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The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States

4.44  ·  Rating Details ·  16,151 Ratings  ·  227 Reviews
A pocket edition of America's founding documents. To encourage people everywhere to better understand and appreciate the principles of government that are set forth in America s founding documents, the Cato Institute published this pocket edition of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. With more than three million copies in ...more
Paperback, 58 pages
Published August 15th 2000 by Cato Institute (first published 1776)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 12, 2014 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
What do I need to say? Read them, understand them, and give thanks.

Also let me recommend, treasure, protect, and pray we keep them, unbroken.

Jan 19, 2009 Kelly rated it it was amazing
During South by Southwest 2003, I saw a movie called The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. The movie is about President Chavez in Venezuela and the failed coup attempt on his presidency. In the background coverage of his presidency, the filmmakers recounted how as President, he encouraged his citizens to read their brand new constitution and learn it. They interviewed some Venezuelans who did not know to read, but had learned to read by reading their constitution.[return][return]I was touched by ...more
DJ Harris
May 03, 2013 DJ Harris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone

It is nearly impossible to review such an important historical work. In my opinion this is one of the most important documents in history.

The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States by Thomas Jefferson
Dustin Cleveland
I should confess that I am putting this copy up only to mean that I have read the Declaration and the Constitution themselves, and have copies on my bookshelf. I have not actually read this book with this particular foreword.

Sorry that that isn't really a review. These foundational documents are immortal, and important beyond description. Every American should read these documents, simply so that they may know what it does and does not say.
Jul 13, 2016 Nick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to Nick by: Everybody
Everyone including me has read this repeatedly for school. So I knew this would be bad, but I didn't know how bad until I went through it underlining everything negative and circling everything positive. Why the Cato institute publishes this, and why it is handed out at libertarian events completely escapes me.

I will omit things too minor to note. Asterisks rank importance.

Lets skip the declaration since its meh. Its way better than the constitution though. I'll just note that the consent of the
Jeff Walden
What's to say? It's the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments, in their original forms. The only adjustment is that portions of the Constitution and amendments changed by subsequent amendments are bracketed and footnoted to indicate which amendment changed them. (So, for example, the Eighteenth Amendment [instituting Prohibition] is bracketed and noted as repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment. Have you ever noticed the alcoholic beverage ...more
Mario García
Dec 18, 2011 Mario García rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Essential reading for any sentient being capable of -actual- reading. The development of the American empire affects most of the world. Yet, it was almost a provision of American thinkers not to fight tyranny itself but rather fight a small portion of the tyrants before becoming as such.

It is almost an historical contradiction that some years later United States of America found itself fighting terror, instead of a single terrorist. If History is not read correctly (about who is who and what is
David L
Feb 19, 2009 David L rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Only the foundation of our daily lives, the lives of our grandparents and our great grandchildren.

Its worth reading. Try to find the place where certain classes of people are not protected. Go on, it's fun. Check those Beautiful Amendments out. How bout that - who do they apply to? Citizens, legal immigrants, illegal immigrants?

The plot twist in the 2nd Amendment is riviting. I don't want to be a spoiler but the part about a Well regulated Militia being necessary - WOW!!!

Quiz to follow.

PS - Wh
Jan 08, 2016 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: 2010-and-before
I keep this in my purse, just in case someone wants to read me my rights..."no thanks, I've got my own copy" ;-P
Mar 06, 2012 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Christopher by: Nobody
Reading the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States gives one an appreciation for just how forward thinking and far ahead of their time the founding fathers were. Or it should anyway. The establishment of the various checks and balances put forward in these documents, specifically the Constitution, is nothing short of brilliant. That said, it also drives home the point that, in spite of the genius entailed in these documents, they are imperfect. The founding fathers ...more
Juergen John Roscher
Review on "The Declaration of Independence"
Dates Read: 8-Nov- 2010 and 28-Jan-2011

I read “The Declaration of Independence” in an attempt to better understand the principles on which the United States was founded. I feel a need to be educated about its history and founding fathers philosophies to counter attack many of the revisionists that promote ideological based and at times plain un-American interpretations of America’s history and founding documents. There is no better source of understand
Jul 21, 2012 Tyler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would have given our founding documents a five-star review, except that the Founding Fathers left that tiny bit about slavery ("all other persons"; "that peculiar institution") in the Constitution. Despite today's conservative politicians exalting the Founding Fathers to the status of demigods, the fact that they gave in and compromised to keep slavery instead of standing by their principles to end the institution once and for all shows they were, in fact, mortal after all--they gave in to bot ...more
Jul 23, 2011 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Essential reading for any American. So many who use the words "unconstitutional" to support their agendas have never actually read the document, but get their understanding from other people who have never read it. Read it yourself. That rating should be 4.5 stars if Goodreads would allow it, which would include a perfect 5-star rating for the Declaration of Independence and most of the Constitution, with a slight deduction for the ruinous experiment of outlawing liquor (thankfully repealed) and ...more
Leah W-F
Feb 24, 2012 Leah W-F rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm torn between 4 and 5. This was a brilliant concept to play with, but I felt sort of bereft upon finishing, like the story wasn't complete. I also thought a lot of issues were brought up and then addressed sort of prefunctorily, like slavery and stuff--it was like, oh yeah, I forgot that part of the story, I'll finish it up really quick and then move on...but I didn't get much of a sense of resolution. SEQUEL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank god I have health insurance, because I think I just punctured my ch
Mar 25, 2011 Madeline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All
This is a beautiful document that to the casual reader can make a tedious read.

