By Pauline Maier,

Book cover of Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788

Book description

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Ratification as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

For all the drama of the Philadelphia Convention, it would have been an empty exercise had the American people not ratified the charter that it produced. Pauline Maier’s Ratification tells the surprisingly dramatic story of the state-by-state ratification process, one that encompasses not only the famous figures of the period but also everyday citizens. Maier’s book on the Declaration of Independence, American Scripture, is also excellent.

This is the best blow-by-blow account of the Constitution’s ratification. Professor Maier goes through the debate in each state and brings those remarkable moments to life. There are many books about the Constitutional Convention, but few on what happened afterward that made what was just a proposal into law. Unlike the Convention, which was deliberate and held behind closed doors, the ratification debate was raucous and public. Maier’s book also provides a good sense of why so many Americans were skeptical of the Constitution and wanted a bill of rights added.

From Gerard's list on constitutional history.

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