Although books on the Constitution abound, there are some distinguishing features that make this one a worthy addition. The text is easy to read, with interesting sidebars about concurrent historical events or people, such as the American Enlightenment and the construction of Washington, DC. It also contains material about those who were at the time disenfranchised, namely women and enslaved people. The final chapter discusses different aspects of the Constitution with an eye toward explaining how it has remained in place for over 200 years. No punches are pulled when it comes to describing how a law may die in committee, and pocket vetoes are examined. Topics such as line-item vetoes and congressional recommendations are highlighted. Wagner opens with the controversial election of 2000 between George W. Bush and Al Gore, and uses it as a springboard to discuss how the Electoral College works. Subsequent chapters discuss the two-party system, presidential campaigns, and what types of qualifications presidential candidates need. Like the previous book, the writing is clear and concise, facts are easy to find, and the prose is fluid. In both titles, the main drawback is the mediocre illustrations. They tend to be small and not particularly colorful or integral to the text. However, these sources provide solid background for curious students and report writers.
Robin HenryCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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