Jake's Reviews > The United States Constitution: What It Says, What It Means: A Hip Pocket Guide

The United States Constitution by James Madison
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's review
Feb 25, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction, politics, history
Read from March 03 to 06, 2010

There are three reasons that I purchased this copy of the U.S. Constitution:

1) I have a deep and abiding love for democracy in general, and my country in specific.
2) With midterm elections coming up, and with Tea Party frenzy increasing, I felt a personal responsibility to refresh my knowledge of the nation’s most important governing document.
3) I had three bucks left to kill on a Barnes and Noble Gift Card.

The U.S. Constitution is certainly a good read. And I was way overdue to read the original text in its entirety. This edition, offering supplementary notes, bridges the gap between contemporary English and the legalese used by our Founding Fathers. I found the explanatory material helpful, to the point, and delightfully brief. Honestly, I wasn’t looking to make a deep study of this document. I simply wanted a user-friendly refresher course. That is precisely what this edition provided.

The explanatory notes offered historical context, a sense of what the framers were attempting to create/protect in each clause, and a thumbnail sketch of how specific sections have been revisited in the courts over the last two-plus centuries. I highly recommend purchasing this edition. And I am ashamed to admit only realizing after this read that the U.S. Constitution is not a long document. With an edition like this one the Constitution is easily reviewed-- especially during election years, when we the people help shape the nation’s future.

I’ll be reading this again from time to time.

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Reading Progress

03/03/2010 page 13
03/04/2010 page 38
42.7% "Interesting to see the three branches laid out in the official language of the document."
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