- Series: Mentor
- Mass Market Paperback: 560 pages
- Publisher: Signet (April 1, 1961)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451625412
- ISBN-13: 978-0451625410
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 959 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,866,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Federalist Papers (Mentor)
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"This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence, that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren ... should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties." So wrote John Jay, one of the revolutionary authors of The Federalist Papers, arguing that if the United States was truly to be a single nation, its leaders would have to agree on universally binding rules of governance--in short, a constitution. In a brilliant set of essays, Jay and his colleagues Alexander Hamilton and James Madison explored in minute detail the implications of establishing a kind of rule that would engage as many citizens as possible and that would include a system of checks and balances. Their arguments proved successful in the end, and The Federalist Papers stand as key documents in the founding of the United States. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Sadly, not many read this work, despite the fact that it is one of the few documents that define what the founders' intent really was. This omission has not stopped many from espousing their (lack of) knowledge of that intent. The casual reader can be put off by the size of the work, 85 articles, and the seriousness of the articles. This work was intended for serous people. However, one can approach it with a pen and yellow highlighter and LEARN its wisdom or the more casual reader can let the Introduction guide them to the pieces that interest them.
These casual readers will learn The Federalist Papers are divided into two divisions, each with different themes. The first division addresses the issue of a "firm" and "well-constructed" Union as opposed to a lose confederation of states. This division then addresses how the constitution is protected from the founders' anticipated accidental and intentional threats and answers: what the respective purposes of the Union and the Constitution are; what should be done with society's will; the problem of politics; and even the issues of taxes and maintaining an army. All of these together described the function of government as defined by the Constitution.
In the second division, The Federalist Papers move from the basic function of government to the structure of the American government and using that structure to secure society's common good, the people's happiness, and the public good. All this is accomplished using a moderate tone that makes the reader part of the discourse and not the object of a lecture. This is a constitution aimed at the public in many ways.
So at heart, The Federalist Papers is a guide to the Constitution intended for the casual reader, a reader who can pick and chose those elements that are meaningful.
Lastly, this is a review of the Signet series which is very good but frankly I suggest not spending too much time worrying about which edition, publisher etc. The main point is to get a copy and start studying.
Learning about the history of our legal system is not only essential for a legal student but should be important for every U.S. citizen as well. It explains some of the things that were going on around the constitutuional convention and why the laws are how they were written.
The purchasing experience was, as always, terrific and I got the book in record time. This is a thick book and will take quite some time to finish reading but, with that said, the book should be continually used as a reference book.
I recommend this one!
I don't know whether it is an artifact of this edition or not, but the use of quotation marks here seems strange to me. The closing quotation marks are the same as the initial ones -- "curled" the same way, and located at the beginning of the next sentence, rather than at the end of the quoted sentence.