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The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution Hardcover – January 9, 2012
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For generations, left-wing judges, professors, and lawyers have told us that we can never know what the Constitution was supposed to mean, so judges are free to do what they want. Yet, in The Founding Fathers’ Guide to the Constitution, Brion McClanahan gives us a clear, clause-by-clause explanation of the original understanding of the Constitution. Constitutional government is possible, if only officials would be true to their oaths.”
—Kevin R. C. Gutzman, J.D., Ph.D., author of The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to the Constitution
The Constitution for the United States, like all human creations, has been changed by the inescapable ravages of time. Not only the passage of time, but ambition, rent-seeking, ignorance, deception, misunderstanding, ideology, and the lust for power have encrusted our basic instrument of government with layer upon layer of false assumptions and distorted postures that have blocked us from knowing its real meaning and intent. Dr. McClanahan, with insight, painstaking effort, and that rare thing, plain common sense, has presented here as good a picture as we will get of what the Constitution really meant to those who wrote and ratified it. This book is not only a notable feat of historianship, but also an important exercise of citizenship that will enlighten those who yearn for truth.”
—Clyde N. Wilson, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of History, University of South Carolina
Professor McClanahan provides us with an invaluable window into the intent of all the Framers. This book can best be described as intellectual hard medicine. The readers’ minds will be purged of all the nonsense they have been taught about the Constitution so they can see the document as intended by the founding generation that produced it.”
—Dr. Marshall DeRosa, Professor of Political Science, Florida Atlantic University
Brion McClanahan’s Founding Fathers’ Guide to the Constitution takes the guesswork out of what the Founders intended. It’s all here, in their own words, which any layman can understand—and just as important, use as the standard to assess the wayward judges, congressmen, and executives of our federal government.”
—Thomas E. Woods, Jr., bestselling author of The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to American History and Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse
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Top Customer Reviews
From familiar subjects such as "General Welfare", Federal "Supremacy" and "Necessary and Proper" to seemingly tenuous subjects, such as Article I, Section Four's delegation of power to control elections, new light is shed on virtually all areas of the Constitution. Additionally, it puts the Bill of Rights in proper context, as well as in proper order of importance (from the Founder's perspective). The arguments of both proponents and opponents of the Constitution are given so that the true meaning of the powers delegated (as well as many which were voted down, and why) may be discerned in proper context, and as the founders intended.
Drawing heavily from the Philadelphia Convention, the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, the State Ratifying Conventions, and various other writings by the Founders, this is neither a "right-wing", nor "left-wing" treatise of the Constitution- it is instead a contextual dissection of the powers delegated by that document. It is substantiated, not by the writer's opinion, but by the words of the Founders themselves.Read more ›
Even among those with some familiarity with the Constitution there is disagreement with regard to the previous questions. Some claim that the system of government drafted in Philadelphia in 1787 is simply inadequate for a modern, diverse, nation of 300 million people. We can't be bound by the strictures of a document written so long ago. Others claim that it is simply impossible to know what the Founding Fathers intended when they wrote the Constitution. The language is vague and antiquated, they claim, and even the Founding generation argued among themselves about what the Constitution meant. How can we, over 200 years later, hope to see more clearly what they could not? At best, what the Constitution then provides us is a flexible, "living document" that can be adapted to the needs and desires of the present.Read more ›
Should the Constitution be loosely interpreted, existing as an elastic "living document" where new powers are added freely? Or should it be strictly interpreted, existing as a "limiting document" whereby the powers given are limited to those expressly defined?
Leap frogging over 220+ years of punditry and political posturing, Dr. McClanahan's fascinating The Founding Father's Guide To The Constitution goes directly to original interpretations made by those who proposed and voted the new form of government into being. It was here, after all, that proponents and opponents grappled with the same issues of how the sparsely worded document should be interpreted.
By revealing these arguments that won the day and earned the Constitution its ratification we find great clarity of intent.
It's at this moment of the Constitution's path toward ratification that McClanahan submerges us -- where we experience the debates surrounding the document's handful of provisions. In their own words we see proponents of the Constitution interpret the new nation's proposed powers while overcoming opponents' interpretations to win agreement and win ratification.
Did the "Necessary and Proper" clause, for example, create an "elastic power" that gave free reign to expand the central government's reach? Or was it simply a means to strictly execute the powers outlined in the previous clauses of the document?
Only one of these interpretations assured States and enabled the Constitution's ratification.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was well written and clearly shows how the founding fathers intended the Constitution to be used versus how it has been sorely misinterpreted by most of our elected officials... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Bill
As a Constitutional/Federalist, I love History and more so about our country and it's founding.Published 3 months ago by Marino F.
This book is a guide to the Constitution as written, understood and ratified by the founding generation. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Abdelhamid S. Abdou
A fantastic historical account of how our Constitution was debated and ratified. Brian McClanahan uses documented quotes from those who participated in the ratification process to... Read morePublished 5 months ago by ehcorr
The purpose of the book is to go through all seven articles of the Constitution, as well as the Amendments, and determine the original intended meaning. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jason
If you really want to understand what our founders were thinking when they wrote our constitution then this book is a must read. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Lance E Burnell
Anybody interested in how the framers interpreted the Constitution needs to read this especially if you are new to the topic. Read morePublished 17 months ago by DemonHunter58