Blogs > HNN > Steve Raymond reviewed David Hackett Fischer's "Liberty & Freedom: A visual History of America's Founding Ideas" (0xford, 2004)

Jan 16, 2005 9:33 am


Steve Raymond reviewed David Hackett Fischer's "Liberty & Freedom: A visual History of America's Founding Ideas" (0xford, 2004)




Steve Raymond, who reviews American history for The Seattle Times, opens by writing, “Every American should read this book” which, however, he doubts they will, given its 851 pages and 118 chapter and weight (almost five pounds). “Too bad,” he laments, “[T]he country needs this book.”

“Much of what he says is relevant” to what is happening in this country today. In peacetime, the Jeffersonian tradition about freedom of expression and dissent is accepted. “But in critical moments many Americans have gone the other way,” cracking down on dissenting “opinions, groups and movements that they regard as a menace to a free society.”

Fischer tries to be an objective historian until the end, when he becomes very critical of the current U.S. president. He concludes, "If a free society is ever destroyed in America, it will be done in the name of one particular vision of liberty and freedom. Many single-minded apostles of a narrow idea of a free society have become tyrants in their turn…It is happening again…. But America’s tradition of liberty and freedom is broader than their thoughts about it.”

The Seattle Times, January 16, 2005



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