|Pages/Publication Date:||272 / 2014|
The Magna Carta is revered around the world as a founding document of Western liberty; its principles and its language can be found in our Bill of Rights and in the Constitution. But there is nothing lofty or magnanimous about that original document from 1215. "For the most part the Magna Carta is dry, technical, difficult to decipher, and constitutionally obsolete," notes Dan Jones. It was a document drawn up "not to defend in perpetuity the interests of national citizens but rather to pin down a king who had been greatly vexing a small number of his wealthy and violent subjects. The Magna Carta ought to be dead, defunct, and of interest only to serious scholars of the 13th century. Yet it is very much alive, one of the most hallowed documents in the constitutions of numerous countries, and admired as a foundation stone in the Western traditions of liberty, democracy, and the rule of law." Also the author of The Plantagenets and The Wars of the Roses, Jones gives us a lively, action-packed history of how the Magna Carta began and how it has come to be.
"Dan Jones has an enviable gift for telling a dramatic story while at the same time inviting us to consider serious topics like liberty and the seeds of representative government."—Antonia Fraser