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Liberty, Order, & Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government 3rd Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0865972568
ISBN-10: 0865972567
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

McClellan is the James Bryce Visiting Fellow in American Studies at the Institute of U.S. Studies, University of London. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He has taught American government and Constitutional law at a number of universities and colleges. He has also served in a number of positions in government and the private sector.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 629 pages
  • Publisher: Liberty Fund; 3rd edition (December 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865972567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865972568
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
James McClellan's Liberty, Order, and Justice is the best book I have read so far in 2009. This seminal book is as important to the history and roots of American constitutional government as Russell Kirk's Roots of American Order is to American political history. No other book that I am aware of does as well a job in presenting an engaging history of the American constitutional order and of presenting a wealth of information on the constitutions of ancient Greece and Rome, the English natural law and natural rights traditions, and the formation of the American political conscience. The key documents that helped shape what would become the American mind, including the Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights, are discussed in prose so engaging that it makes it difficult for the reader to put the book down. This book is an excellent choice for anyone interested in American constitutional history.
The following is my summary of McClellan's excellent treatise:

Introduction
McClellan's work deals with the principles and characteristics of the American political order by familiarizing readers with the basic principles of the Constitution. Resting on the assumption that "in order to achieve liberty, order, and justice, we must first establish limited constitutional government" (p. xx), the book examines the constitutional foundations of the nation by looking to the English origins of the American Constitution, the first Constitutions of the American States, and the principles that pervade the American Constitution, as well as the interpretation and process for the amendment of the Constitution. Throughout the book, McClellan pays special attention to the separation of powers and the limits placed on the federal government by the Constitution.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An absolute joy to read! I have never been so impressed by a text and feel like I benefited greatly. As a student of government, economics and history under the school of social science, I highly recommend this book. It is an in depth look into the principles of the American and English political system and the justification of natural rights. Many primary sources and important documents are included and this collection is written in a very manageable and explanatory style. Learn and embrace liberty, order and justice!
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By Mesquite on September 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you serious about learning about our Constitutional system - get this book. If you're serious about teaching Constitutional theory and principle to middle and high school students - get three of these and do a learning center.
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Format: Paperback
Though this book reads like a college text book and the 650 pages are a bit daunting this too was a very excellent and enlightening read. This reader noted two incredibly valuable take-aways from this book. The first, was the exposure to the Magna Charter of 1215 and the Rights of Free Englishman. In that, the reader's mind was opened to a fresh and more accurate understanding of the Declaration of Independence and the cause of the Revolution. The many encroachments by King George and the British Parliament upon our Founders liberties. Freedoms they had inherited from their fathers and their fathers before. That finally required nothingless than an armed defense of their former way of life.

The second, was the laymen's introductory contrast between the French and the American Revolutions. The reader's mind was opened to the dangerous consequences that resulted from an unenlighted Peasant's Revolt. The America Revolution was led by wise and educated men whose passion was to restore and expand the liberties they once had under the old English Law. The wisdom of our Founders was revealed in their desire to preserve the ancient foundations of religion, law, and government. The result was a "more perfect union" built upon the rock of liberty. In contrast however, the foolishness of the peasants was revealed in their blood lust and murderous attempt to destroy all the foundations of their society, the church, the crown and the law. The immediate result was indeed a new form of government built upon the sands of anarchy that was soon restrained under the boot of a tyrant named Napoleon.
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Format: Paperback
I actually picked this book up at a used bookstore when I was interested in the elections back in 2012 and found this book to be a great read. It gives great insight into the roots of the American constitution and helps paint a better picture to the reader about why democracy worked in America and the American Revolution worked; versus the French Revolution which went horribly wrong. It also for me helped explain why democracy worked for our country and why I feel we just can't "export" democracy to other nations that do not have the same familiarity to these concepts as a the early Americans did.
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