Constitutional Myths

What We Get Wrong and How to Get It Right

By Ray Raphael
(New Press, The, Hardcover, 9781595588326, 320pp.)

Publication Date: March 2013

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With the entry of the Tea Party onto the political scene, the U.S. Constitution has become a political battleground, with liberals and conservatives trading fire over its meaning and intent. Amid all the hubbub, historian Ray Raphael was struck by how much both sides got wrong, and how falsehoods have largely overtaken history in Americans’ understanding of the nation’s most important document. In Constitutional Myths, he sorts out truth from fiction, juxtaposing what historians know about the Constitution with what most Americans (and politicians) think they know about it.

The surprising misconceptions Raphael corrects in Constitutional Myths include:

• The Framers embraced limited government.
• The Framers were enlightened and disinterested statesmen, not politicians pushing special interests.
• The Constitution promoted democracy and promised equality.
• The Founding Fathers gave us the Bill of Rights.
• The Constitution provided the “final answer” and must forever endure.

Raphael offers readers an accessible new understanding of the Constitution—one that is sure to provoke and entertain Americans across the political spectrum.

About the Author

Ray Raphael has taught at a one-room public high school, Humboldt State University, and College of the Redwoods. He is the author of twelve books, including Founders, Founding Myths, and A People’s History of the American Revolution. He lives in Redway, California.

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