History, On Proper Principles

History, On Proper Principles: Essays in Honor of Forrest McDonald

by Steven M. Klugewicz and Lenore T. Ealy
Publication Date: April 1, 2010

Few historians have been as prolific—or as controversial—as Forrest McDonald, who has spent his long career shattering myths and standing athwart the increasingly ideological approach of his fellow historians. Perhaps most notably, he overturned Charles Beard’s theories about the economic origins of the Constitution, which had dominated the historical profession for decades.

History, on Proper Principles is the first book to pay tribute to McDonald’s towering legacy. Here, a distinguished group of scholars honors McDonald with essays on the wide variety of topics the historian has addressed over the past half century—from the Constitution to economics, from Hamilton and Jefferson to Franklin Roosevelt, from the antebellum South to interwar America. Contributors include such noted intellectuals as Bruce Frohnen, Burton W. Folsom Jr., Richard K. Matthews, F. Thornton Miller, and C. Bradley Thompson.

The book also includes an unpublished piece by McDonald himself, which he delivered as his final public lecture. Finally, the insightful introduction by editors Stephen Klugewicz and Lenore Ealy provides the only intellectual biography of McDonald ever penned, covering his approach to writing history, his legacy, and even his apparent contradictions in thought.

History, on Proper Principles is not only a long-overdue tribute to a hugely influential figure in the field of history, but also a fascinating and important historical contribution in its own right.

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