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The United States Constitution

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Our leaders swear to uphold it, our military to defend it. It is the blueprint for the shape and function of government itself and what defines Americans as Americans. But how many of us truly know our Constitution? The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation uses the art of illustrated storytelling to breathe life into our nation's cornerstone principles. Simply p Our leaders swear to uphold it, our military to defend it. It is the blueprint for the shape and function of government itself and what defines Americans as Americans. But how many of us truly know our Constitution? The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation uses the art of illustrated storytelling to breathe life into our nation's cornerstone principles. Simply put, it is the most enjoyable and groundbreaking way to read the governing document of the United States. Spirited and visually witty, it roves article by article, amendment by amendment, to get at the meaning, background, and enduring relevance of the law of the land. What revolutionary ideas made the Constitution's authors dare to cast off centuries of rule by kings and queens? Why do we have an electoral college rather than a popular vote for president and vice president? How did a document that once sanctioned slavery, denied voting rights to women, and turned a blind eye to state governments running roughshod over the liberties of minorities transform into a bulwark of protection for all? The United States Constitution answers all of these questions. Sure to surprise, challenge, and provoke, it is hands down the most memorable introduction to America's founding document.


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Our leaders swear to uphold it, our military to defend it. It is the blueprint for the shape and function of government itself and what defines Americans as Americans. But how many of us truly know our Constitution? The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation uses the art of illustrated storytelling to breathe life into our nation's cornerstone principles. Simply p Our leaders swear to uphold it, our military to defend it. It is the blueprint for the shape and function of government itself and what defines Americans as Americans. But how many of us truly know our Constitution? The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation uses the art of illustrated storytelling to breathe life into our nation's cornerstone principles. Simply put, it is the most enjoyable and groundbreaking way to read the governing document of the United States. Spirited and visually witty, it roves article by article, amendment by amendment, to get at the meaning, background, and enduring relevance of the law of the land. What revolutionary ideas made the Constitution's authors dare to cast off centuries of rule by kings and queens? Why do we have an electoral college rather than a popular vote for president and vice president? How did a document that once sanctioned slavery, denied voting rights to women, and turned a blind eye to state governments running roughshod over the liberties of minorities transform into a bulwark of protection for all? The United States Constitution answers all of these questions. Sure to surprise, challenge, and provoke, it is hands down the most memorable introduction to America's founding document.

30 review for The United States Constitution

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    A very good GA of all the stories behind the US Constitution - will help anyone trying to grasp the concepts behind this world changing document.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    As a constitutional scholar, I picked up this book with some trepidation about how it was going to portray the history and content of the Constitution, specifically the aspects that are currently the most politically charged (the Second Amendment, for instance). I was generally pleasantly surprised about the political neutrality and balance. I was also pleased about the fact that the author acknowledged the fact that neither the Civil War amendments nor Brown v. Board of Education immediately fi As a constitutional scholar, I picked up this book with some trepidation about how it was going to portray the history and content of the Constitution, specifically the aspects that are currently the most politically charged (the Second Amendment, for instance). I was generally pleasantly surprised about the political neutrality and balance. I was also pleased about the fact that the author acknowledged the fact that neither the Civil War amendments nor Brown v. Board of Education immediately fixed the horrible situation in which blacks found themselves in the US. However, I found some of the descriptions of content or history surprisingly stunted. If a reader didn't already know the story of what happened leading up to the case of Marbury v. Madison, in which the Supreme Court seized the power of judicial review for itself, I have a hard time believing that she would really understand it after the stilted (and at one point inaccurate) version shown in this book. Nor do I think the author emphasized enough how radical John Marshall's decision was, or how crucial it has been to our mode of governing forever after. I had a similar feeling about the very brief and mostly accurate description of the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford. Furthermore, while I greatly appreciated that the author often reminded us that the Bill of Rights did not originally apply to the states, and that it took the 14th Amendment to create the mechanism by which nearly all of its provisions would eventually bind the states, I was surprised at how little coverage the 14th Amendment got in its turn. How and why does the 14th Amendment make the Bill of Rights apply to the states? You'll have to look elsewhere to find out! This book sure doesn't tell you. I have more...why were there no women included in the drawing of the Supreme Court justices? In fact, why were there really only portrayals of women in places that had specifically to do with issues of gender? Why is the author so frank about the fact that the 13th Amendment didn't do a whole lot to help out former slaves in practice, but so silent about how ineffective protections of the requirements for probable cause and reading of Miranda rights have been since the 1970s? So in the end, I would not put this book on my syllabus for any American Government class.

