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"Amid growing anxieties about the proposed federal government, the authors of the Federalist Papers advocated ratification ofthe U.S. Constitution. Serialized in several NewYork newspapers between October 1787 and August 1788, and published in book form in 1788 as The Federalist, these 8S papers by "Publius" (Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay) constitute one of the greatest American contributions to political thought. In his introductory essay, Cass R. Sunstein argues that in rejecting the claims of classical republicanism Publius embraces deliberative democracy. He also reminds us that Publius's arguments bear on current political debates and "offer lessons for making war and making peace, and for domestic emergencies of many different kinds." The John Harvard Library edition reproduces the text of the first book edition, modernizing spelling and capitalization." Since 1959 The John Harvard Library has been instrumental in publishing essential American writings in authoritative editions.
The Federalist Papers are by far the most significant resource for historical argument in construing the U.S. Constitution. J. R. Pole has given us a new edition that winningly combines his exceptional mastery of the politics of the Federalist period with an acute appreciation of the historical and philosophical background of the Papers. In crisp, lucid English prose he provides guidance for students--including lawyers, journalists, and judges--who want to understand the context within which the Federalist Papers were created. There is no more important work of American political philosophy; there is no one better to explicate its historical and political sources than J. R. Pole; it is unlikely there will be a better edition than his. --Philip Bobbitt, University of Texas at Austin School of Law
This edition will surely replace existing editions. The quality, accuracy and thoroughness of the annotation is quite impressive. Many notes are nice little essays in themselves. This edition will make a significant contribution to the scholarship on The Federalist. I always thought it a splendid idea and the execution shows off Professor Pole's erudition with subtlety and grace. --Joyce Appleby, UCLA
A first-rate edition. Ideally suited for classroom use in colleges, graduate schools, and law schools. The notes are valuable and enlightening, the Introduction is a model of concise and illuminating prose, and the volume is handsomely designed and superbly indexed. This will be the edition of choice for anyone seeking to teach The Federalist. --R. B. Bernstein, New York University Law School
Posted October 15, 2010
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