Titles for Constitution Day

By Colleen Rowe | September 16 2021 | HistoryPolitical Science

To commemorate Constitution Day and the signing of the United States Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787, we have assembled a list of books that can help guide students in understanding the constitution.

 

Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution 

This guide includes annotations and accessible explanations from one of America’s most esteemed constitutional scholars. It also features a history of the making of the Constitution with excerpts from The Federalist Papers and a look at crucial Supreme Court cases.

 

America’s Constitution 

Akhil Reed Amar gives the first comprehensive account of the United States Constitution. Incisive, entertaining, and occasionally controversial, this “biography” of America’s framing document explains not only what the Constitution says but also why the Constitution says it.

 

Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution 

The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution is a tour de force of history, philosophy, law, and politics. It makes a compelling case that inequality is more than just a moral or economic problem; it threatens the very core of our constitutional system.

 

Decisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg 

This short, accessible volume gives the trailblazing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her own words. Included here are her most essential writings on gender equality and women’s rights, reproductive health care, and voting and civil rights. 

 

U.S. Constitution 

Acclaimed historian and Constitutional expert Ray Raphael explains the origins, impact, and current relevance of the original text and all twenty-seven amendments, with historical context for issues in the news today. This annotated Constitution is the ultimate political fact-checking source for every American.

 

On Impeachment

Here is an accessible collection of key historic writings about presidential impeachment, as part of a new Penguin Classics series on liberty and constitutional rights. This series looks to the U.S. Constitution’s text and values, as well as to American history to discover the best explanations of the constitutional ideals of liberty.

 

Original Meanings 

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Original Meanings examines all classic issues that the framers of the Constitution had to solve: federalism, representation, executive power, individual rights, and the idea that the Constitution itself should become supreme law.  In the process, Rakove creates an accessible historical context in which students can consider the Constitution anew. 

 

Mr. President

Here is the penetrating story of the political maneuverings and personalities behind the creation of the office of the president. Ray Raphael charts the presidency as it evolved during the administrations of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson, and shows how, given the Constitution’s broad outlines, the president’s powers could easily be augmented but rarely diminished.


Discover more titles on the Constitution


Discover more titles on U.S. Constitutional History


The Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution
A Fully Annotated Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Amendments, and Selections from The Federalist Papers
978-0-14-311810-7
What is the President, Congress, and the Supreme Court really allowed to do? This unique and handy guide includes the documents that guide our government, annotated with accessible explanations from one of America's most esteemed constitutional scholars.  Known across the country for his appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Professor Richard Beeman is one of the nation's foremost experts on the United States Constitution. In this book, he has produced what every American should have: a compact, fully annotated copy of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and amendments, all in their entirety. A marvel of accessibility and erudition, the guide also features a history of the making of the Constitution with excerpts from The Federalist Papers and a look at crucial Supreme Court cases that reminds us that the meaning of many of the specific provisions of the Constitution has changed over time."Excellent . . . valuable and judicious." -Jill Lepore, The New Yorker
$14.00 US
Aug 31, 2010
Paperback
224 Pages
Penguin Books

America's Constitution
A Biography
978-0-8129-7272-6
In America’s Constitution, one of this era’s most accomplished constitutional law scholars, Akhil Reed Amar, gives the first comprehensive account of one of the world’s great political texts. Incisive, entertaining, and occasionally controversial, this “biography” of America’s framing document explains not only what the Constitution says but also why the Constitution says it.
$22.00 US
Sep 12, 2006
Paperback
672 Pages
Random House Trade Paperbacks

The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution
Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic
978-1-101-97345-5
For most of Western history, Sitaraman argues, constitutional thinkers assumed economic inequality was inevitable and inescapable—and they designed governments to prevent class divisions from spilling over into class warfare. The American Constitution is different. Compared to Europe and the ancient world, America was a society of almost unprecedented economic equality, and the founding generation saw this equality as essential for the preservation of America’s republic. Over the next two centuries, generations of Americans fought to sustain the economic preconditions for our constitutional system. But today, with economic and political inequality on the rise, Sitaraman says Americans face a choice: Will we accept rising economic inequality and risk oligarchy or will we rebuild the middle class and reclaim our republic? 
$18.00 US
Feb 06, 2018
Paperback
432 Pages
Vintage

Decisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
A Selection
978-0-14-313511-1
National Indie Bestseller The trailblazing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her own words. Her most essential writings on gender equality and women's rights, reproductive health care, and voting and civil rights, now available in a short, accessible volume as part of the new Penguin Liberty series. A Penguin Classic
$15.00 US
Sep 08, 2020
Paperback
176 Pages
Penguin Classics

The U.S. Constitution
Explained--Clause by Clause--for Every American Today
978-0-525-56254-2
Politicians come and go, but the Constitution stands as the supreme law of the land. Setting forth the workings of our democracy, it is the bedrock document from which we derive our policies on topics as diverse and galvanizing as immigration, gun ownership, voting rights, taxation, policing, civil liberties, and war. 
$9.95 US
Oct 31, 2017
Paperback
192 Pages
Vintage

On Impeachment
The Presidency on Trial
978-0-14-313510-4
A short, accessible collection of key historic writings about presidential impeachment, as part of a new Penguin Classics series on liberty and constitutional rights. A Penguin Classic
$15.00 US
Sep 08, 2020
Paperback
192 Pages
Penguin Classics


Mr. President
How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive
978-0-307-74238-4
The dramatic and penetrating story of the political maneuverings and personalities behind the creation of the office of the president, with ramifications that continue to this day.
$16.00 US
Jan 22, 2013
Paperback
336 Pages
Vintage