Read All About It

patriotic books Adams Founding Brothers for Schieffer commentary

CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer has anchored Face The Nation for more than a decade.

Fireworks are great but here's a better way to celebrate the Fourth:

Read about it.

Because there are some great new reasons why. Two terrific books: The Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis, which came out last year, and David McCullough's new biography of John Adams.

Thomas Paine — the great voice of liberty — thought the founding of America was inevitable. After all, he reasoned, no island could long rule a continent.

But as Ellis and McCullough remind us in these books, accomplishing the inevitable in a few years was no small task.

CBS News Correspondent
Bob Schieffer

Even as we celebrate the courage and wisdom of the founders we sometimes forget just what a long-shot America was.

There have been many revolutions since ours, but before ours no people had ever broken away from a colonial power. Those present at the beginning had no idea how it would come out. But they risked their lives and fortunes because they believed they were right and thought that if they could explain the reasons for their revolution they would succeed.

So even before they raised an Army, in one document, Thomas Jefferson codified as no one ever had, the common yearning of all people to be free. That yearning drove the revolution. And, when the world understood that America's cause was every person's cause, the world changed forever and today America stands as history's oldest and most enduring Republic.

These are books about the remarkable people who did it. As McCullough writes, "I don't think we can ever know enough about them."

Happy Fourth!

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