Customer Review

392 of 452 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern take on a political classic, June 14, 2011
This review is from: The Original Argument: The Federalists' Case for the Constitution, Adapted for the 21st Century (Paperback)
No matter what you think of his politics, you have to admire Glenn Beck's willingness to explore territory that other pundits (on the right and left) have shrugged off or ignored. The Federalist Papers fall into that category. Often regarded as archaic and irrelevant, the `Original Argument' for a Constitution and federal government has often been overlooked by modern theorists. Glenn Beck does a fine job of resurrecting them, and breathing life into them once again.

So, why are they so important, and what is the original argument any way? As Beck states in the introduction, "What the Federalist Papers offer to us today is a guide to understanding the Founders' core constitutional principles, the theories behind their words, the why, the where and how of the foundation of America." Beck clearly esteems the Founding Fathers, and finds the Federalist Papers to be of their core work.

What I find most interesting is the even-handedness Beck levies. The Federalists are known to have been pro-federal government, which in today's climate is allied with Democrats and modern liberals and against Republicans and conservatives. For instance, much of Hamilton's rhetoric is used today in defense of widespread government intervention, especially with regard to fiscal and monetary policy.

But rather than denouncing the Federalists as monarchists or totalitarians, as some on the political right might be inclined to do, Beck is willing to honestly examine their work and analyze it in its context. What the reader finds is that, though some Federalist concepts certainly were statist in their effect, the core ideas are arguably the core ideas of the political right--minimum government and maximum freedom. To be sure, the concept of `Federalism' isn't just about the federal government--a balance of power achieved by individualized states is also implicit in the concept.

Though this book's focus is narrow and won't stand on its own like Wood's Radicalism of the American Revolution or Morse's Juggernaut: Why the System Crushes the Only People Who Can Save It, Beck's treatment of the Federalists is one of the best out there, and can be appreciated by anyone interested in the history of American politics, on the right or the left.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 15, 2011 8:33:36 PM PDT
E. Hodges says:
Please tell me what relevant pundit, journalist, or politician regards The Federalist Papers as archaic and irrelevant. Also, I would like to know which "modern theorists" have overlooked these documents. I do not mean to aggressively challenge you, but I find your claims hard to believe and would like to know on what you base these claims.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2011 4:15:11 AM PDT
Marcus Welby says:
A population so ignorant of the basics of our Constitution that they could elect an inexperienced and poorly educated community organizer as President is in need of a refresher course in the basics of our nations founding. Glenn Beck's excellent book has made the Federalist Papers more accessable for millions of Americans. Live with it and for God's sake calm down.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2011 6:27:13 AM PDT
Id says:
Any Keynesian economist out there implicitly overlooks the founding documents. They might not expressly condemn them, but they certainly shrug them off. It's the same mentality that says the Constitution is a 'living document' that needs updated for modern times.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2011 7:52:10 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 22, 2011 2:55:33 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2011 8:53:45 PM PDT
E. Hodges says:
Please explain why you posted this.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2011 4:34:05 AM PDT
Marcus Welby says:
To highlight the closet totalitarianism of all those who don't understand the purpose of the US Constitution and are willing to push it aside for "social justice" aka communism.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2011 2:57:53 PM PDT
One Callin' says:
Because you don't seem to understand that there are politicians out there who are anti-constitution.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2011 12:24:14 AM PDT
Poorly eductated? He went to Columbia and Harvard, he did work with Communities, which, given the job of the president as a representative of America, it's better to have worked with 99% of the population than what you seem to believe is more nobler to have worked with the 1%. Our nation has been built on electiving people that have qualified for little else in their lives. From Abraham Lincoln that failed at everything in his life until he found politics--well documented he was a medium lawyer at best. To men like George Bush who failed at every private business he worked at, who never earned a single job he had by merit but was given to him by his father's name--no better than a Kennedy, a tribe of people whose significance is lackluster and ignominious.

Obama can be taken to task for many things, but the fact that he was a Community Organizer should never be one of them. Martin Luther King was a community organizer, Malcolm X was a community organizer, Gahndi was a community organizer, and most famous of them all Jesus Christ was a community organizer. There is little more reverent than a man or woman willing to work hard to better the place of his neighbor

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2011 4:00:09 AM PDT
One Callin' says:
Oliver, how was Jesus a community organizer? I really don't think you should make a comparison between Obama and Jesus in any respect. Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit which led Him into all truth. Obama is not nor does he desire to be. And even if you want to say what Jesus did was "organize" are you really going to compare what Obama did with what Jesus did? That's the problem many people on the right have with those on the left--they see Obama as some sort of Messiah. What Marcus is saying is that "community organizer" should not be the merit on which you are elected to the highest office of the land. It is laughable. "Community organizer" does not make you a good leader and Obama has proven that. Even democratic politicians are often left asking when the President is going to step up and start actually LEADING. (I.e. during the budget battle.) I don't know, Obama may have been a good community organizer but as a Senator he was terrible--most often voting "present" than giving a decisive answer on votes, and as President he is more concerned with his image and his golf score than doing the job. In saying that, I also wouldn't invoke the name of Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King when talking about Obama let alone Jesus.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2011 4:12:47 AM PDT
I do not know any pundits, journalist or modern theorists who have overlooked the Federalist Papers. I do know two members of the House of Representatives and at least one member of the Senate who have never read, let alone understood, the Federalists Papers. Discussions on this topic remind me of Ronald Reagan's observation that: "Had the Spanish won the war, California would have been a civilization. Instead, we end up with a real estate development" (or something like that).
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