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The Declaration of Independence

(Project Gutenberg)

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  2,863 ratings  ·  135 reviews
Kindle Edition, 9 pages
Published March 24th 2011 (first published July 1776)
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Average rating 4.58  · 
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 ·  2,863 ratings  ·  135 reviews


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Bill  Kerwin
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

My first thoughts, on the morning of July 4, 2017.

Put aside slavery and hypocrisy—if you can—for a moment, and read the first paragraph (71 words, 405 characters):
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 t
...more
Peter
Apr 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the best non-book/theater piece/dialog/story/dialogue work ever written.

Astounding language and content it's the essence of the Revolutionary spirit as well as most of Jefferson's thoughts.

Isn't it awesome this is listed on goodreads?
Zinger
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Congress
Shelves: 2008
I read this document a couple times a year. Whenever I do, I wonder if the list of government abuses would be longer today.

How many millions of dollars per minute of interest does the American taxpayer get stuck with thanks to Congress?

How many months of forced labor does the average citizen work in order to pay their taxes? And how much do we pay with the hidden tax of inflation from the Federal Reserves' fiat money?

How many American citizens get killed in undeclared wars, where national securi
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Scott Flicker
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this many times but wanted to read it again with all the headlines over the confederate flag and the cause(s) of the civil war. What did Jefferson mean by "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." I think Americans have been arguing about this for over 200 years.
Shelby
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2 Stars
I rated this book 2 stars simply because this book was one of those books that are just okay to read. I dont really read history kind of because to me some are good and some are not so much. The reason I read this book is because I had to read it for one of my classes that I am taking. At first I thought for sure I was not going to like it because of the way it sounded. As I was reading this book I changed my mind about it. I was better than what I thought. I would not read this book agai
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Jorgina
This organic document is the "arc and covenant" to the Constitution.
Natasha
Sep 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the poetry that preludes the prose of the Constitution of the United States. A revolutionary document. How a group of men who couldn't agree on whether to keep the windows open or shut could come to agree on declaring independence is nothing short of a miracle. Jefferson had a genius in the power of writing persuasively. And the truths recorded therein are self-evident.
نیلوفر رحمانیان
As it is kinda stupid, it is quite funny that i think even today such a text with a good reading may cause a revolution
Miles Smith
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
What to say about the Declaration? So much actually. We take too much of Jefferson’s rhetoric as true, when he was actually trying to justify a decision not even a majority of colonists supported. The most galling thing about the document are the calumnies concerning George III, who was actually a throughout decent man and the best monarch between William III and Victoria. We need to treat the Declaration cautiously. And we never should use it as a lens to interpret the for more important Consti ...more
Huda Aweys
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Declaration contains the reasons and rationales that led the states to their independence from the British Empire, as well as the principles of liberalism that led them to their rise and unity. The signing of this Declaration has included a number of brilliant names in the fields of literature and politics in America
Elliott
May 10, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I find it hard to write a review on this selection of Jefferson's works not for any fault of the editor, and certainly not the introduction by Michael Hardt which I thought an excellent standalone essay in and of itself. It is that Jefferson, to me at least, is a figure who wrote fantastic things, truly revolutionary things, but also wrote horrible things, and did horrible things as well. Jefferson that believer in natural human rights, equality, and brotherhood, owned slaves, laid the foundatio ...more
Christy
Jan 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has been said by some that there were no “long chain of abuses” for the early founders to protest. I wonder if these people have been so desensitized by modern abuses that what the colonists faced was nothing in comparison. The 27 abuses listed in the Declaration of Independence are indeed abuses worth declaring separation over.

