Inventing the People

The Rise of Popular Sovereignty in England and America

Edmund S. Morgan (Author)

Overview | Inside the Book

"The best explanation that I have seen for our distinctive combination of faith, hope and naiveté concerning the governmental process." —Michael Kamman, Washington Post

This book makes the provocative case here that America has remained politically stable because the Founding Fathers invented the idea of the American people and used it to impose a government on the new nation. His landmark analysis shows how the notion of popular sovereignty—the unexpected offspring of an older, equally fictional notion, the "divine right of kings"—has worked in our history and remains a political force today.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • September 1989
  • ISBN 978-0-393-30623-1
  • 5.3 × 7.7 in / 320 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“Edmund S. Morgan . . . [is] a man with a rare gift for telling the story of the past simply and elegantly without sacrificing its abundant complexity. . . . The story he tells is of enormous interest and importance.” — Pauline Meier, New York Times Book Review

“[A] provocative new study. . . . In a series of brilliant chapters, [Morgan] probes the myths that sustained eighteenth-century American notions of liberty.” — Keith Thomas, New York Review of Books

Also by Edmund S. Morgan All

  1. Book CoverAmerican Heroes: Profiles of Men and Women Who Shaped Early America


  2. Book CoverAmerican Slavery, American Freedom


  3. Book CoverThe Challenge of the American Revolution


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