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Tempest at Dawn [Kindle Edition]

James D. Best
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The United States is on the brink of total collapse. The military has been reduced to near extinction, economic turmoil saps hope, and anarchy threatens, as world powers hover like vultures, eager to devour the remains. In a desperate move, a few powerful men call a secret meeting to plot the overthrow of the government.

Fifty-five men came to Philadelphia May of 1787with a congressional charter to revise the Articles of Confederation. Instead they founded the longest lasting republic in world history.

Tempest at Dawn tells their story.

Editorial Reviews


The novel captures the real drama that ensued behind closed doors as they hammered out what is now the oldest living constitution. Read it for its historical value. Read it for its dramatic value. But read it! --Bookviews, by Alan Caruba

It's a truly great read and is one of the few books I've picked up in the past year that I ended up reading more than 200 pages from in one sitting. --Militant Reviews

The dialog will surprise the reader with its eloquence and understatement. Any reader conversant with history will have both his affection and appreciation for the Constitutional Convention deepened. --What Would The Founders Think? by Martin Sielaff

I find hope and confidence in the wonderfully written Tempest At Dawn, by James D. Best. Mr. Best sheds light on a time when it was necessary to revise the Articles of Confederation. He does it with eloquence. I wanted to read Tempest At Dawn, from cover-to-cover, after reading the first couple of pages.

As I read Tempest At Dawn, I felt as though I was present at the proceedings of the Convention and the private meetings of James Madison, George Washington, Robert Sherman, and others. You cannot help but feel pride as an American, as Tempest At Dawn reminds us of the impeccable integrity of our Founding Fathers. The delegates regarded one another with utmost respect and civility.

If you want to know the truth about the character of those gentlemen and you want to learn about the evolution of one of the greatest documents ever created by man--the Constitution of the United States--relax in your bed, favorite chair or recliner, and enjoy Tempest At Dawn, by James D. Best. --Beaufort Observer, Ballpoint column by Allen Ball

From the Back Cover

"Tempest at Dawn adheres closely to Madison's notes when describing what occurred in the Assembly Room. But James Best uses the imagination of the novelist to construct what might have occurred in the taverns, salons, dining rooms and inns. He also draws on historical data to present us with the personalities of the major participants in the convention. The result is a readable, engaging story of the creation of our Constitution."--Eutychus the Scribe
"Thanks to James Best's masterpiece,Tempest at Dawn, I felt like the 56th delegate at the Constitutional Convention. Using vivid narrative and expressive dialogue, Tempest at Dawn presents all the major issues the Founding Fathers struggled with."--Michael E. Newton, Author of The Path to Tyranny
"The book brings our founders to life with great writing, historic accuracy and amazing wit."--On Transmigration
"Many a volume has been written about the writing of the Constitution. The Summer of 1787 and Tempest At  Dawn are two of the better volumes I have read on the subject."--Daddypundit

