Unfold Book Jacket for a Full-Color Reproduction of the U.S. Constitution With their bookSigning Their Lives Away,Denise Kiernan and Joseph D'Agnese introduced readers to the 56 statesmen (and occasional scoundrels!) who signed the Declaration of Independence. Now they've turned their attention to the 39 men who met in the summer of 1787 and put their names to the U.S. Constitution. Signing Their Rights Awaychronicles a moment in American history when our elected officials knew how to compromise-and put aside personal gain for the greater good of the nation. These men were just as quirky and flawed as the elected officials we have today: Hugh Williamson believed in aliens, Robert Morris went to prison, Jonathan Dayton stole $18,000 from Congress, and Thomas Mifflin was ruined by alcohol. Yet somehow these imperfect men managed to craft the world's most perfect Constitution. With 39 mini-biographies and a reversible dust jacket that unfolds into a poster of the original document,Signing Their Rights Awayoffers an entertaining and enlightening narrative for history buffs of all ages.
Kiernan and D'Agnese (coauthors of Signing Their Lives Away) return with an identical format for this companion volume. Opening with a brief historical background, they trace events before the creation of the U.S. Constitution, when the fledging United States was on the verge of political collapse due to the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. Amid fears of a civil war, distrustful delegates gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 to expand the Articles of Confederation, but in such a "contentious environment," many quit. The 39 who stayed are featured in minibiographies that do not always flatter them. Thomas Mifflin was a drunkard, Robert Morris "the signer who went to debtor's prison," while other signers, more gloriously, "overcame religious discrimination" or, mundanely, "lived the longest." At the end of lengthy heated debates, Benjamin Franklin urged everyone to set aside his dissatisfactions with the final document and "make manifest our unanimity" by signing it. All 39 delegates did so. This is a lightweight introduction to a crucial moment in American history that might appeal more to younger readers. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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September 05, 2011
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