Magazine June 1, 2020, Issue

In Defense of a Liberty Worthy of Man

From the cover of America on Trial: A Defense of the Founding (Ignatius Press)
America on Trial: A Defense of the Founding, by Robert R. Reilly (Ignatius Press, 384 pp., $27.95)

In America on Trial, Robert Reilly excavates the deep foundations of the American Founding. He finds in them the unwritten constitution of Western political philosophy and theology that stretches back to Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome. Reilly focuses on the tradition of “right reason,” that is, the metaphysical, epistemological, anthropological, and theological roots of constitutional government. Those roots are thick but forgotten, if not denied, by most of the West’s academic and intellectual class. In his study, Reilly reintroduces contemporary readers to ideas about the primacy of reason over will, universal truth, natural law, and monotheism. From these touchstones, he shows

This article appears as “The Constitution’s Bedrock” in the June 1, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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Richard M. Reinsch II — Mr. Reinsch is the editor of the online publication Law & Liberty and a co-author, with the late Peter Augustine Lawler, of A Constitution in Full: Recovering the Unwritten Foundation of American Liberty.

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A reader responds to Theodore Kupfer and Ramesh Ponnuru’s article, “Coronavirus Lockdowns: Going the Distance.”

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