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Publisher's Summary

British politician Daniel Hannan's Inventing Freedom is an ambitious account of the historical origin and spread of the principles that have made America great and their role in creating a sphere of economic and political liberty that is as crucial as it is imperiled.

The ideas and institutions we consider essential to maintaining and preserving our freedoms - individual rights, private property, the rule of law, and the institutions of representative government - are the legacy of a very specific tradition that was born in England and was inherited by Americans, along with other former British colonies. By the 10th century, England was a nation-state whose people were already starting to define themselves with reference to inherited common-law rights. The story of liberty is the story of how that model triumphed: How it was enshrined in a series of landmark victories - the Magna Carta, the English Civil War, the Glorious Revolution, the US Constitution - and how it came to defeat every international rival.

Today we see those ideas abandoned and scorned in the places where they once went unchallenged. Inventing Freedom is a chronicle of the success of Anglosphere exceptionalism, and it is offered at a time that may turn out to be the end of the age of political freedom.

©2013 Daniel Hannan (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Work, Clear Reading, Revealing History

As an American, I had always traced the roots of freedom back through philosophers from the Scottish Enlightenment, the School of Salamanca, Aquinas, and back to Plato. This book gave another historical perspective on the roots of freedom and the curious fact that English speaking nations seem further ahead than their neighbors.

Hannan's work suffers from only one lingering question - why did Eastern nations like Korea adopt this tradition? They do not speak English but have unleashed a firestorm of invention. It seems the Christian connection might prove deeper than the Anglosphere one, but I am sure Hannan has an answer.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Illuminating

I liked this very much. I learned many things I never knew before. I'm glad I purchased it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Why America Is Exceptional & Much More

Here is the story of the world's brightest hope for 'ordered liberty' today. It is the heart-stirring story of leaders being accountable to their people, of common law that respects beneficial tradition, in its concrete splendor, over the abstractions of elites grasping autocracy, of civility favoring the flourishing of commerce from the hamlets to the Hamptons

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel
  • North Potomac, MD, United States
  • 05-09-15

Couldn't get through it.

Any additional comments?

I love theory, history, and non fiction in general. That being said, I could not get through even half of this book. The reading style was wooden and it was like being at the worst college lecture.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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informative information enlightened perspective.

An historical perspective through the ages of the Anglo sphere by individuals who where promenent followed by a very concise conclusion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An Essential Primer

Nothing in this book is new to anyone who has studied English history or modern political thought. It is however unlikely that any causal reader will have encountered any of the very powerful concepts presented in this book, except in parody. After reading or listening to Inventing Freedom even the most unpatriotic will regard American and British history with an new sense of pride and optimism-- regardless of their ethnic back ground. Hannan makes it clear for all to see that the real joke is our trendy set of modern transformative revolutionaries: they would do well to reevaluate their own political beliefs in the light of some of Hannan's basic history.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • United States
  • 07-17-14

I put this up there with Guns Germs And Steel

What made the experience of listening to Inventing Freedom the most enjoyable?

The absolutely clear linearity of it all and the rather tenuous chance the void left by Roman withdrawal from Britain would by chance be filed by egalitarian customs that became extinct on the continent.

And so many times a close run thing even to our modern times.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Inventing Freedom?

Survival of common law traditions after the Norman Conquest.

Which scene was your favorite?

The general discussion on how the anglosphere is what it is in large extent because we are all of us much like islands.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The misfortunes immediately following 1066

Any additional comments?

This book gets added to my permanent elite library.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • rice
  • Idaho Falls
  • 08-11-18

Fascinating and illuminating

A fascinating and illuminating account of our history and current condition as a nation and English speaking society.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Poor narration for a bad book

Narration:
Multiple mispronounced names and places. Also an annoying verbal inflection the narrator uses to end most most sentences

Book:
The extent to which it's an unapologetic lauding of imperial Britain is disgusting. The flow of the writing is good, but the author's ideas are poorly argued

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The basis of our Constitutional Republic

I'm a student of our history, but this is the first deep explanation of who we are as a unique people derived from the ideological genes of our forefathers' forefathers. We are the inheritors of the Second British civil war!