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Cost of Liberty: The Life of John Dickinson (Lives of the Founders)

Cost of Liberty: The Life of John Dickinson (Lives of the Founders)

ISBN: 9781684515479
Regular price $20.01 USD
Regular price Sale price $20.01 USD
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The Cost of Liberty offers a sorely needed reassessment of a great patriot and misunderstood Founder.

It has been more than a half century since a biography of John Dickinson appeared. Author William Murchison rectifies this mistake, bringing to life one of the most influential figures of the entire Founding period, a principled man whose gifts as writer, speaker, and philosopher only Jefferson came near to matching. In the -process, Murchison destroys the caricature of -Dickinson that has emerged from such popular treatments as HBO's John Adams miniseries and the Broadway musical 1776.

Dickinson is remembered mostly for his reluctance to sign the -Declaration of Independence. But that reluctance, Murchison shows, had nothing to do with a lack of patriotism. In fact, Dickinson immediately took up arms to serve the colonial cause--something only one signer of the -Declaration did. He stood on principle to oppose declaring independence at that moment, even when he knew that doing so would deal the "finishing blow" to his once-great reputation.

Dubbed the "Penman of the Revolution," Dickinson was not just a scribe but also a shaper of mighty events. From the 1760s through the late 1780s he was present at, and played a significant role in, every major assemblage where the Founders charted America's path--a claim few others could make. Author of the landmark essays Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, delegate to the Continental Congress, key -figure behind the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, chief executive of both Pennsylvania and Delaware: Dickinson was, as one esteemed -historian aptly put it, "the most underrated of all the Founders."

This lively biography gives a great Founder his long-overdue measure of honor. It also broadens our understanding of the Founding period, challenging many modern assumptions about the events of 1776 and 1787.
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