"The Constitution: An Introduction is quite simply the best general short introduction to the Constitution ever written.  It is intelligent, but without being 'academic' or ponderous. It is crisp, lean, and wonderfully well written. It treats the whole of the Constitution -- its origins, meaning, and history of interpretation -- in a way accessible to beginners yet insightful for experts. Readers looking for a brisk, even-handed, smart, engaging introduction to the Constitution should look no further.  This is it."


Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University

Author of America’s Constitution: A Biography



"A sharp, efficient guide to the creation, content, and construction of the supreme law of the land. ...[A] compressed, evenhanded history of the Constitution’s interpretation and the ongoing struggle to wrestle meaning from the words at the heart of our democracy. No important case goes unmentioned, no significant crisis or controversy unexplored. … The Paulsens accomplish precisely what they set out to do.  A well-conceived, well-executed primer."


         Kirkus Reviews



This wonderful work is the best introduction to the United States Constitution available. …[I]t does a brilliant job reviewing two-and-one-quarter centuries of American experience. . . . essential reading for those who still believe in ordered liberty and self-government."


Stephen B. Presser, Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History, Northwestern University School of Law

Author of Recapturing the Constitution



"This readable history of the Constitution as it has evolved over more than two centuries corrects many false beliefs about that document and its applicability to every corner of American life.  … Written in a style that makes it accessible to readers at several levels, this book tells the human story of the ways in which the world's oldest written constitution has shaped our experience."


James M. McPherson, George Henry Davis ’86 Professor of History Emeritus, Princeton University

Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom



"Mike Paulsen is one of the most brilliant, respected constitutional scholars of our era.  His son, Luke, matches him stride for stride, as a serious lay student of the Constitution and its history.  Together, they have produced a truly spectacular book – perhaps the best, single-volume treatment of the Constitution ever written."


Guy-Uriel Charles, Charles S. Rhyne Professor of Law, Duke Law School



"Paulsen pere et fils have produced a splendid introduction to the Constitution—one that takes the text of our nation’s charter seriously and provides illuminating explanations of why its drafters chose the principles, concepts, and language they did for their “great experiment” in republican government and ordered liberty.  … The Constitution: An Introduction is a work of recovery.   It strips away the layers of interpretation … that obscure the Constitution’s meaning.  … Thus, they enable readers to encounter the Constitution itself, rather than the intellectual flotsam and jetsam that passes these days for “constitutional law"."


Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University



"This is a unique and uniquely valuable book.  The Paulsens weave historical context, doctrinal reflection, and personal stories into a narrative that explains how the Constitution has become what it is in twenty-first century America.  In doing so, the book appeals both to legal scholars and to a popular audience that often struggles to make sense of the constitutional battles of our day.  This is the one book that I recommend to anyone who wants a comprehensive and enjoyable overview of the Constitution, what it means, and why it matters."


John Copeland Nagle, John N. Matthews Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame



"Michael and Luke Paulsen have written the most readable and insightful introduction to the U.S. Constitution since the days of Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, in 1840. This book is a must read for anyone trying to learn about the U.S. Constitution."


Steven G. Calabresi, Class of 1940 Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law




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