Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Debate on the Constitution 1787-1788

This is a link to the first volume of Bernard Bailyn's massive The Debate on the Constitution, published by the Library of America.  The two volumes weigh in at nearly 2400 pages and cover a tremendous number of recorded speeches, including those by "Antis" like Elbridge Gerry, Patrick Henry and Melancton Smith.  Surprised Maier didn't mention the two volumes in her introduction.


  1. I thought she said this is what made her work possible, or is that a different unedited version that has just recently come out?

    I forgot to watch the Sunday interview with her, but there is a short (well, 1 hour) presentation at the Library of Congress available now on C-Span:

    Sorry -- I stalled out in New York, which is ironically the most interesting to me. I may pick it back up again.

  2. I'd love to read that two volume set. But with my poor memory, I'd forget everything in a New York minute.

    It is so good to see that people are interested in this subject. Consider how Tea Baggers and other right wingers twist and distort 'original intent'' to suit their own selfish purposes. Then read books of these types and those critics become so easy to defeat in a debate because the right wingers are always so wrong.

  3. Maier mentioned a series of books put out by the original states that encompass all (or most) of the newspaper and other written accounts of the ratification ebates, including the speeches. I think she said at the time of her research, five states had done this, which made her work a lot easier. But, the bulk of the speeches she refers to are contained within the Bailyn books.