Thursday, September 10, 2009
Declaration of Independence by John Hancock et al. (review)
Title: Declaration of Independence
Author: John Hancock et al.
Dewey Decimal: N/A
John Hancock and fifty five other members of the Continental Congress authored and signed the Declaration of Independence in July of 1776. To some degree we're all familiar with at least part of the history leading up to the the creation of the document and the ramifications it brought about when it was ratified.
And I know some of my readers will wonder why I'm even reviewing this particularly short piece of reading. Mostly because I love history, but also because I have never read it before in it's entirety. I know bits and pieces, but I decided it was finally time to read it from start to finish.
Most enjoyable about this work was the language. It was full of great words like "multitude" and "abdicated" and "barbarous." There are even wonderful phrases like "When in the course of human events..." and "He has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt out Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People."
But the most enjoyable part of reading this, the best part of all, was reading it out loud and with a slightly Southern accent (like I was from Mississippi or South Carolina). I could almost envision myself standing in Philadelphia with the Founding Fathers surrounding me cheering me on while I read.
My bottom line is that everyone should read this. Even if you hate history, even if you have no appreciation of the roots of our country. The language and rhythm of the document are great. And when you factor into it the weight of the words, the reason behind the document, it takes the story to a new level.