The Federalist Papers

  • by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay
  • Narrated by Alastair Cameron
  • 19 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, The Federalist Papers have long been considered to be some of the most important works in political science ever written.
The Federalist Papers establishes a method of constitutional government that was the building block for the type of government the United States has operated under for over 200 years. At the time, the idea that man has a basic right be self-governing was considered radical but these ideas grew in popularity prior to and during the American Revolutionary War.
This collection of essays and articles was originally published serially in the Independent Journal and the New York Packet between October 1787 and August 1788 and would later become known as The Federalist Papers. The authors published the collection hoping to influence the vote to ratify what would later become the Constitution and the cornerstone of the United States of America.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Great Constitutional Refreshment

With so much political discord these days, I think The Federalist Papers is a great educational read for people that are interested in U.S. history and the intentions of our founding fathers…

At the time the Federalist Papers were published there was a lot of opposition to the idea of the Constitution. These publications were written to convince the public of how important the Constitution was to the stability of the Union.

If you’re debating whether to listen to this book or actually read it, you may want to take into consideration the length of the book and all the old English that’s in it, which may make the reading aspect more difficult rather than listening to it in my opinion. The narrator has a very pleasant voice and his accent gives you a nice feel to that era…

Overall this is a very interesting book that history aficionados will enjoy, and can learn a lot from in regards to the foundation of the United States Government.
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- Charlie

Not As Good As Its Reputation

Hamilton admits right at the beginning that he and Madison and Jay are writing as partisan defenders of the proposed constitution. But admitting the flaw is not the same as it not being there.

One grating feature is that they repeatedly argue that various features of the proposed constitution were the result of impartial consideration when we know that they were actually political compromises. An example is slaves counting as 3/5 of a voter in apportioning congressional seats. There was no rational reason for this whatever except that it was the product of a compromise. Since they could not vote there was no reason for them to have congressmen to represent them as voters. If they were to be represented as people, they were entitled to full representation. Defending 3/5 was ridiculous, Founding Father or no.

Also annoying is the fact that it was written specifically for the voters of New York since their ratifying vote was coming up, and addresses no other voters.

Another jarring note is that it was written before the inclusion of the Bill of Rights at the insistence of Rhode Island two years after the other states had all ratified. Hearing them insist that explicit guarantees of rights were not necessary is disturbing in view of the all the good things that have flowed from the Bill of Rights over the centuries, particularly the First Amendment. Considering how large a role the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments have played in our history, hindsight shows how very wrong they were.

Also their insistence that the rights of the people would be respected because if the proposed federal government behaved badly, the remedy of the people was revolution. That was a stupid argument even at the time, especially in New York, which of all the colonies had seen the least revolutionary activity during the Revolutionary War.

We see now how tragically wrong and short-sighted such a prescription was. From Gettysburg to Atlanta and Vicksburg, armies of the dead mutely testify to how unthinking the Founding Fathers were in suggesting revolution as a way to enforce the political contract underlying the constitution.

It is hard to imagine reading it without knowing of the war that was to come seventy years later, but to the extent that I could, it felt irresponsible and puerile. We marvel at how young the Foundiing Fathers were, but it was not always a virtue. I don't think older men would have been so cavalier.
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- Jack Kessler

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-29-2017
  • Publisher: A.R.N. Publications