The Constitution: An Introduction

Michael Stokes Paulsen and Luke Paulsen. Basic, $28.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-465-05372-8
Constitutional scholar Michael Stokes Paulsen and his son, Luke, offer an uncomplicated but sophisticated primer on the U.S. Constitution that is kept lively by their unabashedly candid evaluations of important Supreme Court opinions. They cover the basics well, with thoughtful interpretations of groundbreaking opinions on the free speech guarantee of the First Amendment, the abortion rights case Roe v. Wade, and the 14th Amendment, which was designed to provide equal rights to citizens regardless of race. Beyond the basics, the book features in-depth treatment of the founders' approach to the issue of slavery as well as how the Supreme Court approached constitutional amendments aimed at ending discrimination in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. About the latter, the authors bluntly state that the Supreme Court embraced discrimination, contrary to the intent of the amendments. The discussion is highly relevant to the question of race in contemporary America. Readers will also appreciate the analysis of the constitutionally set boundaries of legislative and presidential powers, a hotly debated issue at the moment. The Paulsens humanize their approach by including brief profiles of individuals at the center of Constitutional moments, including Dred Scott, Ernesto Miranda, and Norma McCorvey (aka Jane Roe). This is a useful, accessible, and pertinent overview that is well seasoned with opinion. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/25/2015
Release date: 05/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4690-6216-7
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-465-05371-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-4690-6218-1
MP3 CD - 978-1-4690-6217-4
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