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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Plantagenets, a short, lively, action-packed history of how the Magna Carta came to be.
The Magna Carta is revered around the world as the founding document of Western liberty. Its principles can be found in our Bill of Rights and in the Constitution. But what was this strange document that dwells on tax relief and greater fishing rights, and how did it gain legendary status?
In this 800th anniversary year, Dan Jones takes us back to 1215, the turbulent time when the Magna Carta was just a peace treaty between England's King John and a group of self-interested, violent barons who were tired of his high taxes and endless foreign wars. The treaty would fail within two months of its confirmation.
But this important document marked the first time a king was forced to obey his own laws. Jones' Magna Carta follows the story of the Magna Carta's creation, its failure, and the war that subsequently engulfed England and is an audiobook that will appeal to fans of microhistories of pivotal years like 1066, 1491, and especially 1776 - when American patriots, inspired by that long-ago defiance, dared to pick up arms against another English king.
©2015 Dan Jones (P)2015 Penguin Audio
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Critic Reviews

"[Puts] the Magna Carta in its proper historical context...Dan Jones triumphantly answers the questions he poses in his Introduction, about how it came to be granted, what it meant at the time, and what it should mean to us today." (Andrew Roberts, New York Times best-selling author of Storm of War and Napoleon)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By N. H. on 12-09-15

Complicated period of history made accessible

Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty by historian Dan Jones is excellent. As with his previous books, The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors and The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England , Mr. Jones makes a very complicated period of history accessible.

The Magna Carta is often referred to as the starting point for our own Constitution. Ironically it was never intended as a tool to help the common man. It was intended to benefit the nobility by controlling a despotic king. Mr. Jones does a wonderful job of setting up the circumstances that required the creation of the Magna Carta. He also explains that it was not just one document and done. It was reissued with changes over the course of many years. It is a fascinating timeline to follow how a barons’s rebellion is credited in the creation of some many documents which brought freedom to nation’s citizens.

Honestly I enjoyed John Curless’s narration of War of the Roses better than Mr. Jones’s narration of Magna Carta. I did enjoy Mr. Jone’s narration better than Clive Chafer’s narration of The Plantagenets. Mr. Jones has a pleasant voice. He certainly knows the text having written it. He provides emphasis where it is needed. It just comes down to personal choice in narrators. I would highly recommend Magna Carta. It is wonderful and not dry.

This book was provided free from Audiobook Addicts on Facebook as a prize for a contest.

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9 of 10 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 04-26-16

Masterfully Written and Narrated

This engaging and compendious history of Magna Cart is indispensable to the understanding of, inter alia, the American Declaration of Independence, the need for a written and fixed constitution, the supremacy of law, and why a wall of separation between church and state must exist. It should be both read and listen to.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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