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The Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution: A Fully Annotated Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Amendments, and Selections from The Federalist Papers Paperback – August 31, 2010
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-Jill Lepore, "The New Yorker "
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Top Customer Reviews
After several false starts on other versions (a downloaded copy, an iPod app, the appendix of a book on politics), I have finally read it through with actual pleasure using this book. The secret is getting the text in short bursts, with the author breaking in to explain it section by section. It really helps to learn the "why" at the same time as learning the "what." I could digest it in small bites, and really understand what I was reading, so I didn't need to re-read things over and over which I have a tendency to do if I don't grasp the concept.
This book is short but packed with good material. It includes the Declaration of Independence (also broken into sections and explained), a sampling of the Federalist Papers, a few brief chapters on the history of what happened before, during, and after the writing of the Constitution, and a section on important Supreme Court decisions and how they tie in to the Constitution. I feel like I took a quick refresher course in Political Science after reading this through.
A couple of the author's opinions slip in here and there, and he seems to lean a wee bit to the left, but it's nothing you haven't already heard from your schoolteachers. There's nothing in here that should prevent anyone with any particular ideology from using this book to gain plenty of straightforward knowledge about the origins of our country. I would like to add that the publishing quality is superb - the paper is the very white, acid-free kind that will last long on your bookshelf, which was wise to use in the kind of book that will be useful to refer to repeatedly over the years.
The advantages of reading an annotated version of many historical documents are that they are broken into components where each section is commented on. This allows the reader to explore that particular section before advancing to another one and forgetting what they've read to that point. Students will find that this system of reading results in an increased understanding of the content. Those needing quick answers will be able to not only find the exact passage they want, but a quick glance through Beeman's comments will refresh their memory on what they have learned about the passage as well. The books suits both students and teachers well as both can utilize the book easily for quick reference at any point.
Beeman also added a section on US history regarding the creation of the documents which about a hundred pages. The advantage of this short brief history is to capture the essentials of the subject and get them onto paper.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like this for several reasons.
1. It contains the amendments, which not all copies of the Constitution being sold on Amazon do.
2. Read more
I gave this to a high school senior so that he can have it the rest of his life to carry around to meeting, lectures, etc. I showed him my copy. I've marked in it for years. Read morePublished 6 months ago by juanita
So, I've gone through the Declaration and the Constitution so far with my homeschooling student, and I'm frankly not very impressed. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Lawrence M. Sanger
Readers looking to get reacquainted (or simply acquainted) with the U.S. Constitution need look no further. Read morePublished 12 months ago by FeetMustFollow