The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide

The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


With a foreword by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court.

An Engaging, Accessible Guide to the Bill of Rights for Everyday Citizens.

In The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide, award-winning author and constitutional scholar Linda R. Monk explores the remarkable history of the Bill of Rights amendment by amendment, the Supreme Court's interpretation of each right, and the power of citizens to enforce those rights.

Stories of the ordinary people who made the Bill of Rights come alive are featured throughout. These include Fannie Lou Hamer, a Mississippi sharecropper who became a national civil rights leader; Clarence Earl Gideon, a prisoner whose handwritten petition to the Supreme Court expanded the right to counsel; Mary Beth Tinker, a 13-year-old whose protest of the Vietnam War established free speech rights for students; Michael Hardwick, a bartender who fought for privacy after police entered his bedroom unlawfully; Suzette Kelo, a nurse who opposed the city's takeover of her working-class neighborhood; and Simon Tam, a millennial whose 10-year trademark battle for his band "The Slants" ended in a unanimous Supreme Court victory. Such people prove that, in the words of Judge Learned Hand, "Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court, can save it."

Exploring the history, scope, and meaning of the first ten amendments-as well as the Fourteenth Amendment, which nationalized them and extended new rights of equality to all- The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide is a powerful examination of the values that define American life and the tools that every citizen needs.

Winner of the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award, its highest honor for media about the law.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316415606
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 04/10/2018
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 330,338
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Linda R. Monk, J.D., is a constitutional scholar and award-winning author. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she twice received the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award, its highest honor for public education about the law. Her books include The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution, Ordinary Americans: U.S. History Through the Eyes of Everyday People, and The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the second female justice to be confirmed to the Supreme Court and the author of My Own Words.

Table of Contents

Foreword Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ix

A Living Bill of Rights 1

The Birth of the Bill of Rights 3

The Idea of Rights 5

The History of the Bill of Rights 13

The First Ten Amendments 33

The First Amendment 35

The Second Amendment 91

The Third Amendment 101

The Fourth Amendment 109

The Fifth Amendment 129

The Sixth Amendment 147

The Seventh Amendment 167

The Eighth Amendment 177

The Ninth Amendment 193

The Tenth Amendment 203

Beyond the Bill of Rights 221

The Fourteenth Amendment 223

Rights in the Future 251

Acknowledgments 253

Glossary 255

Bibliography 259

Endnotes 261

Case Index 267

Subject Index 271

Customer Reviews