Our Declaration Summary
In Our Declaration, Danielle Allen studies the Declaration of Independence in a progressive and enlightening manner. Rather than studying the document only through the eighteenth-century lens in which it was written, and with additional reading materials, Allen instead analyzes the document as a stand-alone piece of writing and places it within a modern-day context. By doing this, Allen encourages readers to think about the radically transformative potential the Declaration of Independence has for creating a truly just and equal society. She acknowledges that the document was written by slave-owning men and was applied only to protect land-owning white men. However, she asserts that the document itself has the potential to actually be applied to all humans. She breaks down her analysis of the Declaration of Independence by first explaining what equality is in a sociopolitical context. Next, she discusses the history of the writing of the Declaration of Independence and explains how more people than just Thomas Jefferson were involved in drafting and editing the document. Allen then deconstructs the declaration sentence-by-sentence, in a straightforward and accessible manner. She concludes her analysis by asserting that through studying the Declaration of Independence in this manner and placing it in a present-day context, we can unlock its true potential for liberation for all people within a political context.