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Books by and about 2020 presidential candidates
Crippled America,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
Fire and Fury,
by Michael Wolff (2018)
Trump Revealed,
by Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher (2016)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2016)
Promise Me, Dad ,
by Joe Biden (2017)
The Book of Joe ,
by Jeff Wilser (2019; biography of Joe Biden)
The Truths We Hold,
by Kamala Harris (2019)
Smart on Crime,
by Kamala Harris (2010)
Guide to Political Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2017)
Where We Go From Here,
by Bernie Sanders (2018)
Our Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2016)
This Fight Is Our Fight,
by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
United,
by Cory Booker (2016)
Conscience of a Conservative,
by Jeff Flake (2017)
Two Paths,
by Gov. John Kasich (2017)
Every Other Monday,
by Rep. John Kasich (2010)
Courage is Contagious,
by John Kasich (1998)
Shortest Way Home,
by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
Becoming,
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Higher Loyalty,
by James Comey (2018)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2017)
Higher Loyalty ,
by James Comey (2018)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

Our Declaration
A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality

by Danielle S. Allen



(Click for Amazon book review)

    Click on a participant to pop-up their full list of quotations
    from Our Declaration, by Danielle Allen (number of quotes indicated):
  • Danielle Allen (11) Massachusetts Democratic Gubernatorial Challenger
  • Mitt Romney (1) Massachusetts Former GOP Governor (2003-2006); Pres. candidate (2008)
    OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

Danielle Allen is a professor of government at Harvard and director of the Safra Center for Ethics there, and is considering a run for governor of Massachusetts. Her 2014 book Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality is a highly readable and detailed examination of the founding document of the United States. Those looking for potential prescriptions on current issues will have to look elsewhere. This is a work of political philosophy, not a campaign platform.

In short chapters she takes the reader through the Declaration sentence by sentence. It is, of necessity, a history book, so she delves into the men like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams who were instrumental in its creation. She provides context for the list of complaints about the tyranny of King George III. As well, she explores the drafts and revisions that were part of the process that led to the final document.

Yet this is not merely a history of the times and men that led to the Declaration. If the book can be said to have a theme it is of the tension between the competing ideas of "liberty" and "equality." This is apparent right near the start in possibly the best known and oft-quoted line from the document: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." That sentence alone leads Allen to numerous topics: What does it mean that something is "self-evident?" Does "all men" refer only to white male property owners? What does a reference to "their Creator" say about the religious agenda of the document, if any?

As the title of her book suggests, it is the notion of equality that motivated her to write it. For those wondering what a possible future Governor Allen means by that, she writes, "The point of political equality, then, is not merely to secure spaces free from domination but also to engage all members of a community in the work of creating and constantly re-creating that community." [p.269] The goal of the new country would be where everyone has a stake in its success or, as she puts it, "an equal ownership share."

She would be the first to admit we haven't always lived up to that standard, but it's a goal that is worth reaching for and celebrating, and has been part of the American promise from its very inception.

-- Daniel M. Kimmel, editor, OnTheIssues.org, May 2021

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Civil Rights
    Danielle Allen: We've come to think the choice is liberty or equality.
    Danielle Allen: For years, "separate but equal" entrenched segregation.
    Mitt Romney: 2012: Romney omitted "equality" in discussing Declaration.
Crime
    Danielle Allen: The rule of law protects us from arbitrary punishment.
Education
    Danielle Allen: I want my students to own the Declaration.
    Danielle Allen: Students should read the Declaration by graduation.
Government Reform
    Danielle Allen: Point of political equality is to engage entire community.
Principles & Values
    Danielle Allen: The purpose of democracy is to empower individual citizens.
    Danielle Allen: Family twice read the Bible through from start to finish.
    Danielle Allen: Colonies became states by organizing their own affairs.
    Danielle Allen: One can be a non-believer but hold some things sacred.
    Danielle Allen: With a purposeful tyrant; the time for talk is past.


    Click for quotations from other sources by:
  • Danielle Allen Massachusetts Democratic Gubernatorial Challenger
  • Mitt Romney Massachusetts Former GOP Governor (2003-2006); Pres. candidate (2008)

The above quotations are from Our Declaration
A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality

by Danielle S. Allen.

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Page last edited: Oct 09, 2021