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The Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers Paperback – June 15, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

An excellent edition of the key writings surrounding the adoption of the American Constitution. The learned Introduction brings to life the key intellectual debates at the heart of modern constitutionalism as well as those concerning the American Constitution. A fine critical edition. --Frederick Rosen, University College London



This is an excellent collection that fills a need--of all the document collections on the founding era, there is no one-volume collection with both Federalist and Anti-Federalist opinions--and none so affordably priced! I look forward to adopting this book in my general U.S. history and advanced U.S. legal history courses. --Christopher Capozzola, History Department, MIT



A very useful, affordable edition of Federalist and Anti-Federalist writings. . . . The introductory essay is beautifully written and offers useful insights. --Margaret Groarke, Manhattan College

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

David Wootton is Anniversary Professor of History, University of York.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 410 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453634193
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453634196
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #889,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Monty Rainey VINE VOICE on February 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
Among the significant documents of American history, few hold such a high degree of significance as the FEDERALIST PAPERS, constructed by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay. There is an endless list of books written on the Federalist Papers of which to choose from, however, the Anti-Federalist side of the argument has, for the most part, been ignored among American historians, and I know of no other volume that gives the reader a better opportunity to examine both sides of the argument together. THE ESSENTIAL FEDERALIST AND ANTI-FEDERALIST PAPERS, edited by David Wootton, presents both sides of the argument for the reader's examination.

Wootton provides documents defending each argument beginning with the historical sources, such as Blackstone's COMMENTARIES, used to construct the Constitution. Seven antifederalist voices follow, beginning with George Mason's broadside and concluding with four of Judge Robert Yates' ESSAYS OF BRUTUS.

This book serves a long overdue purpose, however, is not without fault. I'm sure, for brevity's sake, Wootton has included only 33 of the Federalist Papers (the original 33 which appeared in the New York newspapers, none of the later 52 papers which appeared in book form). My biggest disappointment in the book, however, is that the Federalist and Anti-Federalist arguments are separated rather than in chronological order. This would have made it much easier to comprehend what was being said in that, many of the arguments were responses to previous arguments from the opposition.

The book concludes with a selection of Constitutional documents.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By ironman96 VINE VOICE on October 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This series of essays was extremely helpful in continuing to develop my understanding of our Constitution and the founding of our Country. As to the various editions of the Federalist Papers, I'm glad I purchased this one since it presented both the Anti-Federalist and the Federalist viewpoints. Knowing what we know today about how our government works, it was fascinating to read what people like Hamilton, Madison, and Patrick Henry thought would be the outcome of the adoption of our Constitution. It is remarkable how right they were in some places and how wrong in others. If you want to boost you citizenship IQ, give this a read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Privacy Hawk on October 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I use this in my undergraduate history courses to provide a window into the reason the Constitution was controversial. Wootton offers a solid introduction to the issues and the documents, and has included a terrific set of antifederalist documents that illuminate the mind of those who opposed the Constitution. The Federalist papers are representative of the key arguments. Some would argue that all the Federalist Papers should be provided, but that is not his purpose and for my use this is a more than adequate selection. Instead, Wootton includes additional defenses of the Constitution from Noah Webster and James Wilson. One of my favorite exchanges (though not provided in adjacent readings) is Wilson's defense and the Address of the Minority, both aimed at a Pennsylvania audience and presenting good encapsulations of common viewpoints. As a result, this book contains a broader and more representative set of voices on both sides of the ratification argument than is provided in other brief treatments.

The introductory section is substantial and balanced, but the documents are left to stand for themselves without comment or explanation-- which of course they certainly can and do, but for my use a stronger editorial presence would be useful. I find undergraduates can struggle with the rhetorical style of the 18th century. But as a documentary resource this is best of breed in a short, inexpensive collection. Kudos.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Donsgrace on June 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Though this is a well bound, nicely printed, easy to read format, the advertisement of 'complete works' is not accurate. Within the section of the book dedicated to the Anti Federalist Papers, only 'selections from' particular communications are available.
I have several (6) different collections of the Anti Federalist papers and, BY FAR, the most accurate offering is that of Ralph Ketcham.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Keath A. Warlick on November 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good collection for academic reference work. There are some minor errors that the editors missed relating to the structure and format of some of the essays and associated footnotes. It's not a collector's edition by any means - I only recommend the quality of the book's construction for aforementioned academic purposes - in other words, it's great if you're going to use it a lot and intend to put some wear and tear on it.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By William H. Folk II on June 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
What can one say about the classics? Our founding fathers were genius!
Both federalists and anti-federalists knew what could happen if the republic were to fall into the wrong hands. The federalists were convinced that the republican form of government would ultimately prevail and knew that "the right of the people to alter or abolish the established constitution whenever they find it inconsistent with their happiness" would allow the government to grow and rewrite itself time and again.
Many times we as citizens forget just what the founding documents mean to this country. We take for granted our rights and assume the government knows better than we do. Now comes a tipping point in which the people will decide what is the best direction for the county...heading down the continued road of more and more government intrusion or do we go back to the basics and put our faith in the states to do the right thing.
I'm curious how those federalists would look at our county now. Most of them fought vigorously against a bill of rights stating that the government cannot abuse an authority which they have not been given and yet here we are fighting against government intrusion into an area that they have no authority in: healthcare.
The TEA Party movement encouraged me to go back and read this stuff again and it has rejuvenated my spirit. I know that no matter what our country is strong...one way or another the people will take the country back from those that wish to ruin it.
I would encourage all of you to read these papers again...you might be surprised to learn that what the anti-federalist had to say is very much what we are experiencing today.
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The Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers
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