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The Five Thousand Year Leap - w/CD-Rom eBook and MP3 Audio - Foreword by Glenn Beck

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GLENN BECK, award winning radio and TV host has been talking about---The 5000 Year Leap! This Deluxe Bundle includes: the Paperback Book and CD-Rom including eBook and MP3 Audio. - How America became an economic powerhouse offering wealth to the average citizen! *- How the Federal Government was built to protect and safeguard citizen's rights! - 28 Principles indisputably GLENN BECK, award winning radio and TV host has been talking about---The 5000 Year Leap! This Deluxe Bundle includes: the Paperback Book and CD-Rom including eBook and MP3 Audio. - How America became an economic powerhouse offering wealth to the average citizen! *- How the Federal Government was built to protect and safeguard citizen's rights! - 28 Principles indisputably creating freedom & prosperity unlike any other! *The 5,000 Year Leap comes "Highly Recommended" book by radio and television host Glenn Beck. 28 Principles establishing America in a leap from 5,000 years of come-and-go civilizations to the most advanced and powerful country that world history has ever known, are explored by Dr. Cleon Skousen. *This book will enhance your understanding of the unique experiment that America was in comparison to all that had preceded it. You will read the words of the founders and understand a divine providence leading to the establishment of an American nation. More than that Dr. Skousen weaves a timeless story to show the special nature of America in God's eyes and how a land was preserved for the cause of liberty and the growth of basic and fundamental human freedoms for all mankind. Published by the National Center for Constitutional Studies, a non-profit organization, this great book is a perennial BESTSELLER no library of freedom, politics, and faith should be without. *This deluxe bundle includes the paperback book and a CD-Rom that includes the entire book in eBook format for use on your computer or mobile device AND the entire book in MP3 audio for use on your computer or MP3 player.


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GLENN BECK, award winning radio and TV host has been talking about---The 5000 Year Leap! This Deluxe Bundle includes: the Paperback Book and CD-Rom including eBook and MP3 Audio. - How America became an economic powerhouse offering wealth to the average citizen! *- How the Federal Government was built to protect and safeguard citizen's rights! - 28 Principles indisputably GLENN BECK, award winning radio and TV host has been talking about---The 5000 Year Leap! This Deluxe Bundle includes: the Paperback Book and CD-Rom including eBook and MP3 Audio. - How America became an economic powerhouse offering wealth to the average citizen! *- How the Federal Government was built to protect and safeguard citizen's rights! - 28 Principles indisputably creating freedom & prosperity unlike any other! *The 5,000 Year Leap comes "Highly Recommended" book by radio and television host Glenn Beck. 28 Principles establishing America in a leap from 5,000 years of come-and-go civilizations to the most advanced and powerful country that world history has ever known, are explored by Dr. Cleon Skousen. *This book will enhance your understanding of the unique experiment that America was in comparison to all that had preceded it. You will read the words of the founders and understand a divine providence leading to the establishment of an American nation. More than that Dr. Skousen weaves a timeless story to show the special nature of America in God's eyes and how a land was preserved for the cause of liberty and the growth of basic and fundamental human freedoms for all mankind. Published by the National Center for Constitutional Studies, a non-profit organization, this great book is a perennial BESTSELLER no library of freedom, politics, and faith should be without. *This deluxe bundle includes the paperback book and a CD-Rom that includes the entire book in eBook format for use on your computer or mobile device AND the entire book in MP3 audio for use on your computer or MP3 player.

30 review for The Five Thousand Year Leap - w/CD-Rom eBook and MP3 Audio - Foreword by Glenn Beck

