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Publisher's Summary

The Constitutional Convention affected nothing less than a revolution in the nature of the American government. Led by James Madison, a small cohort of delegates devised a plan that would radically alter the balance of power between state and national governments, and then sprung that idea on a largely unsuspecting convention. The success of this bold and brilliant strategy was, however, far from assured, and the ultimate outcome of the delegates' labors---the creation of a frame of government that would enable the fragile American union to flourish---turned out to be very different from that which Madison had originally envisioned. In fact, there was very little agreement among the framers about the nature of the government they had just created. Audiences will come to appreciate the challenges that the Founding Fathers faced in creating a form of government that, while imperfect in many respects, nevertheless approaches, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, "so near to perfection as it does."
©2008 Richard Beeman; (P)2009 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

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By Collette on 10-12-11

Grand Narrative

If you ever wanted to clearly understand what really occurred when the Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia, this is the book for you. I was not too enthralled by the first few pages of the narrator's voice, but as time passed, I began to like the pace, and lack of enthusiasm in his voice. This is the seminal work for looking deep into the hearts and minds of the authors of the US Constitution.

Much like Goodwin's Team of Rivals, this sweeping work has extensive source materials and uses these source materials to support the finding and lives of these very distinct men. Beeman also carries you back to what the city was like in the late 1700's, thrusting the reader into the time period whether you want to go or not. George Washington's presence at the beginning of the book signals what is about to come!

I encourage those whose tastes move in early American historical fact, this is the book for you. It is comprehensive in scope and answers those questions that you did not think to ask!


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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

By Beth on 01-01-12

Who knew!

I am not a history buff in the least, however, my husband is and when we listen to books together, I select some that might interest him. This book was pretty interesting and did a nice job of telling what happened in developing the important documents and the key players involved in the process. It was interesting and enlightening to me and had a few tidbits my husband didn't know. I did finally speed up the narration as it was a bit slow on the third download part.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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