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The Declaration of Independence and Other Great Documents of American History 1775-1865 (Dover Thrift Editions) Dover Thrift E Edition

53 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0486411248
ISBN-10: 0486411249
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The great documents in this important collection helped form the foundation of American democratic government. Compelling, influential, and often inspirational, they range from Patrick Henry's dramatic "Give me liberty or give me death" speech at the start of the American Revolution to Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, issued in the closing weeks of the Civil War. Also included are the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson's classic rationale for rejecting allegiance to the government of King George III; the Monroe Doctrine, the cornerstone of American foreign policy; and these other landmark statements: The Constitution of the United States; James Madison's The Federalist, No. 10; George Washington's First Inaugural Address and Farewell Address; Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural Address; William Lloyd Garrison's Prospectus for The Liberator; Andrew Jackson's Veto of the Bank Bill; and Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, Emancipation Proclamation, and Gettysburg Address.
An introductory note precedes the text of each document, providing fascinating background history and information about the author. An indispensable reference for students, this handy compendium will also serve as an invaluable introduction for general readers to American political writing.

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Dover Thrift E edition (June 20, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486411249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486411248
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Kendal B. Hunter on September 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a quick and slim collection of founding American documents. Being small it fits anywhere, on your shelf or in the schoolbag. Get it for Poli. Sci. students, Law Students, and Historians, or for you patriotic friend for the Fourth of July or Patriot Day.
It has the basics that every American needs to know. It has the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, plus speeches form Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, and the Gettysburg Address. You get a good feel for the movers and shakers at this nations founding.
Ignorance is an unpardonable sin. We need to understand the past to understand the present. We need to get back to these ancient and sacred writings to understand our country. They are a trustworthy and reliable source of information about who we are.
There are several omissions. I would have like to have the Mayflower Compact included. The Monroe Doctrine was also missing-terrible shame! I would have also to have the Northwest Ordinance. Furthermore, it would be helpful to have the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution only makes sense in context of the mistakes of the Articles of Confederation. Lastly, I would have included more from the Federalist Papers, such as 1, 2,13, 14, 55 and 84. But this would have bloated the book, thus loosing it's slim effectiveness.
Maybe they could put all of this in a Volume II.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Khemprof TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
The Declaration of Independence and Other Great Documents of American History: 1775-1865 edited by John Grafton is an important collection of the heart and soul of what America is all about. These fourteen great documents are the foundation by which our American democratic republic was founded. Each of these documents has a short introduction giving the reader a basis in time, relevent to and providing fascinating background history and information about the author.
This is handy and gets the reader in the right time frame, making this an indispensable reference for general readers to American political writing. This book covers a basic library of important American documents from the first century of America's history as an independent nation.
From Patrick Henry's 1775 speech to the Virginia Revolutionary Committee, "Give Me Liberity or Give Me Death" to Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugral Address in March 4, 1865 we see the tenor of American thought throughout come to the forefront. These are compelling, influential and often inspirational, but most importantly these are certainly among the most essential and enduring, reflecting the ideas, issues and conflicts which dominated American political life in the first century of our fledgling republic.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jon Linden VINE VOICE on July 26, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In John Grafton's edited book of great documents of American History, he provides an uniquely handy reference book to the great speeches and documents of our past. Included are both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, with all Amemdments, a document I often find myself in need of referencing, especially in these tumultuous times.
I will not list off all the documents in his book, the Amazon review and several reader reviews do list them. But I would note, that Grafton's commentary on Lincoln's composition of the Gettysburgh Address is in accord with the superb work of Gary Wills in his book, "Lincoln At Gettysburgh" where Wills thoroughly debunks the myth that Lincoln wrote the Address on the back of an envelope on his way up on the train.
Anyone who has frequent need to reference some of the greatest and enduring documents in American History will find this book an invaluable reference tool.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAME on May 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
One can take two opposing approaches to this kind of volume. One can celebrate the treasures that are in it, or one can lament all the treasures it lacks. I prefer the first approach. For any volume which contains , The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Washington's First Inaugural and Farewell Speeches, Lincoln's First and Second Inaugurals and the Gettysburg Address contains the very heart of America's political thought and creed.

These documents are valuable not only politically, and historically they are also very great Literature.

There is much to be inspired by in the documents that are in this volume .Those seeking more important documents relating to American political life and democracy can find other volumes, whole libraries if they wish.

For what it is, this is just right.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Anthony DeLellis on April 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
Whether you are a student or a writer, a historian or a casual observer, this is a great collection to have. It includes many of the most pertinent documents in American history, as well as a myriad of useful speeches, which are all excellent for quoting in essays, term papers, etc. Some of the documents are available only in this book, and it is the best collection I have seen at this price. Overall, a great buy.
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