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    America's Constitution: A Biography (Paperback) By (author) Professor Akhil Reed Amar

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    DescriptionIn 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. "From the Hardcover edition."


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  • Full bibliographic data for America's Constitution

    Title
    America's Constitution
    Subtitle
    A Biography
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Professor Akhil Reed Amar
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 655
    Width: 152 mm
    Height: 229 mm
    Thickness: 38 mm
    Weight: 635 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780812972726
    ISBN 10: 0812972724
    Classifications

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 25590
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1KBB
    BIC E4L: POL
    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T7.3
    LC subject heading:
    BIC subject category V2: HBJK
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    BIC subject category V2: JPHC
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 01
    Libri: I-PL
    Ingram Subject Code: PL
    B&T General Subject: 650
    BISAC V2.8: HIS036000
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: POL022000
    B&T Approval Code: A42202400
    DC21: 342.73029
    LC subject heading:
    B&T Approval Code: A39402400
    DC22: 342.73029, 342.7302/9
    BISAC V2.8: LAW018000
    LC classification: KF4541 .A87 2006
    Thema V1.0: JPHC, NHK
    Edition statement
    Reprint
    Illustrations note
    CHAPTER-OPENING ILLUSTRATIONS
    Publisher
    Random House Publishing Group
    Imprint name
    Random House Trade
    Publication date
    01 December 2006
    Publication City/Country
    New York, NY
    Author Information
    Akhil Reed Amar graduated from Yale College and Yale Law School, and has been a member of the Yale Law School faculty since 1985. He is the author of "The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction" and has written widely on constitutional issues for "The New York Times," "The Washington Post," and "Los Angeles Times." He lives in Woodbridge, Connecticut, with his wife and three children. "From the Hardcover edition."