For well over two centuries, the United States Constitution has served as a charter for a free, democratic government and for a country that has risen from a dicey political experiment to an economic and political superpower. In the history of the world, there is nothing like it.
In “The Constitution: Understanding America’s Founding Document,”Michael S. Greve explains how to think seriously about the United States Constitution and constitutions in general. What are constitutions supposed to do, and what can they accomplish? Why was the specific form of the Constitution—including both its structure and its rights catalogue—so important? Why is the Constitution so difficult to amend? Greve provides a fresh perspective on the Constitution’s structure and our enduring constitutional controversies, from federalism and the separation of powers to slavery, civil rights, and the administrative state.