The 5,000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World by W. Cleon Skousen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is one of the best non-fiction books I've read in a long time. I finished it in less than a month, and most non-fictions I have a hard time ever getting through them (the few exceptions being The Return of the Prodigal Son and 1776, but even they took months to finish.)
Skousen does an amazing job breaking down what makes America the "miracle that changed the world." In 200 years America progressed more than the world had previously over the last 500 years. Skousen picks 28 foundations of freedom that he believes helped us make such astounding progress. He does so by having studied a lot of the resources the Founders would have had as resources for framing the Constitution and the Government it establishes (including Locke, the Bible, Montesqieu, Adam Smith, and others)
He starts off with an analysis of what freedom actually is, and that the left-right political spectrum isn't the one we should be going by (it's not much of a spectrum); the real spectrum is tyranny-anarchy with the ideal spot being right smack-dab in the middle.
Towards the end of the book I felt he had lost a little of his, unbiased approach; and to be honest a lot of what he talks about (getting back to basics) sounds very close to what Ron Paul's platform was going into the 2008 elections (though I'm not terribly familiar with it, Skousen discusses the idea of separatism and foreign policy, monetary policy, etc.)
I'd recommend this to anyone who would like to be refreshed on the principles our nation was founded on.
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