Originally published anonymously, The Federalist Papers first appeared in 1787 as a series of letters to New York newspapers exhorting voters to ratify the proposed Constitution of the United States. Still hotly debated and open to often controversial interpretations, the arguments first presented here by three of America's greatest patriots and political theorists were created during a critical moment in our nation's history, providing readers with a running ideological commentary on the crucial issues facing a democracy. Today, The Federalist Papers are as important and vital a rallying cry for freedom as ever.
Public Domain (P)2010 Tantor
It would seem these great men knew freedoms enemy and in these writings tried to warn us of them. I would assume they would be hugely disappointed with us and what we have let happen to our country. I’m not talking about Obama, Bush or Clinton, but the last 50- 100 years of Americans putting their faith in government.
After each segment I caught myself thinking why... if they could see it coming from the late 1700's then how is it we can't see it happening to us today? Then the mocking words of another would then ring in my head. “a Republic… if you can keep it.”
It's like giving a kid a dollar in a candy store. The kid says whats this for dad and you reply your future, if you learn how to invest in it. It's as if they knew we would progressively forfeit our freedoms just like I know my kid will buy a piece of candy.
That said it was difficult to listen too while doing anything. I typically listen during my commute, while I work in the yard or putts around the house, but with the Old English Shakespearian language I found myself having to pay attention more than most books. I think the original argument needs to be read or listened to in the original language because you realize how deliberate that generation’s leadership was with their thoughts and words. They spoke of the future as we speak of tomorrow. They understood history and thoughtfully and knowingly planned for the future generations while we thoughtlessly and (IMHO) knowingly organize the desolation the generations to come.
I’m not sure why, but I just ordered a newer version that is supposed to be in modern language.
Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads.
The Federalist Papers are some 85 essays on behalf of a central federal government and the then pending Constitution, and replacement of the Articles of Confederation. The arguments were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution. The articles appeared in popular publications then selling in New York, and were printed one at a time over the course of a year. This is a deep study into political theory; how best to organize and optimize the United States. I remember seeing a full set of the Federalist Papers in my High School Library. They were beautiful and the librarian told me they contain the basis for our style of government. It intrigued me to have the opportunity to read our founding father’s thoughts. Nevertheless it took me decades to get around to the actual read (but in the meantime I studied Political Science in college as my major).
Read it if you have a commitment to mastering political theory, the history of our government or need to argue before the Supreme Court on a constitutional issue and then expect to read it twice more to begin to master its teaching. It is studious, artful and masterful – we had some brilliant forefathers. Yet it is a dreary read. (You can whispersync your reading by listening to it on Kindle as the words run across the screen. I found that to be a better way to become more involved with the arguments and the very distinct verbiage being used by Hamilton, Madison and Jay.)
Once read it gives you a looking glass through which you can better understand the reasons for the expansion of the United States, the conflict between the states, the debate on federal needs versus state’s rights, interstate commerce, the place of the Federal Reserve, and generally the issues behind our national debates on politics continuing into today.
I love espionage and detective thrillers but will listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
After winning the American revolution the 13 states joined in 1784 in the Articles of Confederation. It became clear very soon that the arrangement could never work effectively. During the summer of 1787 the true founders of the US representing all 13 states met in secret for months in Philadelphia writing what became the US Constitution. The next job was selling the new Constitution to the people. That task was led by Alexander Hamilton of New York (the essential person in forming our republic), James Madison of Virginia, and to a lesser degree James Jay of New York. These three men wrote 85 articles/essays beginning in the fall of 1787 that were widely published and were key to the formation of the United States of America under the US Constitution. These 85 essays explain in detail all aspects of the reasons/logic in every article of the Constitution. While the actual Constitution is brief and concise, the 85 essays, the Federalist Papers, provide the reasons, logic and arguments for the various articles in the document that created the United States when it was approved in 1789.
All of the essays were written under the pseudonym "Publius". The actual authorship of each of the 85 articles/essays is now generally agreed with Hamilton writing 51, Madison writing 26, Jay writing 5, and Hamilton and Madison collaborating on 3.
I believe that the study of the US Constitution including the reading and understanding of the Federalist Papers should be a required high school course as well as a required university course for freshmen.
Finally, the ideal format for reading and understanding the Federalist Papers is not an audiobook; it should be a printed book. However, an audiobook format is an ideal way to go back and review for purpose of refreshing memory.
This is always some of the most difficult reading. Heavy philosophy rich in the English language and legal culture. It's immensely helpful to both have a paperback copy and this audio version. The multifaceted uptake approach helps absorption of the reading material and also forces the reader (esp. those not at a post-graduate reading level) to slow down and think critically through the various arguments. Once understood, The Federalist Papers becomes a quintessential compendium for defending a Republican style of government centered on limited powers and individual liberty.
One of the better audiobooks I've listened to, mostly because the content is so good
Yes, I think that the Federalist Papers are something that everyone should be familiar with.
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