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jodi Z

    Should be required reading for every American. A great place to start your study of the ideas of our nation's founders. This was an eye-opening introduction to what went into creating our government system. I am all the more convinced that those who think the founders' ideas are quaint and outdated have not done nearly the research that the founders' themselves did. It has been said that we should not try to do what great men did but instead strive to see what they saw. The 5000 Year Leap does a Should be required reading for every American. A great place to start your study of the ideas of our nation's founders. This was an eye-opening introduction to what went into creating our government system. I am all the more convinced that those who think the founders' ideas are quaint and outdated have not done nearly the research that the founders' themselves did. It has been said that we should not try to do what great men did but instead strive to see what they saw. The 5000 Year Leap does a powerful job of conveying a piece of their vision. This book is a great place to start--but must not be where we stop. I particularly appreciated the discussion of the 7th Principle: The Proper Role of Government is to Protect Equal Rights, Not Provide Equal Things; and the 15th Principle: The Highest Level of Prosperity Occurs when there is a Free-Market Economy and a Minimum of Government Regulations. In our modern mindset of "Let Uncle Sam fix it and finance it" we seem to have forgotten that if Uncle Sam is to have such deep pockets, we must either line them ourselves or mortgage our future to other countries by borrowing. (Do we really borrow $300 BILLION per year from China?????) This book provides the wake up call we all need. Our problems are not just created by the legislators who recklessly spend our money but by the citizenry that demand they do so!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    To be honest, I read this to confirm to myself that is was as bad as I thought it would be, and I just like to see what Glenn Beck folks are reading these days. The book is basically strung together quotes from founding fathers and HEAVILY from de Tocqueville supporting some principles that Skousen claims are the foundation of our nation. The conclusions are unwarranted and sweeping (I chuckled over one section heading "European philosophers were wrong"). I think books like this are a little dan To be honest, I read this to confirm to myself that is was as bad as I thought it would be, and I just like to see what Glenn Beck folks are reading these days. The book is basically strung together quotes from founding fathers and HEAVILY from de Tocqueville supporting some principles that Skousen claims are the foundation of our nation. The conclusions are unwarranted and sweeping (I chuckled over one section heading "European philosophers were wrong"). I think books like this are a little dangerous because they continuously imply to the reader that now they are privy to some higher scholarly knowledge, when really they have just read what amounts to propaganda. Which is not to say there weren't some ideas that are interesting. The book helped me understand how much the original intent of a tension between states and the federal government is all but gone. But... it's been gone since Lincoln, and honestly I kind of like it. I do not understand the unquestioning, reverent awe given to founders, and in particular a French guy who travelled around and liked America. Certainly proper respect should be given to the great thinkers who helped found this nation. Their ideas should not be easily dismissed, but neither is it the case that if one of them said something it is therefore unquestionably true, for all time.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    I picked up this book because I've seen it on the Amazon bestseller list for months, and was just wondering what Glenn Beck and the Tea Party like about it. It was written in 1981 by Cleon Skousen and at first glance seems rather commonsensical. The premise is that America has been a very successful and prosperous country for its first 200 years; so much so that it has achieved as much in those 200 years as humankind had achieved in the previous 5000 years. A 5000 year leap! A bit hyperbolic, pe I picked up this book because I've seen it on the Amazon bestseller list for months, and was just wondering what Glenn Beck and the Tea Party like about it. It was written in 1981 by Cleon Skousen and at first glance seems rather commonsensical. The premise is that America has been a very successful and prosperous country for its first 200 years; so much so that it has achieved as much in those 200 years as humankind had achieved in the previous 5000 years. A 5000 year leap! A bit hyperbolic, perhaps, but point taken. A lot of that prosperity and progress, he argues, can be attributed to the Constitution. He goes on to "carefully examine the 28 major principles on which the American Founders... provided the intellectual, economic, and political climate for the 5000-year leap." Among the principles: "all men are created equal", there should be "a system of checks and balances" and "a written constitution". So far so good, and many of the remaining 25 sound plausible, but my goodness, I don't think they present a very fair and balanced description of the Founders. First, there's the emphasis on religion. Eight of the first ten principles relate to God or religion. The Founders, we are told, got most of their ideas from John Locke and William Blackstone, and they got them "directly from the Bible". To support this (and everything else in the book) there is a profusion of quotations from the Founders. These quotes are almost certainly cherry-picked in the extreme. Instead of being men of the Enlightenment, the Founders come across as devout, if not fundamentalist, Christians leading a religious revival. The Founders were no doubt men of faith, but the Enlightenment was a movement that "at its core was a critical questioning of traditional institutions, customs, and morals" (Wikipedia). This certainly describes people like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. For example, Jefferson is famous for editing the Bible to eliminate supernatural events (the Jefferson Bible); Franklin rejected most of the supernatural dogma of Christianity and seldom went to church. Most of the remaining principles Skousen cites relate to the importance of restraining the federal government (property rights, individual rights, states rights). In this area, according to Skousen, the US has gone far astray of it's founding document. Clearly, Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional as are most of the New Deal programs. But the intrusions of the federal government started way before the New Deal. The Federal Reserve (established in 1913), fractional banking, the income tax, any governmental attempts to relieve poverty--all violate constitutional principles. According to Skousen most of the unconstitutional stuff started around 1900 when organizations like "the Intercollegiate Socialist Society became popular on major university campuses". By the 1920's, he writes "the inner spirit of the old America had been hollowed out". Jeebus. I wonder how the country made it through the 20th century? I also wonder if the people who read this book are thinking through the Skousen time-line? After all the major point of the book is that America is prosperous because the Founders limited the federal government. So, it would seem that an expansion of the federal government's power should lead to a decrease in prosperity. Exactly the opposite is the historical fact. For example, the Civil War saw a vast increase in the federal government's power. Not only did the federal government interfere with states by preventing them from seceding, it began promoting economic development, The Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 and the Homestead Act, Land Grant College Act, and so forth. Contrary to the Skousen principles, the result of this federal intrusion was a huge economic boom in the final decades of the 19th century. Except, I might add, in the very place that rejected federal involvement, the south. After Reconstruction failed, the south, holding high the Skousen banner of state's rights, low taxes, and no federal involvement, remained an economic backwater for decades. Similarly, as Skousen demonstrates, the Great Depression and WWII saw a vast expansion of the government's involvement in economic activity. But for some reason Skousen doesn't seem to notice that the subsequent 35 years were an unprecedented increase in prosperity. Even the south benefited from this expansion of federal government. Programs like the Tennessee Valley Authority and Rural Electrification helped bring the south into the modern world. The Skousen principles (for they are almost certainly not the Founders') would lead to a Great Leap, but I'm afraid it would be a leap backwards.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Temple

    worst book ever. seriously. academically and logically flawed from cover to cover, miserably written, and extra creepy when you realize it's just mormonism for the masses. sorry, mormons...don't get me wrong: I loathe and resent all religions...but joseph smith was flippin whacked. And so is this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    This book is soooo good! It's awesome because it gives you insights on many of the founding fathers opinions while at the same time answering so many questions that arise today. Such as, is the Constitution outdated? In the back of my mind I knew it wasn't, but I couldn't have explained why until I read this book. The Constitution deals with principles, wich are timeless. It also deals with human nature, and though our way of living may have changed, our nature never will. Another question is, S This book is soooo good! It's awesome because it gives you insights on many of the founding fathers opinions while at the same time answering so many questions that arise today. Such as, is the Constitution outdated? In the back of my mind I knew it wasn't, but I couldn't have explained why until I read this book. The Constitution deals with principles, wich are timeless. It also deals with human nature, and though our way of living may have changed, our nature never will. Another question is, Should the Government take from the rich and give to the poor? This would seem like a pretty good program if you were the one getting the money (which once belonged to someone who worked for it) until everyone stops working. Which again is dealing with human nature. It's human nature to do the least amount of work possibe, so if you can magically get a check in the mail, it's not long before everyone sits back and waits for the slip of paper the mailman brings. Anyone who is a citizen in the United States of America, and/or who loves freedom, should read this book!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Autumn

    I believe this book is fundamental. We should all be involved in the community and in our country. This book lays out basic true principals believed in by the founding fathers on which we should base our decisions in government.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    This is another hard book to rate. It's well written and really easy to read, which is saying a lot for a book on government. Quite honestly, when Skousen was talking about the absurdity of our partisan concept of the left-right divide and the problem solving vs. the conservation wing of government, this was going high three, maybe even low four for me. The difficulty arose when he actually started teaching history. He clearly had done his homework and knew a lot of things that I knew nothing ab This is another hard book to rate. It's well written and really easy to read, which is saying a lot for a book on government. Quite honestly, when Skousen was talking about the absurdity of our partisan concept of the left-right divide and the problem solving vs. the conservation wing of government, this was going high three, maybe even low four for me. The difficulty arose when he actually started teaching history. He clearly had done his homework and knew a lot of things that I knew nothing about, but when ever he wrote about something I did know something about, I felt like he was glossing over the rough details to make it all tidily fit his world view. I'm afraid that history is seldom so tidy. It tends to be a messy business with as many conceivable interpretations as there are people. For example, I thought he very much down played the serious disagreements surrounding the Constitutional Convention, including entirely ignoring those who opposed the establishment of the federal government altogether. He also repeatedly used a Samuel Adams quote concerning religious Utopian societies as a critique of Marxism, even going so far as to insert Marxist rhetoric into the quote in square brackets to make it all fit a bit more neatly. This left me in an awkward predicament when I read the stuff that was new to me. I just didn't feel like I could trust him. All told, this is a good book if the reader approaches it with the realization that Skousen was not a historian examining the record and trying to learn lessons from it. He was by training a lawyer and, as such, I think he approached this book knowing the arguments he wanted to make and picking those points from the historical record which supported his argument and either trivializing or altogether ignoring anything that didn't.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rand

