Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Lives of the Constitution By Joseph Tartakovsky

By Joseph Tartakovsky

We live in an era of uncertainty about the future of our Constitution, but America’s constitutional adventure is the inspiring story of how our people, for 230 years, have overcome one constitutional challenge after another. In his compelling new history, The Lives of the Constitution: Ten Exceptional Minds that Shaped America’s Supreme Law, Joseph Tartakovsky, an attorney and historian who served as Nevada’s Deputy Solicitor General, tells the epic and unexpected story of our Constitution through the eyes of ten extraordinary individuals - some renowned, like Alexander Hamilton and Woodrow Wilson, and some forgotten, like James Wilson and Ida B. Wells-Barnett.

Tartakovsky brings to life the struggles of these men and women over our supreme law from its origins in revolutionary America to the age of Trump. Sweeping from settings as diverse as Gold Rush California to the halls of Congress, and crowded with a vivid Dickensian cast, Tartakovsky shows how our nation has grappled with questions like racial and sexual equality, free speech, economic liberty, gun rights, immigration, and the size of government. This is the first book to tell the story of our Constitution as the story of our people and its unique constitutional culture.

In The Lives of the Constitution, you’ll learn:

·     That we live in Alexander Hamilton’s America today (not Thomas Jefferson’s);
·     How Daniel Webster sought to avert the Civil War;
·     How Justice Stephen Field defined our immigration law;
·     How Alexis de Tocqueville misunderstood America;
·     How Robert Jackson balanced liberty and order in the battle against Nazism and Communism;
·     How Antonin Scalia died warning Americans about the ever-growing reach of the Supreme Court; and
·     That Ida Wells-Barnett was a one-woman army who fought a lonely moral and journalistic war against anti-black violence and misogyny between Reconstruction and the Jazz Age.

From the 1787 Philadelphia Convention to the clash over gay marriage, The Lives of the Constitution is a grand tour through two centuries of constitutional history as never told before, and an education in the principles that sustain America in the most astonishing experiment in government ever undertaken.

About the Author: Joseph Tartakovsky is the James Wilson Fellow in Constitutional Law at the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy and an editor at the Claremont Review of Books. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times. He has served as the Deputy Solicitor General of Nevada, a white-collar criminal litigator at an international law firm, and as a law clerk to a federal appellate judge.

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