Historian Jack Rakove talks about James Madison’s role in the creation of the Constitution and his arguments in support of the new frame of government in the Federalist papers. St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, hosted this event as part of its “Great Issues Forum.” Mr. Rakove is introduced by the President of St. John’s College, Christopher Nelson, a Senior Contributor to The Imaginative Conservative.
Jack Rakove’s principal areas of interest include the origins of the American Revolution and Constitution, the political theories and practices of James Madison; and the role of historical knowledge in constitutional litigation. He is the author of four books, including Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution (1996), which won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1997. In this work, Rakove argues that originalism, the practice of interpreting the Constitution by a fixed set of the original framers’ intentions, should not be the only approach to settling today’s judicial questions.
He joined the Stanford faculty in 1980. After earning his Ph.D. in 1975 from Harvard University, he taught at Colgate University from 1975 to 1980, and has also been a visiting professor at the NYU School of Law. He is also the author of The Beginnings of National Politics: An Interpretive History of the Continental Congress (1979), James Madison and the Creation of the American Republic (2001), and Declaring Rights: A Brief History with Documents (1997).