The Constitution of the United States begins with the words "we the people". But from the earliest days of the American republic, there have been two competing notions of "the people", which led to two very different visions of the Constitution. Those who view "we the people" collectively think popular sovereignty resides in the people as a group, which leads them to favor a democratic constitution that allows the will of the people to be expressed by majority rule. In contrast, those who think popular sovereignty resides in the people as individuals contend that a republican constitution is needed to secure the preexisting inalienable rights of "we the people", each and every one, against abuses by the majority.
In Our Republican Constitution, renowned legal scholar Randy E. Barnett tells the fascinating story of how this debate arose shortly after the Revolution, leading to the adoption of a new and innovative republican constitution, and how the struggle over slavery led to its completion by a newly formed Republican Party.
"This is a very important book for constitutional conservatives and all Americans who love liberty and the country." (Mark R. Levin, author of Plunder and Deceit)
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Read the book, don't listen
The _content_ of Our Republican Constitution is outstanding. If you are at all interested in the Constitution, read the book--but skip the audio book. Only listen to the book if you know that there is just no way you would ever actually read it. Barry Abrams changes his voice whenever he is quoting someone so that he sounds like a breathless, effeminate male--and if not always effeminate, definitely breathless. When he is quoting documents, he lowers his voice and gets some sort of accent so he sounds like a caricature of an old, stuffy, aristocratic Scotsman. (He reminded me of McBadger in the Disney version of Wind in the Willows.) Such inflections became very annoying.
I really prefer the even tone of Scott Brick. He did an excellent job with Hamilton (Ron Chernow), quoting the same people that Barry Abrams quoted, but the tone of Brick provided much more authority and far less comedy.
Good book to solidify a basic understanding.