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Signing Their Rights Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the United States Constitution Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Kiernan, Denise, D'Agnese, Joseph

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ISBN: 168369127X     ISBN-13: 9781683691273
Publisher: Quirk Books
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Binding Type: Paperback
Published: April 2019
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- History | United States | Revolutionary Period (1775-1800)
- Biography & Autobiography | Political
- Political Science | Government
Dewey: 973
Academic/Grade Level: General Adult
Book type: Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 8.00" H x 5.25" W x 1.00" (0.58 lbs) 302 pages
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q55901
Reading Level: 11.7   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 14.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2011 June #1)

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. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2011 November)

Gr 6 Up—The Constitution is glorified, misquoted, and occasionally vilified, but few people doubt the impact of this oldest of functioning constitutions. This compact book presents short biographical sketches of the 39 signers in clear, accessible language. Organized by state, entries initially identify each man with his signature, a pen-and-ink portrait, his name, and a snappy descriptive phrase (e.g., "The Signer Who Lived the Longest," "The Signer Who Was Ruined by Drink"), along with birth and death dates, age at signing, profession, and burial site. At a uniform four pages each, the entries cover each subject's life prior to the Constitutional Convention, how he came to be present, contribution to the Constitution, and major events of later life. Opening with an informative introduction, comparison chart of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and a time line, the volume closes with the text of the Constitution and a "Miscellany" that includes information on preservation and printing and a list of convention attendees who did not sign. More detailed and for a slightly older audience than Dennis Fradin's The Founders: The 39 Stories Behind the U. S. Constitution (Walker, 2005), this entertainingly written book may take a bit of promotion due to the subject matter and dull cover.—Ann Welton, Helen B. Stafford Elementary, Tacoma, WA—

[Page 148]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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