The Constitution Today (Paperback)

Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era

By Akhil Reed Amar

Basic Books, 9781541617285, 496pp.

Publication Date: September 25, 2018

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (9/13/2016)
Compact Disc (9/13/2016)
MP3 CD (9/13/2016)

List Price: 18.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


"I don't think there is anyone in the academy these days capable of more patient and attentive reading of the constitutional text than Akhil Amar."--Jeremy Waldron, New York Review of Books

When the stories that lead our daily news involve momentous constitutional questions, present-minded journalists and busy citizens cannot always see the stakes clearly. In The Constitution Today, Akhil Reed Amar, America's preeminent constitutional scholar, considers the biggest and most bitterly contested debates of the last two decades--from gun control to gay marriage, affirmative action to criminal procedure, presidential dynasties to congressional dysfunction, Bill Clinton's impeachment to Obamacare. He shows how the Constitution's text, history, and structure are a crucial repository of collective wisdom, providing specific rules and grand themes relevant to every organ of the American body politic.

Leading readers through the constitutional questions at stake in each episode while outlining his abiding views regarding the direction constitutional law must go, Amar offers an essential guide for anyone seeking to understand America's Constitution and its relevance today.

About the Author

Akhil Reed Amar is the Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University. The author of several books, including America's Unwritten Constitution, and the winner of awards from both the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society, Amar lives in Woodbridge, Connecticut.

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

"A book on the Constitution may not have felt so urgent or timely in any other year, but in the wake of the Khan family's appearance at the Democratic National Convention--and the president-elect's subsequent affront--Amar's expert framework of our nation's most fundamental document feels desperately needed."—, Top 10 nonfiction books of 2016

"Bringing an unusually informed and cool head to the tumult accompanying unfolding events, Amar performs a valuable service for his fellow citizens."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Amar is at his best when providing historical
insights to modern-day constitutional issues... what his new book exemplifies is
a consistent commitment over two decades to speak to issues beyond the
academic, to engage with audiences beyond a New Haven classroom, and to use the
perch and resources of his academic appointment to help the rest of us learn
more about the history and principles that guide us today."—Los Angeles Review of Books

constitutional law scholars can write as effectively on deadline about the
legally complex and politically charged issues that come before the court, and
few journalists writing about the Constitution can match his command of law and
history."—Real Clear Politics

"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—Library Journal, starred review

"Akhil Amar knows the Constitution and loves
the Constitution. That is true of many scholars. But Amar is among the very,
very few who can write about the Constitution with not just deep knowledge but
with insight, verve, an understanding of both history and politics, and
passion, and in a way that can be appreciated by legal scholars and lay readers
alike."—Norman Ornstein, author of It's Even Worse Than It Looks