The Best American Essays Of The Century Sparknotes

The Best American Essays of the Century4.14 · Rating details ·  779 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews

This singular collection is nothing less than a political, spiritual, and intensely personal record of America’s tumultuous modern age, as experienced by our foremost critics, commentators, activists, and artists. Joyce Carol Oates has collected a group of works that are both intimate and important, essays that move from personal experience to larger significance without sThis singular collection is nothing less than a political, spiritual, and intensely personal record of America’s tumultuous modern age, as experienced by our foremost critics, commentators, activists, and artists. Joyce Carol Oates has collected a group of works that are both intimate and important, essays that move from personal experience to larger significance without severing the connection between speaker and audience.
From Ernest Hemingway covering bullfights in Pamplona to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” these essays fit, in the words of Joyce Carol Oates, “into a kind of mobile mosaic suggest[ing] where we’ve come from, and who we are, and where we are going.” Among those whose work is included are Mark Twain, John Muir, T. S. Eliot, Richard Wright, Vladimir Nabokov, James Baldwin, Tom Wolfe, Susan Sontag, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Joan Didion, Cynthia Ozick, Saul Bellow, Stephen Jay Gould, Edward Hoagland, and Annie Dillard....more

Paperback, 624 pages

Published October 10th 2001 by Mariner Books (first published 2000)

Summary

The critics of the U.S. Constitution worry that too much power has been placed in the central government under the proposed plan of government. However, they do not think about how much strength is required in a government to sustain the union.

If the union is necessary for the safety and happiness of the American people, it is foolish to spend time arguing against the government that can sustain that happiness because that government takes rights away from the individual states. Was the American Revolution fought for the purpose of each individual state enjoying sovereignty and power? Every government should be designed with the best interests of the people in mind. If the Constitutional Convention had proposed a plan without that goal in mind, then the plan should rightfully be rejected.

There are many examples from ancient and modern confederacies that prove that the individual members often betray the union. Since the states, under the U.S. Constitution, keep a lot of power it is important to analyze whether enough checks have been placed on their authority to hurt the union.

The state governments gain from the relationship with the federal government. The federal government serves to protect states from disputes with their neighbors, to grant powers in the state governments and to provide the additional support of the people.

The federal government cannot run without the state governments. The state legislatures are the ones to elect the President of the United States, and to select the state Senators. Each branch of the federal government relies in these ways upon the state governments and will feel dependence towards them.

The number of federal employees will be much smaller than the total number of all the state employees. The state government employees will have more influence because of their larger numbers. State tax collectors will be much more present in the community than federal tax collectors which will focus on collecting tariffs on the seas. Even if federal tax collectors are to be appointed, they would be much smaller in number than all of the state tax collectors.

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