How Democratic Is The American Constitution
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📒How Democratic Is The American Constitution ✍ Robert Alan Dahl
✏How Democratic is the American Constitution Book Summary : In this volume, an eminent political scientist questions the extent to which the American Constitution furthers democratic goals. Robert Dahl reveals the Constitution's potentially antidemocratic elements and explains why they are there, compares the American constitutional system to other democratic systems, and explores how Americans might alter their political system to achieve greater equality among citizens. In a new chapter for this second edition, he shows how increasing differences in state populations revealed by the Census of 2000 have further increased the veto power over constitutional amendments held by a tiny minority of Americans. He then explores the prospects for changing some important political practices that are not prescribed by the written Constitution, though most Americans may assume them to be so.
📒A Preface To Democratic Theory Expanded Edition ✍ Robert A. Dahl
✏A Preface to Democratic Theory Expanded Edition Book Summary : Robert Dahl’s Preface helped launch democratic theory fifty years ago as a new area of study in political science, and it remains the standard introduction to the field. Exploring problems that had been left unsolved by traditional thought on democracy, Dahl here examines two influential models—the Madisonian, which represents prevailing American doctrine, and its recurring challenger, populist theory—arguing that they do not accurately portray how modern democracies operate. He then constructs a model more consistent with how contemporary democracies actually function, and, in doing so, develops some original views of popular sovereignty and the American constitutional system. For this fiftieth-anniversary edition, Dahl has written an extensive new afterword that reevaluates Madisonian theory in light of recent research. And in a new foreword, he reflects back on his influential volume and the ways his views have evolved since he wrote it. For any student or scholar of political science, this new material is an essential update on a gold standard in the evolving field of democratic theory. “A Preface to Democratic Theory is well worth the devoted attention of anyone who cares about democracy.”—Political Science Quarterly
📒The Founding Fathers V The People ✍ Anthony King
✏The Founding Fathers V the People Book Summary : The founding fathers emphasized a system in which “the people” were allowed to play only a limited role. Radical democrats insisted that the people, and only the people, should rule. Anthony King shows how this initial conflict has played out in the turmoil of our nation’s public life, and he offers a way to address it.
📒American Constitutional Law ✍ Donald P. Kommers
✏American Constitutional Law Book Summary : A course on constitutional law and civil liberties can be-and is-nothing less than an extended inquiry into the meaning of America. American Constitutional Law, newly revised by Donald P. Kommers, John E. Finn, and Gary J. Jacobsohn, is a casebook made for such an inquiry. True to the liberal arts tradition from which it emerges, it goes beyond the facts and rulings of the great Supreme Court cases to engage important issues of political theory and the nature of our democracy. Although the focus is on law in the United States, Kommers, Finn, and Jacobsohn break new ground by incorporating comparative materials that enrich the study of the American Constitution, challenging the reader to assess American values in light of other legal systems and understandings of governance. In an era of constitutional globalization, this new edition of a distinguished text is essential to an appreciation of tradition and diversity.
📒Challenging Authority ✍ Frances Fox Piven
✏Challenging Authority Book Summary : Citing the examples of American revolutions and movements during which ordinary citizens collectively worked to bring about change, a social commentary evaluates the potential power of everyday people to become a deciding force in the nation's political process. By the author of The War at Home.
📒On Political Equality ✍ Robert Alan Dahl
✏On Political Equality Book Summary : Robert A. Dahl, one of the world's most influential and respected political scientists, has spent a lifetime exploring the institutions and practices of democracy in such landmark books as Who Governs?, On Democracy, and How Democratic Is the American Constitution? Here, Dahl looks at the fundamental issue of equality and how and why governments have fallen short of their democratic ideals. At the center of the book is the question of whether the goal of political equality is so far beyond our human limits that it should be abandoned in favor of more attainable ends, or if there are ways to realistically address and reduce inequities. Though complete equality is unattainable, Dahl argues that strides toward that ideal are both desirable and feasible. He shows the remarkable shift in recent centuries toward democracy and political equality the world over. He explores the growth of democratic institutions, the expansion of citizenship, and the various obstacles that stand in the way of gains in political equality. Dahl also looks at the motives, particularly those of emotion and reason, that play such a crucial role in the struggle for equality. In conclusion, Dahl assesses the contemporary political landscape in the United States. He looks at the likelihood of political inequality increasing, and poses one scenario in which Americans grow more unequal in their influence over their government. The counter scenario foresees a cultural shift in which citizens, rejecting what Dahl calls "competitive consumerism," invest time and energy in civic action and work to reduce the inequality that now exists among Americans.
