“A Brilliant Solution” by Carol Berkin book  » Books  »
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  • Berkin states, in so many words, that the problem with the United States government at that time was quite apparent

    • by Devon G.
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      Carol Berkin’s book, “A Brilliant Solution”, is an in depth look at how the United States Constitution was formed, and what sort of people formed it. Berkin describes with detail the characteristics and some life experiences of the founding fathers of our nation in an effort to bring an understanding of the document as we see it today. She stresses that the authors of that important document were humans, and therefore just as imperfect as modern-day people.

      She aimed to show that the imperfections of our government reflect the imperfections of those who created it, and she succeeded wonderfully in this endeavor. A Brilliant Solution begins its historic journey in 1786, three years after the United States had claimed its independence.

      Berkin states, in so many words,


      that the problem with the United States government at that time was quite apparent. She cites the knowledge of this fact as being among the very minds of several of our founding fathers.

      The problem, she says so clearly on page 16, was that “In 1786 the national government was ill equipped to handle even the smallest crisis. ” Therefore, a national convention of delegates from every state was called forth to improve this flawed government.

      As shown in progressing chapters of the book, however, these delegates did much more. They decided to form a completely new government by inventing the American Constitution.

      The book often tells of events as Virginia delegate James Madison describes them. This is most likely because of his meticulous note-taking of every venture ...


      • in the convention, and it greatly benefits the reader.

        Because so many people worth understanding were involved in the convention, the reader can become confused trying to keep up with so many personal descriptions. Madison’s recurrence in the book and the recurrence of his thoughts and ideas give the reader a constant to follow so as not to feel overwhelmed by too much new information at once.

        Berkin managed to keep the reader captivated by delving into the lives and personalities of the delegates in a way most are never taught in school. Every delegate had his own reasons–whether because of personal beliefs, background, or political ties–to argue the way he did, and Berkin makes this fact very clear to her readers.

        The frequent insights into the

        lives and minds of the founding fathers of the United States in Carol Berkin’s A Brilliant Solution were instrumental in keeping readers engaged in the material. Not only did this book bring a better understanding of who those men actually were, but also of why they acted upon the ideas they did.

        This, in turn, was contributive to a greater understanding of the American Constitution. Berkin helped her readers (American citizens) to forge a connection between themselves and their government by showing that the humble characteristics present in every human being were also present in the men who created it.

        A Brilliant Solution proved to be a well-crafted, enchanting, and all-around great book by demonstrating that the United States government is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people.




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