Publius and Political Imagination (Modernity and Political Thought)

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9780742548152: Publius and Political Imagination (Modernity and Political Thought)

Jason Frank’s Publius and Political Imagination is the first volume of the Modernity and Political Thought series to take as its focus not a single author, but collaboration between political thinkers, in this very special case the collective known by the pseudonym: Publius. Frank's revisionist reading of The Federalist Papers—perhaps the most canonical text in American political thought—counters familiar realist and deliberativist interpretations and demonstrates the neglected importance of political imagination to both Publius's arguments and to the republic he was invented to found.

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About the Author:

Jason Frank is an associate professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University.

Review:

While accepting the centrality of The Federalist Papers to American politics, Frank argues that the success of the text has made some of its key insights 'obscure or illegible.' A shared vision of the authors is defended (Publius), while the attempt to unlink the contributions of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay is refuted. . . .Chapter 1 addresses the challenge of constituency, or the means citizens assume in creating a republic. Chapter 2 explicates the importance of political imagination in the promotion of ratification. . . .Chapter 3 examines the role of interest as central to Publius's theory of political obligation. Chapter 4 surveys the influence of Leo Strauss and his epigones in the interpretation of the text. . . .The last chapter convincingly connects The Federalist Papers with the continued evolution of and need for civic engagement. Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels. (CHOICE)

Publius and Political Imagination is a study of The Federalist Papers, but not a conventional one. This is promising. Although a classic cannot be exhausted, the scholarship of the past half-century has canvassed The Federalist to a point near redundancy. Yet, Jason Frank does not offer yet another commentary on The Federalist but a highly nuanced interpretation that frequently hovers above the text to reveal a facet of the work overlooked by standard accounts. More importantly, Professor Frank links this facet to a critical . . . aim of Publius that goes well beyond the merits of the Constitution and the case for ratification. He calls this political imagination, and argues that the authors of The Federalist adroitly drew upon it to bestow legitimacy on the (irregular) act of the Founding as well as buoy the attenuated republicanism it embodied. (Publius: The Journal of Federalism)

In this thoughtful and provocative collection of essays, Jason Frank challenges conventional understandings of Publius as a legalistic, mechanistic, and decidedly undemocratic thinker. Instead he has given us a new Publius, one more imaginative in his vision of a modern democratic nation and more expansive in his expectations about the possibilities of modern democratic politics. For those who read this book, the Federalist Papers will never sound quite the same again. (Michael Lienesch, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Jason Frank has written a penetrating study of the Federalist Papers and its place in American political thought and practice from the Founding period to the present. He deals in earnest with the complexity of the book and the way its new political science succeeded in doing what it set out to do: providing republican remedies for republican deficiencies. An outstanding feature of the book is the way it shows how the Federalist authors used representation as a device to discourage direct political participation on the national level of the great majority of citizens. The more directly democratic Antifederalist position is explored with considerable insight and sympathy. The book is a model of scrupulous and engaged scholarship. (George Kateb, Princeton University)

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Book Description ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Jason Frank s Publius and Political Imagination is the first volume of the Modernity and Political Thought series to take as its focus not a single author, but collaboration between political philosophers, in this very special case the collective known by the pseudonym: Publius. Publius, of course, comprised the most influential of the American Founders-from James Madison to Alexander Hamilton to John Jay-particularly as the United States Constitution was being debated among the newly independent states. As the lofty dreams of some were countered by the pragmatic realism of others still, the founding and shaping of our governmental philosophy took root in this imagined Publius, this public mind, and it is where those on any side of a contemporary issue draw their argumentative and philosophical strength. Bookseller Inventory # ANB9780742548152

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Book Description ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Jason Frank s Publius and Political Imagination is the first volume of the Modernity and Political Thought series to take as its focus not a single author, but collaboration between political philosophers, in this very special case the collective known by the pseudonym: Publius. Publius, of course, comprised the most influential of the American Founders-from James Madison to Alexander Hamilton to John Jay-particularly as the United States Constitution was being debated among the newly independent states. As the lofty dreams of some were countered by the pragmatic realism of others still, the founding and shaping of our governmental philosophy took root in this imagined Publius, this public mind, and it is where those on any side of a contemporary issue draw their argumentative and philosophical strength. Bookseller Inventory # ANB9780742548152

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