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

Front Cover
Random House, 2012 - History - 317 pages
13 Reviews
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 holding it.

 
But first, some historical context: In the eighteenth 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 nineteenth 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 twentieth century, a doctor at the Bethesda Naval Hospital delivered a baby--but not just any baby. Because in the twenty-first 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 hold in your hands no mere book, 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 twenty-first, twentieth, nineteenth, and latter part of the eighteenth centuries. Me the People won't just form a More Perfect Union. It will save America.

Praise for Me the People
 
"I would rather read a constitution written by Kevin Bleyer than by the sharpest minds in the country."--Jon Stewart

"Bleyer takes a red pencil to democracy's most hallowed laundry list. . . . Uproarious and fascinating."--Reader's Digest

"I knew James Madison. James Madison was a friend of mine. Mr. Bleyer, you are no James Madison. But you sure are a heck of a lot more fun."--Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Team of Rivals
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Alliebadger - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed this book. Kevin Bleyer has meticulously researched every aspect of the Constitution and its founding fathers so we don't have to. He explains everything really well, both past and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Karlstar - LibraryThing

At first reading, this is overly critical of minor details of the Constitution. It is interesting though, and it does point out common mis-conceptions. If you can get through the beginning where he ... Read full review

Contents

RATICATION
199
THE FIRST AMENDMENT
215
THE SEcoND AMENDMENT
225
THE THIRD AMENDMENT
238
THE FOURTH AMENDMENT
245
THE F1FTH AMENDMENT
257
THE SIXTH AMENDMENT
267
THE SEVENTH AMENDMENT
276
THETENTH AMENDMENT
293
FOOTNOTES TO HISTORY
300
POSTAMBLII1 SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED
311
the Comtitution oftbe United States
319
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Emmy Award winner Kevin Bleyer is an Emmy Award–winning writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, for which he has won multiple Emmy Awards. Before rewriting the Constitution, Bleyer co-authored the #1 New York Times bestseller Earth: The Book, and negotiated bipartisan consensus as a writer and producer for Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher and Dennis Miller. And he is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, so he secretly runs the government already. He lives in New York, where he regularly poses for portraits.

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