THE MAKING OF AMERICA Volumes One and Two by W. Cleon Skousen is the finest and most complete analysis of the Constitution available. It is written with clarity and brevity for serious students of all ages.
Volume One introduces the Founding Fathers, their backgrounds, and their struggles to help the new country establish itself under the Articles of Confederation. The failure of the Articles to sustain George Washington’s troops during the War for Independence, as well as the rest of the nation during the years immediately afterwards, is well explained.
W. Cleon Skousen describes the rationale and crises that led the Founders to rethink good government and construct the Constitution based on natural law and the fundamental principles of individual unalienable rights. Included is a discussion on prosperity economics written for the layman, showing the link between economic freedom and all other freedoms.
Volume Two is a brilliant breakdown of the Constitution into 286 specific principles and rights. Each of these principles was painstakingly hammered into shape after exhaustive study of the Founders’ original writings. As shown, the short discussions explain the authority and responsibilities granted to the government, and highlight the restrictions and controls necessary to maintain a free and prosperous society. For every principle, the Founders themselves are quoted to give their reasoning and positions. It becomes abundantly clear what tools are indispensable for a free society to sustain itself into perpetuity.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Skousen briefly quotes the Founders’ own writings. He provides dissenting discussion to show how they wrestled over pertinent issues, their conflicting concerns, and how they arrived at the conclusions they did. Skousen shows how these ideas were “talked out” until the wisdom of each point was finally agreed upon and inserted into the Constitution. Only on three main issues were they Founders sharply divided and forced into a compromise. These discussions, debates and compromises are shown in context of the times.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE: The book concludes with a brief discussion on how America may return to the strength and prosperity that once was the pride of the world—but is now severely eroded. As shown, the destruction of freedom came because of a long succession of bad and unconstitutional choices that have rendered the Constitution largely abandoned. But there is hope, provided for by the Founders themselves who worried our nation would fall into the same trap that has destroyed countless societies of the past. There is a valid path forward to achieve a sterling future of freedom, liberty and prosperity for generations yet unborn—all of this pleasantly described in the very last section.