  3. 4 out of 5

    David

    4.5 This is a great introduction to the remarkable document that is the U.S. Constitution. Some critics of this graphic novel claim it is way too long as a result of it being packed with too much information. Other critics claim it is way too brief and just brushes lightly on important Constitiutional issues. The fact that both arguments are frequently stated is evidence that this graphic novel is probably the perfect introduction to the U.S. Constitution.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    I haven't read any graphic novels so this was a great first experience, and really made the topic much more interesting than expected (honestly, I'd never pick up a book about the Constitution unless required for a class!). Each section of the document is explained, with a lot of background information as to what was happening at the time and why certain decisions were made. The illustrations aren't just from the time it was written but also include more modern depictions when appropriate. This I haven't read any graphic novels so this was a great first experience, and really made the topic much more interesting than expected (honestly, I'd never pick up a book about the Constitution unless required for a class!). Each section of the document is explained, with a lot of background information as to what was happening at the time and why certain decisions were made. The illustrations aren't just from the time it was written but also include more modern depictions when appropriate. This would greatly contribute to students' understanding and appreciation of the process involved in creating the government of our country, and the format would certainly be appealing - it wouldn't be a bad choice for additional reading in history classes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alejandro

    It is a great way to teach a lot about the amendments and such, but the pages break to easily.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Describes the Constitution in an historical framework. I thought it was really well done. I liked the metaphor in the artwork that made it easy to understand.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lars Plougmann

    I am fascinated with the US Constitution, and this graphic explainer of the history and the mechanics of the Constitution is both a useful and vivid resource enabling a deeper understanding of it. The book describes the context in which the Constitution was drafted. It touches on what influenced the Constitution, and how each amendment came to be. It also goes into detail with the supreme court decisions that have created the interpretation of the Constitution that stands today. The illustrations I am fascinated with the US Constitution, and this graphic explainer of the history and the mechanics of the Constitution is both a useful and vivid resource enabling a deeper understanding of it. The book describes the context in which the Constitution was drafted. It touches on what influenced the Constitution, and how each amendment came to be. It also goes into detail with the supreme court decisions that have created the interpretation of the Constitution that stands today. The illustrations are clever. Well-considered visual metaphors are developed and used consistently throughout. I find myself re-reading it every few years to refresh my understanding of the founding and workings of the United States.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    This remarkable non-fiction graphic novel style book about the U.S. Constitution manages to make what for most people might be a rather dry subject, quite exciting! Even for history buffs, or news junkies, or those who think they know all about the Constitution, this book will no doubt reveal many surprising and informative nuances. It's filled with background on how and why the various amendments were added to the founding document, and how the Constitution itself came to be. I didn't know much This remarkable non-fiction graphic novel style book about the U.S. Constitution manages to make what for most people might be a rather dry subject, quite exciting! Even for history buffs, or news junkies, or those who think they know all about the Constitution, this book will no doubt reveal many surprising and informative nuances. It's filled with background on how and why the various amendments were added to the founding document, and how the Constitution itself came to be. I didn't know much about the Articles of Confederation (although I must have studied it decades ago in elementary school or junior high school American history) this book explains why the embryonic country wasn't working out too well under the Articles, which is why a committee was set up initially to see if the Articles could be improved. Instead, the delegates decided to chuck the flawed Articles and start over again. Yet they had to produce a document that the States - which were more like sovereign countries under the Articles - could agree with, a system that would allow them to retain some power. The division of power not just horizontally among the 3 branches of the Federal gov, but also vertically, between the Federal and State gov (& even local/city/municipal government) is what is known as Federalism. The idea being that the more diffusely power is spread out, the less likely it is that someone will come along and try to grab all the power and become dictator. They also thought that the States could be laboratories of democracy if they were not too closely supervised, and that new ideas/laws that start in states could if they have merit find their way to the Federal level and eventually be adopted nationally. The text is clear - not ponderous - and the drawing excellent, as are the colors. Given our present circumstance with Trump challenging the limits to executive power, deriding judges, the press, etc., this book is particularly timely. Since it also discusses the philosophical trends that influenced the thinking of the Founders, it could also spark a reader's interest to learn more about the social and philosophical trends that led to the Revolution and what might result from it, as well as the thinking that went into the Constitution, and the effort to convince the States to ratify it. This book serves as an excellent all-around refresher civics course - with quite a bit of American history included since the Constitution and its amendments are in a way a record of the nation's history, since each came about in response to social crises or historic turning points. For a subject that some might consider dull, it is indeed refreshing that this non-fiction graphic novel is a real page-turner! Incredibly enough, it manages to make even ordinarily obscure Supreme Court decisions exciting!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jowel Uddin

