That book sounds really interesting. Why are you reading it, and how are you finding it? Who wrote it? Was it a historian or a political scientist? The Constitution has a really interesting history, especially considering the way it works to produce gridlock today.

I picked it up when I was in Philadelphia earlier this year – I am a history nerd, and the Constitution Museum’s bookshop was a terrible temptation to me.  

It’s called Plain, Honest Men, and it’s by someone who claims to be a historian, though I have to admit his introduction set my teeth on edge a bit.  He emphasises that he wants to re-examine the Constitution as a ‘patriotic endeavour,’ in order to make people value it (and the men who made it) more, and… that is not what a historian is supposed to do, to my mind at least.  But there’s always been a strong trend in American historiography to approach the Revolutionary War and the Founding Fathers that way, so it’s not terribly surprising.  (I don’t mean to sound like I’m saying all American historians are terrible – they’re not – it’s just a bit of a blind spot.  And Benjamin Franklin was pretty awesome, to be fair.  On the other, Battle Cry of Freedom is one of the best history books I’ve ever read, so… it doesn’t apply across the board).