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"A long-overdue critique of partisan distortions of America's Founding Fathers. Austin takes both the Right and the Left to task, but he especially castigates the Far Right for cherry-picking (or proof texting) various Founders' statements and then attributing their sentiments to the Founding Fathers as a whole, as if the Founders were a homogenous group of men who agreed on everything. . . .A must-read for anyone who wants an objective exploration of the American political and constitutional system."
- DAVID CONTOSTA, Professor of history, Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA, and author of Rebel Giants
"Provides a much-needed corrective to some of the craziness being promoted by right-wing extremists these days in the name of the Founding Fathers. . . . The real legacy of those Fathers? A political system. In Austin's words, it's 'a system of disagreement, debate, and compromise...that has kept democracy vibrant in America for more than two hundred years.'"
- DAVIS D. JOYCE, Professor emeritus of history, East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma, and author of Howard Zinn
Foreword Raymond W. Smock 9
Chapter 1 How I Learned to Stop Worrying about Glenn Beck and Write This Book 17
Chapter 2 Founderstein: How to Turn Six Dead White Guys into One Political Monster 33
Chapter 3 The Fallacy of "Original Intent" 51
Chapter 4 The Founders on Religion and Liberty 69
Chapter 5 States' Rights/States' Wrongs: How the Right Hijacked Federalism 89
Chapter 6 The Jeffersonian Myth and the Hamiltonian Bogeyman 111
Chapter 7 Grover Norquist and the Tax Pledge versus Alexander Hamilton and Good Government 133
Chapter 8 Courting Disaster: The Dumb Right-Wing Attack on the Federal Judiciary 153
Chapter 9 Why America, the Constitution, and God Will (Probably) Survive 171
A An Act for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia Thomas Jefferson, 1777 187
B Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments James Madison, 1785 191
C Correspondence between the Danbury Baptist Association Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1802 199
D Federalist no. 10 James Madison, 1787 203
E Federalist no. 78 Alexander Hamilton, 1788 211
F The National Bank Debate Thomas Jefferson Alexander Hamilton, 1791 219
Posted February 21, 2013
Don't let the title fool you. Every one should read this one regardless of personal politics or religion. The Founders weren't the mythological super beings that we make them out to be. They were just people trying to solve the political issues of their day.
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Posted September 27, 2014