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Constitutionalism and American Culture: Writing the New Constitutional History

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2002 Paperback Good 105 Item may show signs of shelf wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. Includes supplemental or companion materials if applicable. Access ... codes may or may not work. Connecting readers since 1972. Customer service is our top priority. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Taking their cue from the late Paul L. Murphy, one of our nation's leading legal historians, this illustrious group of scholars argues that the field of constitutional history is "too important to be left solely to lawyers and judges." Their "state-of-the-field" volume reclaims constitutional history's rightful place as a vital and necessary part of our intellectual enterprise, in part by pushing the field onto fresh, even controversial, terrain. The result is a provocative new look at the past, present, and future of American constitutionalism, one that opens a window on the larger American soul.

Much as Murphy has done, these scholars contend that this restoration is much needed and will greatly enrich judicial and public policy, advance a tradition of justice worthy of America's democratic aspirations, give due attention to cultural contexts, and, most importantly, afford Americans a richer understanding of their constitutional heritage.

Their essays explore, for example, the ways in which previously excluded groups have come more fully into the Constitution's orbit of freedom, the ongoing importance of institutions and doctrines, and the ways in which theory and informal texts might enrich the field. How, they ask, might scholars take account of the lived experiences of litigants, reformers, and lawyers in the forging of constitutional change?

A kind of prospectus for the future of American constitutional history, these essays address fundamental questions about the field and its evolution. More important, they persuasively argue that the best way to reinvigorate the study of constitutionalism is to reconnect it to its social and cultural contexts, to appreciate the continuing necessity of archival research, to recognize and support the value of new approaches and perspectives, and to reaffirm in the end that the best way to explain the history of rights is to remember the courage of the people who had the vision and conviction to put the judges through their constitutional paces.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"If a library could afford to carry but one volume of American constitutional history, it should be this one."—Choice

"This collection shows 'new constitutional history' to be a field that remains dynamic, robust, open to the exploration of less-traditional venues, and accessible to those seeking to marshal unconventional methodologies."—Law and History Review

"An excellent collection of essays. . . . All are very well done. One could not ask for a better sampler of this particular genre of constitutional history."—Journal of American History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700611546
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 437
  • Product dimensions: 5.99 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword, Stanley N. K atz

Introduction

Part I. Constitutional Contexts

1. Constitutional Contexts: The Theory of History and the Process of Constitutional Change in Revolutionary America, David Thomas Konig

2. The Inverted Constitution: Enforcing Constitutional Rights in the Nineteenth Century, Robert J. Kaczorowski

3. The Rise and Fall of Classical Legal Thought: Preface to the Modern Constitution, William M. Wiecek

Part II. The Modern Constitutional Republic in Historical Perspective

4. Free Speech and the Bifurcated Review Project: The "Preferred Position" Cases, G. Edward White

5. The Roles of Lawyers in a Civil Liberties Crisis: Hawaii During World War II, Harry N. Scheiber and Jane L. Scheiber

6. Constitutional Equality for Women: Losing the Battle but Winning the War, Cynthia Harrison

7. The Warren Court and Equality, Michael R. Belknap

8. The Overlooked Litigant in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969), John W. Johnson

9. Cultural History and the First Amendment: New York Times v. Sullivan and Its Times, Kermit L. Hall

Part III. New Directions in American Constitutional History

10. "Words as Hard as Cannon-Balls": Women's Rights Agitation and Liberty of Speech in NIneteenth-Century America, Sandra F. VanBurkleo

11. Race, State, Market, and Civil Society in Constitutional History, Mark Tushnet

12. Constitutional History and the "Cultural Turn": Cross-Examining the Legal-Reelist Narratives of Henry Fonda, Norman L. Rosenberg

Contributors

Index

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