Last Thursday I told you a little bit about myself and my family and why being American was so important to me. I summed it up in one word: Liberty.
Of course, having Liberty assumes that one is alive hence why the Founding Fathers noted in the Declaration of Independence that the People’s rights included amongst them “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” There is a reason for the order because it’s difficult for one to have Liberty if they are dead and it is impossible to pursue Happiness if one does not have Liberty.
The assumption of Life is one we cannot make easily. If I didn’t understand it after losing my mother with little warning, I certainly understood it on a national scale after 9/11.
But back to Liberty.
Most of us understand the warning of Orwell’s 1984 and the concept of Big Brother, namely, that of government that controls every aspect of our lives, even what one thinks. The thought of such totalitarianism sends a shudder through many Americans because we are a Nation that prizes Liberty and the freedoms associated with it.
I was lucky enough to have an English class at my college, Villanova, where we read a number of novels about dystopias such as the Big Brother world in 1984. In each of them it was apparent that when government by and for the people ceased to exist, problems ensued. To this day some of those novels remain on my list of favorites and I would urge you to read them if you have a moment and consider what it would be like if government controlled every aspect of your life.
So here is the Liberty reading list!
- 1984 by George Orwell
Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
We by Eugene Zamiatin
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
If you’ve got any favorites, I’d like to hear from you. My husband loves Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and has his faded and worn copy at his desk. I have yet to read that immense book, but I really should since so many people are intrigued by it.