Freedom: a promised land, a battleground, America's cultural bond and fault line. The Declaration of Independence lists liberty among mankind's inalienable rights; the Constitution was framed to secure liberty's blessings. The United States bought the Civil War to bring about a new birth of freedom, World War II for the Four Freedoms, and the Cold War to defend the Free World.In Eric Foner's stirring history, freedom's story unfolds through aspiration and sacrifice, its meaning shaped not only in congressional debates and political treatises, but on plantations and picket lines, in parlors and bedrooms. Its cast of characters ranges from Thomas Jefferson to Margaret Sanger to Franklin D. Roosevelt; from former slaves seeking to breathe real meaning into emancipation to the union organizers, freedom riders, and women's rights advocates of our time.This landmark history shows the story of American freedom to be not a mythic saga but a vital, open-ended tale of accomplishment and failure, a record of a people forever contending over the crucial ideas of their political culture.
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Freedom, Eric Foner writes, is "the oldest of clichés and the most modern of aspirations." But what does it mean to be free? For the people of the United States, the concept of "freedom"--and its counterpart, "liberty"--have had widely differing meanings over the centuries. The Story of American Freedom, therefore, "is not a mythic saga with a predetermined beginning and conclusion, but an open-ended history of accomplishment and failure, a record of a people forever contending about the crucial ideas of their political culture."
Foner begins with the colonial era, when the Puritans believed that liberty was rooted in voluntary submission to God and civil authorities, and consisted only in the right to do good. John Locke, too, would argue that liberty did not consist of the lack of restraint, but of "a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society, and made by the legislative power." Foner reveals the ideological conflicts that lay at the heart of the American Revolution and the Civil War, the shifts in thought about what freedom is and to whom it should apply. Adeptly charting the major trends of 20th-century American politics--including the invocation of freedom as a call to arms in both world wars--Foner concludes by contrasting the two prevalent movements of the 1990s: the liberal articulation of freedom, grounded in Johnson's Great Society and the rhetoric of the New Left, as the provision of civil rights and economic opportunity for all citizens, and the conservative vision, perhaps most fully realized during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, of a free-market economy and decentralized political power. The Story of American Freedom is a sweeping synthesis, delivered in clearheaded language that makes the ongoing nature of the American dream accessible to all readers. --Ron HoganAbout the Author :
Eric Foner is the preeminent historian of his generation, highly respected by historians of every stripe―whether they specialize in political history or social history. His books have won the top awards in the profession, and he has been president of both major history organizations: the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. He has worked on every detail of Give Me Liberty!, which displays all of his trademark strengths as a scholar, teacher, and writer. A specialist on the Civil War/Reconstruction period, he regularly teaches the nineteenth-century survey at Columbia University, where he is DeWitt Clinton Professor of History. In 2011, Foner's The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery won the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Bancroft Prize, and the Lincoln Prize.
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Description du livre Picador, 1999. Hardcover. État : New. book. N° de réf. du libraire M0330373919