SOCIAL SCIENCES

The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of Our Constitutional Republic

Basic. Apr. 2015. 352p. notes. index. ISBN 9780465065905. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780465065899. LAW
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Amar (Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale Univ.; America's Constitution: A Biography) examines American constitutional issues by placing them in a geographic perspective. He argues that the diverse geography and culture of the United States has had a significant impact on its Constitution. The first chapter, for example, roots Abraham Lincoln's opposition to secession in his experience on the Illinois frontier. Amar argues that Lincoln's migration to Illinois gave him a deep loyalty to the Union rather than to any region or state. Each succeeding chapter looks at a constitutional question by examining a court case or point of law and the geography that surrounded it, from freedom of speech in Tinker v. Des Moines (1969) to voting rights in Bush v. Gore. The author combines a thorough knowledge of the subject and an interesting premise with straightforward, sometimes humorous prose to create a book that entertains and educates.
VERDICT This book is intended for students of law and political science and general readers who have a serious interest in the subject. Recommended for academic and law libraries and large public libraries. [See "Editors' Spring Picks," p. 33.]
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