative writer and politician in Great Britain, tells the story of English contributions to the modern world and the rise of what he calls the "Anglosphere." He determines the English-speaking world to have an exceptional "conception of liberty" that he surveys throughout the book. In clear and informed language Hannan revisits the special contributions of Protestant faith and parliamentary machinery, defending the ownership of property against Marxist arguments. He explains with verve the constitutional "defense against arbitrary government" beginning with the Magna Carta and other legal protections that citizens in Britain, the United States, Canada, and Australia today take for granted. He highlights the community advantages of religious tradition and Episcopalian latitude. Along the way we learn about some unusual things, including the failed 1698 effort of Scotland to establish its own colonial empire. Hannan's book adds up to an entertaining, readable narrative of English triumphs in law, religion, and freedom and celebrates the Anglosphere's "sublime tradition." At the finish, he encourages his readers to act as stewards of their rich legacy. (Dec.)
Huntington News
“Conservatives, libertarians, independents, progressives and just about anyone can find something to like in The New Road to Serfdom.”
BlogCritics Books
“Cleverly written, witty, and worldly...a must read for anyone in the Tea Party movement or with an interest in American politics.”
American Spectator
Praise for The New Road to Serfdom:
“Daniel Hannan...spells out the dangers, brilliantly summarizes the state of play, and shows exactly why the American Constitution both deserves and needs protection from the new ruling class.”
The Telegraph (UK)
“With the eloquence of Macaulay or Trevelyan—both of whom are liberally quoted here—Hannan sweeps us through English history to show the triumph of law-based liberty and “that total understanding which can only exist between people speaking the same tongue.”
Washington Free Beacon
“Hannan’s well-written book is an excellent politically incorrect history of England.”
The Blaze
“Equal parts history and political theory, Inventing Freedom is a thought-provoking and stirring read for the holidays.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062231734
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/19/2013
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
242,776
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

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