Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Teaching the Founding: Pauline Maier on BookTV

C-Span's BookTV program recently featured historian Pauline Maier (MIT--history), the expert on the Revolutionary Era and the author, most recently, of Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788. For three hours--yes, three hours--Professor Maier spoke and took calls about a range of topics, many of which are of interest to legal historians. She discussed the Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers, including lesser-known but important ones, the Constitution and "originialism" as an method of interpretation. She also discussed teaching about all of these subjects and debunked myths about the Founding and the Founding Fathers. I found the discusssion intriquing on its own terms, as well as because history-department historians and law school-historians sometimes speak in different ways about some of the topics listed above. The show is here.