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The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  149 ratings  ·  28 reviews
In time for the upcoming election season, Penguin presents a series of six portable, accessible, and—above all—essential reads from American political history, selected by leading scholars. Series editor Richard Beeman, author of The Penguin Guide to the U.S. Constitution, draws together the great texts of American civic life, including the founding documents, pivotal hist ...more
Paperback, 174 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Penguin Books
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Average rating 4.52  · 
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 ·  149 ratings  ·  28 reviews


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Jon Mellberg
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
The declaration is the exciting part; the amendments are the interesting parts, but the whole thing is important!
Stefanie
A must read for all Americans.
Veronica
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
You may wonder why I’m reading this. How can you not know the D of I and the Constitution? you might ask. Sure, I took AP Government like any good high schooler and I’m bound to have studied these documents then, but that was nearly 20 years ago and I’ll be damned if I remember anything other than who my teacher was and who I used to pass notes to. As Richard Beeman notes in his introduction to this first book in the lovely Penguin Civics Classics series, “There is…[a] large body of evidence sug ...more
Terry Pearson
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This copy was won by me in a giveaway. Leaving a review is my choice.

This portable book comes at a time where I felt it important I brush up on such subjects I haven't read in over forty years. *most Americans don't just happen to have a copy of The United States Constitution or The Federalist Papers lying around their home.

The Declaration of Independence and The United States Constitution are not exactly easy documents to understand; the annotations by Richard Beeman simplify them so even a nov
...more
José
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Quick but important read. Not just the text of the Declaration and the Constitution in its current state, but notes from the author to give context and spirit to the letter. It is important for every American citizen (and every aspiring citizen) to read and understand these documents, so that they know the rules and values the United States was built on, and whether the current state of government is upholding them. As a “living document”, the Constitution shows us how far we’ve come, and where ...more
SReed
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Important documents (Declaration of Independence and The US Constitution) for every American citizen to reread in light of current history unfolding.

I find it reassuring to know the our democratic process (based on a separation of powers - House, Senate and the Executive branches) is unfolding as designed.

Reminded now of the ‘rules of engagement,’ I’m watching the impeachment trials with informed interest and hoping our elected public servants take their roles seriously and do their job in the
...more
David
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It feels odd to rate the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Consitution, so perhaps a qualifier is in order here. My rating reflections the quality of the explanatory notes that accompany both documents, which helps illuminate some of the more arcane aspects of each, but also provides some much-needed context for specific components of both documents. Simply put, this is an indispensable text for anyone looking to add to their civic understanding.
Liz
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This seems a very appropriate time to reread the basic documents that created the fundamentals of our country. The explanatory notes were quite helpful in relating those documents to the issues facing us today. I think all citizens should reacquaint ourselves with where we began so we understand better where we are going.
I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads for this honest review.
David Cavaco
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: americana
Great concise guide on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. These guiding documents have indeed made the United States great and a beacon to liberty. The explanations provided really provide context and understanding of each article and section of the aforementioned historical records. Enjoyable and informative.
Amanda
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really appreciate the annotations in this edition. Threw me a little at first that they were after each section of the Declaration of Independence and each article/amendment of the Constitution, rather than as a footnote or at the end of each document but it actually flows fairly well once you get used to it.
Rebecca
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
every person living in the usa should read the D of I and the constitution. im kinda mad at myself for not read then early.
Adam Garcia
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, philosophy
The founding documents of our country. You should know them.
Melissa
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great resource for reading the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and actually learning what it means.
Lissa Della
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Because it doesn't hurt to do a little refresher; especially during these strange times we are living... A must read for all Americans.
John
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What sort of sick mind comes up with such filth? Positively pornographic.
Geri Degruy
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It seems like a good time (as is any other time) to re-read the Constitution. It is getting thrown around a lot of late and I hadn't re-read it for several years. This is a thin volume containing the documents and a limited helpful commentary. Definitely worth a read and re-read, often.
Claire
As an American it's difficult to remain objective when reading the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. I must confess I feel quite patriotic about these documents. I will say that this edition with annotations by Richard Beeman is well done. Helpful for the layman to understand what prompted each element of the Constitution, without any partisan propaganda. I'm sure I will re-read this.
Timothy Mcpike
Dec 09, 2013 rated it liked it
The author isn't exactly "nonpartisan." He repeatedly gets breathless over President Obama. And he's flat out wrong in stating that the Full Faith and Credit Clause requires all States to recognize the gay marriages that are legal in 17 States. They don't. They have to recognize only that they're legal in those 17 States.
Nabilah Firdaus
A brief explanation on what prompted each element of the Constitution.
John
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read the Declaration of Independence and The United States Constitution. This is a great little volume with an interesting introduction and short explanations throughout.
Lee Staman
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: americana, history
Well yeah everyone should read this, they're only the founding documents of our country!
Emma Iz
Been reading this little by little all summer and have finally finished it!
Paul
Aug 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Helpful, clarifying, and interesting. Lovely cover design also!
Jean-luc Plourde
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent edition of the Declaration of Independence and of the constitution, including the amendments. The annotations included really facilitate the understanding of each articles.
Joel
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Probably need to give this five stars or I will lose my citizenship.
JRP
rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2020
Elana Levy
rated it it was amazing
Apr 25, 2020
Christopher Gilson
rated it it was amazing
Jan 24, 2013
George Fisher
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Mar 31, 2013
David
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Sep 20, 2013
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More than a mere renaissance man, Jefferson may actually have been a new kind of man. He was fluent in five languages and able to read two others. He wrote, over the course of his life, over sixteen thousand letters. He was acquainted with nearly every influential person in America, and a great many in Europe as well. He was a lawyer, agronomist, musician, scientist, philosopher, author, architect ...more

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