Signing Their Rights Away
With Signing Their Lives Away (Quirk, 2009), Denise Kiernan and Joseph D'Agnese introduced readers to the 56 statesmen and scoundrels who signed the Declaration of Independence. Now they've turned their attention to 39 men who met in the summer of 1787 and put their names to the U.S. Constitution.
Signing Their Rights Away chronicles a moment in U.S. history when our elected officials actually knew how to compromise-and put aside personal gain for the greater good of the nation. These men were just as quirky and flawed as the elected officials we have today: Hugh Williamson believed in aliens, Robert Morris went to prison, John Rutledge attempted suicide (twice!); and Thomas Mifflin was ruined by alcohol. Yet somehow they managed to craft what is now the world's oldest living Constitution. With 39 mini-biographies and a reversible dust jacket (that unfolds into a facsimile of the Constitution), Signing Their Rights Away offers an entertaining and enlightening narrative for history buffs of all ages.
Denise Kiernan and Joseph D'Agnese have written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Village Voice, Wired, Discover, and other national publications. Their previous book, Signing Their Lives Away, received a starred review in School Library Journal. They live in North Carolina.