Vile, John R. A Constellation of Great Men: Exploring the Character Sketches by Dr. Benjamin Rush of Pennsylvania of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. xix, 261 pp. Clark, New Jersey: Talbot Publishing (an imprint of The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.), 2019. ISBN-13: 9781616195922. ISBN-10: 1616195924. Hardcover. New. $75. * One of the most gifted of America's founding fathers, Dr. Benjamin Rush of Pennsylvania not only signed the Declaration of Independence, but also utilized his keen powers of observation to describe most of his fellow delegates to the Second Continental Congress. His character sketches thus complement later descriptions that William Pierce of Georgia drafted of delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. In addition to describing Rush's own optimistic hopes for the new republic, which were later tempered by his concerns over the early direction of American politics, this volume utilizes Rush's letters and other writing to examine his relationship with other key participants (especially John Adams and Thomas Jefferson) and discusses his own proposals for education and prison reform. John R. Vile (Ph.D., UVA) is Dean of the Honors College at Middle Tennessee State University. He is the author of The Declaration of Independence: America's First Founding Document in U.S. History and Culture (2019), The Constitutional Convention of 1787: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of America's Founding (2016), The Wisest Council in the World: Restoring the Character Sketches by William Pierce of Georgia of the Delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 (2015), and numerous books on the U.S. Constitution.
Book number 68946