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Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788

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Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 Cover

ISBN13: 9780684868547
ISBN10: 0684868547
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

andlt;B andgt;CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titleandlt;/Bandgt; andlt;BRandgt;andlt;B andgt;Winner of the George Washington Book Prizeandlt;/Bandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;When the delegates left the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in September 1787, the new Constitution they had written was no more than a proposal. Elected conventions in at least nine of the thirteen states would have to ratify it before it could take effect. There was reason to doubt whether that would happen. The document we revere today as the foundation of our countryand#8217;s laws, the cornerstone of our legal system, was hotly disputed at the time. Some Americans denounced the Constitution for threatening the liberty that Americans had won at great cost in the Revolutionary War. One group of fiercely patriotic opponents even burned the document in a raucous public demonstration on the Fourth of July.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;In this splendid new history, Pauline Maier tells the dramatic story of the yearlong battle over ratification that brought such famous founders as Washington, Hamilton, Madison, Jay, and Henry together with less well-known Americans who sometimes eloquently and always passionately expressed their hopes and fears for their new country. Men argued in taverns and coffeehouses; women joined the debate in their parlors; broadsides and newspaper stories advocated various points of view and excoriated others. In small towns and counties across the country people read the document carefully and knew it well. Americans seized the opportunity to play a role in shaping the new nation. Then the ratifying conventions chosen by "We the People" scrutinized and debated the Constitution clause by clause.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Although many books have been written about the Constitutional Convention, this is the first major history of ratification. It draws on a vast new collection of documents and tells the story with masterful attention to detail in a dynamic narrative. Each stateand#8217;s experience was different, and Maier gives each its due even as she focuses on the four critical states of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Virginia, and New York, whose approval of the Constitution was crucial to its success.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;The New Yorker Gilbert Livingston called his participation in the ratification convention the greatest transaction of his life. The hundreds of delegates to the ratifying conventions took their responsibility seriously, and their careful inspection of the Constitution can tell us much today about a document whose meaning continues to be subject to interpretation. Ratification is the story of the founding drama of our nation, superbly told in a history that transports readers back more than two centuries to reveal the convictions and aspirations on which our country was built.

Review:

"This book about one of the most momentous occasions in the nation's history is the definitive one. Maier, a distinguished MIT historian of the Revolutionary era, relates with more authority and in more detail than ever before the long, uncertain course from the Constitution's adoption by the Constitutional Convention in 1787 until its ratification by the states in 1788 and of the Bill of Rights soon after. While not lacking drama, it's mostly a state-by-state look at the give-and-take of political and constitutional debate. While the nation's early greats — Washington, Madison, Patrick Henry — get their due, many lesser-known figures, often simple men who shone for this moment alone, play their parts. Maier shows how the Constitution's supporters and defenders won through ratification and why in the end even most of its detractors, in the words of one, concluded that this was 'the best government in the world.' For those who seek judicious assessment, sober reflection, and masterful analysis of the debates that secured the Constitution, this book is an unsurpassable achievement. 16 pages of b&w illus. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Review:

Ratification is a gripping and eye-opening read. Maier is a member of that rare breed of historians who write vividly and with a flair for depicting dramatic events.” The Wall Street Journal

Review:

“Delightful and engrossing.” The New York Times Book Review

Review:

“Magisterial...it is unlikely that anyone will duplicate what Maier has done.” The New Republic

Synopsis:

The dramatic story of the debate over the ratification of the Constitution, the first new account of this seminal moment in American history in years.

About the Author

andlt;Bandgt;Pauline Maierandlt;/Bandgt; is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of American History at M.I.T.andnbsp;She received her PhD from Harvard University in 1968. She is the author of several books and textbooks on American history, including andlt;iandgt;From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765-1776andlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;The Old Revolutionaries: Political Lives in the Age of Samuel Adams,andlt;/iandgt; and andlt;iandgt;American Scriptureandlt;/iandgt;, whichandnbsp;was on the andlt;iandgt;New York Times Book Reviewandlt;/iandgt; "Editor's Choice" list of the best 11 books of 1997 and a finalist in General Nonfiction for the National Book Critics' Circle Award.andnbsp;She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.andnbsp;

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

jeannest, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by jeannest)
Pauline Maier has given us a book that will be the measure of all books on the subject of the ratification of the Constitution. Much has been written on the convention creating the document itself. Now we see all of the drama, excitement, fear and finally acceptance that went on at the various ratifying conventions of the states. Even though one knows what the outcome will be, you can't help but get caught up in the story. You cheer for your side and hiss the opposition. With so many players of greatness on each side and the results never a sure thing, Dr. Maier keeps us on the edge of our seat to the end. The book is big with almost 500 pages of reading text and this does not include the notes and index. Then again so is the subject covered. If anything negative can be said, it maybe that she goes into too much detail, but that is small compared to the richness such detail adds to the story and the drama it adds. Pauline Maier is a professor at MIT and the author of several books on this period. One of her previous books American Scripture, on the Declaration of Independence, won several awards and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award. She now has given us the another act in the play of the American story. I hope it is not the last one and that she will follow this with a book on the Bill of Rights, a concern that plays such a prominent role in this book and adds to the drama. It too will hold our attention to the end. Until then read this book and her book American Scripture. They both are worth your time.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780684868547
Author:
Maier, Pauline
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Subject:
United States - Revolutionary War
Subject:
United States - 18th Century
Subject:
Constitutions
Subject:
Political History
Subject:
United States / Revolutionary Period (1775-1800)
Subject:
US History - 20th Century
Subject:
US History-General
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20101031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
rough front; 8 pp. b-w Insert
Pages:
608
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.25 in

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Related Subjects

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History and Social Science » US History » Revolution and Constitution Era
History and Social Science » World History » General

Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 New Hardcover
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Product details 608 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780684868547 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This book about one of the most momentous occasions in the nation's history is the definitive one. Maier, a distinguished MIT historian of the Revolutionary era, relates with more authority and in more detail than ever before the long, uncertain course from the Constitution's adoption by the Constitutional Convention in 1787 until its ratification by the states in 1788 and of the Bill of Rights soon after. While not lacking drama, it's mostly a state-by-state look at the give-and-take of political and constitutional debate. While the nation's early greats — Washington, Madison, Patrick Henry — get their due, many lesser-known figures, often simple men who shone for this moment alone, play their parts. Maier shows how the Constitution's supporters and defenders won through ratification and why in the end even most of its detractors, in the words of one, concluded that this was 'the best government in the world.' For those who seek judicious assessment, sober reflection, and masterful analysis of the debates that secured the Constitution, this book is an unsurpassable achievement. 16 pages of b&w illus. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Review" by , Ratification is a gripping and eye-opening read. Maier is a member of that rare breed of historians who write vividly and with a flair for depicting dramatic events.”
"Review" by , “Delightful and engrossing.”
"Review" by , “Magisterial...it is unlikely that anyone will duplicate what Maier has done.”
"Synopsis" by , The dramatic story of the debate over the ratification of the Constitution, the first new account of this seminal moment in American history in years.
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