    The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaption Book Review The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaption, reviews the history of America's Constitution and the history of the United States in its early years. As an avid fan of history and historical pieces of work, I gladly reached for this book. Some critique graphic adaptations for not being fit for readers, as people think graphic novels don't instill the knowledge that traditional novellas or non fictional works do. Yet this bo The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaption Book Review The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaption, reviews the history of America's Constitution and the history of the United States in its early years. As an avid fan of history and historical pieces of work, I gladly reached for this book. Some critique graphic adaptations for not being fit for readers, as people think graphic novels don't instill the knowledge that traditional novellas or non fictional works do. Yet this book is the prime counterexample to those conservative comments. The story is truly historically accurate and presents history in a way that is entertaining yet nevertheless illuminating to the general audience. Reading a textbook isn't for everyone and this book delivers the history of the constitution with a certain appeasing flow. The book begins with the beginnings of the United States and how they achieved their independence from their mother country, Britain. After the founding fathers had won this treacherous war against the most powerful army in the world, they needed something more. They needed to assure that tyranny did not fall over the newly found country. The framers set in place the Articles of Confederation, which did not work quite well. The framers met once again and worked on something greater, a constitution. The Constitution is the law of the land and simply is an instruction manual outlining the powers of the government. It worked much better than the Articles of Confederation and set up a system of checks and balances among other key democratic principles. Yet even after the Constitution was created, the citizens thought that they still lacked some rights. The Bill of Rights was then crafted with ten amendments. The list of amendments rose from then on and now there are 27 amendments. The story also goes on to tell of the injustice faced by African Americans and women regarding rights. The research for this book was very well done. Jonathan Hennessey, the author, even had famous cases that caused certain amends or changes in our laws. The author did not dwell too much on one specific detail of our history. The illustrations and dialogues were very humorous, yet informative. This book is key and essential to anyone who wants to educate themselves more about our Constitution. The writer is not bias and he tells the truth at every corner of our history leading up to the twenty-seventh amendment. As a country, it is essential that we appreciate our Constitution. The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation, makes it easy for any American to easily view the essentials points of our Constitution, our government, and our early beginnings.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lizzie

    Informative and comprehensive outline of the United States Constitution. This graphic work guides readers point by point through the founding document of our federal government in way that provides historical background and relevant real world examples. That said, there is awful lot of to digest. The book contains an overwhelming amount of visual metaphors. Some, such as the depiction the federal government as eagle and the states as their respective state birds, are memorable and woven throughou Informative and comprehensive outline of the United States Constitution. This graphic work guides readers point by point through the founding document of our federal government in way that provides historical background and relevant real world examples. That said, there is awful lot of to digest. The book contains an overwhelming amount of visual metaphors. Some, such as the depiction the federal government as eagle and the states as their respective state birds, are memorable and woven throughout the book. This would work very well in pieces injunction with any high school government, legal issues, civics or history class. The authors also point out some common misconceptions of rights protected by the Constitution and provide a fair and balanced review of around controversial subjects such as the 2nd amendment. The language is also not diluted or esoteric in any way. The authors are not afraid to play with genre, which is fun. For example once section contains a short noir fantasy to imagine what a country without such Constitution protections would look like. McConnell’s artwork uses muted watercolors that gives the book a almost dark tone.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Linton

    I thought this graphic novel was well done. It meanders through the very document that the United States was founded upon and provides engaging visuals for readers. While it is jam-packed with information as well as history, I found that it was certainly quite wordy. There are many things happening in each panel sequence that might be challenging to follow if you are not paying attention. Still, this graphic novel is effective in presenting a different mode to learn about the Constitution. This I thought this graphic novel was well done. It meanders through the very document that the United States was founded upon and provides engaging visuals for readers. While it is jam-packed with information as well as history, I found that it was certainly quite wordy. There are many things happening in each panel sequence that might be challenging to follow if you are not paying attention. Still, this graphic novel is effective in presenting a different mode to learn about the Constitution. This would be a great one to use in any history class. However, due to the complexity of the visuals, panels, and text, I would recommend it for 8-12 grade levels. Also, it is not necessary to make students read the entire book. It's just as effective if you use the section on the preamble by itself. My favorite part about this book is the historical considerations it includes to tell the story of how the Constitution came about and its continued significance in our society.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mary Cummings

