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Inventing the People: The Rise of Popular Sovereignty in England and America
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Inventing the People: The Rise of Popular Sovereignty in England and America

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  6 reviews
This book makes the provocative case here that America has remained politically stable because the Founding Fathers invented the idea of the American people and used it to impose a government on the new nation. His landmark analysis shows how the notion of popular sovereignty—the unexpected offspring of an older, equally fictional notion, the "divine right of kings"—has ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 17th 1989 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 1988)
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Collier Brown
Jun 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Morgan's Inventing the People is about fictions of power and the necessity of such in shaping the sovereignty of the people (sovereignty itself being a fiction). To maintain the fiction of divine right in England, the Lords had to let the king know that it was by their authority, not his, that he kept his right. Behind the House of Lords as well as the Commons stood another gross fiction, that of a body politic representative of "the people." In actuality, even the Commons was managed by ...more
Josh
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is my second Edmund Morgan book, and, as in "American Slavery, American Freedom," he is once again thorough in his research and provocative in his thesis. His argument is that all government of the many by the few (a formulation borrowed from David Hume) depends on what Morgan calls "fictions": the fiction of the divine right of kings, or the fiction of the sovereignty of the people. This book traces the transition between those two conceptions of the basis of government.

Morgan himself
...more
Julio César
Es un buen análisis de la cuestión clásica de la teoría política de por qué las minorías pueden gobernar a las mayorías. Se apoya en la historia de Inglaterra y EEUU en los siglos XVII y XVIII, lo cual te puede dejar un poco afuera si no tenés un background (como fue mi caso). Igualmente las cuestiones generales están buenas, explica cómo se empezaron a apoyar en la ficción del "pueblo" cuando la cosa divina del Rey ya no daba. Usa muchas cartas de los próceres de la independencia yanqui ...more
Maria
Mar 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: have-read
What is American democracy all about, anyway? This book kinda answers this question from the perspective of what sovereignty is and how the answer to that question has both changed and remained the same in the transition from the 'old world' to the 'new'.
Steven
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding. Among the finest books I have ever read.
J. Bleiker
Apr 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
Fascinating but a little too tedious historical analysis of the sentiments in England that created the cauldron that spawned the Revolutionary War.
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