- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press; 60059th edition (April 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300082770
- ISBN-13: 978-0300082777
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction 60059th Edition
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"Amar takes us on a historical odyssey . . . [He] offer[s] a striking and original analysis of the political values embodied in the amendments enacted to soothe their concerns. . . . In a rich clause-by clause analysis, Amar elaborates his thesis. . . . Amar’s stimulating republican interpretation restores the states and the people to their rightful place in the constitutional story."—James Henretta, New York Times Book Review
"Amar’s historical analysis enables the reader to appreciate the countermajoritarian nature of the document over time. . . . He places legal milestones in an understandable perspective."—Phillip Young Blue, Library Journal
"There are many virtues to this account . . . The Bill of Rights . . . offers a number of striking arguments and claims, many of them original and convincing . . . [It] is especially valuable as an exercise in intellectual history."—Cass R. Sunstein, The New Republic
"As the author of a well-respected textbook on criminal procedure and of many law review articles, Amar is well qualified to present this new look at the nation’s Bill of Rights. . . . The book is carefully written and contains a rich, ample set of footnotes. Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty."―Choice
"The dazzling culmination of Amar’s attempt, over the past decade, to rethink constitutional law from the ground up, by distinguishing and synthesizing the lessons of the Founding and Reconstruction. This is one of the most important books about constitutional interpretation of its generation."—Jeffrey Rosen, American Lawyer
"Amar . . . has produced a highly accessible, beautifully written book. . . . Amar . . . provides a rich, generally persuasive historical reconstruction of the framers’ intentions and worldviews by drawing upon their words, common terminology of the era and revered, cognate texts."―Casper O. Grathwohl, America
"Students of constitutional law, history and interpretation will want to read this book. The argumentation is thoughtful, precise, and provocative. Moreover, the book is beautifully written, thoroughly researched, and meticulously referenced. Akhil Reed Amar has produced an impressive piece of scholarship that seems destined to become a staple of the constitutional bibliography."—John M. Scheb, Law and Politics Book Review
"[This book] has already been hailed as a landmark, and deservedly so. Indeed, though it seems hardly possible that any informed person who reads this book will come away agreeing with every word, it seems even less likely that anyone who fails to read this book will be regarded, in the years to come, when the debate turns to the history of the U.S. Constitution, as an informed person."―Christopher C. Faille, Federal Lawyer
"A beautifully written book . . . [that] deserves to sit on every constitutional scholar and lawyer's shelf along with such contemporary classics as Alexander Bickel's The Least Dangerous Branch, Charles Black's Structure and Relationship in Constitutional Law, John Hart Ely's Democracy and Distrust, and Philip Bobbitt's Constitutional Fate. . . . Perhaps no working constitutional scholar employs textual analysis more carefully and skillfully than Professor Amar."—Lackland C. Bloom, University of Richmond Law Review
"A landmark study that will be an invaluable resource for students of early American history for generations to come. . . . Studded with keen insights on a dazzling array of legal problems. . . . [This book will provide an invaluable resource for students, judges and practitioners."—Jon C. Blue, University of Richmond Law Review
"A masterpiece. . . . Meticulously detailed, historically sensitive, and largely persuasive. . . . One of the best books on American constitutionalism published this decade. No one can claim to be an educated member of the constitutional community who has not read it."—Mark A. Graber, University of Richmond Law Review
"Strikingly original [and] quite powerful."—Stanton D. Krauss, University of Richmond Law Review
"[This book] set[s] the benchmark for future discussions."—Kurt T. Lash, University of Richmond Law Review
"One of the best law books of the twentieth century. . . . Professor Amar has brilliantly pointed the way to a sound understanding of many of the most difficult and contentious issues in constitutional theory."—Gary Lawson, University of Richmond Law Review
"By any standard a major contribution to the literature on the Bill of Rights. . . . Skillfully combines historical research and legal analysis to give the reader a variety of fresh, important insights."—Earl M. Maltz, University of Richmond Law Review
"Amar’s argument is nothing short of brilliant: he recasts our understanding of the Bill of Rights in ways that have profound implications. No one presently writing is better able to combine legal and historical analysis."—Michael Les Benedict, Ohio State University
"By viewing the Bill of Rights as a document with an evolving meaning shaped by history, and by stressing how the Civil War and Reconstruction transformed the Bill of Rights, Amar has made a major contribution to the history of American liberties."—Eric Foner, Columbia University
"Essential reading for anyone who claims to care about the history of liberty in America, from the ACLU to the NRA, from the NAACP to the Federalist Society. Today’s Bill of Rights, Amar shows, owes less to the Founding Fathers of the 1780s and more to the antislavery crusaders of the 1860s—women alongside men, blacks alongside whites--than many of us had realized."—Nadine Strossen, professor, New York Law School and national president, American Civil Liberties Union
"Akhil Amar is one of the most creative thinkers in the legal academy. Not surprisingly, he has produced the best book ever written about what we call the Bill of Rights. He is especially illuminating about the vast differences between the assumptions as to what these amendments meant in 1789 as against their interpretation in 1868, when the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment expected them to be applied against the states."—Sanford Levinson, University of Texas, School of Law
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My biggest disappointment was that the Fifth Amendment was limited to about 5 pages, 3 at the time it was enacted and 1 at the time of Reconstruction. He characterizes the "just compensation" clause - the only Constitutional protection for private property - as something Madison "smuggled in" to the Bill of Rights. Professor Amar seems, like many academics seem, to have some aversion toward legitimizing private property, although many of the historical sources he cites list it as a fundamental right, it just seems to be one that he doesn't like being fundamental. In his afterword, in addition to discussing approvingly Bruce Ackerman's work on a "redistributive constitutional regime" effected by early 20th century amendments and Supreme Court decisions during the New Deal, he writes revealingly, "there is still room for a great book organized around concepts rather than words --'liberty', 'equality', 'democracy', 'privacy' and so forth". I guess "Property" is just another "so forth" or maybe not even a concept he wants to keep around.