Cover image for Inventing America : Jefferson's Declaration of independence
Inventing America : Jefferson's Declaration of independence
Wills, Garry, 1934-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday, 1978.
Physical Description:
xxv, 398 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"The Declarations of Jefferson and of the Congress": p. 374-379.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E221 .W64 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
E221 .W64 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
E221 .W64 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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From one of America's foremost historians, Inventing America compares Thomas Jefferson's original draft of the Declaration of Independence with the final, accepted version, thereby challenging many long-cherished assumptions about both the man and the document. Although Jefferson has long been idealized as a champion of individual rights, Wills argues that in fact his vision was one in which interdependence, not self-interest, lay at the foundation of society. "No one has offered so drastic a revision or so close or convincing an analysis as Wills has . . . The results are little short of astonishing" (Edmund S. Morgan New York Review of Books ).

Author Notes

Garry Wills, 1934 - Garry Wills was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1934. Wills received a B.A. from St. Louis University in 1957, an M.A. from Xavier University of Cincinnati in 1958, an M.A. (1959) and a Ph.D. (1961) in classics from Yale. Wills was a junior fellow of the Center for Hellenic Studies from 1961-62, an associate professor of classics and adjunct professor of humanities at Johns Hopkins University from 1962-80.

Wills was the first Washington Irving Professor of Modern American History and Literature at Union College, and was also a Regents Professor at the University of California in Santa Barbara, Silliman Seminarist at Yale, Christian Gauss Lecturer at Princeton, W.W. Cook Lecturer at the University of Michigan Law School, Hubert Humphrey Seminarist at Macalester College, Welch Professor of American Studies at Notre Dame University and Henry R. Luce Professor of American Culture and Public Policy at Northwestern University (1980-88). Wills is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and his articles appear frequently in The New York Review of Books.

Wills is the author of "Lincoln at Gettysburg," which won the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1993 and the NEH Presidential Medal, "John Wayne's America," "A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government" and "The Kennedy Imprisonment." Other awards received by Wills include the National Book Critics Award, the Merle Curti Award of the organization of American Historians, the Wilbur Cross Medal from Yale Graduate School, the Harold Washington Book Award and the Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting, which was for writing and narrating the 1988 "Frontline" documentary "The Candidates."

(Bowker Author Biography) Garry Wills is a Pulitzer-prize winning historian and cultural critic. A former professor of Greek at Yale University, his many books include Lincoln at Gettysburg, Reagan's America, Witches and Jesuits, and a biography of Saint Augustine. He lives in Evanston, Indiana.

(Publisher Provided) Garry Wills is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine and The New York Review of Books. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.

(Publisher Provided)

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Mariner Editionp. vii
Prologuep. xiii
Part 1 Revolutionary Charter
1. "...our sacred honor..."p. 3
2. "...manly spirit bids us..."p. 19
3. "...former systems of government..."p. 34
4. "...right of the people to alter..."p. 49
5. "...assemblage of horrors..."p. 65
6. "...the circumstances of our emigration..."p. 76
Part 2 A Scientific Paper
7. "...necessary..."p. 93
8. "...course of human events..."p. 111
9. "...let facts be submitted..."p. 132
10. "...effect their safety & happiness..."p. 149
Part 3 A Moral Paper
11. "...attentions to our British brethren..."p. 167
12. "...self-evident..."p. 181
13. "...endowed by their Creator..."p. 193
14. "...created equal..."p. 207
15. "...all men..."p. 218
16. "...inalienable rights..."p. 229
17. "...pursuit..."p. 240
18. "...of happiness..."p. 248
Part 4 A Sentimental Paper
19. "...of nature and of nature's god..."p. 259
20. "...agonizing affection..."p. 273
21. "...bands which have connected..."p. 284
22. " people..."p. 293
23. "...unfeeling brethren..."p. 307
Part 5 National Symbol
24. "...opinions of mankind..."p. 323
25. "...decent respect..."p. 334
26. "...communication of grandeur..."p. 345
27. " part of our constitution..."p. 352
Epiloguep. 363
Paraphernaliap. 370
Key to Brief Citationsp. 372
The Declarations of Jefferson and of the Congressp. 374
Index to Proper Namesp. 381
Index to Phrasesp. 391