Book Review: American Scripture, Making the Declaration of Independence by Pauline Maier



Link for the book @ Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/American-Scripture-Making-Declaration-Independence/dp/0679779086
Paperback $10.85
Kindle $11.99

Link for the book @ Publisher--Alfred A. Knopf:
http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780679779087
$15.95

Published on May 26, 1998 by Alfred A. Knopf/336 pages
Non-Fiction/American History/Declaration of Independence


Be honest, have you read the Declaration of Independence? In its entirety? Not just the preamble? Have you read the entire Declaration of Independence aloud?
For several years I've had a large framed print of the Declaration of Independence hanging on the wall just a few inches in front of where I sit now, at my desk, and my opened lap top even touches the print. Yet, I had never read it, except for the first opening paragraph.
In the past few weeks I have been working on my genealogy and have traced back my maiden name, Hart, all the way to the mid 1700's in America. It appears my Hart ancestor's did come over early in America's history, and they did fight in the American Revolution as well as the war of 1812 and the Civil War.
Reading and studying books on the history of the Civil War---for the War Through the Generations Challenge, and working on my genealogy, has led me to read about the American Revolution and the beginnings of our government and culture and society during early American history.
I am refreshed and invigorated in knowing my family had an active part in the history of this nation.
I am hoping to read several books in 2011 on early American History.

This book was so packed full of information, I realized how much I did not know.

American Scripture begins with the meeting of the 1st Continental Congress and with those delegates that met, then moves on to April of 1775 when Paul Revere warned that British troops were coming, the French Indian Wars had recently ended and the early Americans were switching over to friendship with the French instead of with their British soon to be ex-sovereignty. There were growing pains in America, the infant America was maturing outside of the British rule. Many Americans did not want a complete break with Britain, because there was a source of pride that they were apart of this great nation. Yet, they wanted a constitutional Independence. They felt kicked around, treated harshly, and they were ticked, they'd had it.  Britain called us the defiant rebellious Colonist's. We were defiant, but only because of how we'd been treated. Now we know it was to be, we were meant to be our own Nation Under God.

A few things I'd not known but was educated by reading this book:
That Thomas Jefferson had only been a delegate in Virginia a short time when the 2nd Continental Congress took charge as a country at war.
That reconciliation was hoped for with Britain, they did not want complete separation.
It was actually a 5 man committee that worked on this document. 
Thomas Jefferson did not read well aloud.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the same day, July 4, 1826.
The Declaration of Independence traveled to various towns in the colonies and was read aloud.
It would be Abraham Lincoln that would solidify this document as a living document for all Americans.

In the back of the book is the complete draft of the Declaration of Independence, with lines scratched through and clarifications and editing shown---I found this interesting.
I did not read this book word for word as I would a fictional book or biography, etc.
I do feel that I learned more from this book than all the years of public school and college I've had.

I did read the entirety of the Declaration of Independence, aloud!


Blissful Reading!
Annette

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