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From Kennebunkport to Kauai, from the Rio Grande to the Northern Rockies, ours is a vast republic. While we may be united under one Constitution, separate and distinct states remain, each with its own constitution and culture. Geographic idiosyncrasies add more than just local character. Regional understandings of law and justice have shaped and reshaped our nation throughout history. America's Constitution, our founding and unifying document, looks slightly different in California than it does in Kansas. In The Law of the Land, renowned legal scholar Akhil Reed Amar illustrates how geography, federalism, and regionalism have influenced some of the biggest questions in American constitutional law. Writing about Illinois, "the land of Lincoln," Amar shows how our sixteenth president's ideas about secession were influenced by his Midwestern upbringing and outlook. All of today's Supreme Court justices, Amar notes, learned their law in the Northeast, and New Yorkers of various sorts dominate the judiciary as never before. The curious Bush v. Gore decision, Amar insists, must be assessed with careful attention to Florida law and the Florida Constitution. The second amendment appears in a particularly interesting light, he argues, when viewed from the perspective of Rocky Mountain cowboys and cowgirls. Propelled by Amar's distinctively smart, lucid, and engaging prose, these essays allow general readers to see the historical roots of, and contemporary solutions to, many important constitutional questions. The Law of the Land illuminates our nation's history and politics, and shows how America's various local parts fit together to form a grand federal framework.
"I don't think there is anyone in the academy these days capable of more patient and attentive reading of the constitutional text than Akhil Amar."--Jeremy Waldron, New York Review of Books When the stories that lead our daily news involve momentous constitutional questions, present-minded journalists and busy citizens cannot always see the stakes clearly. In The Constitution Today, Akhil Reed Amar, America's preeminent constitutional scholar, considers the biggest and most bitterly contested debates of the last two decades--from gun control to gay marriage, affirmative action to criminal procedure, presidential dynasties to congressional dysfunction, Bill Clinton's impeachment to Obamacare. He shows how the Constitution's text, history, and structure are a crucial repository of collective wisdom, providing specific rules and grand themes relevant to every organ of the American body politic. Leading readers through the constitutional questions at stake in each episode while outlining his abiding views regarding the direction constitutional law must go, Amar offers an essential guide for anyone seeking to understand America's Constitution and its relevance today.
American Constitutional Law, Volume I provides a comprehensive account of the nation's defining document, examining how its provisions were originally understood by those who drafted and ratified it, and how they have since been interpreted by the Supreme Court, Congress, the President, lower federal courts, and state judiciaries. Clear and accessible chapter introductions and a careful balance between classic and recent cases provide students with a sense of how the law has been understood and construed over the years. The Tenth Edition has been fully revised to include seven new cases, including key decisions National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, Zivotofsky v. Kerry, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, Horne v. Department of Agriculture and Comptroller of the Treasure of Maryland v. Wynne. A revamped and expanded companion website offers access to even more additional cases, an archive of primary documents, and links to online resources, making this text essential for any constitutional law course.
In this acclaimed historical study. Alexander Saxton establishes the centrality of white racism to American politics and culture. Examining images of race at a popular level -- from blackface minstrelsy to the construction of the Western hero, from grassroots political culture to dime noveis -- as well as the philosophical constructions of the political elite, it is a powerful and comprehensive account of the ideological forces at work in the formation of modern America. Book jacket.

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