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Description In his piercing introduction to An Economic Interpretation the author wrote that 'whoever leaves economic pressures out of history or out of discussion of public questions is in mortal peril of substituting mythology for reality. Indeed, these statesmen placed themselves among the great practitioners of all ages and gave instructions to succeeding generations in the art of government by their vigorous deployment of classical political economy.
In this new printing of a major classic in American historiography, Louis Filler provides a sense of the person behind the book, the background that enabled Beard to move well beyond the shibboleths of the second decade of the twentieth century.
While the controversies over Beard's book have quieted, the issues which it raised have hardly abated. Indeed, one can say that just about every major work in the politics and economics of the American nation must contend with Beard's classic work. Beard's work rests on an examination of primary documents: land and slave owners, geographic distribution of money, ownership of public securities, the specific condition of those who were disenfranchised as well as those who were in charge of the nascent American economy.
The great merit of Beard's work is that despite its incendiary potential, he himself viewed An Economic Interpretation in coldly analytical terms, seeing such a position as giving comfort to neither revolutionaries nor reactionaries. One hundred years later, An Economic Interpretation continues to stand the test of time, raising important questions about commercial and political power and generating radical new insights into our laws and our economy.
Product details Format Paperback pages Dimensions Review quote "This is the book that started us all on the journey to understanding the complex motives and conflicting interests that shaped our constitution. Charles Beard set out to jolt his contemporaries out of their pious admiration of the constitution's framers.
His economic interpretation remains a lively, surprisingly humorous and sharp-witted analysis of the nation's beginnings. Reading it today, the book aims a keen and pointed thrust at the originalism of our own age.
About Charles A. Beard Charles A. Beard is considered one of the most influential American historians in the first half of the twentieth century.
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