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The Genius of America: How the Constitution Saved Our Country--and Why It Can Again
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The Genius of America: How the Constitution Saved Our Country--and Why It Can Again

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  60 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
An inspiring and revelatory look at the document that has made our country the longest surviving democracy in the history of civilization: The Constitution of the United States.

The history of democracy is a history of failure. The United States holds the record at 230 years, yet the document at the nation's center is one that we take for granted. Due to a combination of he
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 18th 2007 by Bloomsbury USA
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Jacqueline
Jul 12, 2009 Jacqueline rated it it was amazing
The Genius of America by Eric Lane and Michael Oreskes examines the foundation of our constitutional government in a concise and compelling manner. Throughout this work, the authors refer to our “Constitutional Conscience” as a vital component of the American political system. Democracy in and of itself will not protect the rights of citizens. A constitution in and of itself will not preserve democracy. Germany was a constitutional democracy in 1933, when Adolf Hitler came to power.

In 1787, our
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Deborah Kick
Jul 05, 2015 Deborah Kick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Background information: I am 22-year-old recent college graduate who will be starting law school in late August of this year. I received this book as a gift from the dean of my law school, Eric Lane, who, as you can see, is a co-author of this book. The book is not mandatory reading. However, I love to read, so...

The book, true to its title, is a brief overview of the history of our Constitution, as well as the conflicts and compromises that have arisen from it. The first third of the book is a
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Don
Aug 30, 2015 Don rated it liked it
Having just recently finished Joseph Ellis's excellent "The Quartet," which examines the revolution that takes place in American political thought from 1783 under the Articles of Confederation to the adoption of the Constitution in 1789, this book may have suffered from comparisons. Ultimately, this is not fair, as they are different books.

While Ellis's book focuses solely on the history of the period (and the impact of Washington, Madison, Hamilton, and Jay -hence, the "Quartet"), Lane's book i
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Mike
Jan 30, 2008 Mike rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: history buffs, students of governments, citizens
Shelves: history, politics
This is a short read about the structure of the Constitution and what the authors call the "Constitutional Conscience." The book makes the case that the real accomplishment of the constitution is that it tames the passions of various factions by forcing them to compromise. This process helps prevent the populace from acting rashly or bringing about a tyranny of a majority. To the authors, the spirit of compromise is at the soul of this great charter.

I really liked this book. It's a different per
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Kendra
Dec 14, 2009 Kendra rated it really liked it
This short book delivers a timely reminder of how the American system of government, although frustratingly slow at reaching compromises, was purposely developed by the Constitution's founders in 1787. After a decade of seeing their belief in Americans' ability to sublimate their individual selfish desires in favor of the greater societal good disproven by the behavior of the country's citizens, the founders gathered to write a Constitution that incorporated a recognition that individuals act in ...more
John Kaufmann
Dec 09, 2013 John Kaufmann rated it really liked it
A defense of the Constitution as establishing a deliberative and representative PROCESS. The authors present the current gridlock in the American political system not as a result of the Constitutional system, but rather as a result of people unwilling to compromise and find common ground. They present the Constitution in historical context, ranging from the failure of the Articles of Confederation and what was happening in the American colonies between 1776 and 1787, to some of the key debates o ...more
Dana
Dec 30, 2014 Dana rated it really liked it
Read for class. It was an interesting read and covered the constitution. Let's just say I learned a lot and the friction we see today in Washington isn't that out of place. It was designed that way.
Patsy
Sep 17, 2008 Patsy rated it did not like it
Compromise is key. They leave out the story of the 3/5ths compromise. I would have liked to hear their take.

I didn't finish reading it. 'Nough said.
Andrew
Sep 30, 2010 Andrew rated it it was amazing
A must-read! Especially for President Obama, Speaker of the House Pelosi, etc. And for Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, and even Jon Stewart.
Eileen
May 27, 2010 Eileen rated it liked it
Couldn't finish reading this, it was days overdue at the library. :(
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