Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution Quotes

Jack N. Rakove
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“’It has been the misfortune of history,’ he (Madison) wrote in 1823, ‘that a personal knowledge and an impartial judgment of things rarely meet in the historian. The best history of our Country, therefore, must be the fruit of contributions bequeathed by contemporary actors and witnesses to successors who will make an unbiased use of them. And if the abundance and authenticity of the materials which still exist in the private as well as public repositories among us should descend to hands capable of doing justice to them, the American History may be expected to contain more truth, and lessons certainly not less valuable, than those of any Country or age.’” Chapter 1, pg. 4

“To borrow a dictum from John Marshall, the great chief justice (and constitutional ratifier), historians can never forget that it is a debate they are interpreting. They have a further obligation not easily reconciled with the...

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This section contains 1,418 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution Study Guide
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