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The Founding Fathers' Guide to the Constitution  By  cover art

The Founding Fathers' Guide to the Constitution

By: Brion McClanahan
Narrated by: David Cochran Heath
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Publisher's Summary

What does the Constitution really mean?

How did the founding generation intend for us to interpret and apply the Constitution? Are liberals right when they cite its “elastic” clauses to justify big government, or are conservatives right when they cite its explicit limits on federal power? Professor Brion McClanahan, popular author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers, finds the answers by going directly to the source—the Founders themselves, who debated all the relevant issues in their state constitutional conventions.

In The Founding Fathers’ Guide to the Constitution, you’ll discover how the Constitution was designed to protect rather than undermine the rights of states; why Congress, not the executive branch, was meant to be dominant and why the Founders would have argued for impeaching many modern presidents for violating the Constitution; why an expansive central government was the Founders’ biggest fear, and how the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were designed to guard against it; why the founding generation would regard most of the current federal budget, including “stimulus packages,” unconstitutional; why the Founding Fathers would oppose attempts to “reform” the Electoral College; why they would be horrified at the enormous authority of the Supreme Court; and why they intended Congress, not the Court, to interpret federal law.

Authoritative, fascinating, and timely, The Founding Fathers’ Guide to the Constitution is the definitive layman’s guide to America’s most important—and often most willfully misunderstood—historical document.

©2012 Brion McClanahan (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

“For generations, left-wing judges, professors, and lawyers have told us that we can never know what the Constitution was supposed to mean, so judges are free to do what they want. Yet, in  The Founding Fathers’ Guide to the Constitution, Brion McClanahan gives us a clear, clause-by-clause explanation of the original understanding of the Constitution. Constitutional government is possible, if only officials would be true to their oaths.” (Kevin R. C. Gutzman, JD, PhD,  New York Times best-selling author of  The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution)
“Brion McClanahan’s  The Founding Fathers’ Guide to the Constitution takes the guesswork out of what the Founders intended. It’s all here, in their own words, which any layman can understand—and just as important, use as the standard to assess the wayward judges, congressmen, and executives of our federal government.” (Thomas E. Woods, Jr.,  New York Times best-selling author of  The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History)
“The Constitution for the United States, like all human creations, has been changed by the inescapable ravages of time. Not only the passage of time, but ambition, rent-seeking, ignorance, deception, misunderstanding, ideology, and the lust for power have encrusted our basic instrument of government with layer upon layer of false assumptions and distorted postures that have blocked us from knowing its real meaning and intent. Dr. McClanahan, with insight, painstaking effort, and that rare thing, plain common sense, has presented here as good a picture as we will get of what the Constitution really meant to those who wrote and ratified it. This book is not only a notable feat of historianship but also an important exercise of citizenship that will enlighten those who yearn for truth.” (Clyde N. Wilson, emeritus distinguished professor of history, University of South Carolina)

What listeners say about The Founding Fathers' Guide to the Constitution

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Biased from the opening

When a book opens with an attack on an opposing point of view, we can see its bias immediately. Some will applaud the bias, some will condemn it, but the important point is to recognize it and then take everything presented with a grain of salt.

13 people found this helpful

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Conservtive bias but powerful & informative

Conservtive bias but very powerful & informative. Not too much editorializing but it was there. Great nuggets of primary source quotation.

7 people found this helpful

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author is wrong on many constitutional law points

would be great book but author gives annoying erroneous opinions on constitutionality of different things

7 people found this helpful

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Every one should learn this.

What did you love best about The Founding Fathers' Guide to the Constitution?

How the author gathered these documents and tells the story with facts.How states rights have been slowly taken away.The best i've read so far on the Constitution and what was trying to be done,and what eventually became our law of the land.How far we've come since our founding is sad to think about.But facts are stubborn things.

What did you like best about this story?

Just learning how some of the founders had different ideas about how this country should be and what eventually did become our Constitution.

Have you listened to any of David Cochran Heath’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I don't think i have,but this was done well.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The Founders Debate.

Any additional comments?

Just a very good History lesson and not to long or to complicated to understand.

4 people found this helpful

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Recommended to all American Patriots!

A great book sharing the general perspectives of our founding fathers. The authors, Brion and David, review the constitution and clauses interpretation according to our framers. Authors shed light to parts of founders history their discussions, terminology, proposals, policies, procedures, military rules, regulations, commerce and public resources. The links between branches of power, and checks and balances. They share the fears of frightful propositions of manipulative translations which endanger and infringe peoples general wellfare, liberties, freedoms and rights. And the complications from political unions used as tools of establishments which threaten American communities with abuse and tyranny. Overall, a great audiobook to every individual in support to safeguard our great Republic!

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Don't bother

Great narrator, flawed logic. It seems like a rushed rebuttal for the passage of the ACA rather than an actual guide to the constitution.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent and Informative

Excellent, detailed, and unbiased overview of the original intent and arguments for and against each provision of the US Constitution.

2 people found this helpful

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A Real Eye-Opener

The author does a great service to his readers by explaining how the Constitution should be interpreted, i.e. as it was sold to the states for their ratification.

2 people found this helpful

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Not fair or balanced

The author definitely has a bias towards one side which takes away from what could have been a good book. It would be better if it had an open view on the subject.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DM
  • 03-03-21

Best book I've read on the constitution!!!

I have not read a better book on explaining each article of the constitution and what those who wrote them were saying about it at the time.
it is clear what the Framers wanted is not what we have. it bas morphed and been manipulated by so many it hardly resembles their dream

1 person found this helpful