    Ignorance is ultimately the worst enemy of a people who want to be free. (p. 141) Author Jonathan Hennessey's and artist Aaron McConnell's graphic adaption of the Constitution is an excellent choice for history buffs, those of us who just wanted a fun refresher, and Social Studies teachers looking for a resource to bring the historic document to life visually for their students.

  13. 5 out of 5

    J

    Great surprise. Found it very educational. Would definitely make it a suggested reading for any student. It's quite informative. I've read many of the cases used for various classes. It's a well done graphic novel.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hunter Larrabee

    over all i was not a fan of the book. i had a hard time following the plot and there was no real setting other than america. it was more of a description of the constitution with pictures than a story. it was in my opinion kinda boring.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matt Kelland

    Absolutely superb take on the constitution, what it means, and how it came about. Should be compulsory reading in schools.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Beth Honeycutt

    Whew - that took a while! There is so much information in this GN that I think it would be better read in chunks. I definitely could see the importance of it in a government or history classroom for students who are struggling to understand the Constitution. Could be 3.5 stars!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Porter Broyles

    Meh. I couldn't get into the graphic novel presentation of the Constitution and I can't imagine kids would either. This is a novelty piece. An interesting approach to what many would consider a boring subject, but it failed to bring it to life.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    Informative, but rather dry.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    The Constitution's history, articles, and amendments in easy-to-digest comic form. Still kind of dull.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    A clever and unique look at the history of the U.S. Constitution shown in a graphic novel. The authors obviously know their history as evidenced by the combining of facts with great artwork depicting the points being made in each scene. My only complaint is that in a few places the words are cut off in the layout of the book. Perhaps it is only this copy? Otherwise this is a great resource of social studies teachers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachelle

    Not a challeng book. Read as an extra #2 Not bad. Would be great for the younger population to learn about our Contitution in a way that it seem a lot of the younger population seem to grasp better.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dakota Morgan

    The graphic adaptation of the Constitution is understandably text-heavy and the illustrations don't add a hell of a lot. But if you're looking for a quick, yet comprehensive introduction to the when's and why's of the Constitution, you won't find a better option. I found it all fascinating - others might find it extremely dry. Depends on whether you want "just the facts, please" or "give me the facts wrapped in a historical adventure ala Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales." Folks in the former camp w The graphic adaptation of the Constitution is understandably text-heavy and the illustrations don't add a hell of a lot. But if you're looking for a quick, yet comprehensive introduction to the when's and why's of the Constitution, you won't find a better option. I found it all fascinating - others might find it extremely dry. Depends on whether you want "just the facts, please" or "give me the facts wrapped in a historical adventure ala Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales." Folks in the former camp will be pleased here.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    Pretty good introduction to the US Constitution. It's naturally text heavy as it explains, analysis, and provides practical examples of each part of the document. The art is the really interesting part. I didn't know what to expect since it's something that can't literally be adapted to visuals, but I was surprised by how much I liked it. Many of the panels are based on historical people and events, while the rest are a mix of everyday events and some interesting metaphors.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Nealen

    Good introduction to the US Constitution and its amendments. It covers why our early leaders believed they needed to replace the Articles of Confederation and why the Bill of Rights (amendments 1 - 10) were promptly added. Good educational reading for students, voting citizens, and especially, the current POTUS.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brenna

    This book makes the Constitution and a number of concepts surrounding it very easy to understand...perhaps copies should be sent to all government officials so they can learn what the document actually says and why the government is structured the way it is...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paul Sain

    I'm interested in the history of The United States of America, and i'm also interested in graphic novels. So I of course enjoyed reading it. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading graphic novels as well as history.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Pretty good coverage of the US Constitution and its history.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Patrice Jones

    Everyone should read this. One of the best history depictions I have read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Deke

    A solid read, clever and clear.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jill Adams

    This was a tougher read for me than expected...a lot of info was packed in there, and I felt a bit like I was revisiting a high school social studies class...

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