Customer Reviews for

The Summer Of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution

Average Rating 4
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2007

    Reads Like a Novel

    David Stewart may be a lawyer by profession, but by nature he's a born storyteller. THE SUMMER OF 1787 shows the touch of a novelist, lifting the Founding Fathers out of dry textbooks and breathing life back into them. As in a novel, I got a sense of the players as characters in a drama. As in a novel, chapters end on suspenseful notes. You may know how this story comes out, but you're on the edge of your chair all the same. I learned something too: The antecedents of, and reasons for, the Electoral College. Before Reading THE SUMMER OF 1787, I never realized the degree to which slavery shaped its development. David Stewart's explanations and examples are clear and insightful. THE SUMMER OF 1787 is American history the easy way. Factual and enlightening to be sure, but also fun to read. Why couldn't they have taught it this way in school?

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    Must read for history buffs.

    I would have to say that most people would never guess how much todays Constitution differs from most of the original proposals.

    Also how little politics has changed. All of the bargaining and unlikely alliances formed.

    Worth every minute of the time it takes to read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2010

    Great insight into how the Constitution came about

    This is a great book! It made me rethink the way I view the Constitution. Rather than always thinking of things in terms of trying to strictly interpret what the Founding Fathers intent was, this book made me see the Constitution as series of political compromises that were the best they could come up with at the time. While the Constitution is a brilliant document and has set the framework and context by which argument and disagreement have been worked through peaceably for over 200 years, it was/is not perfect. While I don't necessarily agree with some of the things the author implies, the book did get me thinking about some things.

    One of the things I learned...calling James Madison "The Father of the Constitution" is a bit of a misnomer. Men like John Rutledge, James Wilson, and Gouverneur Morris, whom many people have probably never heard of, had just as much to do with developing the Constitution as Madison. My favorite part about this book was learning more about these lesser known players.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2013

    This book sucked dick. It was a terrible summary of what happene

    This book sucked dick. It was a terrible summary of what happened in the summer of 1787 and does NOT "reads like a novel." This book is complete garbage

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    Decent read

    Good illustration of what conspired at the convention and gives some of the key contributers' insights as well as their personal misgivings. I would have wished for greater depth, but this work serves as solid foundational reading.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    Disjointed and unreadable. Just because the subject matter is wonderful does not warrant every book on it a good rating.

    I say that I've already read it, but really I stopped halfway through. AWFUL writing; it is as if Stewart did not pass high school English. I don't care how great the details are, it's just not readable. Things are repeated four times over, sentences in paragraphs have nothing to do with each other, and the worse part is he jumps around from day to day and back again in the most confusing way. Explaining who all of the characters are with decent depth earns the lone full star.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing we ever became a nation

    At the time that our Constitution was written, there were many issues that were regionally at odds and numerous compromises were required before this magnificent document was complete. This book dealt with the historical events that the state delegations eventually agreed to and how the compromises were arrived at.
    The most contentious issues were slavery (protection of this institution was a must for the southern states), fair representation (a monumental issue for the small states) and how the executive branch would be structured(no one wanted a monarch).
    The personalities that took part in this momentous effort are not always remembered as they actually performed. For instance, James Madison, known as the Father of the Constitution was not selected for many of the significant committees and over 50% of the issues that he supported were not approved by the other delegates. George Mason refused to sign the Constitution. Few remember him as a founding father even though he spurred the revolution with the Fairfax Resolves in 1774, much of his writings for the Virginia Declaration of Rights were used in the Declaration of Independence, his compact with Maryland on behalf of Virginia started the Constitutional momentum, and his demand for amendments to the Constitution resulted in the Bill of Rights.
    Gouverneur Morris actually was the delegate who took all the approved articles and amendments, and consolidated them into what we now know as the US Constitution. His concise style clarified issues that had been muddled from thousands of words to hundreds. Yet few know of his contribution.
    Unfortunately our founding fathers would never know that the seeds that they sowed with compromise concerning the issue of slavery would eventually contribute to the Civil War.
    A very good history lesson is provided in this account of the start of our nation.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted December 29, 2009

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    Posted April 28, 2011

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