Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Federalist Papers: Readers Respond

For the class I'm taking this winter, we have to read a bunch of the Federalist Papers. When I bought my books for the class, it wasn't listed, and now the bookstore is sold out, so instead of going all the way to another bookstore (~6 minute walk, but it's cold and I'm lazy), I figured I'd check how cheap I could get it on Amazon. Of course, based on some of the reader reviews, maybe I should reconsider. I mean, I understand why reader reviews are cool and interesting and sometimes even useful. But what could possibly motivate someone to write a review of the Federalist Papers? Are people actually comparison shopping for "something by James Madison" and they want to pick the best thing they can find? I don't understand this. But it's really funny. These are all right from Amazon, from a variety of different versions of the Federalist.

"I have no idea why anyone would waste time and money on a book about the Constitution. The Constitution doesn't amount to a hill of beans! If you can move the polls, that's all that counts. Save your money on this one folks and learn how to spin!"

"The Federalist papers will become, if not already, a classic."

"Some passages are less thrilling than others but Nos. 10, 39, 48, and 51 are about as good as it gets."

"A very pleasant surprise, indeed! I am a normal, working class citizen and was given this book as a gift. My initial reaction was, "I will get to this when I can", but after turning the first 9 pages, I could not put it down!"

"I found this book to be one of the best books I ever read."

"great way to understand the original intent of the framers of the constitution... but its pretty effing boring."

"This is a very nice edition of the Federalist's Papers. An idea which was inaugurated by James Hamilton to help abate the opposition which was expected toward the newly written constitution." (James Hamilton??)

And quite possibly the most bizarre:
"DISCLOSURE: My father wrote this book. It won't be surprising that I give it five stars, but the work honestly merits it regardless of the reviewer,..."