Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence

Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence

by Garry Wills

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Overview

Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence by Garry Wills

From acclaimed historian Garry Wills, author of Lincoln at Gettysburg, a celebrated re-appraisal of the meaning and the source of inspiration of The Declaration of Independence, based on a reading of Jefferson's original draft document.

Inventing America upended decades of thinking about The Declaration of Independence when it was first published in 1978 and remains one of the most influential and important works of scholarship about this founding document. Wills challenged the idea that Jefferson took all his ideas from John Locke. Instead, by focussing on Jefferson's original drafts, he showed Jefferson's debt to Scottish Enlightenment philosophers such as Lord Kames and Francis Hutcheson, and even the metaphysics of Aristotle. Wills's close reading of the previously overlooked drafts of the Declaration have altered and deepened the meaning and consequences of the single most important document that contintues to define America.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525435976
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/02/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 631,448
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Garry Wills is a historian and the author of the New York Times bestsellers What Jesus Meant, Papal Sin, Why I Am a Catholic, and Why Priests?, among others. A frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and other publications, Wills is a Pulitzer Prize winner and a professor emeritus at Northwestern University. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.

Date of Birth:

May 22, 1934

Place of Birth:

Atlanta, GA

Education:

St. Louis University, B.A., 1957; Xavier University, M.A., 1958; Yale University, Ph.D., 1961

Table of Contents

Introduction v

Prologue xiii

Part 1 Revolutionary Charter

1 "… our sacred honor …" 3

2 "… manly spirit bids us …" 19

3 "… former systems of government …" 34

4 "… right of the people to alter …" 49

5 "… assemblage of horrors …" 65

6 "… the circumstances of our emigration …" 76

Part 2 A Scientific Paper

7 "… necessary …" 93

8 "… course of human events …" 111

9 "… let facts be submitted …" 132

10 "… effect their safety & happiness …" 149

Part 3 A Moral Paper

11 "… attentions to our British brethren …" 167

12 "… self-evident …" 181

13 "… endowed by their Creator …" 193

14 "… created equal …" 207

15 "… all men …" 218

16 "… inalienable rights …" 229

17 "… pursuit …" 240

18 "… of happiness …" 248

Part 4 A Sentimental Paper

19 "… of nature and of nature's god …" 259

20 "… agonizing affection …" 273

21 "… bands which have connected …" 284

22 "… one people …" 293

23 "… unfeeling brethren …" 307

Part 5 National Symbol

24 "… opinions of mankind …" 323

25 "… decent respect …" 334

26 "… communication of grandeur …" 345

27 "… no part of our constitution …" 352

Epilogue 363

The Drama of the Declaration: An Afterword 371

Paraphernalia 375

Key to Brief Citations 377

The Declarations of Jefferson and of the Congress 379

Index to Proper Names 385

Index to Phrases 395

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