The Soul of America: Essays on the 4th of July

John Gilligan



“Give me liberty, or give me death.” – Patrick Henry


Given the culture wars during the past decades, one can ask a few vital questions: What actually holds Americans together? What does it mean to be an American in the first place? Is America really that polarized?


The Soul of America addresses these points and more. The simple, yet also not-so-simple answer is embedded in yet one more question: “If Americans no longer believe in the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address, can America continue to exist?”


The major proposition of this work is that America consists in a set of beliefs—truths—that bind us together. It's what makes us Americans. And without that belief, no Constitution, no laws, except the point of a sword, can keep us together.


Part I: The Birth of America is an easy way of learning something about the basic origins of the Declaration of Independence and what was going on that led up to the American Revolution.


Part II: Cultural Strife includes some specific events that have tormented the nation during the past two decades. By comparing the then and now, the reader can trace how our culture can change incrementally.


Part III: Patriotism gets to the meat and potatoes of what we Americans must do if we are to maintain the nation with a "government of the people, by the people, for the people".


This is what the Soul of America is all about. I hope that you will find this book not just informative or interesting, but also a source of encouragement and motivation to become personally involved in making our nation a better America.