An Introduction



   Order Code: RNP281    ISBN : 9780465053728
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Aiming to help readers think critically about Constitutional issues, this user-friendly, smart (but not ponderous) book first explains the Constitution's structure and content, concentrating on the powers and freedoms it grants and the special case of slavery.

It then examines the Constitution as a living document, analyzing the cases, characters, and controversies that shaped interpretation through several periods: the defining early years, the crisis of the Civil War, the protracted post-war betrayal of the principles codified in the equal-rights amendments, the restoration of those principles in the mid-20th century, and a modern era of controversial judicial activism.

“This readable history of the Constitution as it has evolved over more than two centuries corrects many false beliefs about that document and its applicability to every corner of American life. Written in a style that makes it accessible to readers at several levels, this book tells the human story of the ways in which the world’s oldest written constitution has shaped our experience.”
—James M. McPherson, Professor of History Emeritus, Princeton University, and Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom

“Michael and Luke Paulsen have written the most readable and insightful introduction to the U.S. Constitution since the days of Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, in 1840. This book is a must read for anyone trying to learn about the U.S. Constitution.”
—Steven G. Calabresi, Clayton and Henry Barber Professor of Law, Northwestern University

“A splendid introduction to the Constitution—one that takes the text of our nation’s charter seriously and provides illuminating explanations of why its drafters chose the principles, concepts, and language they did for their ‘great experiment’ in republican government and ordered liberty. The Constitution: An Introduction strips away the layers of interpretation that obscure the Constitution’s meaning, enabling readers to encounter the Constitution itself.”
—Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University

“This wonderful work is the best introduction to the United States Constitution available. It does a brilliant job reviewing two-and-one-quarter centuries of American experience. Essential reading for those who still believe in ordered liberty and self-government.”
—Stephen B. Presser, Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History, Northwestern University, and author of Recapturing the Constitution

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