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Customer Reviews for Inter-Varsity Press A Free People's Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future

Inter-Varsity Press A Free People's Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future

Nothing is more daring in the American experiment than the founders' belief that the American republic could remain free forever. But how was this to be done, and are Americans doing it today?

It is not enough for freedom to be won. It must also be sustained. Cultural observer Os Guinness argues that the American experiment in freedom is at risk. Summoning historical evidence on how democracies evolve, Guinness shows that contemporary views of freedom--most typically, a negative freedom from constraint-- are unsustainable because they undermine the conditions necessary for freedom to thrive. He calls us to reconsider the audacity of sustainable freedom and what it would take to restore it.

"In the end," Guinness writes, "the ultimate threat to the American republic will be Americans. The problem is not wolves at the door but termites in the floor." The future of the republic depends on whether Americans will rise to the challenge of living up to America's unfulfilled potential for freedom, both for itself and for the world.

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Customer Reviews for A Free People's Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future
Review 1 for A Free People's Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Os Guinness strikes a balanced approach.

Date:February 22, 2014
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Will
Age:35-44
Gender:male
This book is a must keep. Guinness realizes that the role of virtue is a necesary quality in public officials and its citizens; otherwise, the American experiment will inevitably collapse. This is not a sly argument for a theocratic government in the U.S. but one that encourages virtuous order and civility among and within the balance of powers and its citizens regardless of particular biases.
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Review 2 for A Free People's Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

essential reading for Americans

Date:November 1, 2012
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bookwomanjoan
Location:Oak Harbor, WA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
American's love freedom. But Guinness believes that America's deepest crisis at present is that of ordered liberty and sustainable freedom.
Freedom is its own greatest enemy. It can prove to be an Achilles' heel, dissipating into license, triviality, corruption, etc. Freedom requires order and self-restraint. Guinness believes, “Americans today are heedlessly pursuing a vision of freedom that is short-lived and suicidal.” (29)
“If the founders were correct, contemporary America's pursuit of political leadership without character, economic enterprise without ethics and trust, scientific progress without human values, freedom without virtue...can only end in disaster.” (34)
Guinness covers the founders' understanding of the tasks of sustainable freedom, the classical understanding of why no political systems have endured, the founders' solution to the challenge of sustaining freedom, the condition of American freedom today, America's international standing, and the possible grounds for America's restoration.
Guinness brings reality to the discussion. The world is flawed. There is not going to be any lasting victory for freedom in the world. American freedom is being tested in the international arena.
Guinness believes in the possibility of American renewal. He outlines the three tasks necessary for freedom to last. There will be a high price to pay if Americans do not act soon.
Guinness' book is not light reading. He critiques America's current situation. It is not an encouraging situation. But there is hope.
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Review 3 for A Free People's Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Man's view, but is it God's view?

Date:September 16, 2012
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dddavids
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
This is a fascinatingly objective summary of the historical and philosophical foundations of the American Revolution, written by an Irishman. However, I was a bit surprised that the author, an accomplished Christian apologist, had so little to say about the contributions of Biblical or theological currents in the outflow from freedom's spring. His concluding optimism seems a bit humanistic and unsubstantiated by current events.
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3of 5voted this as helpful.