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Synopsis

An in-depth look at the defining document of America

Want to make sense of the U.S. Constitution? This plain-Englishguide walks you through this revered document, explaining how thearticles and amendments came to be and how they have guidedlegislators, judges, and presidents and sparked ongoing debates.You'll understand all the big issues — from separation ofchurch and state to impeachment to civil rights — thatcontinue to affect Americans' daily lives.

  • Get started with Constitution basics — explore the mainconcepts and their origins, the different approaches tointerpretation, and how the document has changed over the past 200+years
  • Know who has the power — see how the public, thePresident, Congress, and the Supreme Court share in the ruling ofAmerica

  • Balance the branches of government — discover what itmeans to be Commander in Chief, the functions of the House andSenate, and how Supreme Court justices are appointed

  • Break down the Bill of Rights — from freedom of religionto the prohibition of "cruel and unusual punishments," understandwhat the first ten amendments mean

  • Make sense of the modifications — see how amendments havereformed presidential elections, abolished slavery, given votingrights to women, and more

Open the book and find:

  • The text of the Constitution and its ammendments
  • Discussion of controversial issues including the death penalty,abortion, and gay marriage

  • Why the word "democracy" doesn't appear in the Constitution

  • What the Electoral College is and how it elects a President

  • Details on recent Supreme Court decisions

  • The Founding Fathers' intentions for balancing power inWashington

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