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Our First Revolution [Audio]

The ideals of freedom and individual rights that inspired America's Founding Fathers did not spring from a vacuum. Along with many other defining principles of our national character, they can be traced directly back to one of the most pivotal events in British history-the late-seventeenth-century uprising known as the Glorious Revolution. In a work of popular history that stands with recent favorites such as David McCullough's 1776 and Joseph J. Ellis's Founding Brothers, Michael Barone brings the story of this unlikely and largely bloodless revolt to American readers and reveals that, without the Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution may never have happened. Unfolding in 1688-1689, Britain's Glorious Revolution resulted in the hallmarks of representative government, guaranteed liberties, the foundations of global capitalism, and a foreign policy of opposing aggressive foreign powers. But as Barone shows, there was nothing inevitable about the Glorious Revolution. It sprang from the character of the English people and depended on the talents, audacity, and good luck of two men: William of Orange (later William III of England), who launched history' s last successful cross-channel invasion, and John Churchill, an ancestor of Winston, who commanded the forces of the deposed James II but crossed over to support William one fateful November night. The story of the Glorious Revolution is a rich and riveting saga of palace intrigue, loyalty and shocking betrayal, and bold political and military strategizing. With narrative drive, a sure command of historical events, and unforgettable portraits of kings, queens, soldiers, parliamentarians, and a large cast of full-blooded characters, Barone takes an episode that has fallen into unjustified obscurity and restores it to the prominence it deserves. Especially now, as we face enemies who wish to rid the world of the lasting legacies of the Glorious Revolution-democracy, individual rights, and capitalism among them-it is vitally important that we understand the origins of these blessings.
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About the Author

Michael Barone is a senior writer at "U.S. News and World Report." Stephen Hoye has won more than a dozen "AudioFile" Earphones Awards and two prestigious APA Audie Awards, including one for "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert T. Kiyosaki. He has recorded many other notable titles, such as "Every Second Counts" by Lance Armstrong and "The Google Story" by David A. Vise and Mark Malseed.


Many Protestants in England were concerned when Charles II, a ruler with Catholic sympathies, was returned to the throne in 1660 after the Cromwell Protectorate ended. After his death, when the openly Catholic James II came to power, they petitioned the Dutch Prince William of Orange to invade and rule in James's place. Barone (senior editor, U.S. News & World Report; Hard America, Soft America) describes how the so-called Glorious or Bloodless Revolution of 1688 helped transform Britain from an absolutist regime to a constitutional one in which the power of the king was substantially reduced. This revolution reorganized England into a country ruled by law rather than the monarch's whim and one in which religion was a matter of choice rather than of political or military conflict. Barone concludes that America's Founding Fathers saw that the rights gained by Englishmen in that revolution were not being granted to them. A skillful account of liberties on both sides of the Atlantic; recommended for public libraries and large British history collections.-Robert Harbison, Western Kentucky Univ. Lib., Bowling Green Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Political journalist and historian Barone (Hard America, Soft America) elucidates the template for America's independence movement in this well-written history of its forerunner: England's Glorious Revolution of 1688. The author describes the origins of the revolution, a mostly bloodless change of government, as a mixture of religious, political and diplomatic factors. King James II's Roman Catholicism, hostility to Parliament, and French sympathies alienated an increasing number of his powerful subjects including John Churchill, later Duke of Marlborough, who invited Dutch Stadtholder William of Orange and his wife, Mary, James's sister, to intervene. Among the revolution's consequences was a Bill of Rights that limited the monarch's powers and strengthened representative government. A Toleration Act encouraged variant forms of Protestant worship. The creation of a funded national debt and the foundation of the Bank of England laid the groundwork for financial development. Involvement in the long series of wars with France moved England from a country standing apart from Europe to one that took responsibility for maintaining a continental balance of power. It was a Glorious Revolution indeed that laid the political groundwork for the world in which we now live, and Barone's lucid work honors its heritage. (May 8) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"[Stephen Hoye] keeps the pacing good, and his timbre is pleasing." ---AudioFile

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