• Title: Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution
  • Author: Richard Beeman
  • ISBN: 9781400065707
  • Page: 383
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Plain Honest Men The Making of the American Constitution Book by Beeman Richard
    Book by Beeman, Richard

    One Reply to “Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution”

    1. The popular view of the Constitution is pretty well expressed by John Milton, and I'll quote it here:God, from the Mount of Sinai, whose gray top shall tremble, He descending, will Himself, in thunder, lightning, and loud trumpets' sound, ordain them laws.-Paradise LostWell, G-d did it through the intermediaries of the founding fathers, but most often that's a detail that's glossed over. The Constitution, in American political thought, is Holy Writ. The truth is far more interesting and messy, h [...]

    2. “While some have boasted it (the Constitution) as a work from Heaven, others have given it a less righteous origin. I have many reasons to believe that it is the work of plain, honest men.” – Gouverneur Morris, delegate to the 1787 Constitutional ConventionThis week, like many other weeks for the last 223 years, people are making arguments before the Supreme Court about whether a law is constitutional. In other words – is the law in agreement with the intent of the United States Constitu [...]

    3. Took me a while to get through it, but well worth the read. This book covers in detail the four or so months that it took to get the document hammered out, plus a smattering of the years after and repercussions. What was really fascinating to me is not really the day to day stuff, it is really all about context. Beeman goes into detail about the background of many of the men involved in this arduous process. Their thoughts, motivations, and backgrounds really sucked me in. Not really being a hug [...]

    4. A little dry, but overall, a fascinating look at the "players" and their meeting at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 where they developed the U.S. Constitution.Some things that struck me as interesting in my reading:I am not a huge fan of Ben Franklin, but his final speech, urging the delegates to put the need for a harmonious union above their own interests and ideologies, to check their egos at the door, in essence, marked a decisive moment in the process of the making of [...]

    5. Hey, I’ve got a book for you. The next time Michael I-Couldn’t-Deceive-You Moore or Al Frankensenseless tells you the Founding Fathers were a bunch of Racist White Guys, you can throw this book at them. (Unless you have the Kindle version. Don’t throw your Kindle at Sen. Frankensenseless or he’ll steal it and hire a lawyer to somehow prove that it’s his along with 156 other Kindles. Then he’ll say something that’s not funny.)I read this book about a year ago and now I roll my eyes [...]

    6. The challenge of writing an account of the Constitutional Convention is that so many accounts already exist. "Do we need another narrative history of the Constitutional Convention of 1787?" asks the Washington Post. While Beeman's book does not revolutionize the genre, it garners praise for examining the "the nuances and complexities of the compromises that the framers made" (New York Times) and for its detailed recreation of the Philadelphia debates. The most pointed complaint comes from Walter [...]

    7. Highly recommended! Beeman discusses the wide range of positions on each of the topics contained in our Constitution, helping the reader to understand why the resulting language is a compromise between the factions. This approach provides a deep understanding of the nuanced discussions and fragile agreements that began the creation of the system of government we have today.

    8. This is the best book I have read on the creation of the American Constitution, and would recommend it to anyone interested in the subject. Beeman manages to describe how the document was made without getting crushed by detail.

    9. Author unjumbles a lot of data and successfully points story in a straight line. Reader, Michael Pritchard, did a nice, clear narration.

    10. This book is a very well written narrative history of the writing of the Constitution. The title does not really seem appropriate. I am sure the delegates would would be glad to be referred to as honest but plain does not seem a description they would prefer.The topic of the book is a fascinating event. 55 men spent the summer writing a document which is the blueprint for a nation that has changed immensely and is the longest lasting constitutional republic in the world. The process of writing t [...]

    11. I have read many books on the colonial/founding period, and this is one of the few essential ones. It is the best book I have read on the drafting of the constitution. Beeman tells a compelling story of the summer in Philadelphia with realistic portraits of many of the contributors. The emphasis here is on constructing a complete and accurate timeline based on the contemporaneous notes. He does not editorialize but rather gives a scenario supported by the original sources. He taught me the impor [...]

    12. A truly excellent dive into the time and the men who forged our American Constitution. Beeman does an excellent job at humanizing these historic and sometimes mythic figures and providing context for their actions. The reading varies from a bit dry to quite engaging and does a competent job of find and forming a narrative without an agenda or overt bias.If you are interested both in the people and the process behind the American Constitution this is an excellent book.

    13. A play by play of the writing of the constitution. Though dry and dense, Beeman offers an interesting perspective on the current machine that is our government.

    14. This is thick history, not beach-side relaxing reading. However, once I got into the book, I really enjoyed it. It's the detailed, blow-by-blow story of how the founding fathers debated, discussed, and decided the U.S. constitution. In the end, I realized you need the fine details to fully grasp the miracle that is the constitution. There were so many diverse viewpoints, hotly contested on so many issues, but it's beautiful to see the compromise that birthed a nation. It's also interesting to re [...]

    15. Not the most thrilling narrative, this is basically a blow by blow of all the data points you missed the first time around in AP American History. Given how embarrassingly ignorant I've let myself remain on the nuts and bolts of early U.S. history, it was worth the effort. That said, what this book mostly made me want was to pick up biographies of everyone from Madison to Hamilton, as quickly as possible.My takeaways- like all negotiated texts, the Constitution left itself plenty of wiggle room [...]