    A must read - especially politicians! They need a refresher course on what made the USA great.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gator

    The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed The World, was written by W. Cleon Skousen in 1981. The 28 Great Ideas that changed the World, all 28 of these ideas are well received by this reader, I should say the near end of the book, the 27th principle (Avoiding the Burden of Debt) was completely depressing, however it was illuminating and caused me deep contemplation. Allow me the Liberty to declare that this is a book every American should read, with haste! This should be required reading The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed The World, was written by W. Cleon Skousen in 1981. The 28 Great Ideas that changed the World, all 28 of these ideas are well received by this reader, I should say the near end of the book, the 27th principle (Avoiding the Burden of Debt) was completely depressing, however it was illuminating and caused me deep contemplation. Allow me the Liberty to declare that this is a book every American should read, with haste! This should be required reading for all Americans, it is a monumental book that explains the basics so completely, it has no equal. This is my 2nd Skousen book this year, the first was the Naked Communist, and his style of writing invigorates me, I already ordered four of his other books that I hope to tackle in the coming years. W. Cleon Skousen is an author worthy of every book shelf in America. Here are some parts of the book that took a hold of me and did not let go. From Marcus Tillius Cicero, one of the founders favorites, he wrote: “The animal which we call man, endowed with foresight and quick intelligence, complex, keen, possessing memory, full of reason and prudence, has been given a certain distinguished status by the Supreme God who created him; for he is the only one among so many different kinds and varieties of living beings who has a share in reason and thought while all the rest are deprived of it. But what is more divine, I will not say in man only, but in all heaven and earth, than reason? And reason, when it is full grown and perfected, is rightly called wisdom. Therefore, since there is nothing better than reason, and since it exists both in man and God, the first common possession of man and God is reason. But those who have reason in common must also have right reason in common. And since right reason is Law, we must believe that men have Law also in common with the gods. Further, those who share Law must also share Justice; and those who share these are to be regarded as members of the same commonwealth. If indeed they obey the same authorities and powers, this is true in a far greater degree; but as a matter of fact they do obey this celestial system, the divine mind, and of the God of transcendent power. Hence we must now conceive of this whole universe as one commonwealth of which both gods and men are members.” John Adams wrote: “The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.” The book goes on and on with such profound thoughts from the author, quotes from the founders and the men that influenced them, and the Holy Bible. I can only pray this book becomes a true staple in every single American Household, for we would all be better off.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Have you ever wondered the true definition of "Separation of Church and State"? What about wondering what the Founding Fathers thought about the role of the Creator and what Man's Unalienable Rights are? This book does a wonderful job in explaining the remarkable origins and ideas that helped forge this great nation. Last Christmas, I was doing some last minute shopping and saw this book in an art gallery. It looked very interesting to me so I picked it up to give to my husband as a present. (I Have you ever wondered the true definition of "Separation of Church and State"? What about wondering what the Founding Fathers thought about the role of the Creator and what Man's Unalienable Rights are? This book does a wonderful job in explaining the remarkable origins and ideas that helped forge this great nation. Last Christmas, I was doing some last minute shopping and saw this book in an art gallery. It looked very interesting to me so I picked it up to give to my husband as a present. (I love how that works!) Around the 4th of July (very timely, I have to say) I picked this book up and just finished it. I felt like I just took a mini history class. I learned more about the origins of the Constitution in this book than I ever did in US History when I was in school, which is a sad thought in and of itself. I highly recommend it to everyone! The author did a wonderful job in writing this book and in quoting the Founders themselves all throughout this book. Very enlightening!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lindy

    Wow! I want to sent this book to every elected official - and every citizen for that matter- in the country. (And I'm only on page 20!) This book discusses what it takes for a people to stay free. We have strayed so far from where the Founding Fathers started. I can't wait to wade deeper in. I returned to library about 1/2 read. It has a lot of great information, but there is a lot to assimilate. I need to buy it so I can take my time to digest each of the principles of freedom and ma Wow! I want to sent this book to every elected official - and every citizen for that matter- in the country. (And I'm only on page 20!) This book discusses what it takes for a people to stay free. We have strayed so far from where the Founding Fathers started. I can't wait to wade deeper in. I returned to library about 1/2 read. It has a lot of great information, but there is a lot to assimilate. I need to buy it so I can take my time to digest each of the principles of freedom and make them a part of me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nickie

    Just read this book again. October 2009. This time I presented principles 11-28 over 6 hours with a youth group. Great learning experience for me. --------------- This is a book all Americans need to read. And I hope would appreciate. For me, this is the planting of a seed and the swelling of that seed which will grow, with proper nourishment into a patriotic tree with fruit of freedom and liberty. These 28 points ring true to me. Can you tell? I hope they r Just read this book again. October 2009. This time I presented principles 11-28 over 6 hours with a youth group. Great learning experience for me. --------------- This is a book all Americans need to read. And I hope would appreciate. For me, this is the planting of a seed and the swelling of that seed which will grow, with proper nourishment into a patriotic tree with fruit of freedom and liberty. These 28 points ring true to me. Can you tell? I hope they ring true to you as well.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    Thought-provoking, informative, and highly satisfying. An excellent companion piece to the Federalist Papers. “I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence, for the illumination of the ignorant, and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.” John Adams

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    I'm sick I didn't sell this for my book group. It would have been an amazing discussion. I felt like this was a very important book. Glenn Beck said every American should read this book and I completely agree. Being a novice with all things governmental, I felt like I got a great overview to the constitution and its overall importance. The principles discussed are losing ground and it is scary! I think I like John Adams more and more as I learn about his vision for our country. He really knew wh I'm sick I didn't sell this for my book group. It would have been an amazing discussion. I felt like this was a very important book. Glenn Beck said every American should read this book and I completely agree. Being a novice with all things governmental, I felt like I got a great overview to the constitution and its overall importance. The principles discussed are losing ground and it is scary! I think I like John Adams more and more as I learn about his vision for our country. He really knew what he was doing, but certainly never got the credit for it, or was liked for it! I loved the book and the chapters on spending our terrifying! When you realzie how much Obama has spent and see our children's inheritance fleeting, the founding fathers would never have approved the most recent bailout! A disaster! Favorite quotes: page 293 quoted from Vanity Fair "How well those live who are comfortably and thoroughly in debt: how they deny themselves nothing; how jolly and easy they are in their minds." Ben Franklin (ironically) on marriage: Marriage is the proper remedy. It is the most natural state of man, and therefore the state in which you are most likely to find solid happiness...It is the man and the woman united that make the complete human being. Separate, she wants his force of body and strength or reason; he her softeness, sensibility and acute discernment. Together they are more likely to succeed in the world. A single man has not nearly the value he would have in a state of union. He is an incomplete animal...If you get a prudent, healthy wife, your industry in your profession, with her good economy will be a fortune sufficient. page 285 Kochk, the american enlightenment, p. 70) It also impressed me that they took such pains and had such foresight to get everyone educated. Page 250 They made an early provision by law that every town consisting of so many families should be always furnished with a grammar school. 246 They were for Aristotle not Plato: The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings, capable of laws, where there is no law there is not freedom. For liberty is to be free from restraint and violence from others, which cannot be where there is no law. Second essay concerning civil governemnt. p. 37 par. 57 188 If the American people ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied. The issuing power of money should be taken from the banks and restored to Congress and the people to whom it belongs. 156 A good definition of socialism: government control of all means of production farms factories mines and naatural resources and all means of distribution. Toqueville (what a guy!)84 I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodius harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies... Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. 61, virtue and talents

