Signing Their Rights Away

( 3 )

Overview

Unfold Book Jacket for a Full-Color Reproduction of the U.S. Constitution

With their book Signing 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 ...

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Signing Their Rights Away

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Overview

Unfold Book Jacket for a Full-Color Reproduction of the U.S. Constitution

With their book Signing 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 Away
chronicles 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 Away offers an entertaining and enlightening narrative for history buffs of all ages.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…this is both educational and entertaining.”—Booklist

“Kiernan and D'Agnese, who also wrote Signing their Lives Away, have provided another volume that should appeal to all political and history buffs.”—McClatchy Newspapers

“This little book is entertaining, easy to read, and above all, informative. It’s a brilliant piece of work and a must-have for any history-buff’s library...”—PoliticusUSA

“An extraordinarily fascinating study of America's lesser-known founding fathers alongside the more well-known ones, Signing Their Rights Away is a welcome and enthusiastically recommended contribution to public and college library shelves.”—Midwest Book Review (Reviewer’s Choice)

“It’s no secret that I love reading history and occasionally a book comes along that provides an unusual insight beyond the standard telling of a given event. Signing Their Rights Away....is a truly fascinating story that puts their achievement in perspective.”—Bookviews

“Kiernan and D’Agnese make both this period and the men who pulled off this incredible achievement exciting and entertaining...This is exceptional historical reporting that is informative, enlightening, and accessible. Anyone with even a remote interest in our rich national history should purchase this highly recommended book...”—Larry Cox, King Features Syndicate

“[The authors]...maintain a refreshing reverence for the Constitution itself. Rather than ask readers to believe that an ‘assembly of demigods’ (Jefferson's words) wrote the Constitution, Ms. Kiernan and Mr. D’Agnese challenge the notion that the group that crafted this document of enduring genius was uniquely brilliant or visionary. If this raises the question of how exactly the miracle was accomplished, it should at least give readers some hope for our own seemingly uninspired political era.” —The Wall Street Journal

“...entertainingly written...”—School Library Journal, starred review

School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—The Constitution is glorified, misquoted, and occasionally vilified, but few people doubt the impact of this oldest of functioning constitutions. This compact book presents short biographical sketches of the 39 signers in clear, accessible language. Organized by state, entries initially identify each man with his signature, a pen-and-ink portrait, his name, and a snappy descriptive phrase (e.g., "The Signer Who Lived the Longest," "The Signer Who Was Ruined by Drink"), along with birth and death dates, age at signing, profession, and burial site. At a uniform four pages each, the entries cover each subject's life prior to the Constitutional Convention, how he came to be present, contribution to the Constitution, and major events of later life. Opening with an informative introduction, comparison chart of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and a time line, the volume closes with the text of the Constitution and a "Miscellany" that includes information on preservation and printing and a list of convention attendees who did not sign. More detailed and for a slightly older audience than Dennis Fradin's The Founders: The 39 Stories Behind the U. S. Constitution (Walker, 2005), this entertainingly written book may take a bit of promotion due to the subject matter and dull cover.—Ann Welton, Helen B. Stafford Elementary, Tacoma, WA—
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594745201
  • Publisher: Quirk Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/6/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 408,793
  • Lexile: 1180L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Denise Kiernan and Joseph D'Agnese are the authors of Signing Their Lives Away: The Fame & Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence. They have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, Saveur, Reader’s Digest, Discover, and other national publications. D’Agnese’s work has twice been included in the anthology “Best American Science Writing.” Both are winners of Educational Press Association awards. They live in North Carolina. Visit them online at signingtheirlivesaway.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    what our founders gave to sign the constitution

    "signing their rights away" is very hard to put down. the writers have done alot of amazing research on our founders who signed the constitution and put it together and each chapter in this little book gives a small bio of each signer and what happened to them at the end of their life and what they gave for their country and what they gave for signing the constitution few people know that most of the founding fathers it cost them every thing. this is an amazing book it is a great gift idea.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2011

    New American History from Kurman and D'Agnese

    "Signing their Rights Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the United States Constitution" is a great witty, historically accurate, succinct follow-up to the same authors' "Signing Their Lives Away, the Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence". Buy it even if you don't have a grandchild or child in elemntary, middle or high-school. I have sent a link to the You-tube promotional video "They[re patriots not Zombies" to my granddaughter's 8th grade history teacher in hopes the class will be able to do a Skype interview with the authors. If you missed D'Agnese's book "Blockhead, the Life of Fibonacci" be advised it was a great hit with 3rd graders.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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