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UPDATED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 10 YEARS, The Words We Live By takes an entertaining and informative look at America's most important historical document, now with discussions about new rulings on hot-button issues such as immigration, gay marriage, the right to bear arms, and affirmative action.
In The Words We Live By, award-winning author and journalist Linda R. Monk explores the many interpretations of the Constitution's text in a balanced manner. The Words We Live By presents a new way of looking at the Constitution through entertaining and informative annotations--filled with the stories of the people behind the Supreme Court cases and historical perspective, along with enough surprises and fascinating facts and illustrations to prove that the Constitution is every bit as relevant today as it was in 1787.
About the Author
Table of Contents
|The Constitution as Conversation||9|
|Part I||The Constitution of the United States||10|
|The Preamble: We the People||11|
|Article I||The Legislative Branch||18|
|Article II||The Executive Branch||62|
|Article III||The Judicial Branch||89|
|Article IV||Full Faith and Credit||104|
|Article VI||The Supreme Law of the Land||118|
|Part II||Amendments to the Constitution of the United States||126|
|Amendment 1||Freedom of Expression||127|
|Amendment 2||The Right to Bear Arms||151|
|Amendment 3||Quartering of Troops||154|
|Amendment 4||Unreasonable Searches and Seizures||157|
|Amendment 5||Due Process of Law||164|
|Amendment 6||The Right to a Fair Trial||173|
|Amendment 7||Trial by Jury in Civil Cases||181|
|Amendment 8||Cruel and Unusual Punishment||184|
|Amendment 9||Unenumerated Rights||190|
|Amendment 10||States' Rights||194|
|Amendment 11||Lawsuits Against States||199|
|Amendment 12||Choosing the Executive||201|
|Amendment 13||Abolishing Slavery||205|
|Amendment 14||Equal Protection of the Laws||212|
|Amendment 15||Suffrage for Black Men||229|
|Amendment 16||Income Taxes||233|
|Amendment 17||Direct Election of Senators||234|
|Amendment 19||Women's Suffrage||238|
|Amendment 20||Lame Ducks||242|
|Amendment 21||Repealing Prohibition||246|
|Amendment 22||Presidential Term Limits||249|
|Amendment 23||Electoral Votes for the District of Columbia||251|
|Amendment 24||Banning the Poll Tax||253|
|Amendment 25||Presidential Succession and Disability||255|
|Amendment 26||Suffrage for Young People||260|
|Amendment 27||Limiting Congressional Pay Raises||261|
|To Decide for Ourselves What Freedom Is||263|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am a lawyer and Consitutional scholar. I have given several speeches on the origins and history of the constitution. I have looked for years for a good primmer which puts the basic language of the Constitution into historical context and traces the Supreme Court's interpretion and treatment of that language. One can then easily go on if necessary to find more indepth treatment of that language in the actual decisions of the court or in the progeny of the landmark decisions. The recent Heller decision is a good illustration. There is sparce mention of the Second ammendment in the history of the Constituion or in court decisions handed down since the ratification of the Bill of Rights. For many years a dabate raged over whether that Amendment established a private right to bear arms or whether the right only existed in the context of a Militia. While this book was copywrited in 2003, prior to the Heller decision, it's analysis as to what to anticipate in Heller was right on. This is the "little" book I have been looking for for years.
What a great book. Linda Monk really breaks things down bit by bit, Article by Article, and Amendment by Amendment. What I liked best was the use of Supreme Court decisions on Constitutional interpretation. While this may seem a logial step, outside of the legal community, many Americans may not really think about it. To have them in something outside of law school textbook and in something meant for everyone is exceptional. A really good feature, as well, is the use of sidebars and quotations of prominent Americans. They put things in context.
As a student of the Constitution I have read many books about it over the years. This author takes an entirely new, very liberal view. It is filled with historical inaccuracies and polical-correctnes. My wife bought this for me as a Christmas present. Other than this book, it was a good Chrsitmas.
This author has taken the Liberal view point about the Constitution. She wants more goverment involment in day to day activities of the citizens. She thinks that Clinton was exonerated. This is not an unbiased view of the Constitution.
I graduated from college in 1978 with bachlors degrees in political science and law enforcement. In the process of gaining those degrees, I suffered through countless hours of constitutional law courses. While it was kind of entertaining seeing the spin that my liberal poly sci and ultra conservative law enforcement instructors gave the same material it really wasn't very productive. Wandering thru Barnes and Noble last week, my wife (who also took the law enforcement verison of con law) turned up a copy of "The Words We Live By" and on a whim, I added it to my stack. I found it fascinating. The book brought the Constitution alive for me and corrected a number of misconceptions that I have carried for the last 3 decades.
Awesome book! Every American should at least read this book. Not enough Americans know the true make up of The Constitution.
While I have yet to read the entire book, what I have read is great. Well written. Words we not only do live by, but words we SHOULD live by.
The Words We Live By has become a standard reference in my household for my fourth and sixth grader. As my children have gone to the book for questions they have about the Constitution, I have read along with them. In my reading I have found much to admire about The Words We Live By. The writing is clean and crisp, and the author presents a balanced point of view about the constitution. The only agenda Linda Monk seems to have is for her reader to understand the Constitution of the United States. How many books could you pick up that would be praised by both Linda Chavez and Nat Hentoff?
As a college student who is not politically-focused, and has enough required reading already, this was an easy book to pick up and read. By providing pictures, quotes, and defined terms in the margins, it makes it easy to learn- and helps to break up what can otherwise be a dull document, (The Constitution). In addition to explaining each section of the Constitution, Monk provides a balanced discription of the process by which the Constitution was created, including anecdotes when appropriate. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the Constitution, or anyone who needs a new book for the bedside table.