Product Details

  • File Size: 661 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Queen Beach (December 13, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002S0NIM2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,444 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
109 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's Learn from History May 16, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just finished James D. Best's 'Tempest at Dawn' and want to thank him for a good story that:
* Developed insight into what it took to create our Constitution,
* Presented characters who personally sacrificed to do their work,
* Honored delegates who gave their efforts from the soul, and
* Documented strong-willed men who had the courage to debate, argue, and sometimes concede to create this country. `Never Give Up' comes to mind.
Reading this book along with the Constitution should be required reading for all USA students. There is much to be learned about the 'dawn' of our government and about how we have strayed from the government created by these men. One which was based on trust in the people, checks and balances, and limited powers.
Since I never opened my eyes to the real life stories of history, I haven't spent much time reading or learning it. Mr. Best has created a story which makes history come alive and makes me appreciate what happened in Philadelphia at a whole new level. I whole-heartedly recommend this book.
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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Facinating novel of our country's founding January 3, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Best does a wonderful job bringing the likes of Madison, Washington, Franklin, Sherman and Hamilton to life as compelling characters in the important drama that brought forth our Constitution. The book was well researched. Even though you know how it all turns out in the end, Tempest at Dawn keeps you glued to the pages. Best captures the core issues and debates that were hammered out in Philadelphia. More important, he provides the context and character of those who so passionately crafted it. I learned a ton and never had more fun with a history lesson, which came wrapped in a novel. Highly recommend it to those with an any interest in U.S. history or to anyone who loves a good read with strong characters and a lively plot.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning History Can Be Fun May 5, 2010
As someone who disliked History in school, I learned more about the founding of our country and the Constitution that I ever did in History Classes. And I enjoyed every minute of it. James Best did a supurb job of bringing to life our founding fathers. In Tempest at Dawn, they became real people with families, hopes, dreams and problems just like everyone else. But Best also portrayed the characters' greatness by describing their sacrifices and strong determination to create a Constitution that has endured for over 200 years and has made America the great country it is. I highly recommend Tempest at Dawn to every American, especially young people.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tempest at Dawn March 30, 2010
Mr. Best gave us quite a history lesson on the writing of our constitution as well as a great novel. He brought his players back to life, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Sherman and Hamilton. As always his book was well researched for the correct time period for this great undertaking of our country. If you are a history buff or a student, this is a great book on some of the United States history and the writing of the constitution. His strong charaters and the novel format made for easy and enjoyable reading.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tempest at Dawn April 15, 2010
As a student of history I found this book to be fantastic. The author uses a variety of methods to uncover the back story to the Constitutional Convention; such as letters written by the participants, newspaper articles, and diaries.
This method brings life to the charactors and you feel like your are a part of the story. His writing style is such that it lends a fluid nature to the book, making it an easy read. It was a difficult book to put down.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in our founding fathers. Given that there are many today who think that our Constitution is under attack, it is all the more important that we learn about how it was written.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for political junkies May 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
James Best's Tempest at Dawn is an awesome book for a poli-sci geek like myself. Was dry at times, but there were other parts where I couldn't put it down. I didn't care for the prologue and epilogue, but the meat -- the part that took place during the Federal Convention -- was excellent. In all, a great read. And it really made me want to visit Philadelphia again. I wish I could have given it 4 1/2 stars ... but it didn't quite deserve five.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent May 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not a bad historical novel. The author's tone tends to be more of the 20th C. than the 18th, and I really don't think that George Washington (or most anyone else) would have been likely to do the Waltz in 1787- The dance existed but at that time it was still a somewhat rough countrified dance, not something you'd do at an elegant party. Still, this is being picky- you could do worse than read this and it's informative.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book! October 5, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I so wish I, and everyone else, had read this in school. James Best makes the characters come alive, they were real people dealing with all the different interests that plaque us today and yet managed to come together for the good of the country. I had no idea how long or hard they had worked to make our Constitution, their dedication was amazing. James Best also truly represented the bargaining and politics that were necessary to complete this ominous task, translating the documents of record into something anyone can understand. I am very grateful to James Best for bringing this reality into my life and second another gentleman's opinion that Tempest at Dawn should be required reading for students studying the Constitution, real people, real struggles, real results. Great book, I look forward to reading more from Mr. Best.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars History made personal!
Set in Philadelphia at the time of the creation of our Constitution, James D. Best gives humanity and voices to the men who worked to hammer out this living document. Read more
Published 1 month ago by california grandma
5.0 out of 5 stars Constitutional Narrative..Good read
Being a history major and I did teach American history (many moons ago), this book brought this constitutional conference to life. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jim Holden
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful historical fiction demonstrating the behind the scenes of...
If you are an American history fan, or a fan of the US form of government, or have an interest in how life and politics worked at the founding of America, read this book. Read more
Published 3 months ago by W. Sid Vogel
4.0 out of 5 stars Tempest at Dawn
Very interesting book if you are interested in forming of our government during the early years. It is not an "action" book but you will learn the different personalities... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Carol Lister
5.0 out of 5 stars History Brought To Life
The heat in the room and in all of Philadelphia! No fans, and no open windows. It was hot, and the Maytag Air-Conditioning Technician couldn't fit the Constitutional Convention... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Brave Hamilton
3.0 out of 5 stars Novel of the Constitutional Convention
I enjoy history, and as a result I mostly enjoyed this book. Unlike history textbooks, this novel makes the subject interesting. However, there are some drawbacks. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Elizabeth
4.0 out of 5 stars A well told tale of men bartering the fate of a nation
I enjoyed this book. Mr. Best focuses on two key delegates, Rodger Sherman and James Madison, each represented opposing sides in the debate. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Stephen Dempsey
3.0 out of 5 stars Tempest At Dawn - Historical Fiction
I love historical fiction and found it fascinating the way the author provided a personal view, showing the possible reasoning for the interest and behaviors which account for the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Social Butterfly
5.0 out of 5 stars For history buffs
This book is great - if you love to read very detailed histories. The author certainly did his homework as this book is loaded with facts about the 1787 convention in Philadelphia... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Richard A. Spagna
4.0 out of 5 stars A good idea, but too repetitious
Was a good read, but I felt all the time that the tension in the drama of the Congress was thwarted by the repetitious and wordy dialogues. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Joseph
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More About the Author

James D. Best is the author of The Shopkeeper, Leadville, Murder at Thumb Butte, and The Return in the Steve Dancy series. His other books include Tempest at Dawn, Principled Action, The Shut Mouth Society, and The Digital Organization.

James has written monthly columns for two magazine, ghost written several books, and published numerous journal articles. He lives with his wife, Diane, in Omaha, Nebraska.

You can learn more about James and his books at

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Topic From this Discussion
Is the Constitution a living document?
No. The Constitution is not a "living" document.

As Scalia said, "I prefer my Constitutions dead." So do I. The only "growth" in the meaning of the Constitution must arise from either the Amending process specified therein or via a Constitutional Convention (as... Read More
Aug 6, 2010 by James Kress |  See all 4 posts
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