Pauline Maier sizes up the Constitutional debates,
On Sept. 17, 1787, the convention that had been sitting in Philadelphia for four months to design a new form of government for the United States adjourned, offering its handiwork to the nation. Almost a year later, on Sept. 13, 1788, Congress declared that the Constitution had been duly ratified, and prescribed the rules for the first presidential election the following year. Pauline Maier’s delightful and engrossing book shows how America got from the first date to the second — and ultimately to today, since we still live with the same document, however modified.
One caveat: To like this book, you have to like politics. “Ratification” is an ur-text of the Almanac of American Politics. It has process, issues, arguments, local context, major players, minor players — and hoopla. “The popular excitement” that attended the struggle, Maier writes, “reminded me at times of Americans’ obsession with the final games of the World Series, but with greater intensity because everyone understood that the results would last far longer than a season. . . . Politics was in a real sense the first national game.”
from a review by Richard Brookhiser in the NYTimes
American Scripture looks good too.