From Parchment to Power

Written for my “Introduction to American Politics” course, this is a review of Robert A. Goldwin’s From Parchment to Power.

From Parchment to Power is a fascinating narrative on both James Madison’s personal journey into supporting a Bill of Rights and on the actual creation of the Bill of Rights that is now present in the Constitution of the United States. It serves as a good introduction to the thought processes of our federal leaders in the years surrounding the Constitution’s ratification and an analysis of the early political atmosphere. Unfortunately, it also suffers from not knowing its documentary purpose with sufficient clarity: Is it a historical narrative, a college-level introduction to the Bill of Rights, or an academic analysis and argument about the Bill of Rights and its formation?

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Surprise, Security, and the American Experience

This paper was written in my “Introduction to American Politics” course during my sophomore year of college. It is a review of this book.

A Review and Debate

President George W. Bush’s new policies of preemption and unilateralism are not new — they are American traditions beginning early in the 19th century with roots in the Revolutionary War. This is the bold claim of John Lewis Gaddis’ book Surprise, Security, and the American Experience. Throughout the book (adapted from a lecture series he gave in New York), Gaddis comments on the motivations and implementations of these policies in our nation’s history, explains how and why they were discarded by Franklin D. Roosevelt, and discusses why President Bush has revived them and whether the choice was correct. The result is an intelligent and provocative work, which prompts you to rethink and refine your views of President Bush, the policies he advocates, and the reasoning, which leads many to discard or accept his plan for the War on Terror. This paper will review and debate the arguments and history Gaddis brings up.

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