An entertaining and essential collection of stories about the surprising and strange fates of the thirty-nine statesmen who created the U.S. Constitution.
Now in paperback with a brand-new cover, this companion volume to Signing Their Lives Away tells the untold stories of the signers of the U.S. Constitution and comes at a time when our constitutional rights are at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
Remember when our elected officials knew how to compromise? Here are short, irreverent, fun, and fact-filled biographies of the 39 men who set aside their differences and signed their names to the U.S. Constitution—the oldest written constitution of any nation in the world. You’ll meet:
• The Signer Who Believed in Aliens
• The Signer Who Was Shot in the Stomach
• The Signer Who Went Bankrupt
• The Peg-Legged Signer
• And many more colorful colonists!
Complete with portraits of every signatory, Signing Their Rights Away provides an entertaining and enlightening narrative for students, history buffs, politicos, and Hamilton fans alike.
Kiernan and D'Agnese (coauthors of Signing Their Lives Away) return with an identical format for this companion volume. Opening with a brief historical background, they trace events before the creation of the U.S. Constitution, when the fledging United States was on the verge of political collapse due to the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. Amid fears of a civil war, distrustful delegates gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 to expand the Articles of Confederation, but in such a "contentious environment," many quit. The 39 who stayed are featured in minibiographies that do not always flatter them. Thomas Mifflin was a drunkard, Robert Morris "the signer who went to debtor's prison," while other signers, more gloriously, "overcame religious discrimination" or, mundanely, "lived the longest." At the end of lengthy heated debates, Benjamin Franklin urged everyone to set aside his dissatisfactions with the final document and "make manifest our unanimity" by signing it. All 39 delegates did so. This is a lightweight introduction to a crucial moment in American history that might appeal more to younger readers.