    16. This isn't going to be an especially long review, but I did want to say a few words about why I think this book is only two stars for me.Before I explain why I deducted points, I want to add that I think that this is a solid book about the topic for most people. (Those italicized portions should give you a good idea of where I'm going with this.) It does a good job of setting out the main actors of this American drama, pulling the reader into their personalities and backgrounds so that the motiv [...]

    17. This was an excellent book about our constitutional convention which had the advantages of being written by a history professor who did painstaking research both from original writings of the delegates themselves as well as other histories written about the convention. It also included thoughtful and in depth analysis--but it does not read like a dry textbook, it was well written, at times it read like a novel with suspense and a look into the personal lives of the delegates.The result is that I [...]

    18. Beeman, Richard. PLAIN, HONEST MEN: The Making of the American Constitution. (2009). ****. Beeman is a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania and a famed scholar of the Constitution. In his preface, he notes that he has thought about writing this book for forty years. He’s finally done it. What he has done is to take us through the work done by the men who sat on the Constitutional Convention committees in 1787 and arrived at the framework of our Constitution. This is a step-by [...]

    19. This book was quite impressive in giving a realistic and well researched explanation of the writing to the US Constitution. It shows the depth of disagreement, personalities, and battling world views that went into this world changing document. It is very detailed in its explanation of the truth that constitution was not a holy writ handed down from God or the gods as some would have us believe but rather it was a document forged in dispute, debate, argument, and above all political compromise. [...]

    20. I started reading this book at a time that I was really questioning whether the American Experiment will last much longer. The idea of letting the smartest men in the country sit down and whittle out a government for themselves sounds grand, but when I picked up this book I was feeling like that government is about to crumble under its own weight. I've never really read historical nonfiction before, but I figured that in the context of today's polarized political climate it would be interesting [...]

    21. This the story of about 40 men gathered together in a stuffy room, returning daily for months, to discuss drafting a legal document. It would be only too easy to make it terribly dry and boring. Instead it has become a lively book with in places a touch of humor, written in a crisp, clear style.The author chose to devote most time and pages to the topics that were controversial even at the time: The nature of the US government, the balance of power between the small and large states, the process [...]

    22. This book is what it is, and so any recommendation of it becomes a question of what you're looking for when you pick it up to read. If you're looking for a thorough explanation of the process whereby the terms of U.S. Constitution were negotiated and (sort of) agreed upon during the constitutional convention of 1787, this book will serve you well. It takes the reader through an day by day chronological examination of the issues discussed, proposals made and, ultimately, agreements settled upon. [...]

    23. The first chapter gets off to a very slow start, telling the reader unnecessarily which hotels delegates checked into, what they were eating, or equally mundane details. Better it would have skipped forward to when real constitutional decisions are being made, those parts are fascinating. The most riveting section is where the 3/5 of a person concession is made to the slave state representatives. Even if the fact of slavery could not be addressed at the time, it's extra insulting that the slave [...]

    24. "Laws are like sausages—it is best not to see them being made," is a statement misattributed to Otto von Bismarck. However, "Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution," an engrossing history of the concerns, debates, compromises, arguments, & revisions that went into forging our government's fundamental document & then getting it ratified, is a book I wholeheartedly & enthusiastically recommend to every American with concerns about the direction in which our countr [...]

    25. The history of the making of the Constitution is presented here as it was created by an impressive group of individuals. Richard Beeman's excellent detailed account of the summer of 1787 relates the revolutionary results of these individuals in the context of their time. I was impressed with the character of the men who were able to work in secrecy for months even though their views were passionate and varied from state to state and even within some delegations. Holding the group together were t [...]

    26. A good introduction to many more of the people, ideas & debates that went into the making of the U.S. Constitution. I certainly learned more than I had in school about each delegation, how many changes of opinion, how the rules used to write it really helped determine the outcome within the convention and afterward for ratification and how some of the debates played out over the lifetimes of those involved. Much more complex than I had remembered, and this is mainly a popular take on it. Mak [...]

    27. They used to teach this in the public schools. I can see why todays progressives want to repress it. If you were'nt taught this in school then you it is a must read.Publishers Weekly Review:A day-by-day account of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia can't yield up much drama or fireworks, or even much sparkling talk, at least as recorded by a few participants, especially James Madison. But in this masterful account, Beeman (Patrick Henry), a noted historian of the late 18th cen [...]

    28. A little dry in parts, and a little long, but certainly a definitive work on the founding fathers and the development of our current system of government. Beeman really gets into the nature and depth of discussions among the delegates on settling issues of small states interests vs. large states, the nature of a chief executive, or even if there should be one, how he would be elected, and how we ended up with the Electoral College system. The book contains many interesting insights into the writ [...]

    29. I'm really glad I read this, even if it was a bit dry at times. I'm actually glad that I listened to the audiobook, so that I could tune out a bit during the drier portions. I know more about the constitution and its origins than I ever imagined I would. Some of the history is fascinating to me, especially viewed in the context of our present political drama in this country. I feel that way about all of early American history, though. I wish the book had delved into the amendments more, beyond t [...]

    30. This is a very good retelling of what happened in the summer of 1787, with the writing of the Constitution--the tensions that existed between the Federalists and those who valued states rights, the lack of interest in the process except for a very few, the work of James Madison in writing the document, and formulating the style of the document, the tensions between the slave states and the non-slave states, and while a bulk of the book goes almost day by day for awhile throughout that summer, he [...]

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