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The Federalist Papers [Paperback]

Alexander Hamilton , James Madison , John Jay , Ian Shapiro
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 23.79 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

April 28 2009 Rethinking the Western Tradition

This authoritative edition of the complete texts of the Federalist Papers, the Articles of Confederation, the U.S. Constitution, and the Amendments to the U.S. Constitution features supporting essays in which leading scholars provide historical context and analysis.


An introduction by Ian Shapiro offers an overview of the publication of the Federalist Papers and their importance. In three additional essays, John Dunn explores the composition of the Federalist Papers and the conflicting agendas of its authors; Eileen Hunt Botting explains how early advocates of women’s rights, most prominently Mercy Otis Warren, Judith Sargent Murray, and Charles Brockden Brown, responded to the Federalist-Antifederalist debates; and Donald Horowitz discusses the Federalist Papers from the perspective of recent experiments with democracy and constitution-making around the world. These essays both illuminate the original texts and encourage active engagement with them.

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"This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence, that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren ... should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties." So wrote John Jay, one of the revolutionary authors of The Federalist Papers, arguing that if the United States was truly to be a single nation, its leaders would have to agree on universally binding rules of governance--in short, a constitution. In a brilliant set of essays, Jay and his colleagues Alexander Hamilton and James Madison explored in minute detail the implications of establishing a kind of rule that would engage as many citizens as possible and that would include a system of checks and balances. Their arguments proved successful in the end, and The Federalist Papers stand as key documents in the founding of the United States. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


Admirable introduction...Oxford University Press is to be congratulated on adding it to its collection of World's Classics. Howard Temperley, TLS --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Arguments for an United Union of states May 21 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The arguments for a union:
1. Union was necessary for commerce
2. Commerce facilitated a need for a National Bank
3. Banks charge interest
4. The role of government is to raise revenue from the taxation of commerce
5. The Union represented a favorable trade partner for the world
6. A federal army was created too defend the union
7. Independant States are inheritantly dangerous; this was danger caused by territorial disputes, large state standing armies against small state standing armies, and inconsistent monetary policy fustrating external countries from doing business; whereas, a union represented stability and consistency for the trade partners.
The balance of Power is false - the three branches don't hold power equally:
1. Power is controlled by the legislative branch, the legislative branch creates laws; the executive enforces the law; and the Judical intreprets the law.
2. The executive power increases in power during war
3. The judical branch is the weakest of all the branches. The judical branch was not expected to an powerful entity.
4. The republic form of government is a defense against the imperial monarchy. Sovereignty resides in the states. Bad laws can be opposed by a minority of states. States receive equal representation in the senate. The delegates are too vote against bad laws, this equality prevents tyrancal laws. If a majority of the republic supports bad laws then the people have the ultimate power to revolt and gain control of the government.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read For All Americans Jan. 11 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I can hardly offer enough praise for this work. While most Americans have probably read the constituion at least once in their life, it is a shame that so many people are daunted by the task of reading what may be one of the best political pamphlets of all time. To truly understand the constituion and what its writers thought concerning its application it is necessary to understand the political climate of the day and some of the problems facing those who saw the necessity of doing away with the failed system of government under the Articles of Confederation.
Hamilton, Madison, and to a lesser extent Jay, all offer the reader with a first-hand look behind the writing of the constituion and help to explain such misunderstood principles of our government such as the differnces between a nationalist and a federalist system of government, the necessity of seperation of powers and ckecks and balances, and the electoral college. While some of their perceptions of how the young republic would mature and some of the problems it would face are either laughably naive or downright wrong, considering how much the world has changed since the writing of these papers it is amazing how well they understood the political situtions inherent in all governments; both in their own day and in ours.
The Federalist Papers are a fitting amalgamation of over 2000 years of political thought but they are also an interesting case study in a pragmatic view of human nature which was shared by almost all of the writers of the constituion, that man is inherently flawed and thus a government must be designed so as to protect itself from the fruits of these flaws.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for All American's July 11 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Read this and understand the true thoughts and meaning behind the Constitution and its Amendments, its interesting to read how the founding fathers interpreted what they wrote in a very different way then the courts and federal gestapo interprete them today. Especially of interest is the paper oon the true meaning of the term "for the general welfare" which has been used to allow all sorts of power grabs from the nuts in Washington, and which has been interpreted completly contrary to what the founding fathers intended. Be a true patriot, read this book.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you are going to read "The Federalist Papers," you must also read "The Anti-Federalist Papers" in order to get the complete picture. Both books cross-reference each other, and both are instrumental in understanding how our government was designed and how it was intended to work. In addition to the Papers, this edition also contains the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and an excellent introduction by Charles Kesler.
In a time when each colony had its own "constitution," the Federalists believed in creating one strong centralized government (with one Constitution) that could effectively represent the people. The authors and supporters of the Constitution knew that they could not afford to lose the vote in the state ratifying conventions. In an effort to win over his home state (New York), Alexander Hamilton, with the assistance of James Madison and John Jay, began a collection of 85 essays and published them under the pseudonym of "Publius" (named after one of the founders and heroes of the Roman republic, Publius Valerius Publicola). The Papers, published in 1787 and 1788, analyze and defend the proposed Constitution of the United States.
Obviously, the Federalists succeeded in winning the colonists' support. But even though the anti-federalists lost, their ideas were also brilliant and made an important contribution to the history of our government, which is why you should also read "The Anti-Federalist Papers."
This book is a must-read for all Americans. After reading this book, you will have a renewed appreciation and admiration for the wisdom and vision of our founding fathers.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I am amazed at the wisdom and vision of our founding fathers
If you are going to read "The Federalist Papers," you must also read "The Anti-Federalist Papers" in order to get the complete picture. Read more
Published on June 13 2003 by Maria Beilke
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Edition
I found this book to be one of the best books I ever read. Instead of giving a lay understanding of some of the arguments, I would like to note what I found exceptional about this... Read more
Published on May 17 2003 by "rolihlahla82"
4.0 out of 5 stars The groundwork for a constitutional government
The founding of America wasn't quite as easy as the original colonists banding together to revolt against the mother country and, once done, putting a new country on the map. Read more
Published on April 1 2003 by Christopher M. MacNeil
5.0 out of 5 stars What can you say about pure gold?
This is the book that is constantly being quoted--often by parties on the opposite sides of an argument, about what this country means and where it should go. Read more
Published on March 11 2003 by The Professor Dave
2.0 out of 5 stars Great material, horrid typeface
I will not even comment on the material itself, other than to say that it is superb. However, the print quality is so poor as to merit only two stars. Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2003 by Steven Russell Vickers
5.0 out of 5 stars American? Read these.
Nearly every American has an opinion on how things should be run. However, we need to be familiar with the Founding Fathers' opinions in framing the Constitution, and they were no... Read more
Published on Dec 19 2002 by Canicus
5.0 out of 5 stars The Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers were penned as essays by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay. These brilliant men wanted a government that had a constitution and that could endure... Read more
Published on July 4 2002 by Joe Zika
5.0 out of 5 stars The "stars & stripes forever" book
Want to read about how the American government actually got started, and how it was originally envisioned it would work? Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2002 by Mark Guzowski
5.0 out of 5 stars ummmm I guess this is reviewable
great way to understand the original intent of the framers of the constitution... but its pretty effing boring.
Published on Feb. 1 2002 by "grevil6"
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