School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 6 Up-In the first book, the author goes through the document article by article, first presenting the actual text, then explaining its general meaning. He gives examples from history that demonstrate different interpretations. The descriptions are clear and the examples well chosen. The entire Constitution is repeated at the end of the book; black-and-white portraits, mainly of presidents, are included. The second title is likely to disappoint researchers looking for material on the Constitution's creation. In the first quarter, Weidner covers the Articles of Confederation, the convening and work of the Constitutional Convention, and ratification. The remainder addresses the content of the Bill of Rights, summarizes the other constitutional amendments, explains some of the general concepts expressed in the Constitution, and repeats the text of the Preamble and the Articles. The treatment of the amendments is nicely done as the author groups them thematically rather than chronologically to show the development of ideas over the years. The Constitution's bicentennial produced a spate of excellent books, including Doris and Harold Faber's We the People (Scribner, 1987; o.p.) and Denis J. Hauptly's A Convention of Delegates (Atheneum, 1987; o.p.). Recent titles include James and Christopher Collier's Creating the Constitution, 1787 (Benchmark, 1998), Joan Banks's The U.S. Constitution (Chelsea, 2001), and Lydia Bjornlund's The U.S. Constitution: Blueprint for Democracy (1999) and The Constitution and the Founding of America (2000, both Lucent). Weidner's volumes should be considered only as supplements to any of these earlier titles.-Elaine Fort Weischedel, Franklin Public Library, MA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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