• Our Republican Constitution

  • Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People
  • By: Randy E. Barnett
  • Narrated by: Barry Abrams
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (139 ratings)

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Our Republican Constitution

By: Randy E. Barnett
Narrated by: Barry Abrams
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Publisher's Summary

The Constitution of the United States begins with the words "we the people". But from the earliest days of the American republic, there have been two competing notions of "the people", which led to two very different visions of the Constitution. Those who view "we the people" collectively think popular sovereignty resides in the people as a group, which leads them to favor a democratic constitution that allows the will of the people to be expressed by majority rule. In contrast, those who think popular sovereignty resides in the people as individuals contend that a republican constitution is needed to secure the preexisting inalienable rights of "we the people", each and every one, against abuses by the majority.

In Our Republican Constitution, renowned legal scholar Randy E. Barnett tells the fascinating story of how this debate arose shortly after the Revolution, leading to the adoption of a new and innovative republican constitution, and how the struggle over slavery led to its completion by a newly formed Republican Party.

©2016 Randy E. Barnett (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"This is a very important book for constitutional conservatives and all Americans who love liberty and the country." (Mark R. Levin, author of Plunder and Deceit)

What listeners say about Our Republican Constitution

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  • Overall
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Read the book, don't listen

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The _content_ of Our Republican Constitution is outstanding. If you are at all interested in the Constitution, read the book--but skip the audio book. Only listen to the book if you know that there is just no way you would ever actually read it. Barry Abrams changes his voice whenever he is quoting someone so that he sounds like a breathless, effeminate male--and if not always effeminate, definitely breathless. When he is quoting documents, he lowers his voice and gets some sort of accent so he sounds like a caricature of an old, stuffy, aristocratic Scotsman. (He reminded me of McBadger in the Disney version of Wind in the Willows.) Such inflections became very annoying.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Barry Abrams?

I really prefer the even tone of Scott Brick. He did an excellent job with Hamilton (Ron Chernow), quoting the same people that Barry Abrams quoted, but the tone of Brick provided much more authority and far less comedy.

7 people found this helpful

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Must reaf for all Libretarion leaning individuals

Somewhat complicated but a must read to discover the history of the changing interpretations of the meaning of "We The People" In this book, Democrat and Republiican only refer obliquely to our current parties, instead, here Republican refers to an interpretation of "We The People" as the citizens of the US as individual sovereigns whereas Democrat interprets the phrase as the citizenry enmass as the sovereign, or in other words, the majority of the citizenry. Democratic interpretation gives priority to the people as a single body, allowing for loss of individual rights, Republican interpretation gives priority to the individual's rights. The author then proceeds to show how the different interpretations have ebbed and flowed in dominance.

5 people found this helpful

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Good book to solidify a basic understanding.

The information contained within this book should be taught and reviewed periodically throughout an education.

4 people found this helpful

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Worst Narrator

This is a solid book but my be a little tough for non-lawyers or those not familiar with some of the more arcane aspects of our government. It was almost ruined by awful narration.

2 people found this helpful

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Narration isn’t great but the book is

Narration was okay. It would help if the narrator wouldn’t try different accents when quoting others. It’s not fiction. It’s a book about a serious topic. Also, there’s an error in the last chapter where the author called the 19th amendment, the 20th - it could be just a typo because the error exists in both written and audio version of the book.

1 person found this helpful

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Great indepth look at the history of our Constitu

Would you listen to Our Republican Constitution again? Why?

yes. It was very informative. it put history of government in context and was very informative.

Who was your favorite character and why?

n/a

What about Barry Abrams’s performance did you like?

Voice changes based on character readings

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

No

1 person found this helpful

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The narration is terrible and very distracting.

Substantive content of the book is interesting and thoughtfully prepared but the narration is awful and seriously detracts from an otherwise great book.

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“First come rights…then comes government.”

Randy Barnett isn’t just a strong writer, he’s also a skilled oral advocate. I highly recommend listening to his debates on YouTube. I disagree slightly with him on one thing: Paul Clement may have been the obvious choice to argue NFSB, but Barnett would make a skilled advocate and he should have split time. After all, they had four days! And Clement didn’t even argue day 1 on the AIA. The Narrator RUINED the audiobook so I order the hardback (also from Amazon- since Bezos isn’t rich enough). Not surprised tho- these moronic readers seem yo always try to act out serious topics as if the listener was a child. All they succeed at is selling hard copies. If I were Barnett I would have fired the guy on day one. I only gave him 1 star because Amazon wouldn’t let me post 0- which, frankly, I felt was already generous.

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Barnett nails it.

I really enjoyed this. I am someone looking to get to facts without listening to a left or right leaning interpretation. The idea of natural rights and a government that is supposed to uphold those rights before all else is an idea that's been lost on many of our Justices. I did listen to passages a few times as getting the logic behind Barnett's argument isn't automatic. But once you get it the rest falls in to place. My only criticism was the narrator. First, not easy subject matter to read I am sure. But with this book as well as others I've listened to on Audible there is this annoying tendency for the narrator to change his voice when he is quoting someone. In this particular book he rotates accents and pitches as he quotes different people. Really irritating. Please - you don't have to use whatever you think might be an early colonial accent when quoting the Founders - we're not in pre-school and you aren't reading us the Three Little Pigs.

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must read for Constitution scholars

if you want to know about the Practical History of the United States Constitution and its effects in today's modern world you must read or listen to this book