Declaring Rights: A Brief History with Documents (The Bedford Series in History and Culture)

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9780312137342: Declaring Rights: A Brief History with Documents (The Bedford Series in History and Culture)

Questions about the original meaning of the Bill of Rights remain a source of active concern and controversy in the twenty-first century. In order to help students consider the intentions of the first Constitutional amendments and the significance of declaring rights, Jack Rakove traces the tradition and describes the deliberations from which the Bill of Rights emerged.

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About the Author:

Jack N. Rakove is Coe Professor of History and American Studies and professor (by courtesy) of political science at Stanford University. His scholarly work concentrates on the creation of a national policy in Revolutionary America, the problem of ascertaining the "original meaning" on the Constitution, and the political career and thinking of James Madison. His most recent book, Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution (1996), won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize in history. Rakove's other works include James Madison and the Creation of the American Republic (1990), Interpreting the Constitution: The Debate over Original Intent (1990), and The Beginnings of National Politics: An Interpretative History of the Continental Congress (1979). He contributes to numerous scholarly and legal journals and lectures both in the United States and abroad.

Review:

"This book will be a worthy addition to the Bedford series. In a thoughtful introduction, Rakove takes the reader through the development of the notion of rights as well as through the specific history of the first ten amendments to the federal Constitution. He presents his readers with a well-chosen set of documents and groups them coherently, introducing each group with a brief but provocative sketch-essay."

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