The Constitution of the United States of America
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The Constitution of the United States of America

4.52 of 5 stars 4.52  ·  rating details  ·  12,393 ratings  ·  212 reviews

The complete text of the United States Constitution, including all of the amendments.

Paperback, 30 pages
Published January 1st 1970 by Applewood Books (first published 1787)
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Books Ring Mah Bell
It's a goddamn shame when our "leader" refers to this as "a goddamn piece of paper".


I handed out pocket sized Constitutions on Constitution Day last year. I am a nerd.
Enrique Valdivia
The original pretty much sucks. Slavery, women and renters can't vote etc. Electoral college = WTF? The amendments rock though. Wonder if there will be any decent sequels.
Jeff
I'm gonna take the first step to understand the laws of the land. Mabey if more people read and studied this book, we would not have the shit-hole government that we do.
Peter Macinnis
It might seem odd that an Australian would list this—and if you look at the shelves I have it on, Americans may perceive one apparent inconsistency. Folks, if you see 'odd' or 'inconsistent', you don't know the full story.

Because Britain had (and has) no written constitution, the Australian constitutional conventions needed to look closely at other examples, and high on their list was the US Constitution.

To be blunt, Australia's founding fathers (no women were allowed in) followed the US Constit...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Somehow I don't look at this as a "book" it's more of a document. But I do wish every American would read it. Get through the construction parts, see what's been changed over the life of our country by reading the amendments (the shameful attempt to allow slavery, the repudiation of slavery. the change from senators being selected by the house to being elected directly, etc., etc.).

Read, understand and treasure the rights guaranteed to every American in the Bill of Rights...note that, "The Bill...more
Cordell
The most important political document ever created. Unfortunatly it is not as widely read as it should be. Our (USA) government has gone wildly past its oritional scope. More people should read the actual constitution to understand how simple government was meant to be. For example Article 1 section 8 lists the powers of the Congress. There are only 18 of them. Makes me think where does it get the power to take my money and redistribut it to cash for clunkers.

Here it is.

The Congress shall have...more
Michael
This is the first time that I've read the Constitution simply because I wanted to read it, and it sure won't be the last. Every citizen of the United States should study this brilliant document closely, because if we don't know and understand it, the rights that it guarantees us will be taken from us. I think most people have a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of this document. It was designed, not to give the government power, but to restrict the government's power. To give a limit t...more
Jared
Nov 23, 2008 Jared rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all U.S. citizens particularly, and everyone else
It's really interesting to go through the Constitution and see what it actually says. For example, the issue of separation between church and state really isn't quite how it's often portrayed. The Constitution provides for the non-intervention of the government in religion, and says practically nothing about the non-intervention of religion in government -- at least, I couldn't find anything.

One thing that I really like about this edition is that it marks the sections of the Constitution and ame...more
Kim Blankenship
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ezra
Jul 06, 2007 Ezra rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Americans
WOW! What a piece of work. Twists, turns, cliffhangers! This will really leave the Nation on the edge of it's seat.
Davis
May 31, 2009 Davis rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
The founding documents of this country as illuminating as they are meaningful. They get a 5 star for many reasons. Over 200 years ago, the greatest men our country have known sat down to hammer out how their country would be ran; and they failed. After that, they had a better idea of what worked and what did. These men realized we needed a strong central government. Federal government needed to have the power and carry out wars; allowing the states to much freedom was dangerous as was leaving th...more
Charl(ie|es)
Mar 23, 2014 Charl(ie|es) rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who wants a good laugh
Extremely antiquated and obfuscated. Predictable ending and almost always misinterpreted. I'm hoping the 2nd edition is revised to make it more relevant and useful to the people it was supposedly written for.
Clayton Chase
I read it. I wish Congress would too.
Christy
The Constution is truly a living document from scholars who knew the history of the world. They knew what kind of government worked and what didn't. They knew what went wrong and did all they could not repeat history. Unfortulately the majority of American people don't know history and are hell-bent on adding America to the list of nations with a tragic decline.

My thoughts start with the Legislative branch. Article 1 Section 8 defines the limited powers congress is given. The clause given “to p...more
Casey Wheeler
I just reread the Constitution for the first time in many years. What caused me to do it was that I was tired of hearing all of the politician, political pundits and special interest groups take small sections of it and spin it to their own purposes. We have become a country of political extremes with little or no room for compromise.

Our forefathers were very enlightened for their time in developing the original document. The preamble still gives me goosebumps:

We the People of the United States,...more
Sean McBride
I feel weird rating the constitution. Just saying.

