The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution

The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution

by Linda R. Monk


$17.09 $18.99 Save 10% Current price is $17.09, Original price is $18.99. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, July 19


UPDATED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 10 YEARS, The Words We Live By takes an entertaining and informative look at America's most important historical document, now with discussions about new rulings on hot-button issues such as immigration, gay marriage, the right to bear arms, and affirmative action.

In The Words We Live By, award-winning author and journalist Linda R. Monk explores the many interpretations of the Constitution's text in a balanced manner. The Words We Live By presents a new way of looking at the Constitution through entertaining and informative annotations--filled with the stories of the people behind the Supreme Court cases and historical perspective, along with enough surprises and fascinating facts and illustrations to prove that the Constitution is every bit as relevant today as it was in 1787.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786886203
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 02/28/2004
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 72,200
Product dimensions: 8.92(w) x 7.02(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile: 1340L (what's this?)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Linda R. Monk, J.D., is a constitutional scholar, journalist, and nationally award-winning author. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she twice received the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award, its highest honor for law-related media. She served as Series Advisor for the PBS documentary Constitution USA, and she has appeared on MSNBC, C-SPAN, and NPR. For more than 25 years, Monk has written commentary for the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune. She served as a Visiting Scholar at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, the Lead Curator for the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum in Chicago, and a consultant to the Newseum in Washington, D.C. She has served on the Board of Trustees for the U.S. Capitol Historical Society and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and conducted seminars for such groups as the Pentagon, Fulbright Scholars, National Archives, Smithsonian Institution, George Washington's Mount Vernon, and National History Day.

Table of Contents

The Constitution as Conversation9
Part IThe Constitution of the United States10
The Preamble: We the People11
Article IThe Legislative Branch18
Article IIThe Executive Branch62
Article IIIThe Judicial Branch89
Article IVFull Faith and Credit104
Article VAmendments112
Article VIThe Supreme Law of the Land118
Article VIIRatification121
Part IIAmendments to the Constitution of the United States126
Amendment 1Freedom of Expression127
Amendment 2The Right to Bear Arms151
Amendment 3Quartering of Troops154
Amendment 4Unreasonable Searches and Seizures157
Amendment 5Due Process of Law164
Amendment 6The Right to a Fair Trial173
Amendment 7Trial by Jury in Civil Cases181
Amendment 8Cruel and Unusual Punishment184
Amendment 9Unenumerated Rights190
Amendment 10States' Rights194
Amendment 11Lawsuits Against States199
Amendment 12Choosing the Executive201
Amendment 13Abolishing Slavery205
Amendment 14Equal Protection of the Laws212
Amendment 15Suffrage for Black Men229
Amendment 16Income Taxes233
Amendment 17Direct Election of Senators234
Amendment 18Prohibition236
Amendment 19Women's Suffrage238
Amendment 20Lame Ducks242
Amendment 21Repealing Prohibition246
Amendment 22Presidential Term Limits249
Amendment 23Electoral Votes for the District of Columbia251
Amendment 24Banning the Poll Tax253
Amendment 25Presidential Succession and Disability255
Amendment 26Suffrage for Young People260
Amendment 27Limiting Congressional Pay Raises261
To Decide for Ourselves What Freedom Is263
Selected Bibliography273

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Words We Live by 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a lawyer and Consitutional scholar. I have given several speeches on the origins and history of the constitution. I have looked for years for a good primmer which puts the basic language of the Constitution into historical context and traces the Supreme Court's interpretion and treatment of that language. One can then easily go on if necessary to find more indepth treatment of that language in the actual decisions of the court or in the progeny of the landmark decisions. The recent Heller decision is a good illustration. There is sparce mention of the Second ammendment in the history of the Constituion or in court decisions handed down since the ratification of the Bill of Rights. For many years a dabate raged over whether that Amendment established a private right to bear arms or whether the right only existed in the context of a Militia. While this book was copywrited in 2003, prior to the Heller decision, it's analysis as to what to anticipate in Heller was right on. This is the "little" book I have been looking for for years.
Favre4President More than 1 year ago
What a great book. Linda Monk really breaks things down bit by bit, Article by Article, and Amendment by Amendment. What I liked best was the use of Supreme Court decisions on Constitutional interpretation. While this may seem a logial step, outside of the legal community, many Americans may not really think about it. To have them in something outside of law school textbook and in something meant for everyone is exceptional. A really good feature, as well, is the use of sidebars and quotations of prominent Americans. They put things in context.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a student of the Constitution I have read many books about it over the years. This author takes an entirely new, very liberal view. It is filled with historical inaccuracies and polical-correctnes. My wife bought this for me as a Christmas present. Other than this book, it was a good Chrsitmas.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This author has taken the Liberal view point about the Constitution. She wants more goverment involment in day to day activities of the citizens. She thinks that Clinton was exonerated. This is not an unbiased view of the Constitution.
beau.p.laurence on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
what's more relevant to our lives as Americans than the Constitution? well done and informative book.
Brian_Barbero More than 1 year ago
I graduated from college in 1978 with bachlors degrees in political science and law enforcement. In the process of gaining those degrees, I suffered through countless hours of constitutional law courses. While it was kind of entertaining seeing the spin that my liberal poly sci and ultra conservative law enforcement instructors gave the same material it really wasn't very productive. Wandering thru Barnes and Noble last week, my wife (who also took the law enforcement verison of con law) turned up a copy of "The Words We Live By" and on a whim, I added it to my stack. I found it fascinating. The book brought the Constitution alive for me and corrected a number of misconceptions that I have carried for the last 3 decades.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Berrycape More than 1 year ago
Awesome book! Every American should at least read this book. Not enough Americans know the true make up of The Constitution.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I have yet to read the entire book, what I have read is great. Well written. Words we not only do live by, but words we SHOULD live by.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Words We Live By has become a standard reference in my household for my fourth and sixth grader. As my children have gone to the book for questions they have about the Constitution, I have read along with them. In my reading I have found much to admire about The Words We Live By. The writing is clean and crisp, and the author presents a balanced point of view about the constitution. The only agenda Linda Monk seems to have is for her reader to understand the Constitution of the United States. How many books could you pick up that would be praised by both Linda Chavez and Nat Hentoff?
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a college student who is not politically-focused, and has enough required reading already, this was an easy book to pick up and read. By providing pictures, quotes, and defined terms in the margins, it makes it easy to learn- and helps to break up what can otherwise be a dull document, (The Constitution). In addition to explaining each section of the Constitution, Monk provides a balanced discription of the process by which the Constitution was created, including anecdotes when appropriate. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the Constitution, or anyone who needs a new book for the bedside table.