Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence (Paperback)
From acclaimed historian Garry Wills, author of Lincoln at Gettysburg, a celebrated re-appraisal of the meaning and the source of inspiration of The Declaration of Independence, based on a reading of Jefferson's original draft document.
Inventing America upended decades of thinking about The Declaration of Independence when it was first published in 1978 and remains one of the most influential and important works of scholarship about this founding document. Wills challenged the idea that Jefferson took all his ideas from John Locke. Instead, by focussing on Jefferson's original drafts, he showed Jefferson's debt to Scottish Enlightenment philosophers such as Lord Kames and Francis Hutcheson, and even the metaphysics of Aristotle. Wills's close reading of the previously overlooked drafts of the Declaration have altered and deepened the meaning and consequences of the single most important document that contintues to define America.
About the Author
Garry Wills is a historian and the author of the New York Times bestsellers What Jesus Meant, Papal Sin, Why I Am a Catholic, and Why Priests?, among others. A frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and other publications, Wills is a Pulitzer Prize winner and a professor emeritus at Northwestern University. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.
“No one has offered so drastic a revision or so close or convincing an analysis as Wills has. . . . The results are little short of astonishing.” —Edmund S. Morgan, The New York Review of Books
“The best and most thorough analysis of the Declaration ever written.” —David Brion Davis, The New York Times Book Review
“A scintalling tour de force of historical detective work.” —Time