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The U.S. Constitution: A Reader Paperback – January 27, 2012
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"It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great Nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a People always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence."
"The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."
"The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them."
"I insist, that if there is anything which it is the duty of the whole people to never entrust to any hands but their own, that thing is the preservation and perpetuity, of their own liberties, and institutions."
"If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it."
"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We can preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth."
--Look Inside for more!
What They're Saying:
In The U.S. Constitution: A Reader, the Hillsdale College Politics Faculty have managed to assemble in a single volume the 'greatest hits' of our constitutional heritage. And they have done so in the form of a compelling story about the history of our constitutional enterprise. Our nation's public life would be immensely enriched if every concerned citizen, pundit, and public servant became better acquainted with the rich and fascinating story told herein." --Mike Lee, United States Senator, Utah
"If every federal, state, and local public official took the time to study these documents, the future of freedom in this country would be more secure. Hillsdale has performed an invaluable service to America by making them conveniently available to all."
--Paul Ryan, United States Congressman, First District of Wisconsin
"It would be of great benefit to the country if these documents were required reading for all college and university students."
--Edward Erler, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science at California State University, San Bernardino
About the Author
With that same mission guiding it today, Hillsdale College has built a national reputation through its maintenance of a classical core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept any federal or state taxpayer subsidies. It also conducts a large outreach effort that promotes civil and religious liberty, including a monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a current circulation of over two million.
Top Customer Reviews
What's cool is this book doesn't really insert its own opinions other than an introductory letter (about 1.5 pages) before each major section (there are 11 sections), and a quick sentence or two summing up individual writings/speeches/etc. It just provides you with the original source documents and you can come to your own conclusions. There are over 780 pages of incredible information in this book.Read more ›
This is by no means an easy read. I heartily recommend you get this book but be ready to take your time with it. I am reading some of the things that influenced our Founding Fathers and Mothers and, to put it mildly, these ideas are deep. Last week I had to read an essay by Aristotle entitled "Nicomachean Ethics". This is supposed to address the question, "What is the best life for man?" If it did I missed it. I will have to re-read it until I can see what Aristotle was talking about. This is not meant to discourage anyone. I simply want to be honest that this is not a light read and it will require taking some time in reading, re-reading and reflecting on what is written. I am not giving up; I am it this for the longer haul that will give me some treasure, and if that means having to dig some then so much the better.
Before I graduated high school I had to take 2 years of U.S. history and civics. I never read the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution in those classes. How can you teach U.S.Read more ›
My two main complaints: (1) in the "Natural Rights and the American Founding" sections this book contains very little written by the Antifederalists. (2) there was no inclusion of any documents from the Populist movement or Social Darwinist movements, two movements which were precursors to Progressivism in that they advocated for a more direct democracy instead of our Constitutional system of representation and checks and balances.
These are major problems because the Antifederalists give context for the Bill of Rights; many of their demands made it into the Amendments. The reader includes just one essay by Brutus and one letter by Hamilton "the Farmer Refuted," but the letter by the antifederalist farmer is not included!
The Populists were very much a home-grown American movement and differ from the Progressives in that their political theory doesn't come from a foreign source. For instance, their party platform quotes the Declaration, and they argue for expanded government power on the precedent set by the Postal service. It is important to remember the Populists because it goes to show that there have been criticisms of the Constitution from both within and without the US, which the editors do not stress very much.
Still, this is a good reader because the Progressives did much more damage than the Populists to our Constitutional Structure. But I think both the Populists and the Antifederalists need to be talked about to get a full historical perspective on who the "enemies of the Constitution" really were. I guess it just makes the story too complex to consider ciritics of the Constitution who didn't study Hegel over in German universities, but were themselves very American
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent companion for the Hillsdale course and at a lower price than what Hillsdale charges. Arrived quickly.Published 23 days ago by JimBob56 M.
Great read on the subject of the constitution.
Great text with tremendous supporting information.
Covering a period of approximately 2500 years (with emphasis on the last 400), the selections in this reader document that the United States was founded upon neither tongue, tribe,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by fuzz_33594
Very thorough and informative historical reading. Should be a MUST for all American High School Students as a Graduation prerequisite.Published 1 month ago by James C. Doebler
Excellent reading. The historical references and readings of the philosophers who influenced our founding fathers is very interesting.Published 1 month ago by Dickster
If you are interested in the U.S. Constitution then this is the book to read. Provides great insights.Published 1 month ago by Shade Tree Cook
I enjoyed reading the original papers although some of the language is a little dated.Published 2 months ago by Paul M. Chikos