What the framers meant when they crafted the Constitution is a never-ending battle. At the heart of many of today's political controversies, Original Meaning looks at the ideology and interest from which the Constitution arose--and how Americans have attached different meanings to the document from the moment it was published. Examine the classic issues: federalism, representation, executive power, individual rights, and the idea that the Constitution should become law. A major, must-read work of reinterpretation. 439 pages, softcover.
From abortion to same-sex marriage, today's most urgent political debates will hinge on this two-part question: What did the United States Constitution originally mean and who now understands its meaning best? Rakove chronicles the Constitution from inception to ratification and, in doing so, traces its complex weave of ideology and interest, showing how this document has meant different things at different times to different groups of Americans.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Jack N. Rakove is the author of six books, including Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution, which won the Pulitzer Prize in History, and Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America, which was a finalist for the George Washington Prize. Rakove is the editor of seven other books, including The Unfinished Election of 2000.