Brett Williams's Reviews > Confronting The Constitution: The Challenge To Locke, Montesquieu, Jefferson And The Federalists From Utilitarianism, Historicism, Marxism, Freudianism, Pragmatism, Existentialism

Confronting The Constitution by Allan Bloom
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it was amazing

This remarkable book taught me more about the founding, the Founders, their virtues, and the debt we owe to European Enlightenment thought than any other book I ever read. As David McCullough once said, "Exceptional people are the exception," and this assembly of determined, contentious, or pacifist men, were certainly that despite their flaws, and there were many. Their search for the best way for humans to live - fixed in a general locus of human nature then as now - was a search committed to truth about that nature and nothing else.

In this book sixteen authors of varied backgrounds tackle different aspects of formulating the Constitution, thus articulating the nuance, philosophical depth, and common street sense required to bring the lofty to ground for real life here and now utility. And this is one of the exceptional characteristics: these were philosopher historians, duty bound to their vocation when there were communities of responsibility, who shoveled cow manure at home.

My only caution for this text is that the writing is sometimes dense for the novice, among which I count myself. Firm not quite to the density of stone, but on rare occasions not far from it. Though parsing, or striking words for a line half as long was well worth the effort. So much so I've committed to most of it chapters as subject matter for my blog, with three done so far. A rich asset to anyone interested in the founding and its time.
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Reading Progress

April 6, 2014 – Shelved
May 22, 2018 – Started Reading
November 30, 2018 – Finished Reading

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