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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 10th 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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Daniel on 05-09-15
Couldn't get through it.
Any additional comments?
I love theory, history, and non fiction in general. That being said, I could not get through even half of this book. The reading style was wooden and it was like being at the worst college lecture.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Tyler O'Neil on 07-07-15
Great Work, Clear Reading, Revealing History
As an American, I had always traced the roots of freedom back through philosophers from the Scottish Enlightenment, the School of Salamanca, Aquinas, and back to Plato. This book gave another historical perspective on the roots of freedom and the curious fact that English speaking nations seem further ahead than their neighbors.
Hannan's work suffers from only one lingering question - why did Eastern nations like Korea adopt this tradition? They do not speak English but have unleashed a firestorm of invention. It seems the Christian connection might prove deeper than the Anglosphere one, but I am sure Hannan has an answer.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful