A Brilliant Solution

A Brilliant Solution Cover

A Brilliant Solution

Inventing the American Constitution

By Carol Berkin

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151009480, 320pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2002


We know--and love--the story of the American Revolution, from the Declaration of Independence to Cornwallis's defeat. But the Articles of Confederation, our first government, was a disaster. This crisis caused a group of men to journey to Philadelphia in 1787 to create a lasting and more stable government.
The lawyers and politicians, some famous and others just ordinary men, had no great expectations for the document they were fashioning. Somehow, in the amalgam of ideas, argument, and compromise, a great thing happened: A constitution and a form of government were created that have served us well. Carol Berkin tells the story of that amazing summer in Philadelphia, and makes you feel as if you were there, listening to the arguments, getting to know the framers, and appreciating the difficult and critical decisions being made.
Retelling a story that is more hallowed than understood, Berkin brings us into the world of eighteenth-century America and shows us the human side of a great accomplishment.

About the Author

Carol Berkin is a professor of American History at Baruch College and the Ph.D. Program in History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has written five scholarly books and contributed to several collections of articles and textbooks. Berkin was a commentator for the A&E series Founding Fathers and Founding Brothers, as well as a commentator for the PBS documentary, Benjamin Franklin. She lives in New York City.

Praise For A Brilliant Solution


"A story all modern Americans need to know--the exciting and true tale of our nation's origins, as narrated by one of our best historians."--Professor Mary Beth Norton, Cornell University

"The liveliest and most concise account yet of the adoption of the Constitution. A sparkling, fast-paced, and always engaging introduction to the modern world's first great exercise in constitutional invention."--Jack N. Rakove, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of James Madison and the Creation of the American Republic