  15. 4 out of 5

    Robbie

    The 5000 Year Leap is a profound piece of work on the 28 principles on which this nation was founded. Skousen uses the direct words of the founders and others of that time to lay out how the founders structured the constitution and this country. He does not use quotes to back up his ideas but lets these quotes from the great men of our nation's beginning state their own ideas and backs them up with brief explanations of his own. I was astounded by the prophetic nature of their words. Much of wha The 5000 Year Leap is a profound piece of work on the 28 principles on which this nation was founded. Skousen uses the direct words of the founders and others of that time to lay out how the founders structured the constitution and this country. He does not use quotes to back up his ideas but lets these quotes from the great men of our nation's beginning state their own ideas and backs them up with brief explanations of his own. I was astounded by the prophetic nature of their words. Much of what they tried so hard to warn against and prevent, we are dangerously close to now or has already come to pass. Everyone should read this book. On the redistribution of wealth: "The utopian schemes of leveling (redistribution of wealth), and a community of goods (central ownership of all the means of production and distribution), are as visionary and impracticable as those which vest all property in the Crown. These ideas are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional. " - Samuel Adams On the abridgement of freedoms: "I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations...This danger ought to be wisely guarded against." - James Madison On peace through strength: "The way to secure peace is to be prepared for war. They that are on their guard, and appear ready to receive their adversaries, are in much less danger of being attacked than the supine, secure and negligent." - Bejamin Franklin On debt: "But, ah, think what you do when you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty....as Poor Richard says, the second vice is lying, the first is running in debt." - Benjamin Franklin On the greatness of America (my favorite): "I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." - Alexis de Tocqueville Our country is much less moral than it once was and is falling into disarray. De Tocqueville was and is right.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tamra

    A male friend of mine did a book group at a local library on this book, which intrigued me because 1- he's male and that's usually female territory, and 2- this friend doesn't read a lot. I liked the opening part of the book, before he got to the 28 Great Ideas. More of the history. Which was cool. "The 28 Great Ideas behind the Constitution," though, are sort of just his cover for teaching about God and how we need to make sure He's the center of our politics. I'm religious, but I pe A male friend of mine did a book group at a local library on this book, which intrigued me because 1- he's male and that's usually female territory, and 2- this friend doesn't read a lot. I liked the opening part of the book, before he got to the 28 Great Ideas. More of the history. Which was cool. "The 28 Great Ideas behind the Constitution," though, are sort of just his cover for teaching about God and how we need to make sure He's the center of our politics. I'm religious, but I personally think that using the words "God" and "politics" in the same sentence can be dangerous. Also, after trying to figure out who this guy was, I was less than impressed with his history. He came back into popularity in 2008 when Glenn Beck recommended his works (Skousen died in 2006)(and however you feel about Beck, you have to admit he's extreme right). He also was strongly connected to The John Birch Society back in the day (I mean, seriously?! That's scary extreme right). Nothing's wrong with being opinionated, but I prefer to read works written by somewhat less biased authors. Because then I don't worry so much about "truth" and the author's "angle." Oh, and hardly anything is cited. This is a problem because some of the stuff he claims is a little wacky, so it's triply important that it be cited. A book like this should have citations dripping off the end of the pages. Sorry, Skousen.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Margie

    I'm half way through this and wish that we had used this as a text in my Junior history class in high school. Everyone should read this and become reacquainted with the principles of the Republic and why we were so forutnate that our Founders established the government this way. Benjamin Franklin, when asked what type of Government they had set up responded, "We have given you a Republic madam - if you can keep it." I hope many more people will educate themselves on the genius of the Republic an I'm half way through this and wish that we had used this as a text in my Junior history class in high school. Everyone should read this and become reacquainted with the principles of the Republic and why we were so forutnate that our Founders established the government this way. Benjamin Franklin, when asked what type of Government they had set up responded, "We have given you a Republic madam - if you can keep it." I hope many more people will educate themselves on the genius of the Republic and realize why it is so important to resist socialism. Five stars so far.... I finished the book and it did not disappoint. The book clearly spells out why the Consitution is so brilliant and how thoughtful the Founders were in the writing of it. If I could give this six stars I would.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Frank

