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How to Read the Constitution--and Why
An insightful, urgent, and perennially relevant handbook that lays out in common sense language how the United States Constitution works, and how its protections are eroding before our eyes—essential reading for anyone who wants to understand and parse the constantly breaking news about the backbone of American government.The Constitution is the most significant document in America. But do you fully understand what this valuable document means to you? In How to Read the Constitution and Why, legal expert and educator Kimberly Wehle spells out in clear, simple, and common sense terms what is in the Constitution, and most importantly, what it means. In compelling terms, she describes how the Constitution’s protections are eroding—not only in express terms but by virtue of the many legal and social norms that no longer shore up its legitimacy—and why every American needs to heed to this “red flag” moment in our democracy.This invaluable—and timely—resource covers nearly every significant aspect of the Constitution, from the powers of the President and how the three branches of government are designed to hold each other accountable, to what it means to have individual rights—including free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and the right to an abortion. Finally, the book explains why it has never been more important than now for all Americans to know how our Constitution works—and why, if we don’t step in to protect it now, we could lose its protections forever.How to Read the Constitution and Why is essential reading for anyone who cares about maintaining an accountable government and the individual freedoms that the Constitution enshrines for everyone in America—regardless of political party.
Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty
The Magna Carta is revered around the world as the founding document of Western liberty. Its principles - even its language - can be found in our Bill of Rights and in the Constitution. But what was this strange document and how did it gain such legendary status?Dan Jones takes us back to the turbulent year of 1215, when, beset by foreign crises and cornered by a growing domestic rebellion, King John reluctantly agreed to fix his seal to a document that would change the course of history. At the time of its creation the Magna Carta was just a peace treaty drafted by a group of rebel barons who were tired of the king's high taxes, arbitrary justice, and endless foreign wars. The fragile peace it established would last only two months, but its principles have reverberated over the centuries. Jones's riveting narrative follows the story of the Magna Carta's creation, its failure, and the war that subsequently engulfed England, and charts the high points in its unexpected afterlife. Reissued by King John's successors it protected the Church, banned unlawful imprisonment, and set limits to the exercise of royal power. It established the principle that taxation must be tied to representation and paved the way for the creation of Parliament. In 1776 American patriots, inspired by that long-ago defiance, dared to pick up arms against another English king and to demand even more far-reaching rights. We think of the Declaration of Independence as our founding document but those who drafted it had their eye on the Magna Carta.
America's Constitution: A Biogrpahy
Amar, Akhil Reed
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.
The Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution
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.
Written Out of History: The Forgotten Founders Who Fought Big Government
Some of America’s most important founders have been erased from our history books. In the fight to restore the true meaning of the Constitution, their stories must be told.In the earliest days of our nation, a handful of unsung heroes - including women, slaves, and an Iroquois chief - made crucial contributions to our republic. They pioneered the ideas that led to the Bill of Rights, the separation of powers, and the abolition of slavery. Yet, their faces haven’t been printed on our currency or carved into any cliffs. Instead, they were marginalized, silenced, or forgotten - sometimes by an accident of history, sometimes by design. In the thick of the debates over the Constitution, some founders warned about the dangers of giving too much power to the central government. Though they did not win every battle, these anti-Federalists and their allies managed to insert a system of checks and balances to protect the people from an intrusive federal government. Other forgotten figures were not politicians themselves, but by their thoughts and actions influenced America’s story. Yet successive generations have forgotten their message, leading to the creation of a vast federal bureaucracy that our founders would not recognize and did not want.Senator Mike Lee, one of the most consistent and impassioned opponents of an abusive federal government, tells the story of liberty’s forgotten heroes. In these pages, you’ll learn the true stories of founders such as . . .• Aaron Burr who is depicted in the popular musical Hamilton and in history books as a villain, but in reality was a far more complicated figure who fought the abuse of executive power.• Mercy Otis Warren, one of the most prominent female writers in the Revolution and a protégé of John Adams, who engaged in vigorous debates against the encroachment of federal power and ultimately broke with Adams over her fears of the Constitution.• Canasatego, an Iroquois chief whose words taught Benjamin Franklin the basic principles behind the separation of powers.The popular movement that swept Republicans into power in 2010 and 2016 was led by Americans who rediscovered the majesty of the Constitution and knew the stories of Hamilton, Madison, and Washington. But we should also know the names of the contrarians who argued against them and who have been written out of history. If we knew of the heroic fights of these lost founders, we’d never have ended up with a government too big, too powerful, and too unresponsive to its citizens. The good news is that it’s not too late to remember and to return to our first principles. Restoring the memory of these lost individuals will strike a crippling blow against big government.
Signing Their Rights Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the United States Constitution
An entertaining and essential collection of stories about the surprising and strange fates of the thirty-nine statesmen who created the U.S. Constitution.Remember when our elected officials knew how to compromise? Here are short, irreverent, fun, and fact-filled biographies of the 39 men who set aside their differences and signed their names to the U.S. Constitution - the oldest written constitution of any nation in the world. You’ll meet:• The Signer Who Believed in Aliens• The Signer Who Was Shot in the Stomach• The Signer Who Went Bankrupt• The Peg-Legged Signer• And many more colorful colonists!Complete with portraits of every signatory, Signing Their Rights Away provides an entertaining and enlightening narrative for students, history buffs, politicos, and Hamilton fans alike.
