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Me the People: One Man's Selfless Quest to Rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America | [Kevin Bleyer]

Me the People: One Man's Selfless Quest to Rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America

The United States Constitution promised a "More Perfect Union". It’s a shame no one bothered to write a more perfect Constitution - one that didn’t trigger more than two centuries of arguments about what the darn thing actually says. Until now. Perfection is at hand. A new, improved Constitution is here. And you are about to listen to it. So prepare yourselves, fellow patriots, for the most significant literary event of the 21st, 20th, 19th, and latter part of the 18th centuries. Me the People is about to save America.
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Humor, 2013

The United States Constitution promised a "More Perfect Union". It’s a shame no one bothered to write a more perfect Constitution - one that didn’t trigger more than two centuries of arguments about what the darn thing actually says.

Until now.

Perfection is at hand. A new, improved Constitution is here. And you are about to listen to it.

But first, some historical context: In the 18th century, a lawyer named James Madison gathered his friends in Philadelphia and over four long months, wrote four short pages: the Constitution of the United States of America. Not bad.

In the 19th century, a president named Abraham Lincoln freed an entire people from the flaws in that Constitution by signing the Emancipation Proclamation. Pretty impressive.

And in the 20th century, a doctor at the Bethesda Naval Hospital delivered a baby - but not just any baby. Because in the 21st century, that baby would become a man, that man would become a patriot, and that patriot would rescue a country... by single-handedly rewriting that Constitution.

Why? We think of our Constitution as the painstakingly designed blueprint drawn up by, in Thomas Jefferson’s words, an “assembly of demigods” who laid the foundation for the sturdiest republic ever created. The truth is, it was no blueprint at all but an Etch-A-Sketch, a haphazard series of blunders, shaken clean and redrawn countless times during a summer of petty debates, drunken ramblings, and desperate compromise - as much the product of an “assembly of demigods” as a confederacy of dunces.

No wonder George Washington wished it “had been made more perfect.” No wonder Benjamin Franklin stomached it only “with all its faults.” The Constitution they wrote is a hot mess. For starters, it doesn’t mention slavery, or democracy, or even Facebook; it plays favorites among the states; it has typos, smudges, and misspellings; and its Preamble, its most famous passage, was written by a man with a peg leg. Which, if you think about it, gives our Constitution hardly a leg to stand on.

[Pause for laughter.]

Now stop laughing. Because you are about to listen to no mere audiobook, but the most important document of our time. Its creator, Daily Show writer Kevin Bleyer, paid every price, bore every burden, and saved every receipt in his quest to assure the salvation of our nation’s founding charter. He flew to Greece, the birthplace of democracy. He bused to Philly, the home of independence. He went toe-to-toe (face-to-face) with Scalia. He added nightly confabs with James Madison to his daily consultations with Jon Stewart. He tracked down not one but two John Hancocks - to make his version twice as official. He even read the Constitution of the United States.

So prepare yourselves, fellow patriots, for the most significant literary event of the 21st, 20th, 19th, and latter part of the 18th centuries. Me the People won’t just form a "More Perfect Union". It will save America.

©2012 Kevin Bleyer (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

“I would rather read a constitution written by Kevin Bleyer than by the sharpest minds in the country.” (Jon Stewart)

“The Constitution has served us well for centuries. Thanks to Kevin Bleyer, those days are over.” (Stephen Colbert)

“Two centuries from now, the finest robot documentarians from around the world will climb over one another to make the definitive film on the genesis of Kevin Bleyer’s brilliant constitution. Which makes me glad I’m alive today.” (Ken Burns, human director of The Civil War, The Congress, and Prohibition)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Fifty-One Portland, OR, United States 01-04-13
    Fifty-One Portland, OR, United States 01-04-13 Member Since 2007

    Love me some audio books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    109
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    "Skip it."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Insufferable know-it-alls who "dabble" in comedy.


    What was most disappointing about Kevin Bleyer’s story?

    How truly entertained he is by himself.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Smugness of epic proportions.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Irritation.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 06-12-12
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 06-12-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    486
    ratings
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    202
    105
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    87
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    "Entertaining and Enlightening"

    Less a formulation of a "new" constitution than an exploration of the history and terms of the current one, Bleyer does a remarkable job of describing describing both the substance and the relatively chaotic backstory of the United States Constitution. The framers, although undoubtedly brilliant and visionary, were also very human and had many misgivings about the quality and durability of the document they were creating. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson was quite explicit: no generation should have the authority to bind the next and ideally the Constitution should be written anew by each generation with laws suitable for its own time and needs.

    Bleyer takes such august authority as his starting point to facetiously frame his own version of a suitable constitution for our time. While his tone is amusingly light-hearted and sprinkled with frequently hilarious anecdotes from both the times of the founders and of our own (including a luncheon interview with Supreme Court Justice Scalia), what comes across clearly is that the framers would have been shocked, even appalled, to learn that the Constitution they patched together would be considered sacrosanct more than 200 years later. More than that, they probably would have been horrified to learn that their "original intent" (as if there was ONE original intent) would have been considered controlling in interpreting that Constitution by numerous Supreme Court Justices, including Justice Scalia, himself.

    Bleyer does a real service in accurately conveying both constitutional principles and the difficulties in their interpretation in an accessible and entertaining style. Whether the reader is new to the subject or thinks that he/she "knows" the Constitution, the book inspires an appreciation of both the privileges and the responsibilities belonging to those who live in a constitutionally governed democratic society and does so in a way that is non-confrontational and, yes, fun!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Gatineau, Quebec, Canada 10-08-12
    Matthew Gatineau, Quebec, Canada 10-08-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too much filler"
    What made the experience of listening to Me the People the most enjoyable?

    The information and how it was presented


    Would you be willing to try another book from Kevin Bleyer? Why or why not?

    yes


    Have you listened to any of Kevin Bleyer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Good book, but I there was too much fluff. I was pleased with the amount of information, but the other half of the book was just distracting fluff. For example, his description of his lunch with a member of a supreme court, he fills the transcript with so many useless and annoying comments it's hard to not just shut it off.

    Also, it was my impression that he was going to develop a better and more informed proposal for a new constitution, and despite being very informative about the origins and consequences of most articles in the constitution, the good journey doesn't culminate in a good destination.. The constitution is essentially a jestful rant with all the "u"'s removed from words like "behaviour."

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Belle Fourche, SD, United States 07-30-12
    Robert Belle Fourche, SD, United States 07-30-12 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
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    Performance
    Story
    "What a great, funny and educational book."
    Where does Me the People rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It ranks in the top five of the government/history books I've listened too.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Me the People?

    When one of the delegates gets sauced rants for hours until he is exhausted, demands he be allowed to pick up where he leaves off in the morning then walks out of the convention.


    What about Kevin Bleyer’s performance did you like?

    Kevin Bleyer was very entertaining in his reading.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yep!


    Any additional comments?

    What I took away from this book is how essential cooperation and compromise was in forming our government. I think those of us who love government and politics have at some point in time invoked the names of some founding father or other in hopes it would win us an argument. It seems though, that on their own each of these men were flawed in very serious ways, not so much that they were bad men or unfit for the roles they played. But, enough that if any one of them were to have written our constitution alone I don't believe it would have stood for so long. Don't get me wrong though, I learned all this while laughing my tail off. Great book, give it a listen

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel United States 06-22-12
    Daniel United States 06-22-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    112
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    "Having fun with history"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it's a fun way to learn some things about history. Funny, irreverent...


    What did you like best about this story?

    How the author puts life into the founding fathers.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The department of beer.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I broke it into 3 days. I think that worked well.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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