Peter Moore

Tue 18 July 2023

Interviewed by Sarah Bakewell

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Britain and the American Dream 1740-1776

‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’, the best-known phrase from the Declaration of Independence is frequently evoked today as a shorthand for that idea we call the ‘American Dream’. However rather than being uniquely American, the vision it encapsulates owes a great deal to British thinkers. Centred on the life of Benjamin Franklin, featuring figures like the cultural giant Samuel Johnson, the ground-breaking historian Catharine Macaulay, the firebrand politician John Wilkes and revolutionary activist Thomas Paine, Peter Moore looks at the generation that preceded the Declaration in 1776 and takes us back to a vital moment in the foundation of the West.