Dark Bargain
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Dark Bargain

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  32 ratings  ·  6 reviews
On September 17, 1787, at the State House in Philadelphia, thirty-nine men from twelve states, after months of often bitter debate, signed America's Constitution. Yet very few of the delegates, at the start, had had any intention of creating a nation that would last. Most were driven more by pragmatic, regional interests than by idealistic vision. Many were meeting for the...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by Walker Books Ltd (first published 2005)
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The desire of the southern states to keep slavery going was the biggest driver of what ended up in our Constitution, argues Goldstone convincingly. That idea you had about how high-minded and idealistic the Founding Fathers were - well, put it away. Most of them were motivated by the economic interests of their own state and region, far more than by the idea of forming a union. James Madison was seemingly one of the few who was motivated solely or mostly by his wishes for union, and it was preci...more
Lady Jane
Fascinating examination of the development of the US Constitution, reminding us once again why there are two things -- legislation and sausage--we'd prefer not to see made. Includes really interesting character and background sketches of convention delegates and focuses heavily on those that most participated and were most influential, rather than history's heavy hitters, such as Washington and Franklin. Displayed how slavery, our national sin, was a driving force and dealbreaker in the proceedi...more
Charles Berteau
Review carried forward from "I'm Reading"

I really enjoyed this book, a detailed but brief look at how the topic of slavery wove through the Constitutional Convention.

Firstly, the book is an enjoyable overall primer on the convention itself, and its evolution over the summer of 1787 - from an expansive, gentlemanly discussion to a pragmatic, self-interested, knockdown negotiation.

Madison, usually credited as the father of the Constitution because of his role in bringing the convention together a...more
Smartly written and carefully researched. A recommended read to anyone -- particularly those who often invoke "what the Founders intended." As Goldstone proves, the Constitution isn't an infallible document sprung out of the founders' head, but instead a record of compromise and self-interest. Very very engaging.
This book contains the kind of information that every American student should learn in school but sadly does not. It explains clearly and concisely the bargains that were made between large states and small states and north and south with regard to slavery. Utterly fascinating reading. IN fact, I am getting ready to re-read this book. I highly recommend it.
so sensible that it fails to challenge readers' illusions or to provoke thought beyond the text. maybe i'd've been more surprised if i was a honky.

recommended for: honkies
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Lawrence Goldstone is the author of fourteen books of both fiction and non-fiction. Six of those books were co-authored with his wife, Nancy, but they now write separately to save what is left of their dishes.
Goldstone's articles, reviews, and opinion pieces have appeared in, among other publications, the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, Hartford Courant, and Berkshi...more
More about Lawrence Goldstone...
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