''Hannan, a well-known conservative writer and politician in Great Britain, tells the story of English contributions to the modern world and the rise of what he calls the 'Anglosphere' . . . Hannan's book adds up to an entertaining, readable narrative of English triumphs in law, religion, and freedom and celebrates the Anglosphere's 'sublime tradition.' At the finish, he encourages his readers to act as stewards of their rich legacy.'' --Publishers Weekly
''Daniel Hannan is admired and respected for the clarity of his convictions and his ability to articulate them with profundity and pragmatism. His intellect is unmatched, his wit softens the blows of his stinging assessment of the decline of Western civilization, and his courage to take on pompous political correctness is a joy to behold!'' --Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and New York Times
''Freedom, parliamentary democracy, and equality before the law are not universal values but products of a specific English-speaking civilization. Here is a powerful and convincing thesis put across in vivid, rich, and enjoyable prose.'' --Charles Moore, official biographer of Margaret Thatcher
''The story of the English-speaking peoples is the story of freedom - across the globe, across the generations, to a degree unknown in any other culture. It is a great tale, and there is no one better to tell it than Daniel Hannan.'' --Mark Steyn, New York Times
''Daniel Hannan reminds us of what it means to be Americans. Our rights were not invented overnight. They had deep roots in the English liberal tradition. Hannan traces those roots - from the Philadelphia Convention through the Magna Carta - back to their earliest origins. Every American, and especially supporters of the current administration, should read this book.'' --Sean Hannity, Fox News
''Equal parts history and political theory, Inventing Freedom
is a thought-provoking and stirring read for the holidays.'' --Blaze
''Hannan's well-written book is an excellent politically incorrect history of England.'' --Washington's Free Beacon
''With the eloquence of Macaulay or Trevelyan - both of whom are liberally quoted here - Hannan sweeps us through English history to show the triumph of law-based liberty and -'that total understanding which can only exist between people speaking the same tongue.' '' --Telegraph
From the Back Cover
Why does the world speak English? Why does every country at least pretend to aspire to representative government, personal freedom, and an independent judiciary?
In The New Road to Serfdom, British politician Daniel Hannan exhorted Americans not to abandon the principles that have made our country great. Inventing Freedom is a much more ambitious account of the historical origin and spread of those principles, and their role in creating a sphere of economic and political liberty that is as crucial as it is imperiled.
According to Hannan, the ideas and institutions we consider essential to maintaining and preserving our freedoms—individual rights, private property, the rule of law, and the institutions of representative government—are not broadly "Western" in the usual sense of the term. Rather they are the legacy of a very specific tradition, one that was born in England and that we Americans, along with other former British colonies, inherited.
The first English kingdoms, as they emerged from the Dark Ages, already had unique characteristics that would develop into what we now call constitutional government. By the tenth century, a thousand years before most modern countries, England was a nation-state whose people were already starting to define themselves with reference to inherited common-law rights.
The story of liberty is the story of how that model triumphed. How, repressed after the Norman Conquest, it reasserted itself; how it developed during the civil wars of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries into the modern liberal-democratic tradition; how it was enshrined in a series of landmark victories—the Magna Carta, the English Civil War, the Glorious Revolution, the U.S. Constitution—and how it came to defeat every international rival.
Yet there was nothing inevitable about it. Anglosphere values could easily have been snuffed out in the 1940s. And they would not be ascendant today if the Cold War had ended differently.
Today we see those ideas abandoned and scorned in the places where they once went unchallenged. The current U.S. president, in particular, seems determined to deride and traduce the Anglosphere values that the Founders took for granted. Inventing Freedom explains why the extraordinary idea that the state was the servant, not the ruler, of the individual evolved uniquely in the English-speaking world. It is a chronicle of the success of Anglosphere exceptionalism. And it is offered at a time that may turn out to be the end of the age of political freedom.