"The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution" by US Founding Fathers


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Title: The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution
Author: US Founding Fathers
Start Date: 5/2/17
End Date: 5/5/17
# of Pages: 176
Edition: Penguin Civic Classics paperback (2012)
ISBN: 9780143121961
Purchase: Amazon

Quick Take: revolutionary

Why I Chose It: The design of this series of "Civic Classics" caught my eye - this is book one, followed by five other titles including Common SenseThe Federalist Papers, and collections of speeches and Supreme Court decisions.

Quotes: (1) "As the distinguished historian David McCullough has lamented, 'While the clamorous popular culture races on, the American past is slipping away, out of sight and out of mind. We are losing our story, forgetting who we are and what it's taken to come this far.'" (2) "...virtually all of those who took part in the drafting of the Constitution considered the legislative branch to be the most important and, rightfully, the most powerful of the three branches of government. There was broad agreement among the framers of the Constitution that Congress should consist of a bicameral legislature. The House of Representatives, the 'lower house,' was conceived to be the 'great repository' of the people of the nation at large, while the Senate, 'the upper house,' was to be composed of only the most knowledgeable, well-educated, and virtuous, who could be relied upon to act as a moderating influence on the whims of the people at large." (3) "The requirement that members of the House of Representatives reside in the state in which they were chosen reflected the belief that representatives, if they are to serve the people who elect them, must have close and meaningful ties to the communities in which those people live."

Other Notes: The series editor, Richard Beeman, provides some helpful, concise commentary attached to reproductions of both founding documents. It had been a while since I had read either, and I am reminded of the value of reading and knowing the original source documents.

BooksKarl Magnuson