America's Founding Secret
What the Scottish Enlightenment Taught Our Founding Fathers
by Robert W. Galvin

Review by Jon Roland

This charming little collection of essays provides a gentle introduction to the works of several Scots whose great influence on the development of the political culture of early America is often undeservedly neglected. It traces the emergence of the 18th century Scottish Enlightenment, mainly centered on the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and shows how the works and members of that movement traveled to the American colonies and instructed the founding generation of the new republic. Many of its ideas and words became incorporated into the Declaration of Independence and the constitutions of the states and the United States.

However, unless these essays were published as an introduction to a collection of the works it discusses, it could use a bibliography. Here is a partial one for some of the more important works of some of the more important thinkers discussed. It includes several works I hope to eventually add to our online collection.

Not mentioned in the Galvin essays, but deserving of inclusion, are:

Galvin does make one error, however. The name of Henry Home is misspelled "Howe" in the book.