Valley author writes book on Constitution
Aug. 2, 2022
A Valley author has a new book coming out in September that focuses on the U.S. Constitution. It looks at how the Framers of the Constitution failed to resolve the conflict between freedom and slavery.
Robert (Bob) McWhirter is a Constitutional Law Expert and an author. He joined us on Arizona Horizon to discuss his upcoming book, called “Fixing the Framers’ Failure: The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments and America’s New Birth of Freedom.”
About the book
The book is being called an “intellectually sound, lavishly illustrated, exposition of why the United States engaged in a bloody Civil War a mere 73 years after the Constitution was written.” McWhirter says that the Framers “failed to resolve the conflict between freedom and slavery.”
It is a history book, as well, complete with illustrations, pictures and annotations. Building upon his earlier book, “Bills, Quills, and Stills: An Annotated, Illustrated, and Illuminated History of the Bill of Rights (the first ten Amendments,”) McWhirter provides analysis equally accessible to lawyers and non-lawyers.
McWhirter’s Fixing the Framers’ Failure is a detailed account of the struggle to pass the three Civil War Amendments to the Constitution―the 13th, 14th, and 15th. It is also about the much longer (and still ongoing) struggle to give those amendments their full meaning by guaranteeing the equality of all citizens under the law.
One major thread running through the book is Black self-empowerment. McWhirter shows how much of the historic struggle for racial equality has been led by African Americans themselves. He looks at well-known figures like Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and Thurgood Marshall to lesser-known individuals like Congressman Robert Brown Elliott and Robert Smalls.
In the book, McWhirter says, “The true greatness of America is the irony that her most devoted adherents have often been those historically denied her promise.”
The book also touches on depictions of slavery in film, the origin of the term “cakewalk,”and the true story behind the legend of the “steel-drivin’ man” John Henry.
McWhirter claims that America derives its greatness from the contributions of marginalized groups that were historically denied the promise of protection by the Constitution. The book traces the development of the Thirteenth through Fifteenth amendments to the present day. Additionally, it illustrates how the civil rights movement affected the scope of the amendments’ application.
About the Author
Robert J. McWhirter is a criminal and civil rights lawyer. He’s a nationally and internationally known speaker and author. He has great knowledge about trial advocacy, immigration law, and the history of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. His publications include “Bills, Quills, and Stills: An Annotated, Illustrated, and Illuminated History of the Bill of Rights” and eight other books. He has also written numerous articles on the history of the Bill of Rights, Constitution, and Civil War Amendments. McWhirter has been an adjunct professor. He has taught the History of the Bill of Rights at the University of Arizona College of Law and in Trial Advocacy at the Phoenix School of Law.
You can learn more about the book here.