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The Federalist Papers Paperback – Apr 28 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (April 28 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300118902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300118902
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,300,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
You may ask yourself, "What's the difference between one version of the Federalist papers and another?" So did I. I found myself looking back to the Federalist papers so much during my first year of law school that I wanted a small, paperback edition. This was a great choice. The best feature is that the Papers are cross-referenced to the relvant articles of the Constitution. It also includes copies of the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and the Declaration of Independence. It makes it much easier to be aware of the context the Papers were written in as well as the result of the debates.
The only thing missing was a copy of the Anti-Federalist papers -- but I haven't found a single volume that includes both yet.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I read through all 85 papers which took me a considerable amount of time, probably over 30 hours. The prose of each authorship, subject matter and ethics between Hamilton, Jay and Madison varies widely. I found Hamiltons writing to be the most arduous, and it turns out he wrote a majority of the papers. Each of these 85 papers is organized by topic and written to be directed towards nullification of the negativism circulating in the popular press, countering common opinions of naysayer writers, directed towards the citizens of New York and periphery states all prior to the formation of the United States constitution. This work is important because Publius (the collective author of these papers) functions as the framer and doctrinal architect that encouraged establishment of the United States and its prolific constitution.

Taken as a whole, this is a marvelous work of the English language, social science; quite beautiful in its passion and lucid character. The cogent logic of the argument of the Federalist Papers is commendable as well as interesting in the modern day. The Federalist Papers indicate the true intention of the United States, spelled out before its creation showing the character of its intellect and the framers vision for its future. It is almost poignant to have read these papers in 2014, especially because of the United States falling to its knees at the hands of multinational corporations and political corruption, never to be the same. The world is not the optimistic vision of Publius' dreams, nor is the United States to become what Publius had hoped.

Overall though, this book is quite relevant, regardless of its shortcomings through development into fact. As the constitution falters and falls, having been eaten from the inside as if by a parasite, the Federalist Papers reminds the reader of the (purported) good intentions which were the dreams allowing its birth. Perhaps there is still time to realize its masterful vision.
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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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