Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Citizen's Constitution: An Annotated Guide Paperback – April 5, 2011
"The Black Presidency"
Rated by Vanity Fair as one of our most lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today, this book is a provocative and lively look into the meaning of America's first black presidency. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“The most interesting mind in journalism.”
Gordon Crovitz, former publisher, the Wall Street Journal
“From its earliest drafts, the U.S. Constitution was always meant to be read closely for its meaning, context, and intent. Seth Lispky has now undertaken an unprecedented labor in parsing the details of the document, clause by clause, and has produced, with great insight and wit, an extraordinary book — that will help to ensure that our founding and sustaining document gets the respect it deserves. It couldn't be more timely.”
Bernard Nussbaum, former White House counsel
“The history of our country — the history of our Constitution — is a series of great stories. And there is no better story teller than Seth Lipsky. Only he could take our Constitution, break it down, paragraph by paragraph, line by line, word by word and tell the ongoing tale behind each of these provisions. And bring them to life with real people grappling with real issues. The Citizen’s Constitution is more than an annotation; it reads like a novel and will be enjoyed by all, lawyer and non-lawyer alike, for years to come."
James Grant, author of John Adams: Party of One
“Where did the Constitution come from? Where have we, the people, taken it? Seth Lipsky's wonderful Baedecker holds the answers. The ultimate user's manual of America's founding document.”
Jack Fuller, former editor and publisher, Chicago Tribune
“Whether you are a constitutional conservative or liberal, you need to start your thinking with what the words of the document meant when they were written and how their definition has changed in time. Seth Lipsky's annotated constitution is an invaluable resource for this purpose. With rigorous scholarship and delightful wit, Lipsky takes us through the nation's founding document, phrase by phrase. Though The Citizen’s Constitution is written to be understood by non-lawyers, I would be surprised if most lawyers don't learn a thing or two reading it. I certainly did.”
James Taranto,Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2009
“ . . . Mr. Lipsky's passion for the Constitution is a tonic for political depression.”
Jason Lewish, The Jason Lewish Show, November 18, 2009
“‘The Citizens Constitution: An Annotated Guide’ really is the go-to book for those of you just immersing yourselves in our founding document.”
New York Times, January 8, 2010
"…particularly good on the Constitution’s first two articles, which concern Congress and the presidency... [Lipsky] likes rascals and absurdities."
American Thinker, January 29, 2010
"Seth Lipsky's new book … is an essential volume for an educated citizenry.”
National Review Book Service
" ... The Citizen's Constitution: An Annotated Guide, is the easiest, fastest way to discover not only what the Constitution actually says, but also what it plainly means."
New York Times Book Review
“Entertaining…a magpie’s miscellany of curiosities.”
“One of our age’s great journalists…Lipsky writes, rather, for the layman, with a craftsman’s eye for what matters most, the simple yet pregnant text, and a newspaperman’s eye for color.”
“Provide[s] interested citizens with an accessible starting point for understanding the meaning and history behind this great document that forms an essential part of the American idea.”
The American Spectator“[Lipsky is] a skillful and judicious editor…The best quality of The Citizen’s Constitution—and its most distinctive quality—is that it addresses the Constitution from the perspective of a sober citizen, rather than a sophisticated—or jaded—lawyer.”
More About the Author
The founding editor of The New York Sun and, before that, of the Forward, Mr. Lipsky is a veteran of The Wall Street Journal, where was formerly foreign editor and a member of the editorial board. Mr. Lipsky was a private soldier in the United States Army and combat correspondent in Vietnam for Pacific Stars and Stripes.
The Citizen's Constitution is his third book. The first is an anthology he edited, "The Billion Dollar Bubble and Other Stories From the Asian Wall Street Journal." The second was "The Iconoclast," a collection of his humor columns for the Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Lipsky is a member of the adjunct faculty of Columbia Journalism School and is a painter of portaits and landscapes. A graduate of Harvard College, he is married to the author Amity Shlaes. They have four children and reside at New York.
Top Customer Reviews
Again, I highly recommend this book to any citizen - and it is a must read for all citizens to understand our constitution especially in this period of time when we have a very active federal government who may trample on our rights.
I thought to myself, "Because you teach a course called The American Constitution." Happily, I didn't raise my voice or my hand.
Professor Jim Klonski gripped his pocket-sized Constitution and told the class, "There won't be a day in your lives that somebody isn't going to try and tell you what this means. It's written in simple English. I carry it around so I can figure out what it says on my own."
I'm guessing Professor Klonoski is no longer with us. But the pocket Constitution I bought later that day in the early 90s is still with me.
Seth Lipsky's book is a fascinating examination of the ideas behind the simple, deliberate language of our Constitution. Professor Klonoski was right, every day we hear people telling us what's in the Constitution. From the Tea Parties to the talking heads on MSNBC, the range of interpretation expands seemingly without restraint. The Citizen's Constitution helps put a fence around the document's possible meanings by citing the historical records of the time.
The book is challenged only by it's structure. It was tough to read straight through. But it has proven to be invaluable as a desktop reference book, so when somebody tries to tell me what the Constitution means, I can tell them what I think it means and tell them what the people who wrote it thought it means.
There are a few typos, the most humorous appears on page 150, where Seth quotes the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 and notes, "...willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse...". As far as I know the US didn't have much of an Air Force in 1878, but Seth does go on later to describe how the Air Force was formed out of the Army, as the Constitution only provides for an Army and Navy. I tried to contact Seth (and the publisher) to point out the typos, but found no way to contact them.
In addition to being a full copy of the Constitution and its Amendments (worth having in your library) the background information is invaluable in helping to piece together how the founders were influenced by the events of their times. In finishing the book I was overwhelmed at how much time, effort and resources our Nation devoted/wasted to maintaining slavery - ostensibly as concessions to the South in order to keep the Union together. Mississippi didn't finally ratify the XIII Amendment (abolishing slavery) until 1995!!!
An interesting read and an excellent resource for those interested in the Constitution (which should be ALL Americans).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The insight this book contains is matched by the beauty of the author's writing, worth noting here: "These form the Himalayas of legal precedent in whose foothills we hoe the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mark C
At a time when knowledge and appreciation of the Constitution and of the entire system of shared sovereignty that is the foundation of our American government seems to be in... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Throck Morton
My second copy - first was hard copy-- permanently borrowed !
A perfect document for understanding the basic premises of our constitution . Read more
There are a couple of worthwhile handy references on the Constitution. I think this is one of the better ones. The only problem is there is always much more to be said. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Charlie Foxtrot
I don't remember what credentials the author of this has, but his explanation of the U.S. Constitution sucks. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Donald L. Cline
The Citizen's Constitution is very-informative version of the US Constitution - annotated with Supreme Court judgements that are based on, or further clarify each of the sections. Read morePublished 23 months ago by VA Duck
Seth Lipsky's in depth dissection of the Constitution of the United States is a must read for both defenders and enemies of our amazing bulwark against tyranny. Read morePublished on January 21, 2014 by Thomas K. Sheppard