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The Federalist Papers: Modern English Edition Two Paperback – February 26, 2008


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The Federalist Papers: Modern English Edition Two + The United States Constitution: Annotated with The Federalist Papers In Modern English + The Federalist Papers: Summaries Of The 85 Papers: Universal Index To The Federalist Papers
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 382 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434842193
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434842190
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #864,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mary E Webster is a graduate of St. Paul College and the University of Iowa. Her previous easier-to-read edition of The Federalist Papers--Federalist Papers: In Modern Language--has been praised as making the Papers accessible to people who don't consider themselves "scholars." She has worked on this 10th-grade reading level edition since 2001. She is currently working on a study guide to accompany this edition of the Federalist Papers. Webster has a deep love of the United States Constitution and was thrilled to learn that she is related to the Websters who were so important to the country's early history and is a descendant of several signers of The Mayflower Compact.

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Customer Reviews

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It is very well presented and thoughtfully researched.
Thomas
This reference book is an absolute MUST read for everybody whom considers them self an American!
Timothy T Pope
Good writers of those times could write prose that endures for centuries.
2bluesky2

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By L. Tozzi on April 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
This translation of the Federalist Papers into modern English is superb. Not only has it made me extremely well-prepared for class, it has given me a much clearer understanding and deeper appreciation for our Constitution. I've never written a review for anything online before - ever! But I feel so strongly a/b this book that I wanted to let others know how great it is.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kevin J. Brogan on February 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
The tremendous insight we can gain from the Federalist Essays is to a degree hampered by the language used by 18th Century authors. Classically trained and devoted to perspicuity they meticulously applied words that contained precise sentiments they wished to convey. Madison acknowledged this very fact in Federalist 37. This is true even reading Washington's Addresses, so it is a matter to be dealt with by all of us, as well as the changing meanings of words over time. In McCullough's book on Adam's he noted the difference between awful as we use it ,and how Adams used the term, that is to express awe.

The Federalist Essays in Modern Language exhibits a valiant and timely effort to build a stronger bridge between us and our precious heritage. It is such efforts we need to support for the inestimable benefits we can gain. Although some might dismiss such efforts to comprehend the original understanding found in the essays as a fool's errand, we should never the less proceed. It may be intellectually lazy not to consider and to reflect on the insights found there, and employ the information to our common benefit.

In the process of bringing the Essays into common language we increase access by all.

Thank you Mary Webster.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By 2bluesky2 on July 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
Thomas Jefferson once praised the Federalist Papers as "the best commentary on the principles of government, which ever was written." Despite the superlative quality of its content, the authors of the Federalist Papers unfortunately used a stultifying writing style still common among lawyers today. Sentences drag on and on. Elaborate modifying clauses confuse rather than illuminate the text. It is no wonder that the Federalist Papers get little use or recognition in our educational system. They're nearly unreadable, unless you are a lawyer.

Some people mistakenly say that the authors of Federalist Papers were writing in the style of the times. Not so! Any school child can read a copy of the Declaration of Independence or the US Constitution and understand it immediately. Good writers of those times could write prose that endures for centuries. The contrary is also true: brilliant analysis buried in unreadable prose will gather dust on a library shelf. That has been the fate of the Federalist Papers for too long.

I think there are three very useful ways to use Mary Webster's translation. First, just read her translation. By itself it accurately recites all the brilliant analysis from the original - and it is so very readable. It can stand alone as an enlightening text. A second way to use Mary Webster's text is to first read her translation of any one of the original 85 papers, then read the original. Her paragraphing follows the exact paragraphing as the original. She also adds helpful subtitles. Once you know what the original authors intended to say, it is much easier to plow through their difficult prose. Successfully reading the original text is always a satisfying experience. Reading the translation first makes reading the original much easier.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By oyal Amazon Cusotmer on September 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Review strictly based on kindle version: no hyperlinks to table of contents and footnotes. Unable to a specific federalist paper.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Harmon on November 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I've long enjoyed reading about the American revolutionary era (which I personally consider to extend until 1800, and our first successful transfer of power from one political party to another) but like many others found the Federalist Papers a bit much to read. Because of that, when I first encountered Mary Webster's The Federalist Papers In Modern Language: Indexed for Today's Political Issues I snapped it right up. It was just what I needed, and has been one of my primary resources since. So, when I learned that Mary Webster had published "The Federalist Papers: Modern English Edition Two" on the Kindle, no less, I was overjoyed. What a disappointment.

First, as another reviewer commented, the Table of Contents is not hyperlinked. That's workable for fiction, where you are reading straight through, but not remotely for something like this.

Still, I might have accepted that and just used the search function and bookmarks for navigating, if it wasn't for the second flaw - Webster has modernized and condensed the language to the point that all flavor is lost. For example, the opening of No. 2. In the original, it reads:

"WHEN the people of America reflect that they are now called upon to decide a question, which, in its consequences, must prove one of the most important that ever engaged their attention, the propriety of their taking a very comprehensive, as well as a very serious, view of it, will be evident.
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