How did America's Founders think about the average citizen's ability to participate in the political process? The record is not good, this book tells the story. Learn how Americans systematically created a system of government designed to separate the people and their "dangerous opinions" from actual political power. Answers the question: why do Americans think that they have a democracy when they do not?
From the back cover:
Part political history, part rhetorical criticism, Founding Fictions is an extended analysis of how Americans imagined themselves as citizens between 1764 and 1845. It critically re-interrogates our fundamental assumptions about a government based upon the will of the people, with profound implications for our ability to assess democracy today.
Founding Fictions develops the concept of a “political fiction,” or a narrative that people tell about their own political theories, and analyzes how republican and democratic fictions positioned American citizens as either romantic heroes, tragic victims, or ironic partisans. By re-telling the stories that Americans have told themselves about citizenship, Mercieca highlights an important contradiction in American political theory and practice: that national stability and active citizen participation are perceived as fundamentally at odds.