[ KINDLE Original Meanings Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution ] Æ Jack N. Rakove – freewebdesing.com
KINDLE Original Meanings Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution Æ Jack N. Rakove – freewebdesing.com
Assume that the Pulitzer is for the message and not the style but boy do I wish that this uy had a involved editor and a publisher that cared about typeface and readability Everything about this book is just dense and like our richest cakes can only be consumed in tiny doses Rakove s Pulitzer Prize winning work on understanding the intent of the original framers of the Constitution is a timely work especially Treacherous Is the Night (Verity Kent, given recent Supreme Court nomination battles Perhaps Rakove s views can best be summarized by the following two uotes the first attributed to Madison When the Almighty himself condescends to address mankind in their own language his meaning luminous as it must be is rendered dim and doubtful by the cloudy medium through which it is communicated Who said the framers weren t postmodern in their thinking The second uote by Thomas Jefferson Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence and deem them like the Ark of the Covenant too sacred to be touched They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom than human and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment forty years of experience inovernment is worth a century of book reading and this they would say themselves were they to rise from the dead Though I believe Rakove to be correct in arguing that the constitution is not a document set in stone yet I have profound concerns with the direction where thinkers like Rakove have and will take us This is a journey beset with many dangers Professor Rakove s work is a must read for anyone interested in the idea of original intent In his opening chapter The Perils of Originalism he raises a couple of uestions Whose intent and understanding are we to look at the Framers or the Ratifiers Are we to look at specific individuals just a few or the entirety of those Framers andor Ratifiers Inasmuch as several of them changed their opinions over the course of their live at what time in their life are we to lookThe next couple of chapters describe the road to the Philadelphia Convention and Madison s major role in making it happen But it is the chapter e For those who like to argue with people who claim to know what the founding fathers were thinking and that we should adhere strictly to their plan Rakove A Miracle, A Universe gives the best short ish history of the writing of the US constitution pointing out along the way that the whole thing was basically a compromise to keep as many interests happy as possible Take that ScaliaThomas James Madison was smarter than the both of you combined. Its complex weave of ideology and interest showing how this document has meant different things at different times to differentroups of American.
Ich we have to thank the Founders In Rakove s writing we see the the hard work of creation debate and interpretation spread before us One of my favorites though I will Have to read it again to savor all its benefits completely This is a deeply and meticulously researched book by one of the leading Constitutional scholarshistorians Jack Rakove as distinct from constitutional law he is not a lawyer The scholarship is superb and it is as indispensable for politics and law as it is profound historicallyThe book is comprehensive it covers James Madison and his political philosophy writings preceding and during the making of the Constitution the period preceding and leading to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 at Philadelphia th I m iving this book 5 stars because it is a monumental achievement and an exhaustive review of the available information about the drafting ratification and interpretation of the Constitution It is a scholarly work that deserves the Pulitzer Prize that it won But it is not light reading It is in fact a difficult read Mostly I m proud of myself for having otten through it and I m relieved there won t be a test Despite the difficulty I learned a Aguecheeks Beef, Belchs Hiccup, and Other Gastronomic Interjections great deal particularly about how fragile the whole process was They performed a miracle there s no other explanation The notion that the original intentions of the framers shoulduide subseuent enerations of Americans begs the uestion Who were the framers Were these framers in lock step agreement about the meaning of the words in the Constitution Can we really know the intentions of those who like Madison and Hamilton tried to conceal their true intentions from the Congress their adversaries and the public Are we to be forever frozen in the late eighteenth century Robert Jackson paraphrasing Lincoln noted that the Constitution is not a suicide pact Neither is it an iron maidenOn the other hand if the words of the Constitution can mean anything at all what is the point of having a written constitution in the first placeThe simple truth of the matter is that the Constitution is a political document as are its several amendments The courts too are political institutions and politics shapes our evolving understanding of the US ConstitutionAs a wise It is infuriating to me that historians hide their brilliant interpretations of a concept so pertinent to today s political discussion behind incoherent writing styles This book is at times hopelessly dense frustrating the everyday interest in early American history N originally mean and who now understands its meaning best Rakove chronicles the Constitution from inception to ratification and in doing so traces.
This exhaustively researched and beautifully written account of the politics and ideas behind the making of the US Constitution is a model of history at its very best Through close and scrupulously fair attention to the arguments of both those who drafted the Constitution in Philadelphia in 1787 and the anti Federalists who opposed its ratification Rakove brings to life the political issues and conflicts that shaped the provisions of the Constitution and informed the often conflicting meanings that the different roups attached to it The result is a picture nuanced and complex than that offered by the two sides in the current debate over how the Constitution should be interpreted Readers will come away from the book understanding the futility of assigning hard and fast original meanings to words crafted in a dynamic political process to defuse conflicts and compromise differences among the founders as they sought to create an effective national By Words Alone government But they will also better understand the consistency of purpose behind the work and ideas of James Madison who for Rakove is the central political and intellectual force behind the Constitution And they willain a deeper appreciation for the high level of thinking argument and rhetoric among the nation s top politicians in the early years of the nation intellectual firepower that is so often absent in our politics today It was DENSE and occaisionally enlightening Often I would find myself realizing I had no idea what had been said for the previous 15 minutes You really have to love the subject to find it interesting On the other hand it was NOT depressing unlike many other Pulitzer Prize winning books One of the most timely and compelling reads of the last 5 years for me While written in 1996 Rakove s work illuminates todays constitutional debates with a detailed examination of the public record and the crucial Political dynamics that informed the founders and ratifiers in their work While this work may be best absorbed and utilized by legal professionals in their day jobs it is essential and valuable reading for us ordinary citizens trying to Constantinople and the West gain a foothold in the slippery back and forth emanating from commentators and politicians of all stripes Professor Rakove didreat service to us all by shredding the constitutional debates of so much hysterical and historically misleading arguments to deliver such an intellectually powerful presentation of that extraordinarily uniue document that shapes our lives every day and for wh. From abortion to same sex marriage today's most urgent political debates will hinge on this two part uestion What did the United States Constitutio.
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Jack Rakove is the William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies and professor of political science and by courtesy law at Stanford where he has taught since 1980 His principal areas of research include the origins of the American Revolution and Constitution the political practice and theory of James Madison and the role of historical knowledge in constitutional litigation