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The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution Hardcover – May 1, 1985

4.6 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

W. Cleon Skousen is best remembered as a popular author, speaker and teacher who lectured in every state and province in North America, and in more than 60 countries world-wide. He was a student of history and a scholar of law, specializing in the principles of Freedom, the U.S. Constitution, economics, and ancient history and scriptures.

He was invited to write a new constitution for Canada and the proposed United States of Latin America, and he published a model constitution that could be adopted by nations everywhere. He served in the FBI for 16 years, four years as Chief of Police in Salt Lake City, and ten years as a university professor. He was a prolific writer and produced three national best sellers, The Naked Communist, The Naked Capitalist, and The Five Thousand Year Leap. Eight of his books were used as college texts, and several were translated and published in other countries.

Dr. Skousen was born in Canada, and returned to the U.S. with his family at age ten. He spent two years in Mexico, two years in England, graduated from San Bernardino College in California, and received his juris doctor degree from George Washington University Law School. He was admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and before the District Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

His seminars on the Constitution have been taught to several million across the U.S., and among his students were dozens of U.S. Senators and Representatives, two Supreme Court justices, and several candidates for President. He believed knowledge and understanding were key to maintaining a free country, and spent his entire adult life opening up complex issues for deeper understanding by students and audiences all around the world.

Mr. Skousen and his wife, Jewel Pitcher of San Bernardino, California, are the parents of eight children, 50 grandchildren, and more than 120 great-grandchildren.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 888 pages
  • Publisher: National Center for Constitutional Studies; 2nd edition (May 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880800178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880800174
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.4 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

W. Cleon Skousen is best remembered as a popular author, speaker and teacher who lectured in every state and province in North America, and in more than 60 countries world-wide. He was a student of history and a scholar of law, specializing in the principles of Freedom, the U.S. Constitution, economics, and ancient history and scriptures.

He was invited to write a new constitution for Canada and the proposed United States of Latin America, and he published a model constitution that could be adopted by nations everywhere. He served in the FBI for 16 years, four years as Chief of Police in Salt Lake City, and ten years as a university professor. He was a prolific writer and produced three national best sellers, The Naked Communist, The Naked Capitalist, and The Five Thousand Year Leap. Eight of his books were used as college texts, and several were translated and published in other countries.

Dr. Skousen was born in Canada, and returned to the U.S. with his family at age ten. He spent two years in Mexico, two years in England, graduated from San Bernardino College in California, and received his juris doctor degree from George Washington University Law School. He was admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and before the District Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

His seminars on the Constitution have been taught to several million across the U.S., and among his students were dozens of U.S. Senators and Representatives, two Supreme Court justices, and several candidates for President. He believed knowledge and understanding were key to maintaining a free country, and spent his entire adult life opening up complex issues for deeper understanding by students and audiences all around the world.

Mr. Skousen and his wife, Jewel Pitcher of San Bernardino, California, are the parents of eight children, 50 grandchildren, and more than 120 great-grandchildren.

For more information please contact info@izzardink.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I love this book. It taught me about the Constitution and its simple, exalted ideas. If you read this book you will understand America's "charter of freedom" better than you would from taking a college course in political science. (At least, that's what happened to me.)

I wouldn't say The Making of America is "bipartisan." It fully lauds the Constitution as having a "success formula" for prosperity and freedom that is unique and superior to any other political system in the world. If you want a book that regards America's Constitution as neither better nor worse than other government systems, then this is not the book for you.

The Making of America is well organized. Here is a synopsis of the contents: It begins with interesting biographical information on " the man who discovered America's Freedom Formula" - Thomas Jefferson. The next chapter explores various governments - real governments that existed, such as what the Anglo-Saxons, Israelites, and French (during the times of Napoleon) had, contrasting their advantages and weaknesses. All of these were assessed by the Founders (especially Jefferson), so the author is showing what influenced the Founders' thinking about governments. It's amazing. The third chapter describes some of the Revolutionary War battles, and the Colonial leaders, and how the existing government - the Articles of Confederation - was severely deficient and in need of replacement, which chapter 4 explores further. Chapter 5 is all about the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia, and 7 explains, very simply, the balance of powers in government and all that complex stuff about three branches and division of powers and the Great Compromise and all that.
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Format: Hardcover
The most complete book written on the substance and meaning of the U.S. Constitution. The first couple hundred pages or so focus on the history leading up to to the Constitution (including Biblical history relevant to the Constitution). The rest of the book focuses on the Constitution itself.
Skousen (he was actually aided by a whole team of researchers and scholars to get all the material and documentation for the book) then takes the text of the Constitution and analyzes it phrase by phrase, using actual quotes made by Founding Fathers, which describe the phrase in question or the concept that the phrase deals with. Every single phrase in the Consitiution is covered. Most phrases are covered by several Founding Fathers.
I've had a copy of this book for about 10 years now and I never get bored with it. I consider it to be one of the most important books ever written.
To understand what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution, this book is indispensible.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most important books that I have ever read.

The Making of America contains some history leading up to the Constitution. The most important and unique part of the book is a dissection of the Constitution principle by principle.

The author goes through 286 separate principles in the Constitution.

If you read this book, you will understand the U.S. Constitution better than 99% of the 'constitutional lawyers' claiming to be experts.

This is a book that every elected official and every American voter should read and study.
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Format: Hardcover
Indispensable ammunition for those of us seeking to establish "original intent". Skousen's book matches provisions of the Constitution with Madison's Notes on the Convention. Very readable. Liberals hate it...that's good enough for me.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is extremely interesting because it commenced with the development of the constitution, the inspiration of the founder's. Their total alligence and dedication to a document so vitally important to the building of a nation deemed for the freedom of all. Totally interesting and informative to scholars and lay people alike. I found it to be in easy to understand language. Tremendously interesting.
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Format: Hardcover
A remarkably clear and lucid explanation of how the Constitution was formed. The author's sensitivity to historical context is exceptional. The book is written in a breezy high-school style that makes it accessible to essentially any reader. The author quotes extensively from the writings of the Founders so that the reader doesn't have to take his word for anything. This book is a "must-read" for anyone who wants to be an informed and responsible citizen of our republic.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has the look and feel of something designed for classroom use...perhaps high school or community college level in a class on government.

The typeface (slightly larger point-size than for many books) and the layout of the pages gives that impression right off the bat.

The book has lots of illustrations--all black and white and mostly reproductions of charts, old political cartoons, etc. They are all appropriate to the subject. The text is broken up by subheads --two or three per page--which is more consistent with something geared to the student attention span.

The text does go into fairly complete discussions of various articles of the constitution, various branches of government, with short bios on the individuals who were in attendance at the original conventions.

Lots of quotations from founding individuals and lots of citations that refer the reader to the Federalist Papers (I also bought this book), de Tocqueville, and/or others.

I bought the book because the description in Amazon.com sounded like something that would be quite apropos to my desire to understand America and American history more fully. These things can be more meaningful to you at other stages of life than they were in high school anyway!!

I read some of the customer reviews, including the two negative reviews. All were helpful in my decision making. The seriousness of the two negative reviews really caused me to pause. Was this book worth buying? But then I read the positive reviews and noted that there are 33 positive 5-star reviews and only two 1-star reviews. (Evidently this is not an in-between book so no 2, 3, or 4-star reviews so far.
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