Search - List of Books by Forrest McDonald

Forrest McDonald (born January 7, 1927), is an American historian who has written extensively on the early national period, on republicanism, and on the presidency. He is considered a leading conservative scholar.

McDonald was born in Orange, Texas. He took his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees (1955) from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Fulmer Mood. He taught at Brown University (1959–67), Wayne State University (1967–76), and the University of Alabama (1976–2002), and is now retired from teaching.

In We The People: The Economic Origins of the Constitution he argued that Charles A. Beard (in his book An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States) had misinterpreted the economic interests involved in writing the Constitution. Instead of just two interests, landed and mercantile, which conflicted, there were three dozen identifiable interests that forced the delegates to bargain.

McDonald along with the late Grady McWhiney, has presented the "Celtic hypothesis" stating that the distinctiveness of Southern culture derives largely from the majority of the Southern population being descendants of Celtic herdsmen while the majority of the Northern population was the descendants of farmers.

In 1987, the 200th anniversary of the United States Constitution, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) selected McDonald for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S. federal government's highest honor for achievement in the humanities. His lecture was entitled "The Intellectual World of the Founding Fathers." In a New York Times article after his selection, McDonald was quoted as saying that the federal government had "lost its capacity to protect people in life, liberty and property, to provide for the common defense, or to promote the general welfare." However, in interviews and in his Jefferson Lecture, McDonald opposed the idea of a new constitutional convention: in part because he felt that such a convention would become a "runaway" and a "catastrophe"; in part because he thought the inefficiency of the American government was a saving virtue limiting its capacity for oppression; and in part because he felt that in the present day it would be impossible to assemble a group as capable as the 55 delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which took place in an era McDonald called "America's Golden Age, the likes of which we shall not see again."

McDonald's lecture was later described by the noted conservative historian George H. Nash as "a luminous introduction to the intellectual world of the Founding Fathers." However, McDonald faced criticism for not acknowledging the imperfection of slavery in the original constitutional framework. The New York Times pointedly noted that on the same day as McDonald's Jefferson Lecture, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall gave a speech criticizing "complacent belief" in the perfection of the Constitution, given the stain of slavery. The Times quoted McDonald's answer that at the time of the Constitutional Convention, "Slavery was a fact. It had simply not crossed many people's intellectual or moral horizons to question it," and his further comment, "The condition of the French peasants was far worse than that of the American slaves, and that was heaven compared to the Russian serf."

"The Intellectual World of the Founding Fathers" was republished in the essay collection, Requiem: Variations on Eighteenth-Century Themes. In a 1994 interview, McDonald noted that at the time he was selected for the Jefferson Lecture, he was on record in favor of abolishing the NEH, so he had refused to accept the $10,000 award that went with the honor, although he had not made this refusal public at the time. In the same interview, asked about his political views, McDonald described himself simply as a "conservative"; when the interviewer followed up by asking, "How conservative?" McDonald responded, "Paleo."

Books   more �

This author page uses material from the Wikipedia article "Forrest McDonald", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0
Total Books: 39
Annotated Secessionist Papers
2017 - Annotated Secessionist Papers (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781520519494
ISBN-10: 1520519494
Genres: Law, Politics & Social Sciences
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Insull The Rise and Fall of a Billionaire Utility Tycoon
2004 - Insull the Rise and Fall of a Billionaire Utility Tycoon (Paperback)Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781587982439
ISBN-10: 1587982439
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
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Recovering the Past A Historian's Memoir
2004 - Recovering the Past a Historian's Memoir (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 9780700613298
ISBN-10: 0700613293
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Nonfiction
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States' Rights and the Union Imperium in Imperio 1776-1876
2002 - States' Rights and the Union Imperium in Imperio 1776-1876 [American Political Thought] (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780700612277
ISBN-10: 0700612270
Genres: History, Nonfiction, Law, Engineering & Transportation
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Patriot Sage George Washington and the American Political Tradition
E Pluribus Unum
1997 - E Pluribus Unum (Audio Cassette)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9780786100156
ISBN-10: 078610015X
Genre: History
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The American Presidency An Intellectual History
1995 - The American Presidency an Intellectual History (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780700607495
ISBN-10: 0700607498
Genres: History, Nonfiction
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We the People  The Economic Origins of the Constitution
1991 - We the People the Economic Origins of the Constitution [Library of Conservative Thought] (Paperback)Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781560005742
ISBN-10: 1560005742
Genre: Substores
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Requiem Variations on Eighteenth-Century Themes
1988 - Requiem Variations on Eighteenth-century Themes (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 9780700603701
ISBN-10: 0700603700
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The Presidency of George Washington
1988 - The Presidency of George Washington [American Presidency Series] (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780700603596
ISBN-10: 070060359X
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Nonfiction
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The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson
1987 - The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780700603305
ISBN-10: 0700603301
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Nonfiction
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Novus Ordo Seclorum The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution
Alexander Hamilton A Biography
1982 - Alexander Hamilton a Biography (Paperback)Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9780393300482
ISBN-10: 039330048X
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
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E Pluribus Unum The Formation of the American Republic 1776-1790
1979 - E Pluribus Unum the Formation of the American Republic 1776-1790 (Paperback)Hardcover, Audio Cassette
ISBN-13: 9780913966594
ISBN-10: 0913966592
Genre: History
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The Formation of the American Republic 1776-1790
1972 - The Formation of the American Republic 1776-1790 (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780140208948
ISBN-10: 0140208941
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United States in the Twentieth Century 1900-20 v 1
1970 - United States in the Twentieth Century 1900-20 V 1 (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780201043860
ISBN-10: 0201043866
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Last Best Hope History of the United States Volume II Since 1865
Last Best Hope History of the United States Volume II Since 1865 (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780201045345
ISBN-10: 0201045346
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Insull
Insull (Hardcover)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780226557182
ISBN-10: 0226557189
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We the People The Economic Origins of the Constitution
We the People the Economic Origins of the Constitution (Hardcover)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780226557205
ISBN-10: 0226557200
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We the People
We the People (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780226557212
ISBN-10: 0226557219
Genre: Nonfiction
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The Phaeton Ride The Crisis of American Success
The Phaeton Ride the Crisis of American Success (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 9780385043052
ISBN-10: 0385043058
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Confederation and Constitution 1781-1789 [Documentary history of the United States] (Paperback)