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The Constitution

Author: Michael Paulsen
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465093299
Size: 75.41 MB
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From war powers to health care, freedom of speech to gun ownership, religious liberty to abortion, practically every aspect of American life is shaped by the Constitution. This vital document, along with its history of political and judicial interpretation, governs our individual lives and the life of our nation. Yet most of us know surprisingly little about the Constitution itself, and are woefully unprepared to think for ourselves about recent developments in its long and storied history. The Constitution: An Introduction is the definitive modern primer on the US Constitution. Michael Stokes Paulsen, one of the nation’s most provocative and accomplished scholars of the Constitution, and his son Luke Paulsen, a gifted young writer and lay scholar, have combined to write a lively introduction to the supreme law of the United States, covering the Constitution’s history and meaning in clear, accessible terms. Beginning with the Constitution’s birth in 1787, Paulsen and Paulsen offer a grand tour of its provisions, principles, and interpretation, introducing readers to the characters and controversies that have shaped the Constitution in the 200-plus years since its creation. Along the way, the authors provide correctives to the shallow myths and partial truths that pervade so much popular treatment of the Constitution, from school textbooks to media accounts of today’s controversies, and offer powerful insights into the Constitution’s true meaning. A lucid and engaging guide, The Constitution: An Introduction provides readers with the tools to think critically and independently about constitutional issues—a skill that is ever more essential to the continued flourishing of American democracy.

America S Constitution

Author: Akhil Reed Amar
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1588364879
Size: 76.67 MB
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In America’s Constitution, one of this era’s most accomplished constitutional law scholars, Akhil Reed Amar, gives the first comprehensive account of one of the world’s great political texts. Incisive, entertaining, and occasionally controversial, this “biography” of America’s framing document explains not only what the Constitution says but also why the Constitution says it. We all know this much: the Constitution is neither immutable nor perfect. Amar shows us how the story of this one relatively compact document reflects the story of America more generally. (For example, much of the Constitution, including the glorious-sounding “We the People,” was lifted from existing American legal texts, including early state constitutions.) In short, the Constitution was as much a product of its environment as it was a product of its individual creators’ inspired genius. Despite the Constitution’s flaws, its role in guiding our republic has been nothing short of amazing. Skillfully placing the document in the context of late-eighteenth-century American politics, America’s Constitution explains, for instance, whether there is anything in the Constitution that is unamendable; the reason America adopted an electoral college; why a president must be at least thirty-five years old; and why–for now, at least–only those citizens who were born under the American flag can become president. From his unique perspective, Amar also gives us unconventional wisdom about the Constitution and its significance throughout the nation’s history. For one thing, we see that the Constitution has been far more democratic than is conventionally understood. Even though the document was drafted by white landholders, a remarkably large number of citizens (by the standards of 1787) were allowed to vote up or down on it, and the document’s later amendments eventually extended the vote to virtually all Americans. We also learn that the Founders’ Constitution was far more slavocratic than many would acknowledge: the “three fifths” clause gave the South extra political clout for every slave it owned or acquired. As a result, slaveholding Virginians held the presidency all but four of the Republic’s first thirty-six years, and proslavery forces eventually came to dominate much of the federal government prior to Lincoln’s election. Ambitious, even-handed, eminently accessible, and often surprising, America’s Constitution is an indispensable work, bound to become a standard reference for any student of history and all citizens of the United States.

Fault Lines In The Constitution

Author: Cynthia Levinson
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
ISBN: 1682630242
Size: 42.69 MB
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Many of the political issues we struggle with today have their roots in the US Constitution. Husband-and-wife team Cynthia and Sanford Levinson take readers back to the creation of this historic document and discuss how contemporary problems were first introduced—then they offer possible solutions. Think Electoral College, gerrymandering, even the Senate. Many of us take these features in our system for granted. But they came about through haggling in an overheated room in 1787, and we’re still experiencing the ramifications. Each chapter in this timely and thoughtful exploration of the Constitution’s creation begins with a story—all but one of them true—that connects directly back to a section of the document that forms the basis of our society and government. From the award-winning team, Cynthia Levinson, children’s book author, and Sanford Levinson, constitutional law scholar, Fault Lines in the Constitution will encourage exploration and discussion from young and old readers alike.

Ratification

Author: Pauline Maier
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0684868555
Size: 47.61 MB
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Drawing on the speeches and letters of the United States' founders, the author recounts the dramatic period after the Constitutional Convention and before the Constitution was finally ratified, describing the tumultuous events that took place in homes, taverns and convention halls throughout the colonies. By the author of American Scripture.

