Ark of the Liberties: America and the World

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9780809027354: Ark of the Liberties: America and the World
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The United States stands at a historic crossroads; essential to the world yet unappreciated.  America’s decline in popularity over the last eight years has been nothing short of astonishing.  With wit, brilliance, and deep affection, Ted Widmer, a scholar and a former presidential speechwriter, reminds everyone why this great nation had so far to fall. In a sweeping history of centuries, Ark of the Liberties recounts America’s ambition to be the world’s guarantor of liberty. It is a success story that America, and the world, forgets at its peril.
From the Declaration of Independence to the Gettysburg Address to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United States, for all its shortfalls, has been by far the world’s greatest advocate for freedom. Generations of founders imbued America with a surprisingly global ambition that a series of remarkable presidents, often Democratic, advanced through the confident wielding of military and economic power. Ark of the Liberties brims with new insights: America’s centuries-long favorable relationship with the Middle East; why Wilson’s presidency deserves reappraisal; Bill Clinton’s underappreciated achievements; how America’s long history of foreign policy immediately touches on the choices we face in 2008. Fully addressing America’s disastrous occupation of Iraq, Ark of the Liberties colorfully narrates America’s long and laudatory history of expanding world liberty.

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About the Author:

Ted Widmer directs the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. He was a foreign policy speechwriter and senior adviser to President Clinton, and is Senior Research Fellow of the New America Foundation.  He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New York Observer.

From AudioFile:

As Widner reminds us, the United States stands alone among the world's nations because its principles still ring true, even if our government sometimes fails to live up to them. As our role in the world rapidly changes, America's tradition of liberty deserves a second look--especially the times when the concept seemed to conveniently suit the nation's political needs. William Hughes reads the text with straightforward clarity, as flat and clear as a cornfield, bringing to life Widmer's hypotheses about the various times the U.S. has overstepped its bounds. More than mere semantics, ARK is a reminder of how words have real meaning beneath the constant barrage of chatter we are all subjected to. J.S.H. AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine

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