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The Anti-Federalist: Writings by the Opponents of the Constitution Paperback – Abridged, 1985

ISBN-13: 978-0226775654 ISBN-10: 0226775658 Edition: Abridged edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 382 pages
  • Publisher: The University Of Chicago Press; Abridged edition edition (1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226775658
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226775654
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #443,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Herbert J. Storing (1928-77), who spent most of his professional life at the University of Chicago, was, at the time of his death, Robert K. Gooch Professor of Government and the director of the Program on the Presidency, White Burkett Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. Murray Dry, who prepared this abridgment, is the Charles A. Dana Professor of political science at Middlebury College.

Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ryan D on August 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
Sure, it is abridged, but perhaps not all of us have the time to read all 7 volumes.

I think it is pretty important that you read both sides of the argument (get a copy of the federealist papers as well, I got this one: 1441413049 There are strong reasons both for and against a strong federal government rather than a weaker one where states have most of the power.

It is really quit enlightening to see both sides of the argument. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Patrick Henry are some of the most recognized names of the time, and they were all anti-federalists. Why were they against the constitution?

1) Too much power to the federal gov, at the expense of states
2) Executive branch was too powerful
3) The government could maintain an army even when not at war (military industrial complex ring a bell, anyone?)
4) "Necessary and proper" or elastic clause gave congress way too much power - seems like our congress today is doing much more than "necessary and proper" to use their enumerated powers

I'd have say at this point in time, seeing what has become of our federal government, the anti-federalists were right. Although I haven't read other editions, from what I have read of what others have to say, Herbert Storing's version in terms of unabridged is unrivaled. Seems like even the abridged version is quite good relative to other editors (from reviews I have read this seems to be the case).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A.H. on April 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
I think that a reading of the Federalist would not lead to the conclusion that the United States is merely a league and that its bonds are not merely commercial, even though I grant you that etymologically "Federal" comes from the Latin for "league" or "compact" and also that the U.S. Constitution is a "compact". Nevertheless, the founders were concerned that a mere league (or treaty) would not be able to accomplish the ends of union. With the U.S. federal pact, there is a sharing of sovereignty and a contract between the peoples of the respective States as sovereign entities. Essentially, the people in each state agrees to assign (divide) the governmental exercise of that sovereignty between two entities - a state government and a federal one.

So the federal government is empowered as much as the state one directly from the sovereignty residing in the people of each individual state. The Articles of Confederation was closer to being a mere "league" since it was a contract between governments. (See Madison, Federalist 43, where he says, "A compact between independent sovereigns, founded on ordinary acts of legislative authority, can pretend to no higher validity than a league or treaty between the parties.") The Articles were ratified by the respective state legislatures and not directly by the people. So at least in that respect it was more like a treaty (even though it also transcended the limits of a treaty, but I don't have time to go into that).

The Constitution, on the other hand, was ratified by the respective peoples - such that it goes beyond the level of a mere treaty or league.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Eagle on August 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Storing, one of the foremost experts on the Federalist / Antifederalist debates provides great insight into the thinking of the Antifederalists. His introduction to the sections provide key insights into Antifederalist thinking, illuminating the deep reservations they had over what they saw as a "radical" departure from the Federalist principles of the Articles of Confederation. A wonderful resource for those interested in colonial history and the genesis of our Constitution.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on July 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
Herbert J. Storing (1928-1977) was a professor of Constitutional History and Law at the University of Virginia. This book is the Introduction to his 1977 complete seven-volume set of letters, pamphlets, and speeches in The Complete Anti-Federalist. The Introduction to his seven-volume set is also available separately: What the Anti-Federalists Were For: The Political Thought of the Opponents of the Constitution by Storing, Herbert J. published by University Of Chicago Press Paperback.

One writer notes, "The senate, the great efficient body in this plan of government, is constituted on the most unequal principles. The smallest state in the union has equal weight with the great states of Virginia, Massachusetts, or Pannsylvania..." (Pg. 19) One writer criticizes the power of the judges: "(T)here is no power above them that can control their decisions, or correct their errors... in many cases their power is superior to that of the legislature." (Pg. 184) Another observes, "The powers of Congress under the new constitution, are complete and unlimited over the PURSE and the SWORD, and are perfectly independent of, and supreme over, the state governments." (Pg. 210)

Another laments, "The non-attendance of eight or nine men, who were appointed members of the convention, I shall ever consider as a very unfortunate event to the United States. Had they attended, I am pretty clear, that the result of the convention would not have had that strong tendency to aristrocracy now discernible in every part of the plan." (Pg.
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