BOOK REVIEWS the original intent of early national legal and political documents will fall far short of the mark because of their inattention and even aversion to context. In his introduction, Ferguson doubts Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's argument that a text ``should be construed reasonably, to contain all that it fairly means.'' Ferguson ``accepts this formulation as a challenge,'' he writes, and what he has to say in taking up this challenge is certainly worthwhile (8). ST E PH E N P. RIC E is an associate professor of American Studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey and author of Minding the Machine: Languages of Class in Early Industrial America (2004). He is currently working on a book on commercial wood engraving in nineteenth-century America. A Passionate Usefulness: The Life and Literary Labors of Hannah Adams. By Gary D. Schmidt. (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2004. Pp. x, 454. Cloth, $45.00.) There was a time, not so long ago, when we knew virtually nothing about the lives of even the most extraordinary eighteenth-century American women. That has begun to change. In recent years, historians have begun to tell the stories of a number of famous women--Abigail Adams,
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Jun 13, 2005
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