Plain, Honest Men is
a full-scale account of the deliberations of the Founding Fathers from the
opening of the Constitutional Convention on May 25, 1787, to its concluding
session on September 17. Following closely the chronology of the convention,
the book takes listeners behind the scenes and beyond the debates to show how
the world’s most important constitution was forged through conflict,
compromise, and eventually fragile consensus.
The Constitutional Convention affected nothing less than a
revolution in the nature of the American government. Led by James Madison, a
small cohort of delegates devised a plan that would radically alter the balance
of power between state and national governments, and then sprung that idea on a
largely unsuspecting convention. The success of this bold and brilliant
strategy was, however, far from assured, and the ultimate outcome of the
delegates’ labors—the creation of a frame of government that would enable the
fragile American union to flourish—turned out to be very different from that which
Madison had originally envisioned. In fact, there was very little agreement
among the framers about the nature of the government they had just created.
Audiences will come to appreciate the challenges that the
Founding Fathers faced in creating a form of government that, while imperfect
in many respects, nevertheless approaches, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “so
near to perfection as it does.” Download and start listening now!