- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (July 2, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393342263
- ISBN-13: 978-0393342260
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1,364,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #858 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Political Science > Constitutions
- #1638 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Specific Topics > Civics & Citizenship
- #9124 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Political Science > History & Theory
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Constitution Café: Jefferson's Brew for a True Revolution Paperback – July 2, 2012
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“With infinite curiosity and an intellectual integrity . . . Phillips says about the bible of American tradition the unthinkable, the glorious, and the liberating: let it rip.”
- Thaddeus Russell, author of A Renegade History of the United States
“In an era of hyper-partisanship, it’s refreshing to read instances of Americans from all political persuasions holding rational, respectful, and thought-provoking conversations with one another.”
- Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Christopher Phillips is an educator, author, and pro-democracy activist. Visit him on the Web at www.christopherphillips.com.
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The book is a series of discussions from around the United States with diverse groups covering different Articles and Amendments. Two examples are lawyers talking about the patent clause and teenagers talking about the voting age amendment. Each group comes up with new Articles attempting to redress perceived problems with the existing Constitution.
While I like the _ideas_ proposed by the groups, I found any given one slightly unsatisfactory. I think this is the point: it is difficult to write a one-size (and time)-fits-all Constitution. Particularly in the case of the 2nd Amendment, Phillips gives an example of where there is so much schism between the participants they come up with two conflicting versions. I would have liked to have seen more instances of this.
Phillips's historical interludes on the conflicts the Founding Fathers had among (and within) themselves highlights the difficulties and compromises needed back in 1783. I especially liked the dichotomy between Jefferson's democratic ideals vs his actions as the 3rd President. I think this drives the point that the US Constitution is a living document subject to constant rereading and reinterpretation.
If you are looking for concrete action items to solve America's problems, you will be disappointed; likewise, if you seek a scholarly treatise or a polemic.
My only wish is that a copy of the most current US Constitution had been printed in the book--I ended up buying myself a copy of the US Constitution to thumb through.
In conclusion, CONSTITUTION CAFE is in keeping with the idea and ideal of Phillips's contemporary socratic dialogues. The point is not necessarily coming up with The Answer; rather, his books outline a way for the public to collaborate in seeking answers. I plan to use this book in my future Socrates Cafe dialogues.
Most recent customer reviews
Second: many of the discussions would profit from diagrams or tables; there are...Read more