    The 5,000 Year Leap By W. Cleon Skousen This remarkable book covers much forgotten or neglected history of our nation's founding, including the Godly and moral principles on which America began. Some of these principles trace back to the ancient Anglo Saxons, who considered themselves a commonwealth of free men and had a tradition of being highly involved in local government. Our Founders realized the similarities between Anglo Saxon laws and those governing Isr The 5,000 Year Leap By W. Cleon Skousen This remarkable book covers much forgotten or neglected history of our nation's founding, including the Godly and moral principles on which America began. Some of these principles trace back to the ancient Anglo Saxons, who considered themselves a commonwealth of free men and had a tradition of being highly involved in local government. Our Founders realized the similarities between Anglo Saxon laws and those governing Israel during Biblical times. They also subscribed to the ideas of the Roman political writer Cicero, who wrote extensively about Natural Law, which he described as the rules of right conduct established by the Creator of the universe. The architects of the American nation studied the various types of government that had existed through the ages to determine what would be the best methods of governing. The book points out that the Founders were God fearing people. Days of prayer and fasting were common and leaders sought their Maker both publicly and privately. They were also quick to thank him for intervention in their personal lives and for sparing our country from one peril after another. The book notes that George Washington faced at least sixty-seven different occasions where he felt God's intervention saved Americans in their struggle for independence. James Madison, the father of our Constitution, Ben Franklin and many others felt Americans needed to be a virtuous and moral people in order for our republic to properly work. In the early United States citizens considered community offices as positions of honor rather than a way to enrich or empower themselves. Many leaders served with little or no compensation. As president and commander in chief George Washington declined his $25,000 annual salary (equivalent to a healthy six-figure income today), determined to somehow get by without it. Shedding further light on the character of early America was French jurist Alexis de Tocqueville, who extensively toured our country in 1831, a couple generations after its founding. He wrote "Democracy in America", at that time one of the best definitive studies on the American culture and Constitution. He wrote of Americans' religious faith: "All sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity and Christian morality is everywhere the same. There is no country where the Christian religion maintains a greater hold on the soul than in America." He declared how the clergy helped fan the flame of freedom, stressed morality and alerted the citizens to dangerous trends. The Founders felt religious principles undergirded good government. De Tocqueville wrote that faith was so common that a county court judge in New York was shocked to learn a witness did not believe in the Deity. He disallowed the evidence, feeling the non-believer had thus destroyed all confidence in what he was about to say. The book elaborates on 28 founding principles that helped set America on the right course. One such value was maintaining an educated population as a way of keeping our freedoms. Among other subjects, teachers taught from the Bible. Some of the other principles included governmental checks and balances, peace through strength, the importance of a written Constitution, strong state and local government, limited federal government with well-defined responsibilities, the need for strong families, majority rule and minority rights, and a three-fold federal government with powers and responsibilities divided among executive, legislative and judicial branches. A three-headed eagle depicted these three divisions of government. The book does not use this analogy but this reminds me of the Trinity, three persons in one God. The book says John Adams dreamed of the day when our nation's founding ideals would govern two or three hundred million people. America's population is now over three hundred million. But what would that generation of leaders think of today's America? Prayer founded our nation. Prayer can revive and save it. The author, Dr. W. Cleon Skousen spent many years researching American history and teaching it at public meetings. The book was originally published in 1981 and was revised in 1991 and 2006, the year in which the author passed away. In 2009, the volume was in its fourteenth printing. -- Frank Lewandowski

  19. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    If you believe in the principles of freedom that America stands for than you will appreciate this book. I know that because of human nature there is no perfect society and that men are fallible. That is exactly what the founders believed also. So they did their best to set up a system of laws and government to try to put in check the evil designs of men and the weakness’s of human nature. We have faltered much along the way, not because of the weakness of the constitution but because of the weak If you believe in the principles of freedom that America stands for than you will appreciate this book. I know that because of human nature there is no perfect society and that men are fallible. That is exactly what the founders believed also. So they did their best to set up a system of laws and government to try to put in check the evil designs of men and the weakness’s of human nature. We have faltered much along the way, not because of the weakness of the constitution but because of the weakness of men. The “Utopian dream will never be possible in view of the obvious limitations of human nature”. This book names 28 “principles of freedom” that the founders believed and used to form America. It is non-partisan. It explains how the founders measured the political spectrum from Ruler’s Law (far left) to No Law (far right). And they believed that the key was in the balanced center of People’s Law. This book is also a powerful argument against socialism and clearly illustrates how socialism and all of its forms are unconstitutional. The name of the book reflects the fact that these freedoms created an environment for which we have progressed greatly in technology, science, living standards, etc: more in the last 200 years than in the first 5,000 of recorded history. It makes the point that mankind can progress when the shackles of bondage are broken and an atmosphere of freedom abounds. So what are some of those principles? Well the first five or so principles were religiously/morally based. Basically, a belief in God and of Natural Law. i.e. Our rights are God-given - "we hold these truths to be self evident...that men are endowed by their creator". That legislation in violation to God’s natural law is a scourge to humanity. Also, that a virtuous and moral people and leaders are necessary for a strong society. A quote from James Madison said, “Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks, no form of government, can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people is a chimerical idea.” To make his points, the author quotes many of the founders and also the works that the founders studied such as Cicero and John Locke. I don’t have a naive view that these men were perfect but I do believe that they were educated and inspired at the right time in history to bring about this miracle of a nation. Other “principles of freedom” espoused in the book include: * “The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things”. (This chapter includes a lesson from communism) * “The United States of America shall be a Republic” (Explains the misconceptions about democracy) * “A constitution should be structured to permanently protect the people from the human frailties of their rulers”. *“The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free-market economy and a minimum of government regulations” *”Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with ALL Nations – entangling alliances with none” *And of course the lesson so needed today: “The burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest” *And my personal favorite! “Life and Liberty are Secure Only so Long as the Right to PROPERTY is Secure”! All in all, I learned a lot, gained some good tidbits from history, and enjoyed the many wonderful quotes. Read this book! But be forewarned that it may leave you a bit disillusioned at how far from the constitution we have strayed. Nonetheless these principles need to be taught for us to get back on the right track and I WISH every voting American would read this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brian Hodges

    Okay, I gave it a fair shot. I got through a little over 100 pages of it and had to restrain myself from shouting out loud almost the entire time. I picked up this book for two reasons. First, back when I was a Glenn Beck fan, he used to rave about the principles espoused in this book and how we need to get back to them to make America great again. Also, after reading "A People's History of the United States" I figured I should give a fair shot to a book with a less cynical and more forgiving vi Okay, I gave it a fair shot. I got through a little over 100 pages of it and had to restrain myself from shouting out loud almost the entire time. I picked up this book for two reasons. First, back when I was a Glenn Beck fan, he used to rave about the principles espoused in this book and how we need to get back to them to make America great again. Also, after reading "A People's History of the United States" I figured I should give a fair shot to a book with a less cynical and more forgiving view of our founding fathers. Unfortunately, every word I read was filtered through that Howard Zinn lens. Every worshipful sentence hailing Ben Franklin or Thomas Jefferson or George Washington made me audibly scoff, because I can only think of Zinn's take on what REALLY happened, what they were REALLY trying to create. But beyond that, even if we forgive the double-speak of our founders (slave owners who said all men are created equal mind you), I think I have finally reached my saturation point for anyone who holds the words of the founders to some kind of supernatural status. And that really seems to be the whole M.O. of this book: "The founders said it, so we should do it." While I agree that we should give special consideration to the things they said -- since, come on, they were building an entire country FROM SCRATCH -- I also think that the wisest and most telling thing they did was to make the Constitution a LIVING DOCUMENT (i.e. it can be CHANGED). They knew that as times change, so to would the needs of the country. But the author of this book doesn't seem to understand that (unless he gets into it later on). After spending the first several chapters essentially saying that if you don't believe in God, you're a lost cause, he then spends pages and pages droning on about states rights and whatnot, issues that made a TON of sense back in 1776 when it took whole days to cross from one state to another, but have less dire importance in a world that has the airplane, automobile, telephones and internet. Still, the individual points I disagreed with I'm pretty sure I could have forgiven. For me it was the ad nauseum reverence bordering on adoration for the founders that ultimately turned me off. The founders were men. Famous men. Important men. In some sense, great men. Depending on who you talk to, good men. But MEN nonetheless. They were fallible. And they knew it. So let's learn from them and take lessons from them, yes. But let's also temper those lessons against the context of both the times they lived in and the reality of these men's lives and exploits. I would also HIGHLY suggest that anyone who adores this book pick up Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" and at least read up to the chapters covering the American Revolution. It will be eye-opening to say the least.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brent McGregor

