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Publisher's Summary

What is the significance of the phrase "the pursuit of happiness" in the Declaration of Independence? Why does it read "We the people" in the preamble to the Constitution? What were the philosophies and social forces that made this country unique - that enabled it to become the first successfully self-governing republic?

Answer these questions and more with this insightful 12-lecture course, which explores the principles that guided the founding of the United States, the conditions that led to the break with Great Britain, and the creation of such founding documents as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. You'll deepen your understanding of fundamental ideas that inspired American independence and that continue to have a profound influence on American thought. You'll also receive insight into what historians call "the long conversation" in American society - questions that have been the focus of debate and controversy since the nation was born.

As the world's oldest democracy, the United States stands as the "test case" for those who regard self-government as inherently unstable, inherently self-destructive. Examining the founding documents, such as the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, and the U.S. Constitution, Professor Robinson considers the principles under which the United States evolved.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2004 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2004 The Great Courses

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Beautiful and Flawless

As always just beautiful! Delivery is flawless. Mix of philosophy and some comparisons with present times was really informative.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Prof. Robinson never fails to deliver....

....brilliant in his many works. To learn and be simultaneously entertain keeps me coming back for more. But his ability to teach will always be the reason for pursuing his courses in the first instance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating presentation that ended too quickly.

The lectures flew by, even after listening to large parts of them more than once to better understand it all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Well Done!

I think this is the second iteration of this lecture. Prof. Robinson is an old school (compliment!) erudite intellectual who knows much more than he can possibly convey in a lecture so he gives the information with just enough background to support his thesis. He also does not let politics or pc intrude into the delivery.

Very informative, thank you.

Mickey Campagna

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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So much more than anticipated

A wonderful ride thru the birth of the USA.
What lies behind the constitution and how did it come about.
A convincing and engaging narration. Will look for more audibles by Prof. Daniel N. Robinson.
Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Great discussion

Dr. Robinson does a marvelous job delving into the common modes of thought that led to the US Constitution. Very engaging. I highly recommend it.

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Okay

This one was not nearly as coherent as Great Ideas in Philosophy. I did learn a lot but had more trouble following the timeline.

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  • Jake
  • Port Hueneme, California, United States
  • 12-02-14

Weak analysis

This course was just a meandering series of quotes from the forefathers followed by vacuous reverence. It felt like the professor just threw something together at the last minute.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Worth purchasing

Robinson does very well in this series. It is not as good as his great ideas of philosophy, but I very much liked it

0 of 3 people found this review helpful