For those of you who may not have time to sit down with a book but always seem to have an MP3 player rolling, here’s a couple selections worthy of your time:
Federalist Papers: http://www.archive.org/details/federalist_papers_librivox
The Federalist Papers were a series of pamphlets written mostly anonymously at the time to convince the people, of New York specifically but everyone generally, to ratify the Constitution. Authors were later confirmed to be a collection of Radical Revolutionaries like James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay. For a deeper understanding of our Constitution the Federalist Papers are required reading or, in this case, listening.
Anti-Federalist Papers: http://www.archive.org/details/antifederalist_0707_librivox
The Anti-Federalist Papers were a series of pamphlets written mostly anonymously at the time attempting to convince people that the strong Federal Government outlined in the Consitution would end up being an albatross around the Liberties of the people. I recently finished a study of the Anti-Federalist papers and…wow…these guys were prophetic. As is the case in most things, there is a happy medium between the idealism in the Federalist Papers and rampant cynicism of the Anti-Federalist papers but, unfortunately, we as a Nation failed to find it. The issues raised in the Anti-Federalist papers are exactly what we are dealing with today.
5000 Year Leap: http://www.nccs.net/5000-year-leap/_jkgFoe95jlsf4poG/
This book was written by W. Cleon Skousen. In 1971, Skousen founded a non-profit educational foundation, “The Freeman Institute” which sought to provide students a place to read both sides of any political issue from original sources. In 1982, the institute became the National Center for Constitutional Studies (NCCS), a national organization headquartered in Malta, Idaho.(WikiPedia). The book details how the philosophical aspects of the Constitution came to be. Where the Federalist Papers discusses the debate about the ideas, this book details the birth of the ideas themselves.
All of these are freebies and well worth the time and effort to grab and listen to.