Synopses & Reviews
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."
"[A] masterful account…. Unlikely to be surpassed." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Plain, Honest Men is a full-scale account of the deliberations of the Founding Fathers from the opening of the Constitutional Convention on May 25, 1787, to its concluding session on September 17. Following closely the chronology of the convention, the book takes listeners behind the scenes and beyond the debates to show how the world's most important constitution was forged through conflict, compromise, and eventually fragile consensus.
A full-scale account of the deliberations of the Founding Fathers at the Constitutional Convention. Beeman goes beyond the debates to show how the world's most important constitution was forged through conflict, compromise, and eventually fragile consensus.
About the Author
Richard Beeman has been on the faculty of the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania for thirty-six years. He is a historian of the American Revolutionary Era and has written six books and several dozen articles on aspects of America's political and constitutional history in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. His fifth book, The Varieties of Political Experience in Eighteenth Century America, is a wide-ranging, interpretive study of the uncertain and confused origins of democracy in America. His other books include Patrick Henry: A Biography, The Evolution of the Southern Backcountry, and The Old Dominion and the New Nation, 1788–1801. Beeman has served as chair of the Department of History and as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He also continues to serve as chair of the Program and Exhibits Committee of the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center. He earned his MA from the College of William and Mary, and his PhD from the University of Chicago. Michael Prichard has played several thousand characters during his career. While he has been seen performing over one hundred of them in theater and film, Michael is primarily heard, having recorded well over five hundred full-length books. During his career as a one-man repertory company, he has recorded many series with running characters-including the complete Travis McGee adventures by John D. MacDonald and the complete Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout-as well as series by such masters as Mark Twain, John Cheever, and John Updike. His numerous awards and accolades include an Audie Award for Tears in the Darkness by Michael Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman and several AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for At All Costs by Sam Moses and In Nixon's Web by L. Patrick Gray III. Named a Top Ten Golden Voice by SmartMoney magazine, he holds an M.F.A. in theater from the University of Southern California. Michael appears regularly on the professional stage, including as a member of Ray Bradbury's Pandemonium Theatre Company, performing such great roles as Captain Beatty in Fahrenheit 451, which became the second-longest-running production in the Los Angeles area. Bradbury himself dubbed Michael "the finest Beatty in history."