Read about the background and the significance of these documents and compare them to your present circumstances and you will grow to love them.

I seriously recommend comparing the actions of the present president with the trespasses of George in the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution is fascinating once you start reading about the Convention and our present circumstances.
Feb 21, 2012 Robyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It holds us to a higher standard, I've been ready it more lately as America steers further from it. My mom and I decided to make it a tradition to read it at least once a year in celebration of the fourth, as well as any time a law is passed that goes against it.
Dec 02, 2009 Kat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: must-read
Ok, holy shit, one day I subbed for Crystal and I had to try to teach this to the kids...that is a challenge I didn't even know how to approach. Props to history teachers that can actually translate this important document and have their students actually care and understand how this impacts their lives.
Leonardo Campos-moya
I downloaded the free version for my kindle, and I was impressed with how radical it really was. The notions that people can overthrow a government that no longer serves them and that they have inalienable rights are very progressive. It is essential reading for anyone, and not just Americans.
Jun 10, 2011 Doug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maier gives a good introduction to the development of these documents. It not only sets them in their historical context it also discusses their relationship to each other. Politicians are always asking each other if they have read the constitution. This book is a good way to do just that.
Oct 03, 2014 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must text for every American to become ever so familiar with. You cannot stop reading it and I would strongly suggest you begin to develop a library on the Constitution. Although it seems to be a rather simple document you will miss so much of the true meaning of this document. The Federalist papers along with the Anti-federalist papers are also a must. Should you choose to develop a Constitutional Library I would caution you on the texts as many are written by liberals who will do all ...more
Deanna Against Censorship
NO matter how many times I read these documents or bring them to the attention of others, I am overwhelmed by our forefathers intelligence, courage and vision. A model for the world. It is important that we review these documents regularly. Remember Separation of Church and State is one of the major reasons that the USA has remained strong. Once religion is mixed with government than there is discrimination. If there is one religion than those who believe in another or none are considered wrong.
Jake Leech
Feb 03, 2014 Jake Leech rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Obviously I'm not going to give the Declaration and Constitution less than a five-star rating.

I decided to read this because it's one of those books people are always talking about, but very few people have actually sat down and read. Actually, I don't know if that's true, because I don't know if Americans read it in some grade school civics class. Anyway, I hadn't read it, so I decided to. This particular edition is pretty nice. There's a concise description of events and reasons leading to the
Happy Independence Day!

"We, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection betwee
Jul 02, 2015 Brent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just read a few of the opening lines to the Declaration of Independence:
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths
Levi Johnson
May 28, 2015 Levi Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I've read the audio book version and am not sure it is this exact text, it was formative to read this because it gave me specific insight into the structure of the United States government, especially in regards to the the freedoms of the people, and the state of the Union when we declared independence from the royal crown of Britain. When read in conjunction with Benjamin Franklin's biography, I felt tremendous personal connection to the text. These documents were highly influenced or ...more
Apr 13, 2016 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read both of these in the past, but I don't think I've added them to my Goodreads. Since the Constitution was included in the appendix of Daniel Okrent's excellent history of Prohibition, which I just finished reading, I figured now would be a good time to add these foundational documents.

If you liked this, make sure to follow me on Goodreads for more reviews!
Jul 02, 2011 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Declaration of Independence - Kinda Rebellious!!!
The Constitution - a gajillion times better than The Articles of the Confederation.

PS - I own this book, but I'm not sure if I read it. My review is on the actual Declaration & Constitution - like you couldn't figure that out.
Jul 17, 2012 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Required reading for every true America-loving patriot. While your rights are God-given, these documents codified the best defense any country has every produced in defining and protecting them within the laws of Men. Find out for yourself what the liberals are trying to steal from you.
H. Lynch
Nov 24, 2009 H. Lynch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who cherish individual rights and limited government
Feels like this book should be in every Western reader's book list. Its simplicity and elegance are unrivaled, and it even demands re-reading and consequent mining of its parts and pieces. Very important, particularly in these days of outrageous federal powers.
Bryn Wheeler
Oct 22, 2012 Bryn Wheeler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Currently reading various books about American history, not being a native, this puts me in mind of the proud and hopeful beginnings of this all important country and it's founders.

Shame how it turned out.
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The History Book ...: DECLARATION OF RIGHTS 62 59 Oct 24, 2009 08:46PM  
  • The Gettysburg Address
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • I Have a Dream / Letter from Birmingham Jail
  • Common Sense, The Rights of Man and Other Essential Writings
  • The Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates
  • The Dirty Dozen: How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom
  • Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788
  • The Constitution of the United States of America and Selected Writings of the Founding Fathers.
  • Second Treatise of Government
  • The Proper Role of Government
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History
  • America's Constitution: A Biography
  • Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts
  • Civil Disobedience and Other Essays (Collected Essays)
  • The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution
  • The Black Book
  • The Declaration of Independence and Other Great Documents of American History 1775-1865
  • In Our Own Words: Extraordinary Speeches of the American Century
The term Founding Fathers of the United States of America refers broadly to the individuals of the Thirteen British Colonies in North America who led the American Revolution against the authority of the British Crown and established the United States of America. It is also used more narrowly, referring specifically to those who either signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 or who were dele ...more
More about Founding Fathers...

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