Signing Their Rights Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the United States Constitution
Denise Kiernan and Joseph D'Agnese
Hardcover, 254 pages; 2011
Members' Price (UC7372): $16.96
Each of the fifty-six men who signed the Declaration of Independence risked his life as a traitor to the British crown, yet many of them have been all but lost to history. And that's a shame, because they're a fascinating and eclectic bunch! Denise Kiernan and Joseph D'Agnese have compiled mini-biographies of all fifty-six-- the famous and the unheard-of alike. Lighthearted and enlightening, Signing Their Lives Away valiantly brings these forgotten patriots to life, revealing their life stories and reveling in their eccentricities. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and James Madison are well-known to Americans, but what can you tell me about Robert Morris, who helped fund the American Revolution only to wind up in debtor's prison, or Roger Sherman, whose "Great Compromise" brought us both houses of Congress, rather than just one? The men who met in 1787 to "tweak" the Articles of Confederation came from very different backgrounds and often had stridently opposing views on government. Signing Their Rights Away, via mini bios of all the signers of the U.S. Constitution, pays fascinating tribute to the thirty-nine lives that came together to change our country forever. What fun for history buffs!