Magazine September 22, 2014, Issue

Whose Declaration? Which Equality?

Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality, by Danielle Allen (Liveright, 320 pp., $27.95)

It has always been the fate of the Declaration of Independence to bounce back and forth between the political equivalents of foster homes and orphanages. This owes to its ambiguous status in American political life. It is generally, though not universally, revered. But it is usually contested. Both Mitt Romney and President Obama quoted the Declaration prominently during the 2012 campaign (and Obama returned to it in his second inaugural address), but for contrasting purposes. Its formal legal status is doubted. Although it appears at the beginning of the U.S. Statutes, it is seldom — except, notably, by Clarence Thomas

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

The Unrealist

Even before his presidency began, Barack Obama articulated a foreign-policy course markedly different from that of his immediate predecessors. Not only did he present himself as the anti-Bush, but he ...


Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Looking for Tom

I do not know much about gods; but     I think that the river Is a strong brown god — sullen,     untamed and intractable.            — T. S. Eliot, “The Dry Salvages” London was ...
City Desk

Look in the Mirror

All these columns are about some place! But this column is about the Twitterverse! Twitterverse is no place! Its strings of words and spaces <140 characters! You see your margin shrink ...


Politics & Policy


Immigrant Entrepreneurs I read with interest the article by Jay Nordlinger, “The State of Maine,” in the August 11 issue. He discusses, among other things, the recent influx of Somali immigrants. ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ President Obama says the United States will not tolerate Russia’s “brazen assault” on Ukraine. A discrete, tactful assault, on the other hand . . . ‐ That was quick. In ...

Golden Oligarchy

The world is a curious place where coincidences abound, but there’s something suspicious about the timing here: As relations between the West and Russia curdle and rot, McDonald’s restaurants are ...
Politics & Policy


BLUE MOUNTAINS Modest as mountains go, they have a charm in that close-to-home majesty, surmounted by a spine of falling away bald rock, dangerous as any siren song of explorer’s imagining, with plenty of room for ...
Politics & Policy

And Now You May Laugh

I presume there is a healthy overlap between Emmy viewers and NR readers, so apologies for covering well-worn territory. However, those of you who missed last month’s awards show failed ...


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