Magna Carta

Magna Carta

The Medieval Roots of Modern Politics

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
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In this book, historian and television presenter David Starkey untangles historical and modern misconceptions about one of the founding documents of democracy. Along the way, he shows how the Magna Carta laid the foundation for the British constitution, influenced the American Revolution and the U.S. constitution, and continues to shape jurisprudential thinking about individual rights around the world today.
Publisher: New York : Quercus, 2015
ISBN: 9781681446004
Characteristics: 285 p. : col. ill. ; 24 cm

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mrsjane_1
May 12, 2016

A warning to all readers: Stay away from this book! This is not a book to read for factual information on the Magna Carta or King John. In fact, much of this book has nothing to do with the Magna Carta itself. Starkey has instead based it around continuous slander and accusatives on John.

The author has labeled him as un chivalrous, irresponsible and cowardly. He does not specify at anytime why he believes John is any of these. There is much more to be found against John. It felt like I was reading a court affidavit against John.

He also writes this novel like some kind of immature adolescent. It is purely biased and has no wisdom whatsoever. He often brings American Politics into this. In what way does that relate to the title of this book?!

Do not read.

c
Cosmopolites
May 12, 2016

Read the description underneath of the title at the top of the page.
Yes, read it.
I'll give you a moment....
None of what that says has anything to do with the book I "read". I couldn't read it because David Starkey,(whoever that is) continually pulls in his own political commentary into this "historical book" about Magna Carta. He continually babbles how King John is EVIL and the barons, because are not the king, are GOOD. Oh yes, they also stand for liberty, freedom, blah blah blah. He must be UK's version of the nutcases you see on the Fox Network. For example, on page 74, he tells us the forma securitatis=parliament, when really it says the Twenty Five barons chosen to lord over the King could as Alan LLoyd wrote:" "distrain and distress him by every means possible." This sweeping sanction could be activated on the vote of a majority....virtually legalising rebellion and obliging the subject to support it." This leaves me to believe that Starkey not only has no Doctorate in History, he is not a historian. Period. I only used this book to laugh at it and use the Appendix which carries the three versions of Magna Carta fully translated.
In conclusion, skip the political lecture and use the Appendix to look at the three versions of Magna Carta. Look to The Maligned Monarch here at WPL for a REAL history book on Magna Carta and King John's reign.

l
Logovore
Oct 26, 2015

Short history of the beginnings of one of the base documents of the Anglosphere's constitutional history. Not bad, but I find Starkey's biases more evident here than in some of his other works. He also makes comments about the document(s) in a modern context that he does not back up.

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