Common Ground: Short Reads

There's a good list of sources which have influenced various members of the Hall at the Common Ground: Sources post. Here, I thought it might be useful to link the shorter ones that could be read relatively quickly. The longest is "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich," a novella that might take a couple of sittings. I have included links to the Wikipedia articles on these documents as a starting point for understanding their context, history, etc.

Feel free to add more short sources in the comments, or to give related sources and links (e.g., websites or books that explain or interpret these sources).

The Magna Carta (This is the National Archives page on the document. Here is the text.) (Wikipedia article)

The Declaration of Arbroath (This is the National Archives of Scotland page on it. They offer a PDF with the original Latin and translation in English.) (Wikipedia article)

The Declaration of Independence (Wikipedia article)

The Constitution and Bill of Rights (Wikipedia article)

NB: The Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights pages are part of the National Archives's Charters of Freedom website, which has a number of pages which explore the history and impact of these documents.

"Harrison Bergeron", Kurt Vonnegut's short story about the push for complete equality (or, depending on your interpretation, his sarcastic attack on those worried about the push for complete equality) (Wikipedia article)

"One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich", Alexander Solzhenitsyn's novella about life in the Soviet gulags (Wikipedia article)


Edith Hook said...

Speaking of the Declaration of Arbroath, I recently had occasion to notice the parallels between what Wm Wallace faced and what regular every day Americans face. He and his culture, were sold out by transnationalists. To paraphrase and embelish a comment from Anglelyne, one of my favorite posters on Althouse: I'm an American: I want to live in America, not Brazil North (not Sweden, not Zimbabwe). I don't want to live in some global transnational flophouse, (and be homogenized to the lowest common denominator). My additions are set off by the parentheses.

Grim said...

This is a good series, Tom.

raven said...

"How to Shoot the US Army Rifle".
"Mines and Charges of the German army".

Just kidding! Those were my father in law's reading materials..

Now this somewhat facetious reply brought something else to mind- a while back, a discussion on military tactics brought up a response by one of the regulars here, wondering in detail how the terrain influenced success or failure. Here is a very good introduction to some essentials. Short, to the point, and fun to read.
"The Defense of Duffers Drift"

I look over Drudge, the Belmont Club, (when I am elected Pres, wretchard is going to be one of my national security advisers),Instapundit, read a few assorted blogs because I like the authors, Bayou Renaissance Man in particular, scan a few foreign newspapers to get some European perspective, a few hobby sites on firearms, antique arms, machining, etc. Very often I will quickly skim the comments to see the quality of discourse and whether the main article seems worth going to.

raven said...

^^ I also posted this in the wrong place, should have gone in the "daily news, above!

Tom said...

Edith, I agree. I once told a Progressive friend something very similar. It went something like, "You can live in many places: Canada, Europe, Japan. The US is the only place in the world I can live the way I believe is best."

Grim, I'm glad you're enjoying it.

Raven, I suspected as much. I'll remember when I do my follow up on this one.

Edith Hook said...

Just to elaborate, the nationalist, transnationalist divide seems to be manifest in this election cycle, a variation on K Street vrs Main St.
Multinational megacorps and industries, that have worldwide supply chains and a worldwide consumer base, walk to the beat of a different agenda, along with their media and political minions. At best they see everyday Americans as quaint, parochial, and archaic; at worst, they see American sovereignty as an obstruction to “International Commerce Uber Alles”. Even, if they are American in origin, it is an accident of birth; they shouldn’t be counted on to be empathetic to Americans or loyal to American values. They have and will try to foist accommodation to alien laws, mass migration, ecological damage, …… Everything has tradeoffs, and much of this is inevitable and understandable as technology ripples through our world. However, people need to understand that “International Capitalism” is not necessarily compatible with American sovereignty.

DLSly said...

This is an excellent primer for the VES to read before our upcoming trip to DC.
Thank you, Thomas.