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The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution Hardcover – May 1, 1985
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About the Author
He was invited to write a new constitution for Canada and the proposed United States of Latin America, and he published a model constitution that could be adopted by nations everywhere. He served in the FBI for 16 years, four years as Chief of Police in Salt Lake City, and ten years as a university professor. He was a prolific writer and produced three national best sellers, The Naked Communist, The Naked Capitalist, and The Five Thousand Year Leap. Eight of his books were used as college texts, and several were translated and published in other countries.
Dr. Skousen was born in Canada, and returned to the U.S. with his family at age ten. He spent two years in Mexico, two years in England, graduated from San Bernardino College in California, and received his juris doctor degree from George Washington University Law School. He was admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and before the District Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
His seminars on the Constitution have been taught to several million across the U.S., and among his students were dozens of U.S. Senators and Representatives, two Supreme Court justices, and several candidates for President. He believed knowledge and understanding were key to maintaining a free country, and spent his entire adult life opening up complex issues for deeper understanding by students and audiences all around the world.
Mr. Skousen and his wife, Jewel Pitcher of San Bernardino, California, are the parents of eight children, 50 grandchildren, and more than 120 great-grandchildren.
Top Customer Reviews
I wouldn't say The Making of America is "bipartisan." It fully lauds the Constitution as having a "success formula" for prosperity and freedom that is unique and superior to any other political system in the world. If you want a book that regards America's Constitution as neither better nor worse than other government systems, then this is not the book for you.
The Making of America is well organized. Here is a synopsis of the contents: It begins with interesting biographical information on " the man who discovered America's Freedom Formula" - Thomas Jefferson. The next chapter explores various governments - real governments that existed, such as what the Anglo-Saxons, Israelites, and French (during the times of Napoleon) had, contrasting their advantages and weaknesses. All of these were assessed by the Founders (especially Jefferson), so the author is showing what influenced the Founders' thinking about governments. It's amazing. The third chapter describes some of the Revolutionary War battles, and the Colonial leaders, and how the existing government - the Articles of Confederation - was severely deficient and in need of replacement, which chapter 4 explores further. Chapter 5 is all about the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia, and 7 explains, very simply, the balance of powers in government and all that complex stuff about three branches and division of powers and the Great Compromise and all that.Read more ›
Skousen (he was actually aided by a whole team of researchers and scholars to get all the material and documentation for the book) then takes the text of the Constitution and analyzes it phrase by phrase, using actual quotes made by Founding Fathers, which describe the phrase in question or the concept that the phrase deals with. Every single phrase in the Consitiution is covered. Most phrases are covered by several Founding Fathers.
I've had a copy of this book for about 10 years now and I never get bored with it. I consider it to be one of the most important books ever written.
To understand what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution, this book is indispensible.
The Making of America contains some history leading up to the Constitution. The most important and unique part of the book is a dissection of the Constitution principle by principle.
The author goes through 286 separate principles in the Constitution.
If you read this book, you will understand the U.S. Constitution better than 99% of the 'constitutional lawyers' claiming to be experts.
This is a book that every elected official and every American voter should read and study.
The typeface (slightly larger point-size than for many books) and the layout of the pages gives that impression right off the bat.
The book has lots of illustrations--all black and white and mostly reproductions of charts, old political cartoons, etc. They are all appropriate to the subject. The text is broken up by subheads --two or three per page--which is more consistent with something geared to the student attention span.
The text does go into fairly complete discussions of various articles of the constitution, various branches of government, with short bios on the individuals who were in attendance at the original conventions.
Lots of quotations from founding individuals and lots of citations that refer the reader to the Federalist Papers (I also bought this book), de Tocqueville, and/or others.
I bought the book because the description in Amazon.com sounded like something that would be quite apropos to my desire to understand America and American history more fully. These things can be more meaningful to you at other stages of life than they were in high school anyway!!
I read some of the customer reviews, including the two negative reviews. All were helpful in my decision making. The seriousness of the two negative reviews really caused me to pause. Was this book worth buying? But then I read the positive reviews and noted that there are 33 positive 5-star reviews and only two 1-star reviews. (Evidently this is not an in-between book so no 2, 3, or 4-star reviews so far.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Speaking as a novice who is just beginning his journey into gaining a better understanding of the United States Constitution - I humbly offer the following comments. Read morePublished 1 month ago by DIY Virginia plumber
Great way to learn about the constitution and our founding fathers. It starts with a description of all of the members of the constitutional convention. Read morePublished 5 months ago by C. Kroeker
Cleon Skousen was a strident anti-communist and supporter of the John Birch Society, as well as a popularizer of Mormon end-time eschatology and New World Order conspiracies. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Diogenes
One word "Outstanding". This should be required reading for high school students. In my opinion, parents need to step up to the plate and ensure their children not only... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Chris