The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era by Akhil Reed AmarThe Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era by Akhil Reed Amar

The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era

byAkhil Reed Amar

Hardcover | September 13, 2016

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A leading legal scholar addresses the most important constitutional controversies of the past two decades and illuminates the Constitution's spirit and ongoing relevance

America's Constitution, Chief Justice John Marshall famously observed in McCulloch v. Maryland, aspires "to endure for ages to come.” The daily news has a shorter shelf life, and when the issues of the day involve momentous constitutional questions, present-minded journalists and busy citizens cannot always see the stakes clearly.

InThe Constitution Today, Akhil Reed Amar, America's preeminent constitutional scholar, considers the biggest and most bitterly contested debates of the last two decades and provides a passionate handbook for thinking constitutionally about today's headlines. Amar shows how the Constitution's text, history, and structure are a crucial repository of collective wisdom, providing specific rules and grand themes relevant to every organ of the American body politic. Prioritizing sound constitutional reasoning over partisan preferences, he makes the case for diversity-based affirmative action and a right to have a gun in one's home for self-protection, and against spending caps on independent political advertising and bans on same-sex marriage. He explains what's wrong with presidential dynasties, advocates a "nuclear option” to restore majority rule in the Senate, and suggests ways to reform the Supreme Court. And he revisits three dramatic constitutional conflicts#151;the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the contested election of George W. Bush, and the fight over Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act#151;to show what politicians, judges, and journalists got right as events unfolded and what they missed.

Leading readers through the particular constitutional questions at stake in each episode while outlining his abiding views regarding the Constitution's letter, its spirit, and the direction constitutional law must go, Amar offers an essential guide for anyone seeking to understand America's Constitution and its relevance today.
Akhil Reed Amaris the Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University. The author of several books, includingAmerica's Unwritten Constitution, and winner of the Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association, Amar lives in Woodbridge, Connecticut.
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Title:The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our EraFormat:HardcoverDimensions:464 pages, 9.5 × 6.25 × 1.38 inPublished:September 13, 2016Publisher:Basic BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0465096336

ISBN - 13:9780465096336

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Editorial Reviews

Weekly Standard“The Constitution Today hits hard; what is more, it dares the reader to hit back. In this regard, it showcases scholarship fulfilling its greatest potential: engaging meaningfully and unflinchingly with the world beyond the university in terms intelligible to the layperson. To be sure, Amar is a powerful intellectual force within the academy, where his work on constitutional history continues to shape our understanding of the Bill of Rights. He is also an authority within the legal profession, where his scholarship is routinely cited by the Supreme Court. But these essays showcase Amar's influence in a different way, reflecting the capacity of a serious scholar and gifted teacher to educate an audience beyond the lecture hall—to distill complex constitutional questions into terms accessible to inquisitive citizens.”Los Angeles Review of Books“Amar is at his best when providing historical insights to modern-day constitutional issues... what his new book exemplifies is a consistent commitment over two decades to speak to issues beyond the academic, to engage with audiences beyond a New Haven classroom, and to use the perch and resources of his academic appointment to help the rest of us learn more about the history and principles that guide us today.”