Classics of American Political and Constitutional Thought, Volume 2: Reconstruction to the Present

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9780872208865: Classics of American Political and Constitutional Thought, Volume 2: Reconstruction to the Present
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From James I's Address Before Parliament (1610) to Joseph R. Biden, Jr.'s Learned Hand Dinner Address Before the American Jewish Committee (2005), this two-volume set offers an unparalleled selection of key texts from the history of American political and constitutional thought.

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Scott J. Hammond is Professor, and Howard L. Lubert Associate Professor, of Political Science, James Madison University. Kevin R. Hardwick is Associate Professor of History, James Madison University.


This collection surpasses anything else I have seen in its representation of the complexity, breadth, and sheer intellectual splendor of United States political thinking. I have trouble imagining how the editors could improve on their skillful blending of vital texts and neglected gems; of legal documents and literary treasures; of poems, speeches, sermons, and jeremiads. The European and American roots of U.S. constitutional thinking are displayed in a fashion that reflects the best recent scholarship while at the same time the spokesmen from Indian nations are given the broad and full presence they deserve. The torturous intersection of race and politics is explored in well-chosen texts by Black, Chicano, and Indian writers and through a host of legal documents and decisions. Conservative and progressive voices, labor activists and libertarians, analytical political philosophers, and Sunday editorialists; they all find their place within the editors' lucid arrangement. This will serve as a superb textbook for classes on United States political theory, for classes on constitutional history, and for overviews of the struggle for democracy in America. It is a great gathering of evidence for those who see the United States as having a political theory tradition of unique richness, range, and relevance. --Brian Walker, UCLA

This is easily the most comprehensive, thoughtful, and updated collection of primary source readings in American political theory. It covers material typically excluded in existing edited volumes, particularly source documents for Native Americans, women, and African-Americans. Not only is the founding period well represented, but so too are the most recent expressions of American thought and politics. --Jim Savage, University of Virginia

A fantastic, comprehensive collection of primary materials, perfect for classroom use. Material is well-organized and presented with well-written, useful introductions contextualizing the documents and raising pertinent questions. --Ruth Grant, Department of Political Science, Duke University

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