Drawn from great speeches, constitutional documents, philosophy, private letters and diaries, religious works, and histories, the 300 extracts in this collection mark defining moments in the progress of humankind through four millennia on its path to political, religious, and intellectual freedom. This volume affirms human achievement on every page. Among its many and diverse voices are Anne Frank, Plato, Lillian Hellman, William Wordsworth, John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, Tom Paine, Sir Walter Raleigh, Demosthenes, Florence Nightingale, Winston Churchill, St. Francis, and Jesus. Their words find the sense in the variable course of human events, and their truths survive the vicissitudes of history. Arranged chronologically, the documents present centuries of truths that have set men and women free. Among the anthology's highlights are the last speech of Socrates, on his condemnation to death in 399 B.C; Nelson Mandela's 1964 speech from the dock; Emile Zola's "J'accuse," Peter Millar on the tearing down of the Berlin Wall; Thomas Paine's "The Rights of Man"; Mary Wollstonecraft's "Vindication of the Rights of Women"; former slave Frederick Douglass's open letter to his former master; Lion Feuchtwanger's letter to X, on the Nazi confiscation of his house; and Abelard writing to Heloise on eternal love.