The Genius of America: How the Constitution Saved Our Country--and Why It Can Again

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Sep 18, 2007 - History - 296 pages
5 Reviews
An inspiring and revelatory look at the document that has made our country the longest surviving democracy in the history of civilization: The Constitution of the United States.

The history of democracy is a history of failure. The United States holds the record at 230 years, yet the document at the nation's center is one that we take for granted. Due to a combination of heightened frustration, moves to skirt the constitutional process, and a widespread disconnect between the people and their constitutional "conscience," Lane and Oreskes warn us our system is at risk.

The Genius of America looks at the Constitution's history relative to this current crisis. Starting with the eleven years between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution's adoption, they show how our near failure to create a loosely knit nation led the framers to devise a system that takes human nature into account. Next they provide examples of how we have weathered crises in the past, from early attempts at political tyranny to the Civil War. Finally they turn to two periods, one of great consensus (from Roosevelt's New Deal through Johnson's Great Society) and another of division (from Reagan through George W. Bush), both of which demonstrate the Constitution's effectiveness.

In the final assessment, Lane and Oreskes challenge us to let this great document work as it was designed--in times of change and stasis. They hold our leaders accountable, calling on them to stop fanning the flames of division. And while evenhanded in its presentation, The Genius of America reminds us the Constitution is our national glue.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JacquelineJules - LibraryThing

The Genius of America by Eric Lane and Michael Oreskes examines the foundation of our constitutional government in a concise and compelling manner. Throughout this work, the authors refer to our ... Read full review

Review: The Genius of America: How the Constitution Saved Our Country--and Why It Can Again

User Review  - John Kaufmann - Goodreads

A defense of the Constitution as establishing a deliberative and representative PROCESS. The authors present the current gridlock in the American political system not as a result of the Constitutional ... Read full review

Contents

I
1
II
19
III
21
V
48
VI
80
VIII
101
IX
103
XI
123
XII
145
XIII
147
XV
174
XVI
199
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

\Eric Lane is a professor of law at Hofstra University School of Law and the author of several texts on government, and has served as director of the New York State Commission on Constitutional Revision, on the New York City Charter Revision Commission, and as counsel to the New York State Democrats. Michael Oreskes is the executive editor of the International Herald Tribune. He has served as deputy managing editor, Washington bureau chief, and metropolitan editor of the New York Times.

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