    Absolutely essential reading. With all the rewriting of history that has been going on since the Social Gospel of the late 1800's became the Progressive movement, a clear outline of the principles that the founders used in the formation of our government has been needed. This book shines a light on the path that we are on now and how lost we have become. All the sophomoric doublespeak that has become the language of the MSM and political hacks is now exposed for what it is: a lie. Principles, su Absolutely essential reading. With all the rewriting of history that has been going on since the Social Gospel of the late 1800's became the Progressive movement, a clear outline of the principles that the founders used in the formation of our government has been needed. This book shines a light on the path that we are on now and how lost we have become. All the sophomoric doublespeak that has become the language of the MSM and political hacks is now exposed for what it is: a lie. Principles, such as the absolute necessity of having a moral people, have been eroded by emotional choices that seemed right at the time. Our courts allowed freedom of religion to be misinterpreted as freedom from religion. The christian notion that "All men are created equal", has been subverted by the Marxist pablum that all men should be the same. When sameness becomes the new equality, nobody is safe. Equal rights become a thought crime. Racism an epithet that only one race may be smeared by. By rewriting the Constitution into a document that outlines what we are free to do, instead of what we originally were free from (namely government meddling), we have become a nation of serfs. Skousen has written a book 30 years before its time. Today, conservatives are alarmed by these recent power grabs: Government ownership of auto manufactures, banks, and now health care, with more on the way. The IRS is being made a security force that answers to no one. The dollar is spiraling out of control as joblessness is now at almost 20% (if honest reporting were conducted). He was able to see this all. This is our way back.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    A must read for every American. The book describes 28 of our founding principles and how they helped our forbears create the most prosperous and free civilization in the history of the world. The book perfectly illustrates the efficacy of the American philosophy by illustrating how little science, technology, and industry had changed in the 5,000 years prior to America's discovery, and how virtually every facet of human ingenuity and creativity exploded exponentially once the founding principals A must read for every American. The book describes 28 of our founding principles and how they helped our forbears create the most prosperous and free civilization in the history of the world. The book perfectly illustrates the efficacy of the American philosophy by illustrating how little science, technology, and industry had changed in the 5,000 years prior to America's discovery, and how virtually every facet of human ingenuity and creativity exploded exponentially once the founding principals based on natural law were put in place. I especially like the chapters that describe the governments of ancient Israel and the Anglo-Saxons, and how much our system of government, at least initially, derived from those former, proven systems. Subsequently, the author goes on to describe that left (e.g., socialism) versus right (e.g., fascism) is really a false scale. The correct scale to use is anarchy (no government) versus tyranny (total government; e.g., socialism or fascism). With the constitution, the founders placed things in the balanced center -- just enough government to protect individual life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but not enough government to encroach and disturb natural law. If every politician followed these principals, we wouldn't have the massive debt we have, our families would be strengthened, the moral fiber of our communities would be strong, and we would continue to be the most prosperous people in the history of the world.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    The Center for Constitutional Studies has really been pushing for every American to read this book. It's been kind of a controversial book--some people really pushing for it to be included in public school curriculum, others pushing hard to have it banned. Anyway, it explores the fundamental principles that our nation was founded on, and how those principles let to more advancement in 150 years than had been accomplished in the 5000 years previously. I thought it was wonderful--so clear and conc The Center for Constitutional Studies has really been pushing for every American to read this book. It's been kind of a controversial book--some people really pushing for it to be included in public school curriculum, others pushing hard to have it banned. Anyway, it explores the fundamental principles that our nation was founded on, and how those principles let to more advancement in 150 years than had been accomplished in the 5000 years previously. I thought it was wonderful--so clear and concise! It really clarifies what this great nation was founded on and reinforces taht our constitution is REALLY WORTH PROTECTING.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leila

    I was amazed at the insight of the founding fathers into the future ~ having no belief in crystal balls I'm convienced of divine guidance in the creation of this country's founding documents. Recommended for all whom are concerned about it's direction.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ebookwormy1

