Customer Reviews: The Constitution of the United States of America
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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This is a visually wonderful book. Sam Fink originally did a pen-and-ink version of this, which was later revised to be a full-colour version for Welcome Books. Apart from the briefest of commentary pieces, this is simply the text of the U.S. Constitution, from Preamble to Twenty-Seventh Amendment. Fink has done an engaging hand-inscribed version with illustrative artwork, sometimes symbolic and sometimes demonstrative. For example, for the Thirteen Amendment (the one passed in 1865 to abolish slavery), Fink's graphic shows strong chains being broken by a pair of shears that have been painted red, white and blue like the flag. For the Sixteenth Amendment (the 1913 amendment permitting general income taxes), Fink's drawing shows a man standing next to Uncle Sam, with Uncle Sam's hand reaching surreptitiously into the unsuspecting man's pocket.

Each section, article and amendment gets its own two-page or more spread, and in this nothing other than the bare text of the Constitution is included apart from the graphics and the very occasional historical notation. Fink has incorporated a dove motif into many of the graphics, in honour of the idea presented in Catherine Drinker Bowen's book, `Miracle at Philadelphia', that there were doves of peace that perched on the delegate's shoulders as they wrote the Constitution.

Fink includes a page on George Washington, full of quotable-quotes from others in history attesting to the significance of the man who was not only first president of the United States under this Constitution, but also president of the Constitutional Convention. Another page is devoted to Gouverneur Morris, who is credited with writing the Preamble. Fink also includes a two-page rendering of Benjamin Franklin's Address to the Delegates at the conclusion of the Convention. Franklin freely admits that the Constitution is not all he had hoped for, but then likely never would be for any given individual. After the text of the Constitution, Fink provides a six-page annotated chronology of the events in constitutional development (including the dates for amendments), and a two-page glossary of terms.

The inside covers on both the front and the back of the book show the complete Constitution, including an eagle graphic, written in two page format, all the more remarkable for being juxtaposed as it is in a book in which the Constitution takes up 120 pages of the 140-page book.

The large ledger-sized format gives physical weight and presence to a document fully worthy of such treatment. This is a visual treat, and one that might make this crucial document a bit more engaging for those who might take the Constitution for granted. The Constitution is a living document, and this helps show that, by adorning the text not with political commentary and legal theory, but with solid imagery that gives great impact.
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on September 17, 2006
No words are needed to review this book. Simply put: Every American should have a copy at Home.

Based in the original pen and ink edition from Random House in 1987, this edition has been painted and illustrated entirely by Sam Fink, creating a beautifully crafted full color masterpiece.

This is the one book that we must read again and again to gain an intimate and complete knowledge of it. A book for the entire family and one that we must never forget.
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on August 6, 2016
Simply a beautiful volume that makes reading a serious, not-so-short yet critical (and not so long either) document a pleasure. It occurred to me during this election cycle that we should really all own copies of the Constitution. Just as a Christian might own a Bible, and a Muslim a Quar'an, how can we as Americans not own the document that makes us who we are? An edition by Sam Fink is the one you want to get. Mine, which I bought used, turned out to be an oversize hardcover, which I was not expecting but which I can accommodate. You may choose a different size, but choose Sam Fink.
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on January 3, 2007
As an elementary librarian, I have shared this magnificent book with elementary and high school teachers alike. Sam Fink has captured the true meaning of the United States Constitution and presented it in a format that is appealing to people of all ages.

I used this book as the basis for explaining the foundation of our government with my fifth grade students. As our children become increasingly visual learners, it is refreshing that such quality books are available. This helps them gain an in-depth understanding of how the United States was created and how we continue to adjust our constitution through the amendment process.

I have purchased four copies of this book and continue to give them as gifts to young and old alike.
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on March 15, 2007
I recently spoke to group of young people regarding the Constitution of the United States, and I quoted a part of the Constitution which is vauge in difinetion, precisely one could not tell if this section of the Constitution came from the Bill of Rights. Of the thirteen young people I spoke with, none of them could quote anything from the Constitution.

The part of the Constitution I spoke of was the 13th Amendment, which deals with forced servitude. Each thought the Bill of Rights prohibited Slavery, but could not quite tell me anything about the Bill of Rights.

So sad that in our public schools our children are not learning anything about what makes America, "AMERICA". To think History is in the Bullseye of some school boards as a subject we can drop and not harm the value of the education our children receive.

Every household in America should have this book, and if our children are not being taught the principles of the Constitution in school, do so at home. A very good addition to every home library.
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on April 2, 2013
I was looking forward to getting this thinking it would be easy to read as the Constitution is hard to go thru. I also liked what I saw online as far as the illistrations. When I recieved it the writing was anything but easy to look at and read. The illustrations are great though. I would still recommend this book to someone who knows and collects books on the Constitution.
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on January 9, 2007
Katie is a Lawyer. She loves Constitutional Law. When she opened this book on Christmas Day we had to wait a long time before she was ready to open another present. She wanted to see the illustrations for several passages. She was also looking up things she was wondering about. She says she will give the book an honored place in her Law Library.
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on December 30, 2013
I bought this book for my own pleasure after seeing it at a local hometown gift shop. I love the art that is used to "spice" up this important text document. This is a beautiful rendition of our Constitution and can be used to help get young people interested in our governing process.
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on September 11, 2015
This is a most wonderful book.
A group which I belong to uses this book as a speakers' gift and the speaker is always so happy to receive it.
My own original copy is bigger but less colorful. It makes a wonderful coffee-table book.
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on January 9, 2007
I love this book for my classroom! The illustrations give great visual images to a document that should be important to every American. The symbolic representations for each Amendment are fun yet bold.

It also would be a great tabletop book.
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