The Constitution: An Introduction

Front Cover
Basic Books, May 5, 2015 - Law - 368 pages
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.
 

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User Review  - 4bonasa - LibraryThing

I wish the media pundits and talking heads would at least glance at the Constitution before they pontificate. Excellent portal into the workings of the Supreme Court, easy to read and timely. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Schmerguls - LibraryThing

5348. The Constitution An Introduction, by Michael Stokes Paulsen and Luke Paulsen (read 7 Feb 2016) This is a really great book. The authors do not hesitate to give their opinions in regard to issues ... Read full review

Contents

1 UPHEAVAL
3
2 SUPERSTRUCTURE
23
3 POWERS
43
4 SLAVERY
73
5 FREEDOMS
91
6 INFANCY
121
7 CRISIS
155
8 BETRAYAL
185
9 RESTORATION
219
10 CONTROVERSY
259
CODA
319
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
323
SOURCES AND ADDITIONAL READING
325
INDEX
335
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Michael Stokes Paulsen is Distinguished University Chair and Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A graduate of Northwestern University and Yale Law School, he is author of two books and more than ninety articles on various topics of constitutional law.

Luke Paulsen is a graduate of Princeton University, where he majored in Computer Science with minors in Classics and Humanities. He currently works as a software engineer in Mountain View, California. This is his first book.

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