A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution (Paperback)
A rich narrative portrait of post-revolutionary America and the men who shaped its political future
Though the American Revolution is widely recognized as our nation's founding story, the years immediately following the war when our government was a disaster and the country was in a terrible crisis were in fact the most crucial in establishing the country's independence. The group of men who traveled to Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 had no idea what kind of history their meeting would make. But all their ideas, arguments, and compromises from the creation of the Constitution itself, article by article, to the insistence that it remain a living, evolving document laid the foundation for a government that has surpassed the founders' greatest hopes. Revisiting all the original historical documents of the period and drawing from her deep knowledge of eighteenth-century politics, Carol Berkin opens up the hearts and minds of America's founders, revealing the issues they faced, the times they lived in, and their humble expectations of success.
About the Author
Carol Berkin received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College and her PhD from Columbia University. Her dissertation won the Bancroft Award. She is now presidential professor of history at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of City University of New York. She has written JONATHAN SEWALL: ODYSSEY OF AN AMERICAN LOYALIST (1974), FIRST GENERATIONS: WOMEN IN COLONIAL AMERICA (l996), A BRILLIANT SOLUTION: INVENTING THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION (2002), and REVOLUTIONARY MOTHERS: WOMEN IN THE STRUGGLE FOR AMERICA'S INDEPENDENCE (2005). She has edited WOMEN OF AMERICA: A HISTORY (with Mary Beth Norton, 1979); WOMEN, WAR AND REVOLUTION (with Clara M. Lovett, 1980); WOMEN'S VOICES, WOMEN'S LIVES: DOCUMENTS IN EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY (with Leslie Horowitz, 1998); and LOOKING FORWARD/LOOKING BACK: A WOMEN'S STUDIES READER (with Judith Pinch and Carole Appel, 2005). She was contributing editor on southern women for THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SOUTHERN CULTURE and has appeared in the PBS series "Liberty! The American Revolution," "Ben Franklin," and "Alexander Hamilton," and in The History Channel's "Founding Fathers." Professor Berkin chaired the Dunning Beveridge Prize Committee for the American Historical Association, the Columbia University Seminar in Early American History, and the Taylor Prize Committee of the Southern Association of Women Historians. She served on the program committees for both the Society for the History of the Early American Republic and the Organization of American Historians. She has served on the Planning Committee for the U.S. Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress, and she chaired the CLEP Committee for Educational Testing Service. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the National Council for History Education.
PRAISE FOR A BRILLIANT SOLUTION
"A Brilliant Solution is that rarest of achievements-civic education that also manages to entertain. . . . A dramatic, well-informed account."-The New York Times Book Review
"Deserves to be read alongside Max Farrand's classic The Framing of the Constitution of the United States." --Columbus Dispatch