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Harmonizing Sentiments : The Declaration of Independence and the Jeffersonian Idea of Self-Government

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0820439617
ISBN-10: 0820439614
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The Author: Hans L. Eicholz is a Senior Fellow at the Liberty Fund, an educational foundation based in Indiana. He received his doctoral degree in American history from UCLA and has taught courses in American and World history for the California State University at Los Angeles and UCLA.
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Product Details

  • Series: Masterworks in the Western Tradition (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing Inc. (February 22, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0820439614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820439617
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,979,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
"Whereas other recent scholars of the Declaration have examined it as rhetoric or questioned its originality in order to depreciate its importance, Eicholz shifts the debate from issues of political culture back to more traditional questions of political theory. The Declaration mattered a great deal, he maintains, because its words expressed widely accepted beliefs that originated with seventeenth-century English "Old Whigs who were opposed to the abuse of power and in favor of limited government" (p. 4). Unlike scholars who argue for the primacy of one intellectual tradition, however, Eicholz is quick to note that the ideas of the Declaration represent "a synthesis" of "rational self-interest" with "moral sense" philosophy and "the received wisdom of the common law" - all of which contributed to the revolutionary belief that "human order was not fundamentally the product of political mediation" (p. 72). Jefferson's task was to express these harmonizing sentiments, and Eicholz believes he accomplished that task well."
-From "The Independent Review," Fall 2002
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Format: Paperback
Han Eicholz's Harmonizing Sentiments is an excellent review of the meaning of the Declaration of Independence. Eicholz shows how the Declaration is a document of 18th century political economy and the Enlightenment. Eicholz debunks the belief of modern historians that Thomas Jefferson was not central to the creation of American liberty. Eicholz points out that Jefferson's Declaration was the ipitome of the natural rights philosophy, and is central to the idea of self government. Overall and excellent study.
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