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The constitution of the United States of America - Mark V Tushnet

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The constitution of the United States of America - a contextual analysis
Mark V Tushnet
Paperback / softback
Hart Publishing
UK Publication Date

This book provides a critical introduction to the history and current meaning of the United States' Constitution. It is organised around two themes: Firstly, the US Constitution is old, short, and difficult to amend. These characteristics have made constitutional 'interpretation', especially by the US Supreme Court, the primary mechanism for adapting the Constitution to ever-changing reality. Secondly, the Constitution creates a structure of political opportunities that allows political actors, including political parties, to pursue the preferred policy goals even to the point of altering the very structure of politics. Politics, that is, often gives meaning to the Constitution. Deploying these themes to examine the structure of the national government, federalism, judicial review, and individual rights, the book provides basic information about, and deeper insights into, the way the US constitutional system has developed and what it means today.

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Mark Tushnet is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He was President of the Association of American Law Schools in 2003, and in 2002 was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

.an instructive reference that studies in depth the history and current status of the United States' Constitution.A thoughtful and highly scholarly text, especially recommended for college and university library collections.The Midwest Book Review, Wisconsin BookwatchJuly 2009The book is a very appealing introduction to US constitutional thinking for foreign readers, especially those from continental Europe. Unlike many other books on the same topic, it does not deal with all the intricate details and specific normative concepts in a black letter way, but rather provides a birds-eye analysis of the underlying concepts and ways of thinking. The book focuses on interpretation and political structures. This way of looking at the Constitution is typically American, but, generally speaking, very unusual to continental European and in particular to German eyes. The usual black-letter book, thus, tends to give continental Europeans a false impression of what is really going on in the US constitutional debate; it lulls them into believing (erroneously) that the basic way of looking at the Constitution at home and in the US is not all that much different. Therefore, this book is a very much needed, maybe even indispensable addition to the introductions I have so far found on the market.Professor. Dr. Uwe Kischel, LL.M (Yale), Universitt Greifswald, March 2009...Tushnet does an outstanding job dealing with the daunting task of providing a concise yet informative overview of over two hundred years of American history...He provides enough textual references in footnotes to substantiate his assertions while not disrupting the flow of the text in a material way. Moreover, at the end of each chapter he assembles a brief list of additional resources that can be used to extend the discussion.Michael P. AllenLaw & Politics Book ReviewVol.19, No.7, July 20, 2009Prominent legal scholar Tushnet ... has written an outstanding primer on the US Constitution.Using clear, direct language, Tushnet first provides a rich, interesting history of the Constitution, which serves as a strong contextual foundation to the remainder of the text.This volume is a strong addition to the growing body of book-length analyses on the actualities of constitutional interpretation and constitutionalism.Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this study is highly accessible to all readers - an attribute that longer, legal hornbooks and treatises sometimes lack.A.H.CooleyCHOICEApril 2010This rigorous yet concise book presents a vision of the Constitution as a document whose context will inevitably fluctuate due to the instability of party politics, a profound and important thesis in a time when American political discourse is sharply divided.Harvard Law ReviewVolume 123

Keyword Index
Constitutional law - United States.
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