Happy Birthday, America: Let Freedom Ring!

As our nation prepares to celebrate the 235th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain, the LTL Blog thought it would be interesting (and fun) to highlight some of Rice Library’s newest books related to Fourth of July themes. For books that deal with freedom in a contemporary context, you might enjoy reading John Kampfner’s Freedom for Sale: Why the World is Trading Democracy for Security or Evgeny Morozov’s The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom. The ideas of both of these authors will challenge mainstream thought on the topics they address. 

For recently published books on the American Revolution itself, you might want to consider the hefty collection of primary source material contained in John Adams: Revolutionary Writings, 1775-1783 edited by Gordon Wood or Thomas Kidd’s God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution. The second of these two titles is available as an electronic book from ebrary. Another history book covering a later event that celebrated the ideals of the Revolution is Sabina Yasmin Khan’s Enlightening the World: The Creation of the Statue of Liberty.
For treatment of an event closer to our own time, let me recommend Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech That Transformed a Nation by Clarence B. Jones and Stuart Connelly. Jones was a confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and assisted him in crafting the famous “I Have a Dream” speech. For another work that deals with the quest for freedom by African Americans, you might enjoy Frederick Douglass and the Fourth of July. Although not as recently published as the others here listed, this work nevertheless causes its readers to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday, especially for the disenfranchised among us.
Finally, one can hardly think about American independence apart from the rights that would eventually be guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. For those interested in studying this foundational document, they might want to consider The Annotated U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence edited by Jack N. Rakove. This too is an electronic book. For a work that examines how the Constitution has affected an important aspect of American life, don’t overlook Rodney Smolla’s The Constitution Goes to College: Five Constitutional Ideas That Have Shaped the American University, and for a general reference book that treats all aspects of the Constitution’s First Amendment guarantees, be sure to consult the Encyclopedia of the First Amendment.
Each of the works above was located by searching the library’s catalog using one of the following subject terms:
     Civil rights
Additional materials on these topics may be found by clicking on the subject terms above. And lastly, don’t overlook the many excellent resources suggested by the following relevant LibGuides:
     Civil Rights
     American Wars
Enjoy your holiday, everyone, and happy reading!
For assistance with these or other Rice Library resources or services, please contact the library’s Reference Desk at 812/464-1907.
This entry was posted in American Revolution, civil liberties, civil rights, Declaration of Independence, First Amendment, Fourth of July, freedom, Independence Day, liberty, U.S. Constitution, War for Independence. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.