We The People

We the People
by Erwin Chemerinsky

A primer on recognizing the power and promise of the Preamble and the Constitution during this conservative assault on our founding text

“Over the course of American history, there have been great gains in individual freedom and enormous advances in equality for racial minorities, women, and gays and lesbians, though obviously much remains to be done. Now we are at a moment with a president who is not committed to these values and face the reality of a Supreme Court that will likely be more hostile to them for the foreseeable future.”
–From the Preface

Worried about what a super conservative majority on the Supreme Court means for the future of civil liberties? From gun control to reproductive health, a conservative court will reshape the lives of all Americans for decades to come. The time to develop and defend a progressive vision of the U.S. Constitution that protects the rights of all people is now.

University of California Berkeley Dean and respected legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky expertly exposes how conservatives are using the Constitution to advance their own agenda that favors business over consumers and employees, and government power over individual rights.

But exposure is not enough. Progressives have spent too much of the last forty-five years trying to preserve the legacy of the Warren Court’s most important rulings and reacting to the Republican-dominated Supreme Courts by criticizing their erosion of rights—but have not yet developed a progressive vision for the Constitution itself. Yet, if we just look to the promise of the Preamble—liberty and justice for all—and take seriously its vision, a progressive reading of the Constitution can lead us forward as we continue our fight ensuring democratic rule, effective government, justice, liberty, and equality.

Includes the Complete Constitution and Amendments of the United States of America


We the People, Volume 1
by Bruce A. Ackerman

Bruce Ackerman offers a sweeping reinterpretation of our nation’s constitutional experience and its promise for the future. Integrating themes from American history, political science, and philosophy, We the People confronts the past, present, and future of popular sovereignty in America. Only this distinguished scholar could present such an insightful view of the role of the Supreme Court. Rejecting arguments of judicial activists, proceduralists, and neoconservatives, Ackerman proposes a new model of judicial interpretation that would synthesize the constitutional contributions of many generations into a coherent whole. The author ranges from examining the origins of the dualist tradition in the Federalist Papers to reflecting upon recent, historic constitutional decisions. The latest revolutions in civil rights, and the right to privacy, are integrated into the fabric of constitutionalism. Today’s Constitution can best be seen as the product of three great exercises in popular sovereignty, led by the Founding Federalists in the 1780s, the Reconstruction Republicans in the 1860s, and the New Deal Democrats in the 1930s. Ackerman examines the roles played during each of these periods by the Congress, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court. He shows that Americans have built a distinctive type of constitutional democracy, unlike any prevailing in Europe. It is a dualist democracy, characterized by its continuing effort to distinguish between two kinds of politics: normal politics, in which organized interest groups try to influence democratically elected representatives; and constitutional politics, in which the mass of citizens mobilize to debate matters of fundamental principle. Although American history is dominated by normal politics, our tradition places a higher value on mobilized efforts to gain the consent of the people to new governing principles. In a dualist democracy, the rare triumphs of constitutional politics determine the course of normal politics. More than a decade in the making, and the first of three volumes, this compelling book speaks to all who seek to renew and redefine our civic commitments in the decades ahead.

We the People
by Lynne Cheney

Now in paperback, Lynne Cheney’s New York Times bestselling illustrated history of how the Constitution came to be.

“I am mortified beyond expression when I view the clouds which have spread over the brightest morn that ever dawned upon any country.” —George Washington

America had won the Revolution, but our troubles were far from over. The thirteen states were squabbling, the country could not pay its bills, and in Massachusetts farmers had taken up arms against the government. Was our country, which had fought so hard for its independence, going to survive?

In May 1787 delegates from across the country—including George Washington, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin—gathered in Philadelphia and, meeting over the course of a sweltering summer, created a new framework for governing: the Constitution of the United States. Their efforts turned a shaky alliance of states into a nation that would prosper and grow powerful, drawing its strength for centuries to come from “We the people” and inspiring hope for freedom around the world.

Now in paperback for the first time, this richly illustrated tale of a crucial point in our nation’s history will enthrall readers young and old.


We the People
by Peter Spier

The U.S. Constitution brought to life for young readers! 

In this visual celebration of the U.S. Constitution and America’s founding fathers, Caldecott Medalist Peter Spier tells the stirring American tale of how this most important document came to symbolize freedom, justice, equality, and hope for all citizens. This fact-filled volume includes:
★ The complete text of the Constitution
★ An illustrated preamble to the Constitution, illuminating its signifcance from its birth through to modern times
★ The fascinating history of the struggle to create and ratify the Constitution
★ An historical reproduction of the original document
Full of illustrations that bring the Constitution to life, this is a must-have resource for every American school, library, and home.

★ “A joyful celebration of the people whose leaders created the Constitution”—Booklist, starred review
“A celebration of America’s diversity”—Kirkus
 
“Spier has created a tribute that can be appreciated in more than one sitting.”—Publishers Weekly 


We the Kids
by David Catrow

Brush up on the Preamble to the Constitution with this patriotic picture book–and have a couple of good laughs while you’re at it!

A long time ago some smart guys wrote the Preamble to the Constitution. You have probably read it before, but do you know what it means? And did it ever make you laugh? Now it will! Perfect for inspiring discussion in classrooms and around kitchen tables, this fun-filled and cheerfully illustrated look at the Preamble provides an accessible introduction to America’s founding ideals for citizens of all ages.

Includes a glossary of terms and a foreword by the artist.

“This zany, patriotic paean offers kids lighthearted but meaningful incentive to reflect further on the relevance of those ‘big words’ and ‘big ideas.'”–Publishers Weekly


We the People
by Juan Williams

Prize-winning journalist, bestselling author, and Fox political analyst Juan Williams takes readers into the life and work of a new generation of American Founders, from Rev. Billy Graham to Martin Luther King, Jr., who honor the original Founders’ vision, even as they have quietly led revolutions in American politics, immigration, economics, sexual behavior, and reshaped the landscape of the nation.

What would the Founding Fathers think about America today? Over 200 years ago the Founders broke away from the tyranny of the British Empire to build a nation based on the principles of freedom, equal rights, and opportunity for all men. But life in the United States today is vastly different from anything the original Founders could have imagined in the late 1700s. The notion of an African-American president of the United States, or a woman such as Condoleezza Rice or Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, would have been unimaginable to the men who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, or who ratified the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

Among the modern-day pioneers Williams writes about in this compelling new book are the passionate conservative President Reagan; the determined fighters for equal rights, Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King, Jr.; the profound imprint of Rev. Billy Graham’s evangelism on national politics; the focus on global human rights advocated by First Lady Eleanor Rooseve
Williams reveals how each of these modern-day founders has extended the Founding Fathers original vision and changed fundamental aspects of our country, from immigration, to the role of American labor in the economy, from modern police strategies, to the importance of religion in our political discourse.

America in the 21st Century remains rooted in the Great American experiment in democracy that began in 1776. For all the changes our economy and our cultural and demographic make-up, there remains a straight line from the first Founders’ original vision, to the principles and ideals of today’s courageous modern day pioneers.