"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

-C.S. Lewis

What we read has such an impact on us, and I am always on the lookout for something that will inspire me to be a better person. Here is a sampling of books that have been in the teetering stack sitting on top of what is rumored to be my bedside table.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Founders' Key, by Larry P. Arnn

           The Founders' Key is largely a historical discussion of the link between the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.  It brings to light the intentions of the Founding Fathers as evidenced by outside sources such as the Federalist Papers. The author also does a fairly good job of discussing the pros and cons of representative government.

            The summary on the back of the book makes it seem as though this book will be about how leaders since the early part of the twentieth century have ignored the Constitution to the detriment of the country. However, the majority of the book isn't much more than a discourse on the intentions behind the two documents.  Anyone who already has a keen understanding of American history won't be surprised by much of the book.  Occasionally, the author makes mention of instances in our history when the Constitution hasn't been espoused, but not on the large scale that I was led to believe would be in this book. 

            I found that the book became most interesting during the conclusion, when the author does more than make mere mention of specific American institutions that are not listed in the Constitution - such as the federalized education and welfare systems. In the conclusion, the reader gets a taste of what the author was trying to convey. Unfortunately, there isn't enough there to sate the appetite.

            I do hope that the author publishes a second book that further develops the study of the treatment of the Constitution by our nation's leaders - perhaps going farther back than Wilson, since Lincoln was also a master of laying the Constitution aside when he felt it served the needs of his times.  And for that matter, Jefferson himself stated that future generations should not feel bound by the needs of his generation.  I would love to read a discourse on this topic.  I believe the author is up to this challenge.  I just don't believe it happens in this book.

            Ultimately, the book would be a good read for anyone who is trying to gain a deeper understanding of the two documents that form the basis of our nation.

            Three out of Five Stars

            Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.