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Experiments in Government and the Essentials of the Constitution   By: (1845-1937)

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Experiments in Government and the Essentials of the Constitution is an insightful and enlightening book written by Elihu Root. Root, a respected figure in American politics and a former Secretary of State, provides readers with a profound analysis of government systems and the core principles that form the foundation of the United States Constitution.

Root's writing style is clear, concise, and thought-provoking, making it accessible to a wide range of readers. He skillfully combines historical context with extensive research to explore the evolution of various forms of government and their successes and failures. By delving into real-world examples, such as the articles of confederation, Root effectively illustrates the importance of the Constitution in creating a durable and effective government.

One of the book's strengths is Root's ability to explain complex concepts in a straightforward manner. He breaks down the components of the Constitution, focusing on its fundamental pillars, such as checks and balances, separation of powers, and federalism. This approach is beneficial for readers who may not have a deep understanding of constitutional law but wish to grasp the essence of our government's structure.

Moreover, Root's analysis is not limited to theoretical concepts and historical accounts. He skillfully applies the principles of the Constitution to contemporary issues, demonstrating its relevance in today's political landscape. This connection to the present adds depth and relevance to the book, engaging readers and encouraging them to think critically about the functioning of our government.

The book's only slight drawback is its occasionally dry and technical nature, which may deter some readers seeking a more engaging narrative. However, the wealth of knowledge and insights that the author provides more than compensate for this minor flaw.

Overall, Experiments in Government and the Essentials of the Constitution is a must-read for anyone interested in studying the principles and framework of American governance. Root's expertise and lucid writing style make this book an invaluable resource for understanding government systems, the Constitution, and how the United States has evolved as a democratic nation. It serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and upholding the principles enshrined in our Constitution to maintain a strong and prosperous society.

First Page:






The familiar saying that nothing is settled until it is settled right expresses only a half truth. Questions of general and permanent importance are seldom finally settled. A very wise man has said that "short of the multiplication table there is no truth and no fact which must not be proved over again as if it had never been proved, from time to time." Conceptions of social rights and obligations and the institutions based upon them continue unquestioned for long periods as postulates in all discussions upon questions of government. Whatever conduct conforms to them is assumed to be right. Whatever is at variance with them is assumed to be wrong. Then a time comes when, with apparent suddenness, the ground of discussion shifts and the postulates are denied. They cease to be accepted without proof and the whole controversy in which they were originally established is fought over again.

The people of the United States appear now to have entered upon such a period of re examination of their system of government. Not only are political parties denouncing old abuses and demanding new laws, but essential principles embodied in the Federal Constitution of 1787, and long followed in the constitutions of all the states, are questioned and denied... Continue reading book >>

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