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Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention, May to September 1787 (1966)

por Catherine Drinker Bowen

Outros autores: Warren E. Burger (Prefácio)

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A history of the Federal Convention at Philadelphia in 1787 that produced the Constitution of the U.S.
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This book has some great day-by-day information on those pivotal four months in the summer of 1787 when the US Constitution was being created and debated. But the author's style really threw me to the point where I nearly quit on this book several times. Some of the phrasing was confusing. I'm not sure if it's just her style or that was how academic writing was produced in the 1960s but it was annoying. I'm glad, however, I soldiered on as again, the information was interesting and well researched. ( )
  Jarratt | May 30, 2023 |
White cover in blue slip case
  BruceJudd | Dec 2, 2022 |
I absolutely loved this book! Bowen does a good job of simply stating the facts. Of course, I've always been fascinated with the Convention, but this book made it real!

Read it, and meet Madison, Franklin, Washington, Randolf, Bedford and King! Ah! Mr. King!

Yes. I'm gushing. But this was an amazing read! ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
This is a straightforward telling of the convention where the U. S. Constitution was formulated, and its subsequent ratification. It doesn't stay totally on the surface but it doesn't go into any significant depth either. It just touches on a bit of the controversies about the characters and motives of the players, the historical background, etc. I don't know much of this history so for me this book was an excellent introduction. From here I feel I can jump into more in-depth studies of this or that aspect, and I'll be able to keep my bearings.

Bowen does a very good job of showing how the Constitution was a compromise, the outcome of people with very different ideas coming together and hammering out a kind of middle ground. ( )
1 vote kukulaj | Feb 14, 2021 |
A nation new to its independence dealing with issues internally and external, it’s nascent future hanging by a thread all comes down to 55 men from across its length and breadth to come up with a solution. In her 1966 historical review of what became known as the Constitutional Convention, Catherine Drinker Bowen chronicles how the future of the young United States was saved by a Miracle at Philadelphia.

Though the majority of the book focuses on the four-month long Convention, Bowen begins by setting the stage for why and how the convention came about with the ineffectual government that was the Articles of Confederation and the movement to amend them, which was led by James Madison and endorsed by George Washington by his attendance in Philadelphia. For those like myself not really versed in nitty gritty details of Convention it was interesting to learn that most of the work was done in ‘Committee of the Whole’ in which Washington while President was seated among the other delegates. The familiar highlights of the Virginia Plan, New Jersey Plan, and the Great Compromise are covered but in the historical flow of the debates within the Convention and decisions in-between of important elements within the Constitution. Throughout the Bowen introduces important personages and how their views remained constant or changed throughout the Convention resulting reputations being made or destroyed during and after the process of ratification. Bowen ends the book with a look at the ratification process, in particular the debates in Massachusetts and Virginia.

Covering approximately 310 pages, the book is efficient in covering the events of the Convention overall. However Bowen completely missed how the Great Compromise was voted in the Constitution, she just mentioned it. Besides that big miss within the Convention, Bowen spends chuck of the middle of the book covering a “Journey in America” that had nothing to do with the Convention but was just giving a glimpse of the nascent country that felt like filler than anything else.

Miracle at Philadelphia is a very good historical review of the Constitutional Convention that does not analyze but just reports history. Catherine Drinker Bowen does a wonderful job in juggling the various accounts of the Convention by the delegates and the official record to create very readable narrative. I highly recommend this book for those interested in this closing piece of the American Revolution. ( )
  mattries37315 | Feb 17, 2019 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (5 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Catherine Drinker Bowenautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Burger, Warren E.Prefácioautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado

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It appears to me, then, little short of a miracle, that the Delegates from so many different States (which States you know are also different from each other), in their manners, circumstances, and prejudices, should unite in forming a system of national Government, so little liable to well founded objections. -- Washington to Lafayette, February 7, 1788
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for Edward Weeks
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Over Philadelphia the air lay hot and humid; old people said it was the worst summer since 1750.
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A history of the Federal Convention at Philadelphia in 1787 that produced the Constitution of the U.S.

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