One of the most original and influential historians writing on the American founding period, Forrest McDonald speaks here about his life and the development of his work. In candid reflections, McDonald analyzes his intellectual formation in Texas in the 1950s and how he came to write his landmark We the People: The Economic Origins of the Constitution, which upset the dominant, long-standing theory proposed by Charles A. Beard. His experience in the 1960s at Brown University and Wayne State University reveals a dramatic portrait of the American cultural tumult of the time.
First produced in 1713, Cato: A Tragedy inspired generations toward a pursuit of liberty. Liberty Fund’s new edition of Cato: A Tragedy, and Selected Essays brings together Addison’s dramatic masterpiece along with a selection of his essays that develop key themes in the play.
It is Berger’s theory that the United States Supreme Court has embarked on “a continuing revision of the Constitution, under the guise of interpretation,” thereby subverting America’s democratic institutions and wreaking havoc upon Americans’ social and political lives.
Two series of letters described as “the wellsprings of nearly all ensuing debate on the limits of governmental power in the United States” address the whole remarkable range of issues provoked by the crisis of British policies in North America out of which a new nation emerged from an overreaching empire.
Having won independence from England, America faced a new question: Would this be politically one nation, or would it not? E Pluribus Unum is a spirited look at how that question came to be answered.
Fresh from a battle against monarchy, the American Founders were wary of a strong executive, but they were equally conscious that unchecked legislative power risked all the excesses of democracy. Creating an effective executive who did not dominate the legislative body posed a significant challenge. In The Creation of the Presidency, 1775–1789, Charles Thach’s lucid analysis reveals how these conflicting concerns shaped the writing of the Constitution and the early clarification of executive powers.