The Constitution: An Introduction by Michael Stokes PaulsenThe Constitution: An Introduction by Michael Stokes Paulsen

The Constitution: An Introduction

byMichael Stokes Paulsen, Luke Paulsen

Hardcover | May 5, 2015

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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.
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 Univ...
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Title:The Constitution: An IntroductionFormat:HardcoverDimensions:368 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.25 inPublished:May 5, 2015Publisher:Basic BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0465053726

ISBN - 13:9780465053728

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Table of Contents

Part I: The Written Constitution
1. Upheaval
The Revolutionary Creation of the US Constitution

2. Superstructure
The Framers’ Grand Design

3. Powers
The Sweeping Powers of Congress, the President, and the Courts

4. Slavery
The Constitution’s Collusion with Evil

5. Freedoms
The Enactment and Meaning of the Bill of Rights

Part II: Living the Constitution
6. Infancy
Defining Controversies in the Constitution’s Early Years (1790–1860)

7. Crisis
Lincoln, the Civil War, and Reconstruction (1860–1876)

8. Betrayal
The Supreme Court’s Abandonment of the Constitution (1876–1936)

9. Restoration
The Constitution Through Depression, World War, and Segregation (1936–1960)

10. Controversy
The Modern Era of Judicial Activism (1960–2015)

Coda: Lessons for the Twenty-First Century

Editorial Reviews

“A splendid introduction to the Constitution—one that takes the text of our nation's charter seriously and provides illuminating explanations of why its drafters chose the principles, concepts, and language they did for their ‘great experiment' in republican government and ordered liberty. The Constitution: An Introduction strips away the layers of interpretation that obscure the Constitution's meaning, enabling readers to encounter the Constitution itself.”—Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University“This wonderful work is the best introduction to the United States Constitution available. It does a brilliant job reviewing two-and-one-quarter centuries of American experience. Essential reading for those who still believe in ordered liberty and self-government.”—Stephen B. Presser, Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History, Northwestern University, and author of Recapturing the Constitution