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The US Constitution: A Pocket Reference w/Constitution, Bill of Rights, Amendments, Declaration of Independence, History of the Constitution, Questions ... Quotes, and Free Download for 10 works Paperback – February 1, 2010
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Whilst the last members were signing [the Constitution], Doctor FRANKLIN, looking towards the President's chair, at the back of which a rising sun happened to be painted, observed to a few members near him, that painters had found it difficult to distinguish in their art, a rising, from a setting, sun. I have, said he, often and often, in the course of the Session, and the vicissitudes of my hopes and fears as to its issue, looked at that behind the President, without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting; but now at length, I have the happiness to know, that it is a rising, and not a setting sun. --Benjamin Franklin (1787)
The free system of government we have established is so congenial with reason, with common sense, and with a universal feeling, that it must produce approbation and a desire of imitation, as avenues may be found for truth to the knowledge of nations. --James Madison (1826)
If in the opinion of the People, the distribution or modification of the Constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. --George Washington (1796)
From the Publisher
To encourage people everywhere to better understand and appreciate the principles of government that are set forth in Americas founding documents, the Cato Institute published this pocket edition of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. With more than three million copies in print, this editions influence has been observed far and wide. It has been held up by senators at press conferences and by representatives during floor debate; found in federal judicial chambers across the country; appeared at conferences on constitutionalism in Russia, Iraq, and elsewhere; and sold at U.S. Park Service stores, Restoration Hardware, and book stores around the country. Its a perfect gift for friends and family. Order your copies today! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
This version is well worth buying and reading, and reading again. In addition to the text of the original documents, it offers excellent historical context including a discussion of how the various articles and amendments have been interpreted by courts (not ideologues) through the years. It's a very valuable resource.
UPDATE: In a comment to this review, RedRocks explains that if you try to order the paperback version of this Penguin guide, you'll actually get the Skousen/LDS version instead. (My brother confirmed this.) Kindle orders get the correct Penguin version. Amazon needs to correct this - RedRocks has complained about it before but Amazon has done nothing.
And because everything was not perfect between all people at the time the document was written, of course those that wrote the Constitution were evil cranks who should be shunned in history and their work disparaged. That's what passes for popular "thought" these days.
Except the disparagement of that work would be illegal in many of the countries that those same folks folks want to emulate and those who engaged upon such disparagement would be arrested or worse for doing so.
It would be nice if the Constitution was actually taught in the public school system again so that ignorance of its principles was not seen as some sort of political enlightenment worthy of a sound byte and cheap sloganeering.
I should know, but don't. Thank you Amazon for the generous one dollar offer. It is worth much more.
It takes a lot more time (and a lot of hard work) to make your way through The Federalist Papers (and the Anti-Federalist Papers as well), but I believe that these too should be studied by Americans, to truly understand the thoughts of the framers of the Constitution, as defined by some of the greatest minds of the 1780's,
The only reason I gave this book 4 stars is that, for a simple printout of these documents that includes only about 70 pages of print, I think the price is a bit high.