Inventing the People: The Rise of Popular Sovereignty in England and America

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9780393306231: Inventing the People: The Rise of Popular Sovereignty in England and America

"The best explanation that I have seen for our distinctive combination of faith, hope and naiveté concerning the governmental process." ―Michael Kamman, Washington Post

This book makes the provocative case here that America has remained politically stable because the Founding Fathers invented the idea of the American people and used it to impose a government on the new nation. His landmark analysis shows how the notion of popular sovereignty―the unexpected offspring of an older, equally fictional notion, the "divine right of kings"―has worked in our history and remains a political force today.

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About the Author:

Edmund S. Morgan (1916–2013) was the Sterling Professor Emeritus at Yale University and the recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the Pulitzer Prize, and the American Academy’s Gold Medal. The author of The Genuine Article; American Slavery, American Freedom; Benjamin Franklin; and American Heroes, among many others.

From Publishers Weekly:

For Morgan, popular sovereigntygovernment of, by and for the peopleis a myth. Professor emeritus of history at Yale, he argues, in effect, that representative democracy is a tool to bolster rule by the powerful few over the many; the majority are thus led to believe they control their own destiny. In this quietly subversive rereading of our history, American colonists perfected the fiction of popular rule by involving voters in extravagant electoral campaigns and by insisting that elected representatives derived their power from their constituents. Meanwhile, elitist colonial rulers who owned considerable property pulled strings to get their way. Earlier, in England, members of the House of Commons and reformers challenged another governing fictionthe divine right of kingsand in so doing paved the way for popular sovereignty. Morgan offers a thought-provoking look at how the founding fathers assumed power.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description W. W. Norton & Company. Paperback. Book Condition: New. This item is printed on demand. Paperback. 320 pages. The best explanation that I have seen for our distinctive combination of faith, hope and naivet concerning the governmental process. Michael Kamman, Washington PostThis book makes the provocative case here that America has remained politically stable because the Founding Fathers invented the idea of the American people and used it to impose a government on the new nation. His landmark analysis shows how the notion of popular sovereigntythe unexpected offspring of an older, equally fictional notion, the divine right of kingshas worked in our history and remains a political force today. This item ships from La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780393306231

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