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A Machine That Would Go of Itself: The Constitution in American Culture
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A Machine That Would Go of Itself: The Constitution in American Culture

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  27 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Michael Kammen examines the cultural impact of the Constitution on the United States: the place of the Constitution in the public consciousness and its role as a symbol in American life, from ratification in 1788 to our own time.

Exploring what the Constitution has meant to the American people (perceptions and misperceptions, uses and abuses
...more
Paperback, 550 pages
Published August 12th 1987 by Vintage (first published 1986)
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Eric_W
May 15, 2012 Eric_W rated it it was amazing
Those of us who revere the Constitution and particularly the Bill of Rights realize how subversive a document it can be. We all pay it lip service but many really don't understand what it means, or perhaps understand only too well. Michael Kammen in A Machine That Would Go Of Itself describes how Louis D. Oaks, the Los Angeles Chief of Police, had Upton Sinclair arrested in 1923 for reading the first three amendments to the Constitution in public. He was "kidnapped" by the police, moved to ...more
Miriam
Jan 10, 2016 Miriam rated it liked it
The wonderful thing about history is that you realize the truth of the statement, "plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose." Kammen traces the history of constitutionalism, American understanding and faith in the values of the constitution. For most of its history, Americans have reified the document while simultaneously arguing over its meaning and essence.

There are some tedious chapters about the extent to which celebrations of the Constitution received public support, but the ones that outl
...more
Tiffoknee the 3rd Conner
Michael Kammen is one of my favorite social historians. He has a very crisp, accessible prose whilst still remaining true to the rigor of the historical project. I'm also something of a constitutional history nerd. Don't ask. So this is one of my favorite books. Period.
Leonardo
Oct 18, 2016 Leonardo marked it as to-keep-ref
Shelves: eeuu
Para análisis detallados sobre los conflictos internos a la Constitución, ver principalmente: Michael Kurman, A Machine That Would Go of Itself (New York: Knopf, 1986).

Imperio Pág.127


Para una breve historia de las crisis de la Constitución precipitadas por la esclavitud negra desde la Convención Constituyente hasta la Guerra Civil, ver Kammen, A Machine That Would Go of Itself, pp. 96-105.

Imperio Pág.131
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Michael Gedaliah Kammen was a professor of American cultural history at Cornell University. He won the Pulitzer Prize (History, 1973) for his book, People of Paradox: An Inquiry Concerning the Origins of American Civilization.
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