- ›› Eras and Sub-Eras : Creating a New Government
Pauline Maier, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of American History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), discusses several aspects of her book American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence. She reveals that the most stirring ideals for us today were an expression of the will of the people and the embodiment of the historical experiences of Americans, rather than the work of a single individual (Thomas Jefferson). She focuses particularly on the meaning and evolution of the phrase, "all men are created equal."
Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute and author of Kissinger: A Biography, traces Benjamin Franklin’s life from runaway apprentice to Founding Father, exploring how Franklin’s commitment to the common American and his appreciaiton for the possibilities of democracy helped forge an American national identity.