The Declaration of Independence and Other Great Documents of American History: 1775-1865 edited by John Grafton is an important collection of the heart and soul of what America is all about. These fourteen great documents are the foundation by which our American democratic republic was founded. Each of these documents has a short introduction giving the reader a basis in time, relevent to and providing fascinating background history and information about the author.
This is handy and gets the reader in the right time frame, making this an indispensable reference for general readers to American political writing. This book covers a basic library of important American documents from the first century of America's history as an independent nation.
From Patrick Henry's 1775 speech to the Virginia Revolutionary Committee, "Give Me Liberity or Give Me Death" to Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugral Address in March 4, 1865 we see the tenor of American thought throughout come to the forefront. These are compelling, influential and often inspirational, but most importantly these are certainly among the most essential and enduring, reflecting the ideas, issues and conflicts which dominated American political life in the first century of our fledgling republic.
The contents is listed:
Patrick Henry: "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death," March 23, 1775
Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
The Constitution of the United States, September 17,1787 with amendments
James Madison: The Federalist, number 10, November 23,1787
George Washington: Firt Inaugral Address, April 30, 1789
George Washington: Farewell Address, September 19 1796
Thomas Jefferson: First Inaugral Address, March 4, 1801
James Monroe: The Monroe Doctrine, December 2, 1823
William Lloyd Garrison: The Liberator, January 1, 1831
Andrew Jackson: Veto of the Bank Bill, July 10, 1832
Abraham Lincoln: First Inaugral Address, March 4, 1861
Abraham Lincoln: The Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863
Abraham Lincoln: The Gettysburg Address, November 18, 1863
Abraham Lincoln: Second Inaugral Address, March 4, 1865
These all are compelling documents dear to the heart of the United States and should be in those of us who call ourselves citizens as well. This is excellent for teaching our children, revealing a spectrum of thought and opinion more complex and wide ranging than often remembered... and what it means to be an American and the responsiblities that go along with it.