America on Trial. A Defense of the Founding

[America on Trial. A Defense of the Founding]
Ignatiius Press
San Francisco
Year of publication: 
Moral assessment: 
Type: Thought
Nothing inappropriate.
Requires prior general knowledge of the subject.
Readers with knowledgeable about the subject matter.
Contains doctrinal errors of some importance.
Whilst not being explicitly against the faith, the general approach or its main points are ambiguous or opposed to the Church’s teachings.
Incompatible with Catholic doctrine.
Transmits values: 
Sexual content: 
Violent content: 
Vulgar language: 
Ideas that contradict Church teaching: 
The rating of the different categories comes from the opinion of Delibris' collaborators

Robert R. Reilly is the author of the recently published book America on Trial: A Defense of the Founding. He examines the intellectual underpinnings of the ideas which inspired the creation a new nation in the New World. It’s a crackling read which is very relevant to today’s debates about racial justice. Reilly explains how America has drifted from its moorings in natural law.  

This is a controversial interpretation of the founding documents -- the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Federalist Papers and a few others. Philosophically, it projects an Aristotelian understanding of society and metaphysics onto the ideas of these founding fathers -- who were largely Protestant or Deists. But he makes a good case for it. He is arguing against both radicals who believe that the USA was based on slavery and therefore corrupt from its conception and against (mostly) Catholic theorists who believe that the Constitution embodies Enlightenment ideas which inevitably led to moral relativism. 

Author: Michael Cook, Australia, 2020