Maryland Almanac

January 20, 2008

Notes

Liberty's blueprint: Last week, when presidential candidate Mike Huckabee suggested that the U.S. Constitution might be amended to better comport with God's law, there was widespread shocked reaction. Americans take their Constitution seriously, even as they argue endlessly about what it means and how it might be amended.

Now comes Michael I. Meyerson, a University of Baltimore law professor, with a new book that promises significant help for those of us confused about the intent of the Founding Fathers when they drafted the constitution. In the book, Liberty's Blueprint: How Madison and Hamilton Wrote the Federalist Papers, Defined the Constitution and Made Democracy Safe for the World (Basic Books / 314 pages / $26), to be published early in March, Meyerson argues that most of our questions could be answered and our confusion ended if we would only read the Federalist Papers, a series of essays written largely by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton as part of an effort to convince the founding states to ratify the Constitution. The essays were collected, published as a book and hailed in the early days of our republic as a political masterpiece. Meyerson argues that with careful reading the Federalist Papers offer clear answers to many continuing questions about the constitution that modern historians, Supreme Court Justices and others ask.

Simply irresistible: Ellen T. White, who grew up in Baltimore and now works in the New York Public Library, has a playful new self-help paperback out that entertainingly explores the concept of irresistible women. Her theory is that women can be irresistible, even if they aren't classically beautiful or faultlessly groomed, and she offers mini-profiles of lots of heartbreakers from history to make her point. "A woman can be beautiful at 20, charming at 40 and irresistible all her life," she quotes Coco Chanel as saying. White will be visiting Baltimore in coming days to make two talks related to her book.

Simply Irresistible: Unleash Your Inner Siren and Mesmerize Any Man, With Help from the Most Famous -- and Infamous -- Women in History / Ellen T. White / Running Press / 264 pages / $12.95

Calendar

Wednesday, January 23

BILL STRICKLAND -- The president and CEO of Manchester Bidwell, a community arts education and training center, and winner of a MacArthur "genius" grant, will discuss his new book, Make the Impossible Possible, on creating successful partnerships between the arts and business communities. 7 p.m. / Pratt Central Library / 400 Cathedral Street / Wheeler Auditorium. Saturday, January 26

JOHN EDGAR WIDEMAN -- The author will discuss his new novel, Fanon, which blends fiction, biography and memoir to evoke the life of the philosopher and political activist Frantz Fanon at the Pratt Library's Booklovers' Breakfast, 8:30 a.m. to noon / Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel / 700 Aliceanna Street / $35 per person / registration: 410-396-5494. Sunday, January 27

ELLEN T. WHITE -- will give a talk, "The Duchess of Windsor & the Siren Arts of the Belle Laide (the Attractively Ugly)," which relates to her book Simply Irresistible at a Maryland Historical Society brunch 12:30 p.m. / 201 W. Monument Street. Tickets are $20 and must be purchased in advance by calling 410-685-3750 ext. 321.

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