In the rich turbulence of English history, one day stands magnificently apart—June 15, 1215, the day of the signing of the Magna Charta. On this day, the first blow for English freedom was struck and forever affected the Western world. Here is the story of three true men, Stephen Langton, Williams Marshall, and Hubert de Burgh, whose heroic deeds are set against those of the ever deceitful and crafty King John.
- Considerable Background Given
This book covers what lead up to the signing of the Magna Charta so that the reader can better understand how it came about. It then covers the signing itself and the hostilities that followed as King John attempted subterfuge to annul its effect.
I would have given it 5 stars except that it went on from there to show the effect of the Magna Charta on the following centuries to, what I consider, excess. If you look in the appendix of any edition of Black’s Law Dictionary you will find the list of English kings dating back to John and the Magna Charta of 1215. Clearly modern code in the United States as well as the common law has its roots and a recognized legal foundation in the Magna Charta so it is appropriate to discuss the centuries that followed the thirteenth century. My report of “excess” however is rooted in the fact that the book goes on to discuss the League of Nations and the United Nations rooting them in the Magna Charta as if they serve to enhance it. This shows a lack of understanding the author has concerning these organs and the anti-freedom nature of them.
I left 4 stars but would have left one less were it not for the fact that the author’s saving grace was that at least he did not explicitly define a benevolent nature to The League of Nations and the United Nations. My heart sank, however, when in the closing paragraph of the book he suggested that the United Nations’ various “human rights” treaties are benevolent in nature. No dictator in the history of the globe ever came to power proclaiming his evil nature announcing much suffering was to commence. In every case they used high sounding rhetoric of protection in some way much like the “human rights” treaties of the United Nations.