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The Federalist (Hackett Classics)

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No competing edition of The Federalist offers nearly as much help in grasping Publius' arguments in defense of the new but unratified United States Constitution of 1787 as this new annotated edition by J. R. Pole. Essay by essay--with ample cross-references and glosses on 18th-century linguistic usage--Pole's commentary lays bare the intellectual background and assumptions of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay; explicates and critiques The Federalist's central concepts, rhetorical strategies, and arguments; and points up the international, national, and local facts on the ground relevant to Confederation Era New Yorkers, the constituency to which The Federalist was originally addressed.

Pole's Introduction, a brief chronology of political events from 1688 to 1791, a brief overview of the themes of the essays, the text of the Constitution cross-referenced to The Federalist, and an index of proper names, concepts, and themes that also functions as a glossary further distinguish this edition.

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About the Author:

J. R. Pole, formerly Rhodes Professor of American History at the University of Oxford, is an Emeritus Fellow of St. Catherine's College, Oxford.

Review:

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

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