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

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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.

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 ...

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

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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.

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 was inherited by Americans, along with other former British colonies. 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 US 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.)
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.”
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.”
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.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781483007311
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/2014
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged

Meet the Author

Daniel Hannan is a writer and blogger, and he has been a member of the European Parliament representing South East England for the Conservative Party since 1999. He graduated with a double first in history from Oriel College, Oxford, and worked as a speechwriter and journalist before standing for election. His previous book, The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America, was a New York Times bestseller. He blogs at www.hannan.co.uk.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 24, 2013

    Over the last three centuries the world has seen a miraculous tr

    Over the last three centuries the world has seen a miraculous transformation and no one has been more affected by this transformation than the common individual. For he has more political and economic freedom than any time in the history of man. One just needs to examine his own surroundings to see the benefits of these two freedoms. The common man now lives in a state of luxury and convenience that was unimaginable by the most wealthiest monarch just a century ago. In fact, there is so much abundance that items that our parents would have considered luxuries are now considered basic necessities of life.

    Although we enjoy the benefits of the modern world, we never give too much thought to how the world was able to liberate the common man from his perpetual state of slavery and servitude. In this book, Daniel Hannan outlines the events that occurred in the small island nation of England that set the stage for and then gave birth to the modern age that we take for granted today. In fact, we take it so much for granted that the rights that were unique to "freeborn Englishmen" are today considered "universal human rights". The fact that these rights are now considered universal demonstrates the power of the political and economic system that developed in England. That system of government ( which uniquely puts the individual above that of the state) made England, its successor Britain, and its offspring the United States of America the most freest, prosperous, and powerful nations the world has ever seen. This has allowed those nations to export the concepts of the rule of law, supremacy of the individual, representative system of government, and free market economics around the world. Thus, making the rights of Englishmen appear to be universal.

    Unfortunately, at this time in history we are at a crossroads. This is especially true for the English-speaking nations that are currently turning their backs on the principles and ideas that made them exceptions in the world where freedom and liberty was rare, if not completely nonexistent. That is why Mr. Hannan's book is a must-read for anyone concerned about the direction the world is now headed. Within its pages you will find a history that is accurate yet, nearly completely unknown to the majority of people. For example, do you know the event that occurred in England in 1688 that set the stage for the events that would follow nearly 100 years later in what would become the United States of America? You will after reading this book and, if you are like me, it will open your eyes to the greatness of the political and economic system we inherited as being part of the English-speaking world.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    Hannan's book is very well written and in places very detailed.

    Hannan's book is very well written and in places very detailed. I found interesting facts concerning our Founding Fathers I was not aware of prior to reading the book. Hannan's discussion of Freedom of Religion,. his discussion of freedom of speech and the right to own property as well the history of individual freedom and slavery is very enlightening. I give the book 5 stars and recommend the book to anyone intersted in the History of Religion, Politics or History itself to read the book. Pew Pew

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

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