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The 5000 Year Leap Paperback – 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 337 pages
  • Publisher: National Center for Constitutional Studies (2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880801484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880801485
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (742 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

W. Cleon Skousen is best remembered as a popular author, speaker and teacher who lectured in every state and province in North America, and in more than 60 countries world-wide. He was a student of history and a scholar of law, specializing in the principles of Freedom, the U.S. Constitution, economics, and ancient history and scriptures.

He was invited to write a new constitution for Canada and the proposed United States of Latin America, and he published a model constitution that could be adopted by nations everywhere. He served in the FBI for 16 years, four years as Chief of Police in Salt Lake City, and ten years as a university professor. He was a prolific writer and produced three national best sellers, The Naked Communist, The Naked Capitalist, and The Five Thousand Year Leap. Eight of his books were used as college texts, and several were translated and published in other countries.

Dr. Skousen was born in Canada, and returned to the U.S. with his family at age ten. He spent two years in Mexico, two years in England, graduated from San Bernardino College in California, and received his juris doctor degree from George Washington University Law School. He was admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and before the District Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

His seminars on the Constitution have been taught to several million across the U.S., and among his students were dozens of U.S. Senators and Representatives, two Supreme Court justices, and several candidates for President. He believed knowledge and understanding were key to maintaining a free country, and spent his entire adult life opening up complex issues for deeper understanding by students and audiences all around the world.

Mr. Skousen and his wife, Jewel Pitcher of San Bernardino, California, are the parents of eight children, 50 grandchildren, and more than 120 great-grandchildren.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,257 of 1,368 people found the following review helpful By S. Peek VINE VOICE on November 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is an incredible book that should be read by all Americans.

I first read this book back in the mid 1980s shortly after it was first published. It had such a profound effect on me that I can still recall where I was when I was reading it. That is rather amazing as I have I have probably read about 1600 books since then.

I was excited to see that it had recently been republished as my original copy is pretty ragged. It was great to reread it and brush up on the great ideas contained in it.

The premise of the book is that because of the free market system that took root after our Constitution was enacted, the United States literally made a 5000 year leap of progress in the time since then. The author, W. Cleon Skousen, discussed the changes from the time of the founding of Jamestown in 1607 to the early 1980s when the book was written. In discussing Jamestown, he said: "The most striking thing about the settlers of Jamestown was their startling similarity to the ancient pioneers who built settlements in other parts of the world 5,000 years earlier. The whole panorama of Jamestown demonstrated how shockingly little progress had been made by man during all of those fifty centuries."

He went on to say, "The settlers of Jamestown had come in a boat no larger and no more commodious than those of the ancient sea kings. Their tools still consisted of shovel, axe, hoe, and a stick plow which were only slightly improved over those of China, Egypt, Persia, and Greece. They harvested their grain and hay-grass with the same primitive scythes ..."

He then discussed the Constitution that was developed by the Founders. It took 180 years for them to put it all together from the beginning of Jamestown in 1607 to the enactment of the U.S.
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129 of 151 people found the following review helpful By Chris E. Thompson on January 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Over the years I've read many books on the founding of America, the Constitution and our government. From the Federalist papers to present day books on specific politicians and policies. This book has put a perspective on how America came to be the 'Tip of the Sword' of planetary development in only 200 years after a human history that runs on for many centuries consisting of bare bones existence for the masses by illuminating not 'just' the beliefs of the Founders but what they were from the inside out... and what their intent for this nation really was.
Above all they were academicians in every aspect of the word... but also they actually felt individually responsible not only for what they were doing but for each and every word they uttered or wrote in regards to the archival evidence they understood they were creating for the new Government. Something you won't find in any politician today.
An easy read, very enjoyable and ultimately educational. Be careful, you may actually learn something you didn't know.
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69 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Michael E. Brossman on October 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I remember going through school and learning about American history and the writing of the Constitution, but I never felt like I had a feel for the language or the principles upon which that great document was written. W. Cleon Skousen's book, The 5000 Year Leap, does just that. This is a book that anyone of almost any age could pick up and understand just what it was the Founding Fathers were striving for. I think that every individual should pick up and read this book at least once, but preferrably multiple times.
This book lays out 28 principles with which the Founding Fathers tried to integrate into the Constitution. It seems that over 50% of the book is actually quotes by the Founding Fathers themselves, allowing it to do a great job of showing the reader what they actually meant and not just what the author thinks they meant. This book is a must-have for any American history fan or any individual who studies politics. I would recommend it to everyone, though.
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405 of 535 people found the following review helpful By Joel Otto on January 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
The 5000 Year leap left me irritated, challenged, and wanting to read more.

I found the historical material the most interesting, but every time I read the views and conclusions, I felt the need to check the facts. Somehow it seemed that Dr. Skousen was bending the story. I may be off-base here, or I may not. It has inspired me to do more research.

I had two problems specifically. Skousen's concept of good government, which he says he shares with the Founders, is to seek a balance between anarchy, which he equivocates with chaos, and tyranny. To me that sounds like halfway to tyranny, and doesn't help differentiate between the activities where government arguably has a role, and those in which it doesn't.

He takes to heart the purpose of government as described in the Declaration of Independence, but I still felt an authoritarian streak running through the book.

I think the Founders model was to get as close as possible to liberty, and keep the federal government as small as possible, leaving all else to the people or the states. It may sound like a small semantic difference, but the idea of seeking a balance between pure liberty and pure tyranny is a lot different than staying as close to pure liberty as possible.

My other problem was his notion that the part of natural law that is political law is not discovered but revealed. I believe he is saying that the laws which are used to govern human behavior have been revealed by God, through scripture, and are not discovered through experiment as are the laws of physics. He quotes Blackstone on this. I am uncomfortable with this idea, and plan to read more of Blackstone's work to see for myself.
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