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Other titles in the We the People series:

We the People: Volume 1, Foundations

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We the People: Volume 1, Foundations Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Bruce Ackerman offers a sweeping reinterpretation of our nation's constitutional experience and its promise for the future. Integrating themes from American history, political science, and philosophy, We the People confronts the past, present, and future of popular sovereignty in America. Only this distinguished scholar could present such an insightful view of the role of the Supreme Court. Rejecting arguments of judicial activists, proceduralists, and neoconservatives, Ackerman proposes a new model of judicial interpretation that would synthesize the constitutional contributions of many generations into a coherent whole. The author ranges from examining the origins of the dualist tradition in the Federalist Papers to reflecting upon recent, historic constitutional decisions. The latest revolutions in civil rights, and the right to privacy, are integrated into the fabric of constitutionalism. Today's Constitution can best be seen as the product of three great exercises in popular sovereignty, led by the Founding Federalists in the 1780s, the Reconstruction Republicans in the 1860s, and the New Deal Democrats in the 1930s.

Ackerman examines the roles played during each of these periods by the Congress, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court. He shows that Americans have built a distinctive type of constitutional democracy, unlike any prevailing in Europe. It is a dualist democracy, characterized by its continuing effort to distinguish between two kinds of politics: normal politics, in which organized interest groups try to influence democratically elected representatives; and constitutional politics, in which the mass of citizens mobilize to debate matters of fundamental principle. Although American history is dominated by normal politics, our tradition places a higher value on mobilized efforts to gain the consent of the people to new governing principles.In a dualist democracy, the rare triumphs of constitutional politics determine the course of normal politics.More than a decade in the making, and the first of three volumes, this compelling book speaks to all who seek to renew and redefine our civic commitments in the decades ahead.

About the Author

Bruce Ackerman is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University.

Yale University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

PART 1: DISCOVERING THE CONSTITUTION

1. Dualist Democracy

2. The Bicentennial Myth

3. One Constitution, Three Regimes

4. The Middle Republic

5. The Modern Republic

6. The Possibility of Interpretation

PART 2: NEO-FEDERALISM

7. Publius

8. The Lost Revolution

9. Normal Politics

10. Higher Lawnmaking

11. Why Dualism?

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674948419
Author:
Ackerman, Bruce
Publisher:
Belknap Press
Author:
Ackerman, Bruce
Location:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Subject:
History
Subject:
United states
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Constitutional history
Subject:
Constitutional law
Subject:
General Law
Subject:
US History-General
Subject:
History - United States/General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series:
Volume 1
Series Volume:
Volume 1, Foundation
Publication Date:
March 1993
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
none
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 18 oz

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