In Search of the Constitution
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"Rich … a wonderful piece of work" --The New York Times
"Intriguing … delightful … insightful" --Chicago Tribune
"Captures both the history and day-to-day vitality of the U.S. Constitution … Grade: A" --Entertainment Weekly
Exploring the meaning and impact of our founding document
In American history, no document has sparked as much reverence, discussion, and controversy as the Constitution. But how does it really affect our everyday lives? How do ordinary citizens, legal scholars, and Supreme Court justices interpret it? Join Bill Moyers for this 11-part series, originally produced to mark the Constitution’s bicentennial, that delves into the fascinating history and contemporary relevance of the ultimate law of the land. In-depth interviews with a wide range of experts--including four Supreme Court justices, educator Mortimer Adler, legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin, and Judge Robert Bork--provide not only rich historical detail, but also illuminating insights on current disputes. Throughout, In Search of the Constitution shows how this brief text has shaped our nation and holds the power to change our lives.
In a broadcasting career spanning nearly 40 years, journalist Bill Moyers distinguished himself at Newsday, NBC, CBS, and PBS. His many honors include lifetime achievement Emmy® and Peabody awards.
Updates on the participants and issues and a biography of Bill Moyers
Top customer reviews
Bill Moyers has picked a good group of experts who explain why we need to keep our constitution and not accept lies from future leaders who want to establish a dictatorship to replace our democracy. Highly recommended.
Episodes are approximately 60 minutes each.
SUBTITLES are provided.
1 IN THE BEGINNING-Three historians share that democracy was limited at the Constitutional Convention. Politics, like today, ruled at the start. Secrecy was essential. Sovereignty and slavery were issues.
2 MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN-(1908-1999) the "abortion" Justice, Nixon's 1970 appointee, who defied any label. Harry A. Blackmun, at age 78 (at filming time) describes the job, its difficulty, and the honor. He explains courts decisions being based on compromise.
3 MORTIMER ADLER: TEACHING THE CONSTITUTION-Adler is author of "We Hold These Truths", St. John College students discuss with Adler.
4 MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN-(1906-1997) Brennan explains the difficulty of decisions related to dignity, privacy, and punishment. He's the 1st Justice born in the 20th century, a 1956 Ike appointment, he was a voting, news media protection, and gender decision leader. He championed individuals' rights.
5 RONALD DWORKIN: THE CHANGING STORY-Debate rages on over Constitutions influence on AIDS, porn, and discrimination. Dworkin is filmed at Oxford Univ3ersity. Constitution is a "chain novel."
6 GOD AND THE CONSTITUTION-Religious historians Leonard Levy (1923-2006) is opposed strongly with public/gov religious use due to his own religious preference. Martin Marty talks on the 1st amendment.
7 STRICTLY SPEAKING-Original intent and restraint is discussed by conservative Judge Robert Bork (himself rejected for Supreme Court) & Att. Gen. Edwin Meese who is interviewed while in office. He attempted to reverse Roe vs Wade-abortion, and resigned after a scandal.
8 JUSTICE SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR-The first Supreme Court female Justice (retired 2006). She has "The Yellow Brick Road" to the Supreme Court story. 2009 recipient of the Presidential Metal of Freedom. This interview was O'Connor's first televised interview after taking the Justice spot.
9 FOR THE PEOPLE-Americans who stood up for privacy, conscience, and freedom of religion. Lawrence Roth, and son Daniel, from no state mandated prayer in school; Harry Keyishian & George Hochfield, both NY teachers from the oath signing/academic freedom decision; and Michael Hardwick, 80's sodomy is a crime in Georgia/privacy decision he lost.
10 1987 v. THE CONSTITUTION-Issues of 1987 test the 200 year old Constitution, such as executive power/nuclear threat; mandatory drug-testing; and computer privacy.
11 JUSTICE LEWIS F. POWELL, JR.-(1907-1998) His decision is related to executive privilege; corporal punishment; capital punishment; and reverse discrimination (affirmative action.)
An extremely entertaining, educational, and worthy set to own. Every American would benefit from seeing this. Every HS through University library should hold a copy, as well as public libraries. And perhaps work programs for the public's education around some of the episodes. The vocabulary and material is at a level most young adult and older will find appropriate.
Bonus includes text updates on each of the 4 discs for participants and/or issues covered on the disc. There is a Moyers text bio. An excellent Athena produced 13-page booklet adds episode discussion questions, a well explained glossary of today's Constitution buzzwords, and 3 more Constitution related articles.
One of the best Emmy winning Bill Moyers sets from PBS released by Athena yet.