The Citizen's Constitution: An Annotated Guide

The Citizen's Constitution: An Annotated Guide

by Seth Lipsky
     
 

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In this delightfully quick, witty, readable, and authoritative guide, Seth Lipsky, legendary newspaperman, places the United States Constitution and its clauses into context. In more than 300 sparkling annotations--fully updated for this paperback edition--The Citizen's Constitution draws on the writings of the Founders, case law from our greatest judges,

Overview


In this delightfully quick, witty, readable, and authoritative guide, Seth Lipsky, legendary newspaperman, places the United States Constitution and its clauses into context. In more than 300 sparkling annotations--fully updated for this paperback edition--The Citizen's Constitution draws on the writings of the Founders, case law from our greatest judges, and current events. Lipsky provides a no-nonsense, entertaining, and learned reference to the fundamental questions surrounding the document that governs how we govern our country.

Editorial Reviews

Adam Liptak
Mississippi did not ratify the 13th Amendment, the one that abolished slavery, until 1995. I learned that fact, which calls to mind the adage "better never than late," from Seth Lipsky's entertaining annotation of the Constitution. The Citizen's Constitution is a magpie's miscellany of curiosities. It is governed by a newspaperman's sensibility, one more interested in conflict and color than order and synthesis. Lipsky…is particularly good on the Constitution's first two articles, which concern Congress and the presidency. He likes rascals and absurdities.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Inspiring, but also vague, eccentric and sometimes dysfunctional: that's the picture of the Constitution that emerges from this annotated guide. Lipsky, founding editor of the Jewish Forward and the defunct New York Sun, writes extended notes on every phrase in the Constitution and amendments, including obscure elements like letters of marque and reprisal. Citing commentators and landmark Supreme Court cases, he gives an evenhanded account of evolving interpretations of the Constitution and its influence on governance and politics. Lipsky's own predilections show mainly in his resurrection of the anti-Federalists and modern-day defenders of state sovereignty. While highlighting the Constitution's quirks, Lipsky says little about larger issues like the Senate's unequal representation of voters. This is a lively curio shop of Constitutional law and lore, but lacks analytic depth. (Nov.)
Library Journal
What are the frameworks through which we govern our country? In separate texts, Rakove and Lipsky provide annotated analysis of our founding U.S. documents. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rakove (history & political science, Stanford Univ.; Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution) presents both the Declaration and the Constitution with carefully laid out annotation that's accessible to general readers as well as high school and college students. His extended introduction provides a readable and instructive analysis of how the writing of the Constitution progressed, especially on matters concerning representation, executive power, and creation of the amendments. His annotations often rely upon contemporary usage and meaning from the time of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution—useful for students to understand—and he compares such usage to other documents of the time.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465021246
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
04/05/2011
Edition description:
Revised Edition
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
1,132,847
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author


Seth Lipsky, founding editor of the New York Sun, has also worked at the Wall Street Journal at home and abroad, and was founding editor of the Forward newspaper, where he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1991. He lives with his wife and four children in New York.

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