The lives of the constitution : ten exceptional minds that shaped America's supreme law

Tartakovsky, Joseph, 1981- author
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  • Creator Joseph Tartakovsky
  • Format Books
  • Publication First American edition. New York : Encounter Books, 2018. ©2018
  • Physical Details
    • xiv, 299 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
  • ISBNs 9781594039850, 1594039852
  • OCLC on1001287814


  • "[This book] tells the ... story of our Constitution through the eyes of ten extraordinary individuals--some renowned, like Alexander Hamilton and Woodrow Wilson, and some forgotten, like James Wilson and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. [The author] brings to life their struggles over our supreme law from its origins in revolutionary America to the era of Obama and Trump. Sweeping from settings as diverse as Gold Rush California to the halls of Congress, and crowded with a vivid Dickensian cast, [the author] shows how America's unique constitutional culture grapples with questions like democracy, racial and sexual equality, free speech, economic liberty, and the role of government. [The author] chronicles how Daniel Webster sought to avert the Civil War; how Alexis de Tocqueville misunderstood America; how Robert Jackson balanced liberty and order in the battle against Nazism and Communism; and how Antonin Scalia died warning Americans about the ever-growing reach of the Supreme Court. From the 1787 Philadelphia Convention to the clash over gay marriage, this is a grand tour through two centuries of constitutional history as never told before, and an education in the principles that sustain America in the most astonishing experiment in government ever undertaken."--


  • Includes bibliographical references and index.


  • Overture : the Constitution's third century -- Builders (1765-1804) -- Fighters (1814-1897) -- Interlude from abroad (1835-1888) -- Dreamers (1885-1931) -- Finale : The experiment endures
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