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Roots of Liberty: Unlocking the Federalist Papers Paperback – June 18, 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 110 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475213638
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475213638
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 5, 2014
Cal Thomas wrote in an article dated July 3, 2014, "In a comprehensive publication, 'The Roots of Liberty: Unlocking the Federalist Papers,' edited by Scott D. Cosenza and Claire M. Griffin, it attempts to remind us of the Founders' intent and why their vision, if not renewed by each generation, will quickly fade, America along with it.

Tim Donner, president of 'One Generation Away,' which, according to its website, is 'committed to restoring, strengthening and preserving the vision of a free America by applying our founding principles to the issues of today,' (and on whose board I serve as an unpaid member), published the book through its Cornerstone Project, says 'Roots' has 'so far been welcomed by public and private schools in six states.'

For those of a certain age, 'The Roots of Liberty' will remind us of our high school civics classes, but as government continues to expand and President Obama increasingly ignores the boundaries placed on the Executive Branch, it will serve as a needed reminder of what makes America unique in the world and how it can be quickly destroyed if sufficient attention is not paid to our founding principles.

What should attract young people to 'The Roots of Liberty' is that the editors have updated the 18th-century language, using instead paraphrases and modern words that will resonate in contemporary ears, without harming its original meaning.

Here's one example: '(James) Madison supported dividing the national government in a way such that each branch in and of itself would be a type of safeguard against tyranny. Because each branch of government was simultaneously separate and interdependent, it had to work together with the other branches in order to achieve the goals of the national government.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Steven Porreca Jr on July 24, 2014
This was simply an excellent book. I don't know what the two prior reviewers are talking about. As Cal Thomas pointed out in his July 1, 2014 editorial (http://calthomas.com/columns/how-many-more-birthdays-for-america), this was purposefully written in contemporary language so that those who do not have the time to read the Federalist Papers can still understand their importance. If you disagree with the founding fathers and the Constitution, so be it (ironically, you have that right thanks to the Constitution). However, this book tells it like it is...and does so very well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alix Surbella on July 24, 2014
As a high school student myself, I found this a very informative read. I never knew what the Federalist papers were before I read the book. It was very informative and something most, if not all, students should read. Thank you for making this book!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Aaron K. Harris on July 29, 2014
As someone who has read the Federalist (and Anti-federalist) Papers in their entirety more than twice, I can highly recommend this book as an introduction or refresher.

As great as the Federalist Papers and other original writings by the Founders are, the writing style from those days is complex enough that modern readers may have a hard time getting started on them.

That's why "Unlocking the Federalist Papers" is an apt subtitle—it gets the reader immediately into the fundamental concepts that the Federalist Papers discuss, and the reader is then more equipped to delve into the source.

As for the commenter who likened this to FoxNews, I can only infer that they are ideologically hostile to the Constitution and to federalism and aren't enthused about the prospect of people learning about those ideas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Cook-Kallio on July 24, 2014
I teach in a public high school and have used this book with my Advanced Placement class and my college prep. I thought that it was well edited and very accessible. It provides the basis for a rich civil discussion. It is easily understood as a stand alone read but even better when accompanied by instruction and time to discuss the ideas presented and what those ideas meant during the founding period. The initial understanding frequently sent my students to the full documents for closer inspection.

Often the founding views are represented as a specific perspective and what students find is that these were editorials written to convince a specific demographic to support the new Federal Constitution. The Founders were a diverse group and knew that a democracy is predicated on a well educated participatory citizenry. This books helps students understand the brilliance of James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay and that the struggle for good government continues.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian Reynolds on July 24, 2014
Last year, we asked our high school senior about the 10th, 4th and 2nd Amendment. He had a limited knowledge of one. We asked both the school and school board if he was being taught the Constitution--the answer was surprisingly, "not really." So, we wanted a quick, easy and comprehensible book that would bring him up to speed and started with "Roots of Liberty." Now, our daughter, a rising 10th grader, is reading it for the summer. We highly recommend this as a quick way to educate any high school student. P.S. Some of the other reviews don't take into account--this is a book for high schoolers or adults who never studied the Constitution or Federalist Papers and need an introduction.
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Roots of Liberty: Unlocking the Federalist Papers
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