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The Citizen's Constitution: An Annotated Guideby Seth Lipsky
Synopses & Reviews
Pocket versions of the Constitution of the United States of America abound, as do oversize commentaries, learned biographies, and tendentious parsings of various clauses and interpretations. But what if you want a quick reference that places the document and its clauses into context? You're out of luck--until now.
Seth Lipsky, publisher of the late, lamented New York Sun and inveterate conservative, has been studying the Constitution for years. Prompted by arguments and discussions with friends and foes alike, he has put together this guide that gives us the historical context of the writing of the Constitution, the thoughts of the Founders, and how the interpretation has shifted over the years. Lipsky highlights the anti-Federalist position, a point of view lost over the past two hundred years in the face of the dominant Federalists. His Citizen's Constitution serves as a no-nonsense, entertaining, and learned guide to the fundamental questions surrounding the document that governs how we govern our country.
"Inspiring, but also vague, eccentric and sometimes dysfunctional: that's the picture of the Constitution that emerges from this annotated guide. Lipsky, founding editor of the Jewish Forward and the defunct New York Sun, writes extended notes on every phrase in the Constitution and amendments, including obscure elements like letters of marque and reprisal. Citing commentators and landmark Supreme Court cases, he gives an evenhanded account of evolving interpretations of the Constitution and its influence on governance and politics. Lipsky's own predilections show mainly in his resurrection of the anti-Federalists and modern-day defenders of state sovereignty. While highlighting the Constitution's quirks, Lipsky says little about larger issues like the Senate's unequal representation of voters. This is a lively curio shop of Constitutional law and lore, but lacks analytic depth." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
The Constitution is a bulwark of American society, yet how many people have actually read it, and how many fewer really understand the history and implications of its various clauses? We see fellow citizens brandishing the Constitution as a weapon in the shrill political dialogue that seems commonplace these days. How much better would that dialogue be if everyone involved had the thorough grounding this book offers. Working section by section, Lipsky provides a thorough discussion of the entire document. From both historical and legal perspectives, the reading is informative and entertaining. It is a timely resource in interesting times. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This pocket-guide to the Constitution serves as a no-nonsense, entertaining, and learned guide to the fundamental questions surrounding the document that governs how America is governed.
An Elements of Style for how our government is supposed to work
In this delightfully quick, witty, readable, and authoritative guide, Seth Lipsky, legendary newspaperman, places the United States Constitution and its clauses into context. In more than 300 sparkling annotations--fully updated for this paperback edition--The Citizen's Constitution draws on the writings of the Founders, case law from our greatest judges, and current events. Lipsky provides a no-nonsense, entertaining, and learned reference to the fundamental questions surrounding the document that governs how we govern our country.
Pocket versions of the Constitution of the United States of America abound, as do multi-volume commentaries, scholarly histories of its writing, and political posturings of various clauses. But what if you want a delightfully quick, witty, and readable reference that, in one compact volume, places the document and its clauses into context? You’re out of luck—until now. Written by Seth Lipsky, described in the Boston Globe as “a legendary figure in contemporary journalism,” The Citizen’s Constitution draws on the writings of the Founders, case law from our greatest judges, and current events in more than 300 illuminating annotations. Lipsky provides a no-nonsense, entertaining, and learned guide to the fundamental questions surrounding the document that governs how we govern our country. Every American should know the Constitution. Rarely has it glinted so brightly.
About the Author
Seth Lipsky, founding editor of the New York Sun, has also worked at the Wall Street Journal at home and abroad, and was founding editor of the Forward newspaper, where he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1991. He lives with his wife and four children in New York.
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