📒The Revolutionary Constitution ✍ David J. Bodenhamer
✏The Revolutionary Constitution Book Summary : The framers of the Constitution chose their words carefully when they wrote of a more perfect union--not absolutely perfect, but with room for improvement. Indeed, we no longer operate under the same Constitution as that ratified in 1788, or even the one completed by the Bill of Rights in 1791--because we are no longer the same nation. In The Revolutionary Constitution, David J. Bodenhamer provides a comprehensive new look at America's basic law, integrating the latest legal scholarship with historical context to highlight how it has evolved over time. The Constitution, he notes, was the product of the first modern revolution, and revolutions are, by definition, moments when the past shifts toward an unfamiliar future, one radically different from what was foreseen only a brief time earlier. In seeking to balance power and liberty, the framers established a structure that would allow future generations to continually readjust the scale. Bodenhamer explores this dynamic through seven major constitutional themes: federalism, balance of powers, property, representation, equality, rights, and security. With each, he takes a historical approach, following their changes over time. For example, the framers wrote multiple protections for property rights into the Constitution in response to actions by state governments after the Revolution. But twentieth-century courts--and Congress--redefined property rights through measures such as zoning and the designation of historical landmarks (diminishing their commercial value) in response to the needs of a modern economy. The framers anticipated just such a future reworking of their own compromises between liberty and power. With up-to-the-minute legal expertise and a broad grasp of the social and political context, this book is a tour de force of Constitutional history and analysis.
📒Politics ✍ Hendrik Hertzberg
✏Politics Book Summary : Cause for jubilation: One of America’s wisest and most necessary voices has distilled what he knows about politics, broadly speaking, into one magnificent volume. Here at last are Henrik Hertzberg’s most significant, hilarious, and devastating dispatches from the American scene he has chronicled for four decades with an uncanny blend of moral seriousness, high spirits, and perfect rhetorical pitch. Politics is at once the story of American life from LBJ to GWB and a testament to the power of the written word in the right hands. In those hands, politics encompasses everyone from Jerry Garcia to Rush Limbaugh, every place from New Hampshire to Nicaragua, and everything from Playboy vs. Penthouse to Bush vs. Gore. Hendrik Hertzberg breaks down American politics into its component parts—campaigns, debates, rhetoric, the media, wars (cultural, countercultural, and real), high crimes and misdemeanors, the right, and more. Each section begins with a new piece of writing framing the subject at hand and contains the choicest, most illuminating pieces from his body of work. Politics is a tour of the defining moments of American life from the mid-’60s till the mid-’00s, a ride though recent American history with one of the most insightful and engaging guides imaginable, a writer who consistently makes us see more clearly and feel more deeply. “Politics is invaluable for all sorts of reasons—chief among them being decades of elegant writing in the service of surgical intelligence.”—Toni Morrison
📒Democracy In America ✍ ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE
✏DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA Book Summary :
📒The Jury And Democracy ✍ John Gastil
✏The Jury and Democracy Book Summary : Alexis de Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill, and the U.S. Supreme Court have all alleged that jury service promotes civic and political engagement, yet none could prove it. Finally, The Jury and Democracy provides compelling systematic evidence to support this view. Drawing from in-depth interviews, thousands of juror surveys, and court and voting records from across the United States, the authors show that serving on a jury can trigger changes in how citizens view themselves, their peers, and their government--and can even significantly increase electoral turnout among infrequent voters. Jury service also sparks long-term shifts in media use, political action, and community involvement. In an era when involved Americans are searching for ways to inspire their fellow citizens, The Jury and Democracy offers a plausible and realistic path for turning passive spectators into active political participants.