American Scripture by Pauline Maier audiobook

American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence

By Pauline Maier
Read by Jonathan Yen

Tantor Audio 9780679454922
11.63 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781541401853

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Maier describes the transformation of the Second Continental Congress into a national government, unlike anything that preceded or followed it, and with more authority than the colonists would ever have conceded to the British Parliament. In Maier's hands, the Declaration of Independence is brought close to us. She lets us hear the voice of the people as revealed in the other "declarations" of 1776: the local resolutions—most of which have gone unnoticed over the past two centuries—that explained, advocated, and justified Independence and undergirded Congress's work. Detective-like, she discloses the origins of key ideas and phrases in the Declaration and unravels the complex story of its drafting and of the group-editing job which angered Thomas Jefferson. Maier also reveals what happened to the Declaration after the signing and celebration: how it was largely forgotten and then revived to buttress political arguments of the nineteenth century; and, most important, how Abraham Lincoln ensured its persistence as a living force in American society. Finally, she shows how by the very act of venerating the Declaration as we do—by holding it as sacrosanct, akin to holy writ—we may actually be betraying its purpose and its power.

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Summary

Summary

Maier describes the transformation of the Second Continental Congress into a national government, unlike anything that preceded or followed it, and with more authority than the colonists would ever have conceded to the British Parliament.

In Maier's hands, the Declaration of Independence is brought close to us. She lets us hear the voice of the people as revealed in the other "declarations" of 1776: the local resolutions—most of which have gone unnoticed over the past two centuries—that explained, advocated, and justified Independence and undergirded Congress's work. Detective-like, she discloses the origins of key ideas and phrases in the Declaration and unravels the complex story of its drafting and of the group-editing job which angered Thomas Jefferson. Maier also reveals what happened to the Declaration after the signing and celebration: how it was largely forgotten and then revived to buttress political arguments of the nineteenth century; and, most important, how Abraham Lincoln ensured its persistence as a living force in American society. Finally, she shows how by the very act of venerating the Declaration as we do—by holding it as sacrosanct, akin to holy writ—we may actually be betraying its purpose and its power.

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Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Pauline Maier

Author Bio: Pauline Maier

Pauline Maier is the William R. Kenan, Jr. professor of American history at MIT. She is the author of several books and textbooks on American history, including From Resistance to Revolution, The Old Revolutionaries, and American Scripture, which was on the New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice list of the best 11 books of 1997 and a finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award. Maier received her PhD from Harvard University in 1968, and she currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 11.63
Audience: Adult
Language: English