Federalist : The Gideon Edition

4.13 (22 ratings by Goodreads)
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The Federalist, by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, constitutes a text central to the American political tradition. Written and published in newspapers in 1787 and 1788 to explain and promote ratification of the proposed Constitution for the United States, which were then bound by the Articles of Confederation, The Federalist remains of singular importance to students of liberty around the world.

George W. Carey was Professor of Government at Georgetown University and editor of The Political Science Reviewer.

James McClellan (1937-2005) was James Bryce Visiting Fellow in American Studies at the Institute of United States Studies, University of London.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 656 pages
  • 155 x 230 x 48.26mm | 1,185g
  • Indianapolis, IN, United States
  • English
  • Gideon ed.
  • notes, glossary, index
  • 0865972885
  • 9780865972889
  • 1,257,334

Review quote

The Federalist was first gathered in book form with the cooperation of Hamilton and Jay in the "McLean" edition in 1810. James Madison responded to that edition with numerous corrections. Those corrections were incorporated into the "Gideon" edition in 1818. A beautiful edition of the Gideon version was recently published by Liberty Fund, edited by George W. Carey and James McClellan. This is a particularly handsome publication and modestly priced. Every American should read The Federalist, and this would be a good choice for that pleasure. We recommend this edition.

The Appellate Practice Journal
Summer 2003

For many Americans, the Federalist Papers, or The Federalist, as it was known at the time they were first collected and published together in early nineteenth century by Jacob Gideon, have been indispensable to our understanding of the Constitution. Two-hundred-sixteen years after they first ran in several New York newspapers in an effort to consolidate support for the ratification of the new document, they are today still required reading in high school and college history and politics courses, and they are often cited by judges, including the justices of the Supreme Court, to highlight and give firm rationale to their findings. . . .The Papers indeed have never lost their currency, and time will show that they probably never will.

For many historians and observers, they are America's first great work of political theory. And for several of our contemporary commentators, their greatness has never been surpassed. Thomas Jefferson called them "the best commentary on the principles of government which ever was written," and twentieth-century commentator, Clinton Rossiter, declared that The Federalist comprise "the one product of the American mind that is rightly counted among the classics of political theory."

Over the years, students of the American founding have had several editions of the Papers to choose from. . . .the new Liberty Fund edition matches or surpasses its predecessors. . . .The editors provide several features essential to readers. First, they have included a lucid, fact-filled historical introduction with source material that underscores and demonstrates their clear argument and sets the Papers in their historical context. . . .Second, they have also provided a wonderfully crafted and brief "reader's guide." This is one of the most useful and welcomed additions. I, for one, know of no other edition that is so helpful, especially to the novitiate first approaching these texts. Third, the edition reprints several important documents, not the least of which are the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution itself (the latter includes a tediously undertaken, highly valuable cross-reference guide to the Papers). But there are many more as well. And finally, an extremely thoughtful, detailed glossary of names, facts, and concepts rounds out the tail end of the work. . . .Carey and McClellan's Liberty Fund edition, with its excellent commentary and appendices, is a wonderful development from the many that preceded it. It ought to become the standard edition for generations to come.

The East-Central Intelligencer
September 2004
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22 ratings
4.13 out of 5 stars
5 50% (11)
4 32% (7)
3 9% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 9% (2)
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