Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pump Up Your Book: "The Federalist Papers" by Kyle Scott Guest Post/Giveaway (Ends 3/15) WW

Join Kyle Scott, author of the History/American Politics book, The Federalist Papers: A Reader’s Guide, as he tours the blogosphere December 3 through March 15, 2013 on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book! The Federalist Papers: A Reader’s Guide Virtual Book Publicity Tour is part of a Huge Kindle Fire HD Giveaway!  See details further down on how you can win one for your own!


The Federalist Papers constitute a key document in the understanding of the American government. Written by John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton, these 85 texts were published between 1787 and 1788 to convince the state of New York to ratify the Constitution.

Today, the Papers are studied in courses on American government, American political thought, and constitutional law. However, the size and organization of the full text, notwithstanding its complex political concepts and context, make it difficult for students to apprehend. The Reader’s Guide will be a key tool to help them understand the issues at hand and the significance of the Papers then and now. Organized around key issues, such as the branches of the government, the utility of the Union, or skepticism of a national regime, the work will walk the reader through the 85 Papers, providing them with the needed intellectual and historical contexts.

Designed to supplement the reading of The Federalist Papers, the guide will help elucidate not only their contents, but also their importance and contemporary relevance.

Guest Post by the author

We've been here before.
We've been here before. And by here I mean a place of government gridlock in petty bickering. In fact, we have been here many times and each time we repeat the same mistake of thinking this time is unique. The handwringing continues even today. What is remarkable is that US politics was at its most divisive, with the exception of the Civil War years, at yet we fail to look there for answers.
After the men who drafted the Constitution departed Philadelphia and returned to their home states the fight for ratification was on. The men met in secret to draft a new constitution. They met in secret in order to prevent unnecessary intervention and because they were embarking on an act of treason. This collection of men, which included Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and many others, were tasked with revising the Articles of Confederation not creating new governing document that would get rid of the Continental Congress and the Articles of Confederation in their entirety. 
Given the conditions surrounding its creation there should be no surprise that there were objections to the new document. The general reaction to the Constitution was that it created too powerful a government, particularly at the national level. The people who opposed the ratification were collectively known as the Antifederalists and those who supported the ratification were the Federalists. The most prominent Federalists were James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton who wrote under the pen name Publius. Publius wrote what are essentially modern day op-eds about why the new constitution should be ratified. The essays were published in newspapers so that the people of New York, to whom they essays were addressed, could better understand their reasons for seeking ratification. The Antifederalists embarked on similar PR campaign, albeit one that was less successful obviously.
How we deal with the political questions of today will help shape the direction of the country but none has the potential to destroy the country unless we follow a very slippery slope. What enabled the founders to reconcile their seemingly irreconcilable differences was the idea that they were better off getting something done rather than nothing.
The effect of doing nothing would have been to make the newly independent nation open to international threats and susceptible to internal discord to a degree that would have rendered the confederacy impossible to maintain. But, we don't face such challenges today. Something like the fiscal cliff would pose difficulties, but going over the cliff won't lead to disunion. And that is the point. The Constitution creates a system in which no action can be taken unless inaction is not an option. Madison, and the rest of Publius, argued for a system that would induce delay in order to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority or the government in general from putting into effect a poorly thought out and weakly supported plan. The delay, while frustrating, is the one component of the constitution that effectively balances the pull between anarchy and tyranny.
When you find yourself getting frustrated with the gridlock and stalemates keep in mind this is who things are supposed to work. Also, we've been here before, and we'll be here again. And we've always made it through.


Kyle Scott, PhD, teaches American politics and constitutional law at Duke University. He has published three books and dozens of articles on issues ranging from political parties to Plato. His commentary on contemporary politics has appeared in Forbes,, Christian Science Monitor,, and dozens of local outlets including the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun.

To find out more, please visit

Find him on Twitter at : @ScottKyleA

Find him on Facebook at :

Follow the entire tour.

Pump Up Your Book and Kyle Scott are teaming up to give you a chance to win a new Kindle Fire HD!  Enter on the rafflecopter below.  Open world wide.  Ends March 8.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. in the raffle it says there are almost 7 days until the ending of the contest.

  2. Thanks for noticing. They probably changed the rafflecopter. When I'm not in charge, I have no control. It does end the 15th.

  3. Replies
    1. Since I am not in charge of the giveaway, I don't know. Not all blogs and companies post the names of the winners. I do know that they will contact the winner, and they are really good about that. So it is probably safe to say that if you have not been contacted, chances are you didn't win.


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