Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hamilton Reviews LaCroix

Over at the Faculty Blog of the University of Chicago Law School, Daniel W. Hamilton, University of Illinois College of Law, reviews Alison L. LaCroix's Ideological Origins of American Federalism, in a post entitled Hiding in Plain Sight. Hamilton's review commences:
Professor LaCroix's new book is a major addition to the dominant interpretations of political authority in the era of the Revolution and the Constitution. We are familiar now with the foundational work on political ideology by Bernard Bailyn and Gordon Wood, and also with the new institutional and Atlantic histories of Jack Greene, Christine Desan, Dan Hulsebosch and Mary Sarah Bilder. To oversimplify, the focus of this ideological history is revealing the conceptual framework of those who successfully pressed for revolution. The focus of the institutional histories is to situate the creation of the new American nation within a broader context of empire and imperial practice. Professor LaCroix in her history of the origins of American federalism, draws on each but also effectively suggests the need for a new category of analysis.

Update: LaCroix's reply to Hamilton is here.