Customer Reviews: The Declaration of Independence and Other Great Documents of American History 1775-1865 (Dover Thrift Editions)
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on September 4, 2003
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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VINE VOICEon July 26, 2003
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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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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on April 8, 2001
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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In this fantastic 96 page compact Dover Thrift Edition text you have many of the most important documents in the history of the United States. This volume should be required reading for every American. This small book needs to be part of all American history classes. The low price of the text ($2.00) is an incredible bargain that anyone can afford to pay for the amount of American history it contains.

This volume includes the famous speech by Patrick Henry: "Give me Liberty or Give me Death." The Declaration of Independence, (July 4, 1776) as well as The Constitution of the United States (September 17, 1787) is also part of this collection. Other important historical documents in this text include: James Madison: The Federalist (November 23, 1787), George Washington's First Inaugural Address (April 30, 1789), his Farewell Address (September 19, 1796), Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural Address, (March 4, 1801), James Monroe's The Monroe Doctrine (December 2, 1823), Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1861), The Emancipation Proclamation, (January 1, 1863), The Gettysburg Address, (November 19, 1863), Second Inaugural Address, (March 4, 1865) and other historical documents.

In conclusion, this is a book every American should read and have in their personal book collection.

Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Predator Hunter: A Warrior's Memoir)
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on November 15, 2014
Once again, a most useful tool for teaching history and at such a reasonable price -
students earn these books for their writing essays on the subjects.
Thanks for making these books available.
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on May 3, 2005
It's small enough to take with you, yet inexpensive enough to buy several. I have a couple so there are copies at home, work and a travel copy. The pages are large enough that it doesn't get lost and the typeface is large and clear enough to make it easy to read. It's a great selection of documents, including the founding documents and those from our presidential giants: Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln.
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on September 11, 2012
This little compilation puts together many of the most influential writings, speeches, and documents of American History. From the Declaration and Constitution to Lincoln's great speeches, you will get a sense of America's progression through time on vital issues, many of which are still wrangled with today. Along with several other of Dover's historical offerings, all of which are inexpensive, I would highly recommend this book.
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on July 3, 2015
This is a collection of documents and speeches that were essential to the founding and values of our country. Each chapter starts with a short introduction and then the document/speech.

It's easy to fall into the trap of believing other's interpretation of these documents, but not know the content for yourself. For a few dollars, it's great to have this on your bookshelf.
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on August 16, 2008
I feel that everyone in this country should get and read this book so that when you want to understand why this country is important you will understand and believe.
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