SOCIAL SCIENCES

The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era

Basic. Sept. 2016. 464p. notes. index. ISBN 9780465096336. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9780465096343. LAW
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OrangeReviewStarAmar (Sterling Professor of Law & Political Science, Yale Univ.) is a legal luminary, best known for his scholarly texts (America's Unwritten Constitution; The Bill of Rights) and law review articles on the U.S. Constitution, his area of expertise. This tome may surprise legal academics, however, because it's a mammoth compilation of Amar's journalistic commentary on the Constitution and its mis/interpretation in the arena of culture, politics, and branches of government. The brief pieces span several decades of cases and controversies and originally appeared in the likes of The New Republic, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Slate, inter alia. Impressively, Amar presents a panoramic view of recent history through the lens of Constitutional interpretation. Moreover, he accomplishes this in layman's language, so that his insights are accessible to general readers. Indeed, Amar's professed intent is to educate journalists on Constitutional issues, and he succeeds unequivocally, explaining what's at stake in landmark cases such as Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, while commenting on the constitutionality of the Second Amendment and the exclusionary rule.
VERDICT Indispensable for fans of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's All the President's Men.
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