    This book was painful to read during the debt ceiling fiasco and USA credit downgrade of the summer of 2011, particularly when a later chapter's title is: "The burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest" (27th Principle). It was kind of like taking a medicine that tastes bad, and the best way for me to get through it was to read one chapter a day. Don't be discouraged by the emotional hype of the Glenn Beck prologue, which is Beck's usual, "I learned I know This book was painful to read during the debt ceiling fiasco and USA credit downgrade of the summer of 2011, particularly when a later chapter's title is: "The burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest" (27th Principle). It was kind of like taking a medicine that tastes bad, and the best way for me to get through it was to read one chapter a day. Don't be discouraged by the emotional hype of the Glenn Beck prologue, which is Beck's usual, "I learned I know everything, and it was disturbing to me, and it should be disturbing to you too junk." Skousen has put together a rigorous historical study of the principles that shaped our Constitution, as well as a strong disciplinary caution to all citizens who have allowed the country to drift from it's moorings. I don't know that I agree with all the principles. The 19th Principle "Only limited and carefully defined power should be delegated to the government, all other being retained by the people," is something I agree with in theory, but I'm not sure I agree with the explanation which includes a criticsm of the 17th Amendment, transferring Senatorial elective power from the State legislatures to the people. "A free society cannot survive as a republic without a broad program of general education" (23rd Principle) was also a principle I agreed with in theory. But my homeschooling practice desired clarification that education can be provided in the home and parents should have the ability to opt-out of any government system. But the one that was most troubling to me was: "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations - entangling alliances with none" (25th Principle). There is a nice explanation about how Switzerland followed the founder's policy, and I understand the concerns of the founders in avoiding the entanglements of Europe. However, What to do when an enemy, say Muslim fundamentalists, or more specifically, Iran, has called for the destruction of your nation and way of life? How does one maintain peace, commerce and honest friendship with a nation that doesn't want peace, doesn't want commerce, and doesn't want to be a friend? Meanwhile, "The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free market economy and a minimum of government regulations," (15th Principle) which emphasizes "freedom to try, freedom to buy, freedom to sell, freedom to fail" was like water in a desert. "The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family: therefore, the government should foster and protect its identity" (26th Principle) made me wonder what the founders would think of the attacks on the family today. In an attempt to make any configuration of "family" accepted and protected, we are destroying the very foundation of our society. "The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things" applies today just as strongly as in times past. "A constitution should be structured to permanently protect the people from the human frailties of their rulers" (13th Principle) seemed like treasured wisdom, but I developed a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach that either the Constitution or the electorate failed in that one. That feeling was furthered by "A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power" (17th Principle). I realized the Judiciary was legislating and transgressing on Congress, and the President was issuing an executive order that trampled on Congress, etc., but this book did a good job of bringing it together in my thinking. "Life and Liberty are secure only as long as the right to property is secure" (14th Principle) was a new thought to me. I had studied the Constitution in school, and having no property at the time, didn't fully grasp what a key principle this is. The economic collapse of the government and all this talk about "haves and have nots" really underscored the truth of this principle in a new way. And the chapter entitled "A majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical" was a sobering reminder of what the founding father's did - lead a revolution to separate from the British Empire. Hmm... if we continue to move away from the Constitution, will people be will to revolt to preserve it? Have we really "tried" the constitution and found it lacking, or have we intentionally moved away from it's principles? I was also particularly struck by this passage: "In the author's college days, it was popular in political science and economic classes to point out that the Constitution was written some two hundred years ago by a people who were 95 percent farmers. Now, they would say, we live in an industrial society, and the needs of the people can no longer be accommodated under the archaic system provided under the U.S. Constitution. Not only certain teachers expressed this opinion, but U.S. Senators proclaimed it. Occasionally, even a President would say it! In this writer's file there is an interesting collection of such statements" (12th Principle explanation, page 118). This was the first time I realized that the attack on the Constitution and the attack on the Bible are similar, as people raise the same questions about the Bible. There is also in these arguments an underlying arrogant, and dangerous, assumption that ancient wisdom or historical lessons have little bearing on the modern age. But there is also a difference. I believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God, but the Constitution was written by fallible men. While reading this book reinforced my belief that the US Constitution is an incredible document, that represents the strongest ideas in governance in the world, it also reminded me that the document is fallible. The challenge is to figure out, and agree, on where those gaps are. For a Christian in America today, who loves our country and our history, it is also a good reminder that the founders and the Constitution they created, while appreciated for their brilliance, are not to be worshipped - only God is. If the Constitution fades and passes away, God's word will stand, "All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass.The grass withers, the flower fades,but the word of our God will stand forever" (Isaiah 40:6-8). And if God determines our government will fall, God will remain. "For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king (President); he will save us" (Isaiah 33:22). And from Isaiah 40: 21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? 22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. 23 He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. 24 No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. 25 “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. 27 Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    (September final word) This book is supremely frustrating. I enjoyed reading some of the later principles and agreed with much of the overall idea, but Skousen continually packages political revisionist history as objective truth and cannot be trusted. His overall thesis that these principles were universally agreed upon by all of the Founding Fathers is false. He gives no context to his sources or quotes, and treats modern commentators and past memoir writers like de Toqueville as credible phil (September final word) This book is supremely frustrating. I enjoyed reading some of the later principles and agreed with much of the overall idea, but Skousen continually packages political revisionist history as objective truth and cannot be trusted. His overall thesis that these principles were universally agreed upon by all of the Founding Fathers is false. He gives no context to his sources or quotes, and treats modern commentators and past memoir writers like de Toqueville as credible philosophical sources. He employs "Appeal to Authority" logical fallacies in direct and subtle ways. One typical example was in the Principle of political independence and neutrality (not exact wording, but I don't have the book here in front of me). I agree with much of his overall idea and think the US and world would be better if the US had stayed out of many conflicts, but Skousen's approach is just manipulative and self-serving. First, there was NOTHING even kinda, sorta near a consensus on this among the signers of the Constitution. There were Hawks and Doves, power-hungry politicians and pacifists, just like today. Second, at the beginning of the chapter, Skousen quotes Thomas Jefferson in 1823 on how we should stay neutral in regards to European conflicts. Putting that quote in WITHOUT mentioning Jefferson jumped into taking sides during the Napoleonic Wars for territorial greed, allying with an immoral dictator in order to leverage the relationship to pry Florida from Spain and eventually negotiate the Louisiana Purchase, is dishonest. Not to mention that his wrong-headed, anti-banking fiscal policies both before and during the war bankrupted the US during the War of 1812, avoiding humiliating defeat at the hands of the British only because they were too busy fighting Napoleon to do more than force an advantageous treaty. (And Jefferson, the man who embargoed his own country before 1812 in an attempt to punish the British, is liberally quoted in the financial principle chapters as well. ) A final example from the chapter shows both Skousen's extreme positioning and his silly, subtle Appeals to Authority aimed at his largely Mormon audience. He builds up a source, saying he was an under-secretary of such-and-such and a Constitutional scholar, and then quotes him with no context, advocating in 1939 that the US stay out of World War II. Skousen then reveals his identity with something like "His name was J. Reuben Clark," knowing that Mormons will instantly recognize the name of the past general authority and presumably assign credibility to Skousen's use of his words. It's just stupid. Skousen follows the quote by strongly implying that even WWII was an example of incorrect US interventionism. Even pre-Pearl Harbor, I don't really believe that blatant, unembarrassed evil such as Hitler should be left unopposed in the name of morality. (WWI, Korea, Vietnam with false prevocations, different story, though the line of when to oppose other takeovers is a difficult one to define I think). But I would be very interested if Clark still thought the war was unjustified after Pearl Harbor as Skousen implies. Anyway, I think people should read this book, but they should also read several other accounts of the crafting of the Constitution and the loves and ideas of the Founding Fathers to separate the spin from fact in Skousen's political epistle. (initial July note) This is like scripture (Sometimes too literally) to many of the ultra-conservatives I live with here in Utah Valley. I have been wanting to read this. (August update) OK, I'm over halfway through and this is really irritating me. I'll admit I came in predisposed to dislike this both because of the arrogance with which people cite this as proof that everyone who disagrees with them politically is stupid, and because Cleon Skousen wrote a horribly, HORRIBLY false exposition titled "The Atonement" that is still circulating, especially in Brazil, and causing all kinds of misunderstandings of the doctrine of the Atonement. Anyone who could glibly twist scripture like that and claim everyone should be boldly preaching this false doctrine is very suspect. First of all, as I read Glenn Beck's foreword, I just wanted to punch his smug little face as he tried to sell his books and his ignorance. More importantly, this is not history. This is someone with a philosophical point to prove picking and choosing his evidence to support his thesis. He claims these are "secret, classic ideas" the founders shared to hide the fact that much of this is conservative revisionist philosophy of the past century. When people cite this book and lament the fact that "no one learns from history," that just makes me angry as reading any decent book about the creation of the constitution will clearly show the over-simplification and cherry picking Skousen is employing. Skousen can't find many writers that agree with him, so his strategy appears to be to really talk up the ones who do, or he can at least claim they do, and then use the mere fact they wrote something as proof that it is an inherently true idea. If Cicero or Polybius said it, it must be true. Or worse, if wandering writer Alexis de Toqueville thought so, so should you. Skousen's claim of profound democratic principles among the Israelites and the Anglo-Saxons is extremely shaky. The organization of leaders in Israel was more akin to a church ward with a central authority than a democracy and some clan traditions of coastal raiders are not inherently good. But Skousen will give an abbreviated claim that these societies had it all figured out and then just cite anything someone thinks Israel or the Anglo-Saxons did as good. He idolizes Thomas Jefferson who was a credible philosopher, but a poor president, and not a particularly nice or moral man. The last chapter I read had a hyperbolic quote from a historical London newspaper editorial with no context provided as "proof" of a point. I'm just starting his economic chapters where he cites Jefferson and Andrew Jackson as economic role models. I in contrast believe those two did serious damage to our nation and economy as detailed in the work of John Steele Gordon. (Besides the fact that Jackson was a brutal, cruel man in general.) The frustrating thing is I agree with Skousen on many of the global issues here--I generally believe in a limited government and a free-market economy--but in my mind he does more harm than good to his arguments by playing so fast and loose with the evidence. Then others read him and start spouting off these over-simplifications and misrepresentations as truth. I'm very glad I am reading this, but it's just solidifying my low opinion of Cleon Skousen.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    According to this thoughtful book, we have lost our way in this country, and I agree. This insightful and fully comprehensible outline of the meaning of the Constitution shows how the thinking of the Founding Fathers is still applicable today. Senator Orrin Hatch states that it should be studied in high schools and universities and by Congress and the Supreme Court. I would go further and say that it should be read by EVERYONE! Between the Constitution and the Ten Commandments, we have everythin According to this thoughtful book, we have lost our way in this country, and I agree. This insightful and fully comprehensible outline of the meaning of the Constitution shows how the thinking of the Founding Fathers is still applicable today. Senator Orrin Hatch states that it should be studied in high schools and universities and by Congress and the Supreme Court. I would go further and say that it should be read by EVERYONE! Between the Constitution and the Ten Commandments, we have everything we need to know to make every decision in our government and personal lives. We need only turn on the TV to see how far sideways we have gone and the high price we are paying for it. Please, do yourself a favor and devour this still-relevant book. Better yet, read it and then send your copy to a politician. :)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    When I first flipped through this book and read the title of each of the 28 principles, I essentially agreed with each principle as stated and as I read, I did find some insights interesting. But, I found serious fault with the book's central premise, that the 'Founding Fathers' (the author uses the term as a single entity) had very specific ideas concerning government and all those ideas apply in today's world. The Founding Fathers were diverse group of individuals that had very different opini When I first flipped through this book and read the title of each of the 28 principles, I essentially agreed with each principle as stated and as I read, I did find some insights interesting. But, I found serious fault with the book's central premise, that the 'Founding Fathers' (the author uses the term as a single entity) had very specific ideas concerning government and all those ideas apply in today's world. The Founding Fathers were diverse group of individuals that had very different opinions on how the Constitution should be interpreted and how the government run. This diversity and disagreement led to ruined relationships (Madison-Hamilton, Washington-Jefferson, Adams-Jefferson, Adams-Hamilton) and, ultimately, the death of a founder (Hamilton). But, the diversity also led to compromise, including compromises that were needed to establish the Constitution in the first place. This book completely ignores that diversity and paints a picture of unity between these individuals. For each principle, the author gives his interpretation, gives a few cherry-picked quotes that supports his view-point and states that the "Founders agreed/believed/thought this". In a couple principles (1st and 9th), he ignores the founders completely, exclusively quotes from philosophers or historians and then states at the end of the chapter some version of "and the Founder's believed this." I also found that many of his ideas ignored historical context of an issue and were often overly simplistic, such as his patronizing plan for integrating minorities (learn English and our culture and work hard and in a generation you will be integrated) or his argument that if the U.S. had stayed out of WWII the world would have been "much happier, more peaceful, and more prosperous". 2 stars is probably nice, I give it 1.5 stars

