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The U.S. Constitution: Explained--Clause by Clause--For Every American Today

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Politicians come and go, but the Constitution stands as the supreme law of the land. Setting forth the workings of our democracy, it is the bedrock document from which we derive our policies on topics as diverse and galvanizing as immigration, gun ownership, voting rights, taxation, policing, civil liberties, and war. In this indispensable edition, acclaimed historian and C Politicians come and go, but the Constitution stands as the supreme law of the land. Setting forth the workings of our democracy, it is the bedrock document from which we derive our policies on topics as diverse and galvanizing as immigration, gun ownership, voting rights, taxation, policing, civil liberties, and war. In this indispensable edition, acclaimed historian and Constitutional expert Ray Raphael guides us through the origins, impact, and current relevance of the original text and all twenty-seven amendments. Here is the key historical context for issues in the news today--from the Electoral College to Washington gridlock, from peaceful protests to executive power. Thoughtful and nuanced, lively and highly readable, this annotated Constitution is for all of us to read and refer to--the ultimate political fact-checking source for every American.


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Politicians come and go, but the Constitution stands as the supreme law of the land. Setting forth the workings of our democracy, it is the bedrock document from which we derive our policies on topics as diverse and galvanizing as immigration, gun ownership, voting rights, taxation, policing, civil liberties, and war. In this indispensable edition, acclaimed historian and C Politicians come and go, but the Constitution stands as the supreme law of the land. Setting forth the workings of our democracy, it is the bedrock document from which we derive our policies on topics as diverse and galvanizing as immigration, gun ownership, voting rights, taxation, policing, civil liberties, and war. In this indispensable edition, acclaimed historian and Constitutional expert Ray Raphael guides us through the origins, impact, and current relevance of the original text and all twenty-seven amendments. Here is the key historical context for issues in the news today--from the Electoral College to Washington gridlock, from peaceful protests to executive power. Thoughtful and nuanced, lively and highly readable, this annotated Constitution is for all of us to read and refer to--the ultimate political fact-checking source for every American.

30 review for The U.S. Constitution: Explained--Clause by Clause--For Every American Today

  1. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Anderson

    For anyone who wants to read the U.S. Constitution and have historical context this is an easy and informative read. The explanations do not get into the weeds but for someone who hasn’t read other books dealing with this subject or during the era of the framers, it has shown a light on what is great and lacking in this document in a concise way.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Reading the Constitution should be required reading, of course, but so too should be some sort of document that provides context for each part of the Constitution's rendering; it's clear that many Americans have memories that are short or either inactive due to an ignorance of history. Of course, there were, "Ah, yeah, I remember that now" moments for me, but I also had some new thoughts or ideas after reading the Constitution in full. One thing that has struck me is my reading of the Seventeent Reading the Constitution should be required reading, of course, but so too should be some sort of document that provides context for each part of the Constitution's rendering; it's clear that many Americans have memories that are short or either inactive due to an ignorance of history. Of course, there were, "Ah, yeah, I remember that now" moments for me, but I also had some new thoughts or ideas after reading the Constitution in full. One thing that has struck me is my reading of the Seventeenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1913. This Amendment declares that the people, rather than state legislatures, should elect U.S. Senators. The development and ultimate ratification of this Amendment was due to public outcry regarding the state legislature's control of choosing Senators - there was nothing stopping money and undue influence from directing state legislatures from selecting senators that would benefit those interests. As a result, the people now choose our Senators. While I know money doesn't directly influence the American electorate in the same way (i.e. American citizens do not receive some sort of quid pro quo for voting for candidates), we have to see that money constrains the activity of Senators in similar ways that might have occurred should the legislature have continued to choose Representatives. I know this isn't a logically analogous argument, but there is certainly a connection there.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    This is an instructive and important annotation of THE founding document of American government. Anyone hoping for a proof text for their outlook will be disappointed. But what one will find is an edition that places the document in historical context while outlining its intentions and limitations. The final paragraph perhaps sums it up best (italics are the author's). "Nobody ever said drafting a constitution would be easy, and interpreting the United States Constitution can yet more difficult. This is an instructive and important annotation of THE founding document of American government. Anyone hoping for a proof text for their outlook will be disappointed. But what one will find is an edition that places the document in historical context while outlining its intentions and limitations. The final paragraph perhaps sums it up best (italics are the author's). "Nobody ever said drafting a constitution would be easy, and interpreting the United States Constitution can yet more difficult. Debates are inevitable, and user discretion is always advised. But as we ponder this section or that, we should never lose sight of the Constitution's overarching purpose: to establish a workable government that meets the people's needs. Attempts to subvert the very idea of government in the name of the Constitution are, in spirit, unconstitutional."

  4. 4 out of 5

    January

    Fantastic. Goes through the Constitution and Bill of Rights section by section, explaining the language, history behind ratification, how the sections and amendments have been used throughout our history in the courts and Congress, and relates sections to events of the last fifty years that we can all relate to and understand even better now. I was pleasantly surprised by the non-partisanship of it and the author’s academic background as a historian reassured me I was getting historically accura Fantastic. Goes through the Constitution and Bill of Rights section by section, explaining the language, history behind ratification, how the sections and amendments have been used throughout our history in the courts and Congress, and relates sections to events of the last fifty years that we can all relate to and understand even better now. I was pleasantly surprised by the non-partisanship of it and the author’s academic background as a historian reassured me I was getting historically accurate information and not some politicized nonsense from a layman.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Richard Lawrence

    This is a great read and an even greater reference book. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are examined article by article with numerous historical references to show how we have went from the original intent of each Article to how it is interpreted today. There is no liberal or conservative spin here just an easy to understand commentary that will benefit every reader no matter what political vector they come to this book with.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Broodingferret

    This is a useful book. It’s quick and clear, and though some of the author’s own views do seep in a bit here and there, it does a good job of explaining in modern non-legal language what each section of the Constitution means. Highly recommended.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Seth Hobson

    I liked it. Gave me a lot to think about in regards to ideas originally put forth by the founding fathers.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mitchell Desbiens

    Very insightful and easy to understand.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Simply explained with no political leanings. It was refreshing to read

  10. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Ward

    Really great accompanying text

  11. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    Clear explanations of and context for Constitution and Bill of Rights.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robert C. Cochran

    7

  13. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    A seminal guide to the United States Constitution. It helps to grasp a fuller compression of the source material while understanding the meaning behind each clause. A definite must have.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Callahan

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kara Haeseker

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rey J Horinek

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michael J. McLafferty

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  19. 5 out of 5

    Demba

  20. 4 out of 5

    Clare

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gus Fraley

  22. 5 out of 5

    Steve Kelly

  23. 4 out of 5

    Praveen Karunanayake

  24. 5 out of 5

    DONNA BENNER

  25. 4 out of 5

    Seth Roy

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dylan Berwick

  27. 4 out of 5

    Parker Felterman

  28. 4 out of 5

    Peter Mertens

  29. 4 out of 5

    Billy Griffin

  30. 4 out of 5

    Michael

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