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Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787
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Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787

4.43 of 5 stars 4.43  ·  rating details  ·  96 ratings  ·  7 reviews
James Madison’s record of the Constitutional Convention traces day by day the debates held from May to September 1787 and presents the only complete picture we have of the strategy, interests, and ideas of the founding fathers at the Convention itself.

In this indispensable primary document, Madison not only provides detailed insights into one of the great events of our his...more
Hardcover, 718 pages
Published September 15th 1984 by Ohio University Press (first published May 1st 1969)
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S.D.
There’s lots of chatter in the States about returning the Constitution to its authors’ intent. It comes from folks who, having probably not read that slim document, couldn’t be expected to read 700+ pages of notes by the most prominent of those authors; in which they’d learn that their assumptions about that intent are… asinine. Of course, asininity presumes an incapability of learning…. Given Madison’s prolix in his Federalist Papers, his Notes have surprising brevity and clarity (their length...more
Helen
I think this is one of the books that you imagine can't possibly be interesting (imagine reading a secretary's meeting minutes, who voted for what, the silly debates and power struggles)...yet, it really brought the whole process to life for me. Normally history is quite dry and seems so removed. I felt invested in the outcome of all the discussions.

I read this for an intro to political science course, so perhaps the class discussion helped make the book interesting. Nevertheless, my overall imp...more
Jennie
This is the text for the only class I ever took because the book looked interesting, and it's the only textbook I've ever looked forward to reading every day. Absolutely fascinating first-hand look at the framing of the Constitution.
Ezra Hood
I was pleasantly surprised at how readable these are. And how insightful! Skip the commentaries about these notes-- just read the notes!
Mike Anderson
Madison's telling of the American Constitutional convention. The essential first hand account.
Shawn
James Madison's notes. A long slog, but ultimately rewarding. Where have all the statesmen gone?
Brandon
This is a great first hand account of the convention.
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James Madison, Jr. was an American politician and the fourth President of the United States (1809–1817), and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Madison was the last founding father to die. Considered to be the "Father of the Constitution", he was the principal author of the document. In 1788, he wrote over a third of the Federalist Papers, still the most influential commentary on th...more
More about James Madison...
The Constitution of the United States of America The Constitution of the United States with the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation Writings (Library of America #109) The Constitutional Convention: A Narrative History from the Notes of James Madison The Mind of the Founder: Sources of the Political Thought of James Madison

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“The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.” 26 likes
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