We Still Hold These Truths

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We Still Hold These Truths
1st ed. cover
AuthorMatthew Spalding
CountryUnited States
SubjectPolitics of the United States
PublisherIntercollegiate Studies Institute
Publication date
October 15, 2009 (hardback)
We Still Hold These Truths - An American Manifesto
AuthorRonald L. Hirsch
CountryUnited States
GenrePolitics of the United States
PublisherVirtualbookworm.com Publishing Inc.
Publication date
May 3, 2004

We Still Hold These Truths is a 2009 non-fiction political history book by Matthew Spalding, who is Director of American Studies at The Heritage Foundation.[1][2] In November 2009, the book reached number two on the Washington Post non-fiction bestseller list.[3] We Still Hold TheseTruths is also the title of a 2004 non-fiction political history book by Ronald L. Hirsch, a retired non-profit executive and consultant.[4]


Spalding's focus in the book is the United States' "first principles", his belief that those principles have been betrayed by the American Left, and his plan for how conservatives can work to restore the vision of the Founding Fathers. Spalding takes the reader through the earliest days of American history to the present, demonstrating these principles were understood by the Founders and shaped the U.S. national identity.[5]

According to Spalding, the erosion of these principles began with the Progressives of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who believed in centralization, bureaucracy, relativism and a lack of absolute truths, and who, Spalding writes, sought to undermine the vision of the U.S. Constitution's framers.[2] Spalding calls today's liberals "pimps for the new progressivism," inspired by New Dealers and proponents of the Great Society.[2] Spalding also writes that recent Republican electoral victories and the successes of the Tea Party demonstrate that Americans still believe in the vision outlined by the Founding Fathers, and that a debate over the Constitution has been given new life everywhere from law schools to the federal government.[2]

The book's foreword is written by conservative commentator William Bennett, who writes that We Still Hold These Truths "makes a clear and compelling case for America's principles as an enduring source of real, practical guidance for today explaining how we got so far off track, and laying out how to get our nation back on course."[5]

Hirsch has a very different reading of those principles found in our founding documents. This is not as surprising as it may appear, for as Hirsch says in his book, “in [the Declaration’s] interpretation lies the core of both the Liberal and Conservative ideologies that have run through American political life and the tension between them.”[6]

Hirsch looks at the words of the Declaration and finds an all-embracing, profoundly Liberal, statement of the equality of all people and that all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And that, as stated in the Declaration, the role of government is to secure these rights. Hirsch then goes on to use the Declaration of Independence as a touchstone to examine nine key areas of government policy.[7]

Ironically, just as Spalding feels that Progressives eroded the founding principles, Hirsch believes that, “our nation stands at a crossroad. There is a radical Republican movement afoot to fundamentally alter the balance that our system has struck between private rights, the public good, and government. The issue is not simply big versus small government, high versus low taxes. At risk is the heart of our democracy, our historic values.” [8]

Hirsch states that current Republicans focus solely on rights of the individual, quite divorced from their responsibilities as citizens and from the rights of others and the common good. Since the Declaration states that all men are created equal and all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the system can only work if one says that each person has this liberty so long as it does not harm others or impinge on the rights of others. This last proposition is in fact the basis for all government laws and regulation, whether of individuals or corporations.[9]


The book received positive reviews from conservative-leaning reviewers, including The Weekly Standard, National Review and The Washington Times, and reached No. 2 on the Washington Post's non-fiction bestseller list.[3][5][10][11] According to columnist Cal Thomas, Spalding's book offers a "long-range strategy" for conservatives "if they want to save the country from the long-term consequences of what many call 'socialism.'"[12]

As a self-published book, Hirsch's We Still Hold These Truths has received no newspaper reviews. However, it has received acclaim and endorsement from a variety of sources, the most notable being:

"The 2004 presidential election has the potential to be one of the most important in decades. Every fundamental question of national values and national policy is up for debate - or should be . . . . Ron Hirsch's We Still Hold These Truths is a systematic and serious effort to make that debate as clear and valuable as it can be. Agree or disagree with his specific conclusions, the questions he is asking are the right ones for the public this year." —James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic [13][6]

Another type of recognition came from a group of citizens from Wisconsin who paid for the publication of a speech by Ron Hirsch, “Fighting for the Soul of America,” based on the book, in the Ozaukee Press, October 28. 2004 [14]


  1. ^ "We Still Hold These Truths". We Still Hold These Truths. westillholdthesetruths.org.
  2. ^ a b c d Colin McNickel (22 November 2009). "Reclaiming America's Soul". Tribune-Review. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  3. ^ a b Alex Adrianson (18 November 2009). "We Still Hold These Truths Is Washington Post #2 Bestseller". InsiderOnline. insideronline.org. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  4. ^ "We Still Hold These Truths, westillholdthesetruths.info". We Still Hold These Truths. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  5. ^ a b c John R. Coyne Jr. (9 December 2009). "Getting America Back On Course". Washington Times. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  6. ^ a b Hirsch, We Still Hold These Truths
  7. ^ Hirsch, We Still Hold These Truths, p.1-4
  8. ^ Hirsch, We Still Hold These Truths, Back Cover
  9. ^ "Preserving American Values". preservingamericanvalues.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  10. ^ John B. Kienker (8 February 2010). "Founders Keepers; The modern application of the principles of government". The Weekly Standard. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  11. ^ Ryan T. Anderson (22 February 2010). "Back to Basics". National Review. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  12. ^ Cal Thomas (26 October 2009). "A long-range strategy". Tribune Media Services. calthomas.com. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  13. ^ Fallows, James, printed under Pre-publication Acclaim
  14. ^ Hirsch, Ronald, Ozaukee Press, October 28, 2004, p. 13B


  • Hirsch, Ronald L. (2004/2005/2011). We Still Hold These Truths. Virtualbookworm.com Publishing. ISBN 978-1589395879. Check date values in: |year= (help)

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