The Federalist Criticism: Publius And The Narrative Voice - Essay

Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison

Albert Furtwangler (essay date 1984)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Furtwangler, Albert. “The Form of the Federalist.” In The Authority of Publius: A Reading of the Federalist Papers, pp. 45-79. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1984.

[In the following excerpt, Furtwangler discusses the figure of Publius as a coherent voice, distinct from the individual opinions or arguments of Madison, Hamilton, or Jay, and examines the theme of candor—a polite, deferential generosity—found throughout The Federalist Papers.]

PUBLIUS AND CANDOR

From these beginnings, a new figure emerged before the eyes of readers in 1787. A public figure who might seem to represent a single, thoughtful author, he was in...

(The entire section is 5401 words.)

Philip Abbott (essay date 1996)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Abbott, Philip. “What's New in the Federalist Papers?” Political Research Quarterly 49, no. 3 (September 1996): 525-45.

[In the following essay, Abbott focuses on Publius as a storyteller, using narrative as a central means for advancing his argument in The Federalist Papers.]

The centrality of the Federalist Papers in American political thought is indisputable. Even the most severe critics of Publius grant its monumental importance as a “new explanation of politics, of whose beauty and summetry the Federalists themselves only gradually became aware” and as a “masterly statement” in support of a literal or at least ideological coup...

(The entire section is 8915 words.)

James Jasinski (essay date 1997)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Jasinski, James. “Heteroglossia, Polyphony, and The Federalist Papers.Rhetoric Society Quarterly 27, no. 1 (Winter 1997): 23-46.

[In the following essay, Jasinski uses the literary theorist Mikhail Bakhtin's notions of heteroglossia and polyphony to examine the rhetoric of The Federalist Papers.]

INTRODUCTION: THE CHALLENGES OF THE LINGUISTIC TURN

In the last few decades historians have devoted significant attention to the language used by political actors during the American revolution and founding. The ground-breaking work of Bailyn, Pocock, and Wood established the importance of language as a motivating force, conceptual...

(The entire section is 10956 words.)