It is plain that Thomas Jefferson liked the writings of John Locke, as do I. I have read that several classic authors have disagreed with Locke on different points. I
...more
Becky
Apr 16, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: read in English 334 - American Literature Anthology
The Declaration of Independence taken from Jefferson's autobiography was quite enlightening because I could see the many alterations that Congress made as well as the dedication Jefferson had to his country and countrymen: "we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." I believe Jefferson had wisdom beyond his years (especially in his expressions of slavery) that was shot down because Congress was eager to unite the colonies.
Cameron
Jul 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa-history
Since it is the 4th of July I thought that I would read this and Common Sense since I really have never sat down and read the whole thing. I thought these gentlemen were extremely remarkable. If the war would have been lost they all would have been hung but since we won they are looked at as founding fathers. And amazing read in itself it is a document that is still changing lives.
Daniel Nelms
Cannot recommend more Fink’s edition for a read aloud to children. The illustrations act as interpretation of some of the difficult language so they can more easily understand what is being said. Each year we read it aloud to them on July 4th, and without fail, they (and I) always feel inspired. Happy Independence Day.
Illiterate
Feb 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If moral truths are taken as self-evident, there likely will follow sanctimonious racism and imperialism.
Cassara Nguyen
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this was a wonderful book to read about people Declaring Independence by writing a document. The thirteen countries that Britain owned were furious that they had to pay taxes. They wanted to be treated fairly so, they wrote up a document called the Declaration of Independence to declare that Britain can not rule the thirteen countries anymore. In the book there is this famous quote that people in the thirteen colonies really want. The quote is "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ...more
Kate
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, history
It has been a habit of mine since high school to read the Declaration of Independence every year on the 4th of July. Normally I reflect on the pride I feel to be an American, the pride I feel in the people who fought in the revolution and who overcame such insurmountable odds. I think about our founding fathers and what it must have been like to sign their names to a document that they could have been put to death for treason for signing. I think about Ben Franklin who famously said when getting ...more
ThePinkCarrot
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good way for children (and adults!) to introduce themselves to the Declaration of Independence. Really liked the timeline at the end.
Nick
Mar 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hardt tries really hard to make Jefferson's political theory into a radical phenomena, and it is a neat idea, but in the end I can't buy it. Jefferson's idea of "natural law" and the will of the "people" ultimately lends itself far more easily, in my mind, to neoliberal arguments than those which Hardt is interested in making.
Bobby
Apr 16, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah yeah, freedom is all well and good on paper. But every time I go to the grocery store and look down the aisles at 15 different brands and consistencies of peanut butter, I wish someone would just run my life for me.

Thanks a lot Tom.
Jeanene
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. I read it with my children. The Declaration of Independence came alive for them with the fun illustrations. They are even using big words like "usurp" now. However, I don't think making them do their chores makes me a usurper. Nice try.
Sidharth Vardhan
Since its fourth of July.
M
Oct 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every American should read it and be proud of the founding father!!!
Luisa Knight
What a great way to learn about the document that began the American Revolution. With pictures for each stanza, your children will not forget what was included in this declaration and what it meant.

Ages: 8+


**Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) which enable you to clean up your book before reading it!
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Rick Piatt
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Have not read it since high school. Amazing!

I've been out of school for 40 years. I'm certain we studied the Declaration of Independence both in high school and subsequently in college. With the passing of so many years I thought it long overdue to read this with fresh eyes. This document [[[ IS ]]] the foundation of this great country. I don't remember details of any of the atrocities mentioned but will certainly research them now. I believe I will adopt a yearly reading of The Declaration of I
...more
Kris Dersch
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, for-all-ages
A really lovely lettered and illustrated version of the full text of the Declaration, with some good front and back matter including a timeline and glossary, plus the full text of the document with the list of signatories in a two page spread at the end. Makes a pretty tough text very shareable to even much younger readers for discussion. Still powerful words two and a half centuries later, if imperfect. Kinda like the country itself, really.
Joseph Leskey
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people
Shelves: reviewed, history, fact
Please note that I believe this edition to be incorrectly registered in the Goodreads database, seeing as the publication data and ASIN are in accord with the e-book I read, but the title, cover, and description are faulty. That is to say, I read the Declaration of Independence, not something about it, as it may appear.

This is, of course, a most interesting bit if reading material. Very well done, a person might say.
Clifford Luebben
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
'Merica!

Some of the most eloquent words written in the English language. Always a great reminder of some of the thinking and philosophy and specific cases of oppression that led the US Founding Fathers to form a separate government. (Of course it also hints at some of the thinkings that led them to oppress others, specifically when he mentions the warfare methods of "those Indian savages". )
Jan Anne
I wish American republicans actually read Jefferson. Funny how a man who argues for a revolution per generation is used against any change.

Decided not to give this a rating, because I find it hard to give classics such as these (and for example Augustine's Confessions) a rating on a scale from 1-5 - these are books one must read, and are invaluable yet might not be considered 'good' or 'bad'.
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601 followers
More than a mere renaissance man, Jefferson may actually have been a new kind of man. He was fluent in five languages and able to read two others. He wrote, over the course of his life, over sixteen thousand letters. He was acquainted with nearly every influential person in America, and a great many in Europe as well. He was a lawyer, agronomist, musician, scientist, philosopher, author, architect ...more

Other books in the series

Project Gutenberg (2 books)
  • Bentley's Miscellany, Volume 1
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
39 likes
“not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of . . . but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take.” 27 likes
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