I had never actually gone through and read the dang thing, so in an effort to expand upon my education (and to be truthful, to get through some books I haven't read and are languishing on my shelves) I decided to delve into it. First of all it's amazing to me how lose our current government is with some of these principles. Undoubtedly the framers wrote the thing to be a little ambiguous, but because power is persuasive people bend the understand...more
Dave
It's a crying shame that both political parties in America, left and right, don't take this more seriously. On the Republican side, the darling of the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, would like to see terrorists water-boarded to 'baptise' them. Unconstitutional! On the other side, the Democratic President, constitutional lawyer Barack Hussein Obama, has signed the NDAA which allows indefinite detention. He also claims to be personally responsible for ordering the assassinations of foreign citizens in co...more
Susan
Went back and read the Constitution. (Read it a lifetime ago, in high school). Started out taking notes as I went, but that got burdensome, so I just read through it. So much information - felt like I was in history class again. It is a lot to remember and keep straight. Maybe if I read it several times a year it will stick better. Made me wonder if our senators and representatives (and president) have the knowledge committed to their memories. Such a well organized, and beautifully written docu...more
Philip
Should high school students (seniors) in an American Government course be required to read The Constitution of the United States of America?

...Or would that be prohibited by the 8th Amendment?

I just re-read it because I taught a section of U.S. Government dealing with primary sources. We read a lot, and it was difficult for several students, but they persevered. During the course, there were four co-teachers, each with their own section. At the end, one of my colleagues asked students for some i...more
Daniel Probst
I read this recently after listening to an episode of "This American Life" on the separation of church and state. I remember this seemed really dull in 5th grade social studies class, but it seemed amazing now. Perhaps the last 6 years of politics in this country have made me pessimistic, so reading the founding ideals of this country were not only refreshing, but inspiring. Yes, I'm a nerd.
Bart Masciale
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Raleighhunter
If you are an American, you need to know it and exactly how it came about. Read it. Read the Federalist Papers that helped push it into existence. Read about events that pushed it into existence like Shays Rebellion. Heck, read the Articles of Confederation to give great insights to the Constitution.

Most Americans I talk to have precious little insight to the Constitution.
Sara
If you're an American and you haven't read this document, WTF. Get it together, people. Know your rights and know how your government works. This is essential, mandatory reading.

It's really hard to pick a rating for this one, because how in the world would you go about it? What would the criteria be? It's not about the enjoyment of reading it and the skill and plausibility of the writing, which is how I usually rate my books. It's a legal document that establishes the foundation of America's gov...more
Steven Walle
A great document. With all its' amendments and articles it is a very complete document which has been borrowed by many democracies to govern their people in life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness.
Lani
I just wish more Americans knew what this said, and did more to make sure our country was sticking to it. I think it's "handing by a thread" right now.

I'd recommend it for any American, or non-American
♥iDevourBooks♥ ☆Sonic~Obsessed☆
By what I remember, I read this recently. Very good for patriotic people and for any person for that matter!
Sean
It is a shame if anyone from the USA over the age of 16 has not read this work. This seminal political document is a living document (it has been amended over two dozen times) and the supreme law of the land in the United States of America. Constitutional interpretation is the duty of the Supreme Court and a central issue in any governmental discussion in the U.S.A.

Madison was a genius and many of the framers were brilliant and advocated some of the noble ideals of the Enlightenment, but, as th...more
Adam
Aug 22, 2011 Adam added it
The story was lacking. Still found it compelling, though.
Sara
Always good to brush up on how our country started.
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The real government 36 29 May 30, 2013 07:08PM  
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  • The Gettysburg Address
  • The Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates
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  • Common Sense, The Rights of Man and Other Essential Writings of Thomas Paine
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  • Second Treatise of Government
  • The Law
  • The Conscience of a Conservative
  • The Revolution: A Manifesto
  • Democracy in America
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  • George Washington's Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation (Little Books of Wisdom)
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  • Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century
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63859
James Madison, Jr. was an American politician and the fourth President of the United States (1809–1817), and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Madison was the last founding father to die. Considered to be the "Father of the Constitution", he was the principal author of the document. In 1788, he wrote over a third of the Federalist Papers, still the most influential commentary on th...more
More about James Madison...
The Constitution of the United States with the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 Reported by James Madison Writings (Library of America #109) The Constitutional Convention: A Narrative History from the Notes of James Madison The Mind of the Founder: Sources of the Political Thought of James Madison

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