Michael Moynihan provides a historical measure for the fundamental concept of "freedom," both a popular history of freedom as well as a catalyst for discussion of the status of freedom today. To define and quantify "freedom," Moynihan reaches back through history to the primordial moment for freedom in the West: the flight of Jews from slavery in Egypt. He then traces an arc that takes the reader through ancient Athens and Rome, Runnymede in the 13th century, Philadelphia in 1787, through to the overthrow of the Raj, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and up to the present. This engaging tour illustrates his thesis that freedom has never been the natural state of man, but rather a privilege that must be constantly attended to, fought for, and earned. Moynhihan then applies his historical lens to the specific threats to freedom in our contemporary landscape: fundamentalism, China's rise as an economic power, and the vulnerability of the U.S. economy to foreign oil and a society of indebted citizens.
MICHAEL MOYNIHAN is the author of The Coming American Renaissance (S&S, 1997). Moynihan served as senior adviser to Clinton's Secretaries of the Treasury, overseeing White House private policy and drafting international agreements concerning e-commerce and tax reform. Moynihan was a Fellow in Technology and Public Policy at Harvard, USA, and before that, a senior consultant at the Economist Intelligence Unit, the consulting arm of The Economist. Moynihan is currently a Fellow at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Government and on the faculty at New York University.