A Country With No Name: Tales from the Constitution

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9780679744221: A Country With No Name: Tales from the Constitution

In an imaginative and masterful work of history, Pulitzer Prize-winner Sebastian de Grazia has created two memorable characters. Nineteen-year-old Oliver Huggins is in for the tutorial of his life. For twelve afternoons, Claire St. John, a beguiling British graduate student, will reveal to him the untold story of American Constitutional history. Her means: the Socratic method. Her message: that the Constitution was itself unconstitutional, and that its authors' inability to choose a name for the republic muddied the document's meaning for the future ahead.

Through these "tutorials" de Grazia passes in review our most revered heroes—Jefferson, Washington, Marshall, Lincoln, and Thoreau—revealing the complexity of their characters. St. John's unsettling tales arouse more in her disciple than intellectual curiosity. Their relationship unrolls in so humorous and seductive a way that only a musty academic could object. Satirical, intelligent, and sure-handed, A Country with No Name combines history and literature, politics and law to reinvigorate our best traditions.

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From the Inside Flap:

ischievously composed, this groundbreaking work intends nothing short of a revolution in how we think about the "American" Constitution and government. In colloquial language that is by turns satirical, bantering, metaphorical, and sexually charged, a mysterious young Englishwoman tutors a young American in the history of his country.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A hothouse crossbreed of American history, ultraconservative constitutional exegesis, and softcore porn. No, really. In this long, weird book, Pulitzer Prizewinning biographer De Grazia (Machiavelli in Hell, not reviewed) tarts up his scholarship as ``twelve talks'' delivered by fictional English scholar/babe Claire St. John to her 19-year-old American tutee, the equally fictional Oliver Huggins. St. John lectures, rhapsodizes, titillates; Huggins, more Yahoo than Yankee, asks doltish questions (e.g., ``What makes a man like Sam Adams tick?''), bites her ear, and refrains from raping her when she shows up for a tutorial in her nightgown, barefoot and rain-drenched. This dumb framing device is too intrusive to ignore, but it does offer some relief from the author's smug, overblown analysis of the US Constitution. De Grazia's thesis is that the Constitution is ``null'' as a social contract, delineating no specific nation, no consolidated national government, no one ``people'' to whom it applies. On these crucial terms the Framers simply ``fudged,'' De Grazia argues: John Calhoun was right (the Constitution merely describes majority rule), Lincoln was wrong (there never was a ``union'' to preserve), and Chief Justice John Marshall was wrong (the Supreme Court does not have the right to pass on the constitutionality of congressional laws). In what is arguably the book's most obnoxious section, De Grazia casts St. John as ``Portia,'' a ``friend of the court'' lecturing Marshall on the folly of his seminal opinion Marbury v. Madison. All of this boils down to a fairly pedestrian paean to states' rights. What is notable here is the jaw-dropping, pretentious combination of retro-Anglophilia (``England is a nation, but the United States are not a nation''), chutzpah (``Let's revise the Star-Spangled Banner. Right now!''), and schoolboy hormones (``Huggins watched the rise and fall of her chest. . . . He thought wildly of [the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution]. Of equal prominence!'') -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Descripción Vintage Books. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Paperback. 432 pages. Dimensions: 8.0in. x 5.2in. x 0.9in.ischievously composed, this groundbreaking work intends nothing short of a revolution in how we think about the American Constitution and government. In colloquial language that is by turns satirical, bantering, metaphorical, and sexually charged, a mysterious young Englishwoman tutors a young American in the history of his country. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780679744221

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Descripción VINTAGE, United States, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Vintage Books.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Mischievously composed, this groundbreaking work intends nothing short of a revolution in how we think about the American constitution and government. In A Country with No Name, Claire St. John, a stylish, mysterious, and peremptory young Englishwoman who is completing her university studies here, undertakes to spend two weeks tutoring a young American, Oliver Huggins, in American history. As the theme of her tales, St. John asserts that the country has gone through its history without a name. For twelve afternoons she leads Huggins on, using colloquial language that is by turns satirical, bantering, and metaphorical. Structured with quizzes and unconventional vignettes about familiar personages, using speeches, songs, dramatizations, interior monologues, and time warps, the text weaves in and out of the no-namedness of our country. Startling observations emerge out of their dialogue. The original States and the Framers had irreconcilable difficulties in denoting the parties to the constitution and in naming the country to which they wished to fix allegiance. Because of these difficulties, the country we now call America was late in getting a name; indeed, it did not get a name until decades after the War of Secession, a century later than the drafting of the constitution that was supposed to have founded it. St. John s unique perspective raises questions about the legality of the constitution, the supreme law of the land, the prerogatives of the supreme court, oaths of office, and leadership claims of presidents, alerting us in the process to future possibilities, both good and bad. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780679744221

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Descripción VINTAGE, United States, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Vintage Books.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Mischievously composed, this groundbreaking work intends nothing short of a revolution in how we think about the American constitution and government. In A Country with No Name, Claire St. John, a stylish, mysterious, and peremptory young Englishwoman who is completing her university studies here, undertakes to spend two weeks tutoring a young American, Oliver Huggins, in American history. As the theme of her tales, St. John asserts that the country has gone through its history without a name. For twelve afternoons she leads Huggins on, using colloquial language that is by turns satirical, bantering, and metaphorical. Structured with quizzes and unconventional vignettes about familiar personages, using speeches, songs, dramatizations, interior monologues, and time warps, the text weaves in and out of the no-namedness of our country. Startling observations emerge out of their dialogue. The original States and the Framers had irreconcilable difficulties in denoting the parties to the constitution and in naming the country to which they wished to fix allegiance. Because of these difficulties, the country we now call America was late in getting a name; indeed, it did not get a name until decades after the War of Secession, a century later than the drafting of the constitution that was supposed to have founded it. St. John s unique perspective raises questions about the legality of the constitution, the supreme law of the land, the prerogatives of the supreme court, oaths of office, and leadership claims of presidents, alerting us in the process to future possibilities, both good and bad. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780679744221

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De Grazia, Sebastian
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Descripción Vintage, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería INGM9780679744221

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Descripción Vintage. Estado de conservación: Brand New. Ships from USA. FREE domestic shipping. Nº de ref. de la librería 0679744223

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