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dick

    This is a book that is not Republican or Democrat. Rather is it about how our Found Fathers incorporated what they did into our formation as a country and into our constitution. It goes back to Cicero and others of that philosopical genre. Those who founded this nation were not kings or men of great wealth for the most part. They had worked hard to achieve whatever they had and rejected the entitlement mentality of royalty totally. These men believed in God and in HIS gift to us of not only HIS This is a book that is not Republican or Democrat. Rather is it about how our Found Fathers incorporated what they did into our formation as a country and into our constitution. It goes back to Cicero and others of that philosopical genre. Those who founded this nation were not kings or men of great wealth for the most part. They had worked hard to achieve whatever they had and rejected the entitlement mentality of royalty totally. These men believed in God and in HIS gift to us of not only HIS son, but in our right to freedom. Further that each of us had/have a responsibility to work on fullfilling our individual potential and to pass on to the next generation a better country than what we inherited. That we are responsible for protecting the liberties they created for us. This book should be in every home - and should be read by parents - if they have not read it - then read by their children and discussed around the family kitchen table. It should be in all highs schools and be a part of American history that is taught there. Alas the educational system is slowly but surely re-writing or dropping key elements of our history, our constitution to fit their agenda. It therefore falls to the parents to take up the call and protect our freedoms . . . or that freedom will be lost. The media in this country is working hard on eroding those freedoms as it is. The biggest threat to our freedoms today comes from the media and the educational institutions in this country. Hence you are seeing serious push backs at the current Town Hall meeetings and the grass roots spread of the TEA parties. Get the book and read it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Larry

    I knew when I selected this book that I would be attempting to stomach the unvarnished propaganda of a religious right wing nut job, but I thought I could do it to learn more about the twisted thinking driving "The Conservative Movement" After multiple efforts to restrain myself from vomiting in my mouth, I couldn't restrain the urge any longer. The sullied copy of this trash is no longer in circulation.

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