“Makes a powerful and convincing case for restoring John Dickinson to his rightful place in the first rank of the Founders.” — The Washington Times The Cost of Liberty offers a sorely needed reassessment of a great patriot and misunderstood Founder. It has been more than a half century since a biography of John Dickinson appeared. Author William Murchison rectifies this mistake, bringing to life one of the most influential figures of the entire Founding period, a principled man whose gifts as writer, speaker, and philosopher only Jefferson came near to matching. In the process, Murchison destroys the caricature of Dickinson that has emerged from such popular treatments as HBO’s John Adams miniseries and the Broadway musical 1776 . Dickinson is remembered mostly for his reluctance to sign the Declaration of Independence. But that reluctance, Murchison shows, had nothing to do with a lack of patriotism. In fact, Dickinson immediately took up arms to serve the colonial cause—something only one signer of the Declaration did. He stood on principle to oppose declaring independence at that moment, even when he knew that doing so would deal the “finishing blow” to his once-great reputation. Dubbed the “Penman of the Revolution,” Dickinson was not just a scribe but also a shaper of mighty events. From the 1760s through the late 1780s he was present at, and played a significant role in, every major assemblage where the Founders charted America’s path—a claim few others could make. Author of the landmark essays Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania , delegate to the Continental Congress, key figure behind the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, chief executive of both Pennsylvania and Delaware: Dickinson was, as one esteemed historian aptly put it, “the most underrated of all the Founders.” This lively biography gives a great Founder his long-overdue measure of honor. “A brisk, admiring biography.” — The Wall Street Journal “[We should] be grateful that the veteran journalist William Murchison has chosen to employ his incomparable pen and vivid historical imagination in the cause of bringing back to life one of the most underrated and misunderstood of the Founders.” — The American Conservative “Dickinson is perhaps the most neglected and least understood of the Founders of our nation. This book is truly a must read.” —Forrest McDonald, University of Alabama, author of Novus Ordo Seclorum “ The Cost of Liberty is a delightful book—lively, warm, amusing, and intelligent. It brings a brave and wise man splendidly back to life.” —Richard Brookhiser, author of James Madison “This biography will stand for the ages.” —John Willson, Hillsdale College “ The Cost of Liberty is a gem.” —Bill Kauffman, author of Forgotten Founder, Drunken Prophet “It is hard to think of a Founder more deserving of a second and third look than the admirable Dickinson. And it is hard to think of a writer more worthy of our admiration than Bill Murchison.” —Wilfred M. McClay, University of Oklahoma William Murchison is a widely published author, journalist, and commentator who specializes in historical and cultural subjects. A former editor at the Dallas Morning News , he is a nationally syndicated columnist and has contributed to the Wall Street Journal , National Review , the Weekly Standard , First Things , and many other publications.