28 Ideas That Are Changing The World
A Book Review by Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, November 7, 2019
Reader Note: Words appearing in BLUE mean they are links to web sites
Disclaimer: This is the oath I took while serving in the U. S. Coast Guard. Take note, there is NO EXPIRATION DATE on the oath.
I, James R. Brown, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
I include the above to make is absolutely clear that as I read and subsequently reviewed this book that I most likely had a biased for America and its Constitution. Having said that…
This book gets into the minds and purposes of the men who are considered our Founding Fathers and why they did what they did and wrote what they wrote regarding the U. S. Constitution. It literally goes back 5000 years in time to draw from the ideas of people such as Aristotle to formulate their ideas as well as many others throughout history. They took the best ideas and the successful and unsuccessful historical endeavors and created our Constitution, thus the title of the book. I found this book extremely fascinating. I keep putting myself in the shoes of the Founding Fathers as they took parts of world history and molded those thoughts and principles into our Constitution.
It would be impossible to read this book without learning a great insight into how America got to where it is today. Sadly, the information I read defines an America that I personally don’t see today. This is NOT just my opinion; it is the opinion of a great many of the Founders who more or less predicted that America “could” change if the Constitution were ever changed or its contents were ignored for any reason.
This is an excerpt from the book worthy of re-printing here. It is a prophecy!
One of the greatest American historians of the last generation was John Fiske. He caught the spirit of the Founders and studied their writings. He knew the secret to the 5,000-year leap which was then well on its way. He also saw some dangerous trends away from the Founders’ basic formula of sound government. He therefore wrote a prophecy which Americans of our own day might ponder with profit:
“If the day should ever arrive (which God forbid!) when the people of the different parts of our country shall allow their local affairs to be administered by prefects sent from Washington, and when the self-government of the states shall have been so far lost as that of the departments of France, or even so closely limited as that of the counties of England—on that day the political career of the American people will have been robbed of its most interesting and valuable features, and the usefulness of this nation will be lamentably impaired.”
Written by John Fiske, The Critical Period of American History, 1783-1789, The Historical Writings of John Fiske, Vol 12, Houghton Mifflin Company Boston, 1916, pp 282-283
Five Thousand Year Leap; a book that SHOULD be taught in every school in America if not the world. It explains the thinking that gave us our current form of government and why we should all be working to make sure it remains in tack. The handwriting is on the wall!
I started this Nugget with the Oath I took in the Coast Guard for a very good reason. Over the years I have read the U. S. Constitution and thought I had a pretty good understanding of it. After reading this book I realized just how wrong that understanding actually was. We as a nation of strayed considerably from the ideals put forth by our Founders and that is a pity. Not sure we can ever recover those ideals without first changing a great many minds. THIS IS A GREAT BOOK!
Who should read this book? Actually, everyone but I know many won’t even consider it. IT SHOULD BE TAUGHT IN ALL OF OUR SCHOOLS! But it won’t!
Would I read it again? Actually, I will. Any chapter can be read without a need to have read previous chapters and that makes it both easy to read and instructional now and in the future.
Would I give it as a gift? I would love to but won’t as it really counts on a person’s desire to learn the history of our great country.