Well, when it comes to classic literature, one might consider the US Constitution, why you ask? Simple, you see classic literature gives us much insight into the human endeavor, philosophy we can use in our own lives. Can you think of anything more fitting in that regard than the United States Constitution, not only can it affect our personal belief systems as all good literature does, but it has changed the lives of people world-wide. In fact, the world will never be the same again – thankfully. Okay so let’s talk shall we?
The other day, I was listening to a very interesting audio book, along with the actual text. This is one I’d recommend to all homeschooling parents, and as a refresher to all your adult voters out there who think you know all about our freedoms and liberties in this great nation. This is part of a series I do own personally and it sits on the first shelf of my personal library, I highly recommend it to you and your family. The name of the book is;
“The Text of the Constitution” narrated by Walter Cronkite, Knowledge Products, Nashville TN, 1987, ISBN: 0-938935-83-6.
First, the narrator, Walter Cronkite helps the books and audio book come alive as his voice is perfect for the part in fact. This book explains how the Philadelphia Convention delegates worked to solidify the text, and why the peculiar institution of slavery ever even made it into the document, obviously in hindsight, it was a dishonorable thing to do. The text also goes into the name calling, and arguments, along with the statesmanship and eloquent speeches made by all of the founding fathers. We are reminded how mistakes made in its preparation paved the way to our bloody Civil War.
James Madison’s speeches and notes are well presented, and it is amazing to learn the reach of power over the states, but the demand to allow the states complete sovereignty. Another rather challenging dilemma, but abundantly necessary, as the protected state’s rights and strong central power were to offer yet another layer of checks to absolute power.
Perhaps the most intriguing part of the book were all the debates back and forth over how to prevent one branch of government from attaining too much power over another, or how to prevent two from over powering the third, all in the name of preventing the fledgling country from repeating the failures of governments, kings, and tyrants of past periods. You will enjoy this classic book in this classic series read by Cronkite.