Book Review- The Price of Freedom

The Price of Freedom, a collection of speeches by President Calvin Coolidge is phenomenal! He is spot on so many times in his analysis of America, education, morality, natural law, human nature and progress. His cautions and predictions are sometimes almost prophetic as we look back at the events of American history since he first gave these speeches almost 100 years ago. So much of what he thought we would struggle with as come to pass and the answers he proposes to our problems are as poignant and applicable today as they were then. If you want to know what made America great and how she can be great once again, read this book!

Themes: ideals; moral law; natural law; principles; liberal education; America; selfishness; progress

Favorite Chapters: VIII. Thought, the Master of Things; IX. The Power of the Moral Law; XIX. The Needs of Education; XX. The Price of Freedom; XXVIII. The Things that are Unseen; XXIX. A Prize Essay; XXX. A Message to the legislature of Massachusetts

Principles: The following quote holds several important principles about humanity and education and are keys to Coolidge’s life and message- “The process of civilization consists of the discovery by men of the laws of the universe, and of the living in harmony with those laws. The most important of them to men are the laws of their own nature. This is education, the method whereby man is revealed to himself.”

Read With: What is Seen, What is Not Seen; A History of the American People; The Law; The Road to Serfdom; Democracy in America; The Declaration of Independence

Discussion Questions:
1-Why do civilizations and people have ideals? What do their ideals do for them? Are ideals principles?
2-What are Coolidge’s highest principles?
3-What is civilization? What are ideals? What is progress? What is education?
4-What would Coolidge say is governments role in society? Is he right? Why or why not?

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