Trump's Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency (Large Print)
Bossie, David N.
The assault on the 45th president began immediately following Donald J. Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election. It was then that Democrats concocted the absurd story of Russian spies and international plots as an excuse for Hillary's humiliating defeat.It was in those early days, too, during the presidential transition, when enemies of Donald Trump began to tunnel their way into the White House with the intent to undermine the president and subvert his agenda.Perhaps there are no two people better to tell what is certain to be the story of our lifetime than Corey R. Lewandowski and David N. Bossie. The guys in the room who brought you the bestselling account of the 2016 Donald J. Trump for President campaign, Let Trump Be Trump, Lewandowski and Bossie now offer a first-hand account of what is, perhaps, the battle for the life of our very democracy.
Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America's Founding Document
The still-unfolding story of America’s Constitution is a history of heroes and villains - the flawed visionaries who inspired and crafted liberty’s safeguards, and the shortsighted opportunists who defied them. Those stories are known by few today.In Our Lost Constitution, Senator Mike Lee tells the dramatic, little-known stories behind six of the Constitution’s most indispensable provisions. He shows their rise. He shows their fall. And he makes vividly clear how nearly every abuse of federal power today is rooted in neglect of this Lost Constitution.
Repeal the Second Amendment: The Case for a Safer America
Lichtman, Allan J.
A radical case for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment as the only way to control gun violence in AmericaThere's an average of one mass shooting per day in the United States. Given the ineffectiveness of the gun control lobby, it's time for a strategy with spine. In Repeal the Second Amendment, Allan J. Lichtman has written the first book that uses history, legal theory and up-to-the-minute data to make a compelling case for the amendment’s repeal in order to create a clear road to sensible gun control in the US. Repeal the Second Amendment explores both the true history and current interpretation of the Second Amendment to expose the NRA’s blatant historical manipulations and irresponsible fake news releases. Lichtman looks at the history of firearms and gun regulations from colonial times to the present to explain how a historically forgotten sentence in the Constitution has become a flash point of recent politics that benefits only the gun industry, their lobbyists, and the politicians on their payroll. He probes court decisions and the effective lobbying and public relations strategies of the gun lobby as well as the ineffectiveness of the gun control movement for lessons in doing better.What emerges is a clear and cogent plan--repeal and replace the Second Amendment without taking guns away from anyone who has them now--to make the US a safer place. It's time to Repeal the Second Amendment, and Allan Lichtman is the man to bring this radical plan to America.
Engines of Liberty
From an award-winning legal scholar, a stirring argument about the central role of citizen activists in shaping our nation's constitutional law. Who determines whether gay Americans can marry? Who says whether citizens can own guns? And who decides on the fate of prisoners taken in the War on Terror? Most Americans would answer: the Supreme Court. While the rest of us stand by waiting for their decisions, the nine justices decide the fate of our freedoms. Overturning this conventional wisdom, David Cole argues that citizen activists are the true drivers of constitutional change. He shows that time and time again, associations of ordinary Americans have persuaded a majority of the justices to adopt their point of view and transform constitutional law. Revealing the tactics successful causes adopt, Cole offers a guidebook for anyone seeking social change, as well as a deeper understanding of how our Constitution actually works. An unexpected account of the power of small groups of committed people, The Spirit of Liberty is essential reading for anyone who has lost faith in political activism in our era of gridlock.
The Return of George Washington: Uniting the States, 1783-1789
Larson, Edward J.
"An elegantly written account of leadership at the most pivotal moment in American history" (Philadelphia Inquirer): Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edward J. Larson reveals how George Washington saved the United States by coming out of retirement to lead the Constitutional Convention and serve as our first president. After leading the Continental Army to victory in the Revolutionary War, George Washington shocked the world: he retired. In December 1783, General Washington, the most powerful man in the country, stepped down as Commander in Chief and returned to private life at Mount Vernon. Yet as Washington contentedly grew his estate, the fledgling American experiment floundered. Under the Articles of Confederation, the weak central government was unable to raise revenue to pay its debts or reach a consensus on national policy. The states bickered and grew apart. When a Constitutional Convention was established to address these problems, its chances of success were slim. Jefferson, Madison, and the other Founding Fathers realized that only one man could unite the fractious states: George Washington. Reluctant, but duty-bound, Washington rode to Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 to preside over the Convention. Although Washington is often overlooked in most accounts of the period, this masterful new history from Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward J. Larson brilliantly uncovers Washington's vital role in shaping the Convention - and shows how it was only with Washington's support and his willingness to serve as President that the states were brought together and ratified the Constitution, thereby saving the country.
Who Killed the Constitution?
Woods, Thomas E., Jr.
Think it’s just judges who are trampling on the Constitution? Think again. The fact is that government officials long ago rejected the idea that the Constitution possesses a fixed meaning limiting the U.S. government’s power. Going right to the scenes of the crimes, bestselling authors Thomas E. Woods Jr. and Kevin R. C. Gutzman dissect twelve of the most egregious assaults on the Constitution.
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