08 November 2008

Recommended Reading?

Father Hollywood has inspired me to refresh my memory and further educate myself on the United States Constitution and our American form of government. In my usual fashion, I've been searching for a variety of pertinent resources, with some assistance from my lovely bride, but I'd also appreciate any recommendations that anyone else may care to offer. I'm not planning to write a dissertation on the topic, but I am interested in something beyond a basic gradeschool introduction. I'd likewise welcome any general summaries and commentary on the subject; because this is a field that is relatively obscure to me, and because I enjoy reading various perspectives and points of view. We were living in Australia from when I was almost eight until shortly after I turned twelve, and I think that left me lagging behind a bit in certain aspects of United States history and government. I probably remember more from School House Rock than elsewhere. (That was a joke, Mr. Peabody.)


Jane said...

I've been using all kinds of resources as I teach a class on the Constitution this fall. I've really enjoyed the "Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution."
If you are interested in things that were written at the time of the drafting and hammering out of the Constitution, the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers have some good bits. If you read them as the argument that they are they are the most informative. (They also show how far we--and our courts--have strayed.

(BTW, Happy Birthday. :) )

Kyle Wright said...

I concur and recommend Jane's recommendation. I would also recommend Thomas Paine's "Common Sense". I believe this was the most influencial writing of the time that had the most significant infuluence on our founding fathers in their writing both the Declaration and Constitution. Since you are an avid reader, this will be quite a short read for you, but very informative.

Kyle Wright
Stafford, VA

Elizabeth McGrath said...

I really enjoyed "Scalia Dissents" and think you might also because Justice Scalia's expertise as a historian is evident in many of his opinions. Also the Federalist Society posts a recommended reading list on its website www.fed-soc.org under the link to pre-law readings.
Best wishes,

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Thanks for the helpful suggestions, one and all.

And a happy birthday to you, also, Jane. So far, so good, for me ;-)

Pr. H. R. said...

Early Republic:
1. Summer of 1787
2. James Madison and the Battle for the Bill of Rights
3. Magnificent Catastrophe
4. Negro President (one of the best and most literary books ever written)
5. When the Mississippi Ran Backwards

In that order.

Civil War:
1. Team of Rivals (good intro to traditional take on Lincoln - but very honest look at him as the initiator of the era of big government)
2. The Politically Incorrect Guide to History
3. The Real Lincoln
4. The South Was Right (by Kennedy)
5. (appendix in the lat one): Jefferson Davis' Farewell Address to the Senate.

I listened to most of these while out on shut-in calls - great way to get through them.


Jonathan said...

You can find a modern assessment of the Supreme Court's (abuse of) constitutional authority in "Men in Black" by Mark Levin—it catalogs how the Supreme Court has legislated from the bench, beginning with Marburg v. Madison and continuing through the present. Great fun to read!