Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention, May to September 1787

Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention, May to September 1787

by Catherine Drinker Bowen


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In Miracle at Philadelphia, Catherine Drinker Bowen tells the story of the stormy, brilliant session of 1787 in Philadelphia which saw the birth of the Constitution of the United States. Looked at straight from the records, the Federal Convention is startlingly fresh and new, and Mrs. Bowen evokes it as if the reader were actually there, mingling with the delegates, hearing their arguments, witnessing a dramatic moment in history.

Here is the fascinating record of the hot, sultry summer months of debate and decision when ideas clashed and tempers flared. Here is the country as it was then, described by contemporaries, by Berkshire farmers in Massachusetts, by Patrick Henry�s fringed-legginged Kentucky allies, by French and English travelers. Here, too, are the offstage voices—Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine and John Adams from Europe.

In all, fifty-five men attended; and in spite of the heat, in spite of clashing interests—the big states against the little, the slave states against the anti-slave states—in tension and anxiety that mounted week after week, they wrote out a working plan of government and put their signatures to it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316102612
Publisher: Sterling Publishing
Publication date: 03/12/2010
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.30(d)

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Virginia Kirkus

Many historians have written of this particular "miracle," but never has the tale been told more vividly than in this book by one of America's foremost biographers.

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Miracle at Philadelphia 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
torrey23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a good book. It provides an in-depth look at the constitutional convention, and then a more general look at the ratifying conventions. Anyone who is interested in how the Constitution came about should read this book. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book examines the history of the Constitutional Convention and helps you understand the truly miraculous events that lead to the Constitution of The United States. This book is interesting and will lay an excellent foundation of understanding to younger readers. I thought this book was excellent.
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Sigma More than 1 year ago
This history tells of the struggle to create the U.S. Constitution. After 200 years of living under the Constitution, the result seems obvious, but as this history clearly demonstrates, there was nothing obvious about its final form. Given the divisive opinions and strong passions of the participants, the Constitutional Convention could have failed to reach a consensus and dissolved, with the thirteen states lapsing into anarchy and antagonism. Well worth reading. Because the convention was held under a veil of secrecy, maybe the ultimate lesson is that political horse-trading cannot take place when exposed to the harsh glare of media exposure and criticism. I doubt that the Constitutional Convention would have succeeded today.