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The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America Paperback – August 15, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Take a minute to consider a gift that hasn’t gone out of style in more than 200 years." -- Wall Street Journal

"Who needs play-stations when you can give the kids Thomas Jefferson?" -- Independent (U.K.)

From the Publisher

To encourage people everywhere to better understand and appreciate the principles of government that are set forth in America’s founding documents, the Cato Institute published this pocket edition of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. With more than three million copies in print, this edition’s influence has been observed far and wide. It has been held up by senators at press conferences and by representatives during floor debate; found in federal judicial chambers across the country; appeared at conferences on constitutionalism in Russia, Iraq, and elsewhere; and sold at U.S. Park Service stores, Restoration Hardware, and book stores around the country. It’s a perfect gift for friends and family. Order your copies today!

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 58 pages
  • Publisher: Cato Institute (August 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1882577981
  • ISBN-13: 978-1882577989
  • Product Dimensions: 3.7 x 0.3 x 5.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,039 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Adcock on July 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With all due respect to some of the other reviewers, this book doesn't claim to give "insight" into the Constitution. Rather, it's the Constitution itself, bundled into a nice little hard-cover book. For what it does (and what it claims to do), this book deserves 5 stars - after all, the writing is excellent and I agree with everything in it. :)

I keep one on my desk at work. The Constitution is so important that I want to make it available to everyone. It's small in size, so it doesn't take up unnecessary room. This little book should be required reading in our nation's gradeschools.
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104 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey B. Klaus on March 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have always been looking for a reference copy of the U.S. Consitution to carry with me. For me this volume is that reference. This volume is compact, well laid out, and contains no unwanted extraneous materials.
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99 of 106 people found the following review helpful By blackhat on February 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
Just to correct the previous critiques.

The person on the cover of this book is George Washington, not Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson looked NOTHING like that! Nor did Madison, Adams or Hamilton! Note the characteristic set of the jaw....

As to the suggestion that the Amazon description implies that Jefferson composed the Constitution: as I understand the language, they are saying that when Jefferson was President - he caused (produced) copies of the Constitution to be made available, in something like this format.

This is fine little booklet at a great price. And while I like the looks and size of the classic little red CATO Institute book, this one is actually much easier to open and to read. It has better page margins and slightly larger type. And it's also slightly thinner for slipping into a pocket.
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175 of 198 people found the following review helpful By Kendal B. Hunter on February 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
These founding documents are like the Bible . . .often quoted, seldom read. In fact it is worse, since they are seldom read, when people quote-unquote "quote" them, they are actually spouting nonsense, as opposed to the political wisdom of the ages.
It is... imperative, therefore, that we should become familiar with these two philosophical pillars of political freedom. This book puts these heavenly banners and glorious standards into your hand-the truth is at your fingertips--to check up on the politicians. If they do anything crooked, keep in mind that it is our fault for not being aware and active in stopping them.
Don't be intimidated by the language. There is an old saying that Plato is easier to understand the Platonists. The original documents are easier to understand than the snake twisting that many lawyers and fanatics put to the documents. You asre smart enough to decide for yourself.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By E. Tobkes on March 8, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States is a great pocket reference source. I would recommend looking into "The Heritage Guide to the Constitution" as a partner to this book. "The Dec of Ind and the Con of the US" offers up no explaination of the Articles or of the Bill of Rights and Ammendments. This is why I would also recommend getting the Heritage Guide for a great explaination of everything. This pocket sized guide book is a great reference source for those of you who like to argue the Constitution around the dinner table. Just whip this little book out and you'll have the complete version of our Fore Fathers documents that created this great country right at your fingertips.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By VA Duck on September 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very useful collection of the founding documents which includes the: Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and Constitution. Best of all, the e-book version is well hyperlinked from a proper table of contents to: each of the Articles, Sections and the Amendments of the Constitution; there is a single link to the Declaration of Independence and links to each of the articles of the Articles of Confederation. There is an appendix that lists the order of Ratification for the first 13 states and the date of admission to the Union for the following 37. Lookup is especially easy and quick when searching the documents in e-book format (though having three documents in one book can cause a word or phrase search to take you to unintended documents.)

A couple of negatives: 1) the publisher uses a very large font for the titles, thereby forcing the kindle to be adjusted for the body text and being overwhelmed by the title, or setting the titles to an appropriate size and squinting at the body text, 2) each section is treated so separately that it gets a page break at its end, thereby stifling the flow of the document. Still - these are small points and relate to presentation, not content. There are free versions for the kindle, but the inclusion of the table of contents and the hyperlinks makes the small price paid a very good value. e-Book publication quality, ★★★★☆
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Sk Williams on August 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the type of Product that is usually rated based upon the quality of the Book itself rather than its contents, because the Contents, whether you agree with them or not, are a part of Cultural Heritage and History. It makes little sense to rate the Constitution itself, for most Americans would gladly give it Five Stars, all based upon Romantic Notions and Sentimentality. This document above all else defines what it means to be an American, and is thus awarded a sort of reverence few other Texts can rival. On this alone it will be Rated highly. Others who dislike it strongly enough to give it One Star will usually have equally Political or Cultural Motives behind such a Review.

It doesn't matter, though, as this is a Historical and Cultural Document, and is still the Supreme Law of the United States of America as a Federal Union, so Irrespective of how you feel about the Document, its important and should be read, especially if you are an American.

So I'll review the actual Physical Book instead.

It has a thin, lightweight paper cover, which is both advantageous to it and a Drawback. It makes it light weight and easy to open, but isn't Durable and would bend easily in a pocket, or over repeated use. The book itself is just Stapled together, but as its mainly a sort of Pamphlet this is not a Criticism. Still, this Pocket Constitution will not stand up to vigorous Wear and tear but is Easy to Read. The Picture on the Front showing (I may be wrong) George Washington is also lively.

The paper itself, though, it firm and sturdy, and a nice resin to make it Endure. The Print Quality is also sharp and well defined, making it easy to read, though the Font Size is smaller than usual to forewarn.
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