Strangers To The Constitution

Author: Gerald L. Neuman
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400821952
Size: 32.84 MB
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Gerald Neuman discusses in historical and contemporary terms the repeated efforts of U.S. insiders to claim the Constitution as their exclusive property and to deny constitutional rights to aliens and immigrants--and even citizens if they are outside the nation's borders. Tracing such efforts from the debates over the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798 to present-day controversies about illegal aliens and their children, the author argues that no human being subject to the governance of the United States should be a "stranger to the Constitution." Thus, whenever the government asserts its power to impose obligations on individuals, it brings them within the constitutional system and should afford them constitutional rights. In Neuman's view, this mutuality of obligation is the most persuasive approach to extending constitutional rights extraterritorially to all U.S. citizens and to those aliens on whom the United States seeks to impose legal responsibilities. Examining both mutuality and more flexible theories, Neuman defends some constitutional constraints on immigration and deportation policies and argues that the political rights of aliens need not exclude suffrage. Finally, in regard to whether children born in the United States to illegally present alien parents should be U.S. citizens, he concludes that the Constitution's traditional shield against the emergence of a hereditary caste of "illegals" should be vigilantly preserved.

The Heritage Guide To The Constitution

Author: David F. Forte
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1621573524
Size: 76.21 MB
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A landmark work of more than one hundred scholars, The Heritage Guide to the Constitution is a unique line-by-line analysis explaining every clause of America's founding charter and its contemporary meaning. In this fully revised second edition, leading scholars in law, history, and public policy offer more than two hundred updated and incisive essays on every clause of the Constitution. From the stirring words of the Preamble to the Twenty-seventh Amendment, you will gain new insights into the ideas that made America, important debates that continue from our Founding, and the Constitution's true meaning for our nation

The Penguin Guide To The United States Constitution

Author: Richard Beeman
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 110145900X
Size: 30.33 MB
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What is the President, Congress, and the Supreme Court really allowed to do? This unique and handy guide includes the documents that guide our government, annotated with accessible explanations from one of America's most esteemed constitutional scholars. Known across the country for his appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Professor Richard Beeman is one of the nation's foremost experts on the United States Constitution. In this book, he has produced what every American should have: a compact, fully annotated copy of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and amendments, all in their entirety. A marvel of accessibility and erudition, the guide also features a history of the making of the Constitution with excerpts from The Federalist Papers and a look at crucial Supreme Court cases that reminds us that the meaning of many of the specific provisions of the Constitution has changed over time. "Excellent . . . valuable and judicious." -Jill Lepore, The New Yorker

The Presidents And The Constitution

Author: Ken Gormley
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479839906
Size: 80.80 MB
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In this sweepingly ambitious volume, the nation’s foremost experts on the American presidency and the U.S. Constitution join together to tell the intertwined stories of how each American president has confronted and shaped the Constitution. Each occupant of the office—the first president to the forty-fourth—has contributed to the story of the Constitution through the decisions he made and the actions he took as the nation’s chief executive. By examining presidential history through the lens of constitutional conflicts and challenges, The Presidents and the Constitution offers a fresh perspective on how the Constitution has evolved in the hands of individual presidents. It delves into key moments in American history, from Washington’s early battles with Congress to the advent of the national security presidency under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, to reveal the dramatic historical forces that drove these presidents to action. Historians and legal experts, including Richard Ellis, Gary Hart, Stanley Kutler and Kenneth Starr, bring the Constitution to life, and show how the awesome powers of the American presidency have been shapes by the men who were granted them. The book brings to the fore the overarching constitutional themes that span this country’s history and ties together presidencies in a way never before accomplished. Exhaustively researched and compellingly presented, The Presidents and the Constitution shines new light on America’s brilliant constitutional and presidential history.

Who Killed The Constitution

Author: Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Publisher: Crown Forum
ISBN: 0307405761
Size: 68.96 MB
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Drawing on specific examples, two historians look at how all three branches of the federal government have defied the tenets of the U.S. Constitution to make decisions that, while apparently beneficial, are not constitutional.

This Is Our Constitution

Author: Khizr Khan
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 1524770930
Size: 35.42 MB
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From Gold Star father and beloved Democratic National Convention speaker Khizr Khan comes a book for young people about the Constitution—what it says and why it matters for everyone. Our Founding Fathers created the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights as a blueprint for American government and the rights of American citizens. This document is not merely a piece of parchment but a living, breathing promise of our deepest democratic values. Khizr Khan grew up in Pakistan, with few of the fundamental rights that are enshrined in the Constitution. He immigrated to America and became a citizen, raising his family to appreciate and honor all our nation has to offer. Khizr Khan is deeply passionate about the Constitution: the guarantees and protections it provides for each and every person and the beacon of light it shines throughout the world. This Is Our Constitution is a personal journey that Khizr Khan is taking with our nation’s young people. The book includes: * A highly personal introduction and conclusion * Notes throughout that share Khizr Khan’s reflections on and connections to the U.S. Constitution * The fascinating history of why and how the Constitution was written *Article by article and section by section, an easy-to-follow explanation of what the Constitution means * A closer look at key amendments, including the Bill of Rights, and pivotal Supreme Court decisions * The complete texts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution This is a book about why the Constitution matters to you, and us all.