Dustin Kenall Reviews: James Madison and the Future of Limited Government - Edited by John Samples
October 1, 2002Dustin Kenall
Last year John Samples, director of The Cato Institute’s Center for Representative Government, invited a dozen scholars to reflect on James Madison as “a font of ideas for the future.” This year with the release on Independence Day of the subsequent articles, the general reader may invite himself as well. A salute to the 250th year anniversary of his birth, these brisk two-hundred-and-score pages celebrate the principled constitutionalism of this arguably most cerebral of Founding Fathers. Erected as the frame of government to shelter the infant twins of democracy and liberty and conduct the “great republican experiment” resolving whether or not men can govern themselves, Madison’s constitutionalism bends, groans, and collapses under the weight of majoritarianism in this present age. Thisnew compilation bends our minds toward the domestic recrudescence of self-government in all spheres—local, state, and federal—and its possible global application and diffusion.