The new edition of The Federalist Papers edited by Clinton Rossiter and co. is probably the best paperback edition. The Federalist Papers alone are an important source of serious political thinking. In an age of almost unbridled political power, corruption, empire buidling, etc. The Federalist Papers are important reminder of what a Free Republic (not an empire) should be.
The Federalist Papers were written by Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804), John Jay (1745-1829), and James Madison (1751-1835). Due to concerns about the New York State legislators ratifying the The U.S. Constitution, these papers were journal pieces written to New York journals and newspapers to convince both the residents and state legislators to ratify The U.S. Constitution. One should note there were other published articles supporting ratification of The U.S. Constitution and other articles can be read in a text titled Friends Of The Constitution.
What is alarming about The Federalist Papers is that they were written for most readers. If one were to write such articles these days, most Americans would not read them nor comprehend them. This is a sad commentary on Americans regarding serious political writing regarding their birthright. If The Federalist Papers were assigned to high school kids, whoever would make such an assignment would be fired or worse.
The Federalist Papers give important explanations of the separation of powers, limits of each branch of the central government (The Federal Government), and how political power should be used within severe limitations. These articles were a brilliant attempt to mitigate fears that The U.S. Constitution would give far too much power to the the central or federal government.
The late Clinton Rossiter had a useful suggestion for those who did not want to read all 85 of The Federalist Papers. He suggested that the best numbers were 1,2,6,9,10, 14, 15, 16,23, 37, 39,47, 49, 51, 62, 70, 78, 84, and 85.
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