For Liberty and Equality and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $31.95
  • Save: $5.70 (18%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by FPQ Books
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The cover shows normal wear and tear. The cover has a slightly warped spine. The dust jacket shows normal wear and tear. Text only, no supplement included. The pages show little wear and tear. Item ships secure with Fulfillment By Amazon, Prime customers get 2nd day at no charge!
Add to Cart
Trade in your item
Get a $0.69
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

For Liberty and Equality: The Life and Times of the Declaration of Independence Hardcover – June 5, 2012

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$11.93 $10.95

Frequently Bought Together

For Liberty and Equality: The Life and Times of the Declaration of Independence + The Promises of Liberty: The History and Contemporary Relevance of the Thirteenth Amendment
Price for both: $81.79

Buy the selected items together


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195379691
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195379693
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #816,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"[An] exceptional history of the Declaration in American political rhetoric... Alexander Tsesis meticulously details how the Declaration of Independence has stimulated and justified reform movements throughout American history." --Tulsa Law Review

"Utilizing speeches and newspaper articles, Tsesis traces the importance of the Declaration of Independence as the purveyor of 'transcendent' American norms...Recommended." --CHOICE

"Tsesis provides a significant commentary on the revolutionary legacy and Jefferson's eternally memorable text." --Jack Rakove, The New Republic

"No document is as cherished, or misused, by Americans as the Declaration of Independence. For Liberty and Equality is a remarkably perceptive history of the Declaration, elegantly written and carefully argued, by one of our brightest and most original legal scholars. There is no better book on this subject in print today." --David Oshinsky, Jack S. Blanton Chair in History, University of Texas; Distinguished Scholar in Residence, New York University; and Winner, Pulitzer Prize for History, 2006

"Alexander Tsesis has written a remarkable love letter on the Declaration of Independence. That is, like Abraham Lincoln, he views the Declaration's proclamation of equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as the essence of America and, like Lincoln, he exhibits real anguish at the betrayal of this promise by toleration of systematic inequalities (the most notable, of course, being slavery). Although a marvelous overview of American history from 1776 onward--and the use made by political reformers of the Declaration's basic norms--it is also a call to his readers today to take seriously the demands that the Declaration places on anyone who would seek to make the United States a truly 'more perfect Union.'"--Sanford Levinson, author of Framed: America's 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance

About the Author

Alexander Tsesis is Associate Professor of Law at Loyola University-Chicago. He is the author of We Shall Overcome: A History of Civil Rights and the Law; The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom; and Destructive Messages: How Hate Speech Paves the Way for Harmful Social Movements.

More About the Author

Alexander Tsesis has written on a variety of subjects, including the legal history of civil rights, the abolition of slavery, equal protection, due process, women's rights, children's rights, hate crimes, hate speech, and constitutional theory. His publications include five books: For Liberty and Equality: The Life and Times of the Declaration of Independence (Oxford University Press 2012), We Shall Overcome: A History of Civil Rights and the Law (Yale University Press 2008), Destructive Messages: How Hate Speech Paves the Way for Harmful Social Movements (New York University Press 2002), The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (New York University Press 2004), and The Promises of Liberty: Thirteenth Amendment Abolitionism and Contemporary Relevance (Columbia University Press 2010).

Tsesis is a Professor of Law at the Loyola University, Chicago, School of Law. He teaches Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, and seminars devoted to civil rights issues and constitutional interpretation.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
One of the most influential documents in our nation's history has never had the force of law. As one book about the Declaration of Independence was titled, the Declaration is "American scripture," summarizing aspirations and inspiring actions but not legally enacting or enforcing them. Yet the famous document has been socially, historically, and legally influential, and its influence is charted in _For Liberty and Equality: The Life and Times of the Declaration of Independence_ (Oxford University Press) by law professor Alexander Tsesis. The book, in examining the influence of the Declaration, gives a history of the United States through the lens of its ringing endorsement of human equality and the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have often failed to live up to its ideals, but Tsesis shows that in many ways the Declaration has been more influential than our nuts-and-bolts Constitution.

The Declaration starts famously stating its purpose for being, and then lists those basic rights which may have been given by a Creator but which must be secured by governments, and then in its longest section it enumerates the colonies' complaints against Britain. Naturally most of the pages of Tsesis's book have to do with race relations, from slavery through the civil war and to the civil rights era. When in 1808 the federal government prohibited the importation of slaves, Jefferson backed the legislation, arguing that the Declaration's assertion of human rights were applicable to "all members of the human family." Opponents of the new law, however, cited the complaints section, which included George III's "... cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world." The federal government was doing the same thing, said the slave dealers, in preventing their fair commerce.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?