And thanks for posting your sources...most helpful.
I recommend his book for those who have a clue, some familiarity with our founding and framing, so that excludes most college age students. Basically, I appreciate the facts he presents, not so much his interpretation of them.
For instance, his first Chapter is “The Perils of Originalism.” My margin notes are thick and hostile. He doesn't come out and say the common man is unqualified to understand and demand compliance with the Constitution, but comes very close.
Since the notes of the Framers as collated by Max Farrand in 1911 are available online to all, I found that most of the time, none of the authors added very much to what I read and interpreted on my own. For those who do not wish to read the debates and would rather economize their time, Collier's and Rossiter’s books are the best.
The real value of each is their “backstory” research, i.e. events that occurred outside the convention. For instance, the 3/5 rule concerning representation was first debated in 1783 under the Confederation as a rule for taxation. I learned that John Dickinson in his draft of the Articles, and later Roger Sherman at the Convention, worked to add a clause that kept “internal police power” within the states. The furor over the connected issues of western land speculators, Jay-Gardoqui Treaty that almost blew up the Convention before it began cannot be learned from the Framer's notes, but from historians, even like the Lefty Rakove.
So, while Rakove must be last on my list, it is still worthwhile. Just don't make it the first book you give your kids.