• If You Can Keep It

  • The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty
  • By: Eric Metaxas
  • Narrated by: Eric Metaxas
  • Length: 7 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (924 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

From the number-one New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas comes If You Can Keep It, a new book that is part history and part manifesto, steeped in a critical analysis of our founding fathers' original intentions for America. Two hundred and forty years after the Declaration of Independence, it examines how we as a nation are living up to our founders' lofty vision for liberty and justice.

If You Can Keep It is at once a thrilling review of America's uniqueness, and a sobering reminder that America's greatness cannot continue unless we truly understand what our founding fathers meant for us to be. The book includes a stirring call-to-action for every American to understand the ideals behind the "noble experiment in ordered liberty" that is America. It also paints a vivid picture of the tremendous fragility of that experiment and explains why that fragility has been dangerously forgotten - and in doing so it lays out our own responsibility to live those ideals and carry on those freedoms.

Metaxas believes America is not a nation bounded by ethnic identity or geography, but rather by a radical and unprecedented idea, based upon liberty and freedom. It's time to reconnect to that idea before America loses the very foundation for what made it exceptional in the first place.

©2016 Eric Metaxas (P)2016 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Profound and thoroughly entertaining ... This book has made me think in ways that I haven’t in years. Metaxas is a major writer. Not to be missed." (Dick Cavett)

"If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty - along with such essentials as Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington and The 5000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen - must be front and center on every reading list." (The Washington Times)

"Everyone in every country, at every socioeconomic level, of every religious and secular persuasion, of every political bent, should read it.... It’s the book you must read this year." (Martha Rogers, PhD, coauthor of Extreme Trust: Honesty as a Competitive Advantage)

What listeners say about If You Can Keep It

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A must read for America!!!

I loved it! I am anxious to listen again. My favorite chapter is six, where the author is talking about the integrity and ability to be a leader. Does having integrity make a better leader if they are not qualified, or having the ability to lead, but no integrity? I believe both are necessary.

16 people found this helpful

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Not what I was expecting, but much better

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting. Maybe political commentary? What I actually got was more exciting and thought-provoking than imaginable. It was, from my perspective, a history of Christianity and Judeo-Christian values in America. This book ticked all the boxes for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to anyone. I’m looking forward to reading/listening to more books by Eric Metaxas.

7 people found this helpful

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Exceptional book

I truly enjoyed all the history and stories in this book. It should be read by every American! There is no way for our country to recover without first understanding how it was founded and embracing it. We have lost so much as a society.

18 people found this helpful

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Timely word for America

The timely book that every American should be reading right now. Thank you Eric for spending the time to put this beautiful book together. I wish I would have learned even half of these stories in my many years of education. I'll be sharing this with everyone I know.

15 people found this helpful

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Atheist loved it.

This is a great book on freedom. I think Eric attributes a little too much of freedom with religion and he draws most of his conclusions to his faith but that wasn’t a huge problem to me. The main point was he was an advocate through and through for the first amendment. To include freedom OF religion and freedom FROM religion. If only every man could see it like that, how it was intended, how it’s supposed to be. Too many atheists would ban religion in a heartbeat and too many Christians would force Christianity upon their nation in an instant. Thank you Mr. Metaxas, for a wonderful and refreshing look at our history and why we need to preserve it and stay vigilant tomorrow and the day after next

4 people found this helpful

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Dissertation

I found this book overall engaging. Eric Metaxas has done an amazing and admirable job with thorough research.

So why three stars? It reads like a senior thesis or dissertation. There are an exhausting amount of "Indeed" and "to be sure" and "to be clear" type phrases. Like, a lot.

The book, like the USA, is faith based. I liked it but recognize some people will be turned off by this. Overall though, a fantastic book.

4 people found this helpful

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The "Why" of America that has been forgotten

Soon after the Constitution was completed, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government we would have. His answer, "A, Republic, if you can keep it," is the center piece of this book. Eric Metaxas vividly dives into history to explore the meaning of these words. He articulately and poetically reveals the deep meaning and many characters and events of American history, stories that have been neglected and forgotten. He artfully reveals the principles that once made us "One Nation, Indivisble."
Metaxas' respectful, informative, and warm approach will open your eyes and tug at your heart no matter your political persuasion.

4 people found this helpful

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Thought provoking, but lacks in other areas.

I enjoyed this book, and agreed with some of his thoughts regarding virtue as a necessity for American freedom, and that we need to reclaim the veneration of our heroes. He puts a heavy emphasis on religion which while I don't wholeheartedly agree with, I understand his points and agree with his sentiment. I will definitely consider what he has to say further. He goes of on a chapter long tangent about 18th century religion and a mini-biography of George Whitfield that I found unnecessary for the point of the book. I felt he overused a thesaurus and the wording sounded unnatural and distracting at times.

3 people found this helpful

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A book every American that loves America should read.

We in America today have lost the very concepts that were essential for our system of government to work and thrive. Eric has written an elegant wake up call to our contemporary culture, saying that if we don't understand what it takes for the United States to work we will forever lose her and be Americans in name only.

I would recommend this book to all patriots who still love our country and have not given up on her.

15 people found this helpful

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Best possible read on July 4th.

Very compelling. Superbly well written. This filled a hideous hole in the public school education I received in the 60's and 70's in California. We must never forget what really makes America great and why it is so vitally important that it remain so.

15 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 05-31-21

Such an accurate depiction of what America is

If you've ever wondered what American exceptionalism is and why America is so successful, this is a great starting point. As an Australian, I am deeply grateful for the system that we can see working in America. It is a City on a Hill that will only get brighter and brighter.