If there is one book every conservative needs to read this summer, it’s Mike Lee’s Written Out Of History: The Forgotten Founders Who Fought Big Government.
Lee, a U.S. Senator from Utah, has always been a favorite of RedState and grassroots conservatives for his dedication to the Constitution and its original intent – to limit the role of the federal government by balancing it out with more localized government at the state level.
Written Out Of History is an extension of that dedication. It is a reminder that this is not a new idea, and that many who drew up and believed in our revolutionary system of government knew the dangers of increasing the size and scope of a federal government.
Most importantly, however, the book uses examples you don’t often hear about in schools – or don’t hear about at all. People like Mercy Otis Warren and Mum Bett.
Warren is the arguably the most prominent female writer in the early days of our nation, but it is tough to find a history book that does her justice. She was a friend of John Adams and was a firm believer that an encroaching federal government was bad. She ended up disagreeing with Adams over the Constitution, fearing that even it could give us too strong a federal government.
Bett was a slave who was fiercely devoted to the ideas of freedom and equality, and she took her master to court in Massachusetts to, as Lee writes, “test the legal boundaries of what free and legal truly meant.” She was very much a believer in the freedom of all men and women, no matter the race, and that human dignity far outweighed the status quo.
Lee addresses these and other figures that you might know a bit about, like Aaron Burr and George Mason, but does so using stories you definitely haven’t heard before. And that, above all else, is the reason for the book. These figures have been written out of history, despite their strong and influential views on the subject of liberty. Lee brings these figures back into the discussion and uses them as a reminder that smaller government is not some new idea, but an idea as old as our nation itself.
The book is written with a fresh take and is not the type of dry reading you get from most books by politicians. Lee isn’t trying to run for president with this book. He is telling us a story (or rather multiple stories) about the people who saw a powerful federal government as the greatest threat to our liberty and freedom, and it is a belief you can clearly tell Lee shares.
With the state of our country what it is, this is without a doubt your must-read of the summer.