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Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. This probing commentary on America's founding documents by constitutional historian Rakove (winner of a Pulitzer.
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When he glosses the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the subsequent amendments, Rakove once again provides helpful historical background, targets language that has proven particularly difficult or controversial, and cites leading Supreme Court cases. A chronology of events provides a framework for understanding the road to Philadelphia. The general reader will not find a better, more helpful guide to our founding documents than Jack N. The digital Loeb Classical Library loebclassics.

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The annotated U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence

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The Annotated U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence

Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. The format of the Kindle edition is chaotic, like an unedited optical scan, full of random variations in font and margins, making the text almost unreadable in places. The footnotes annotating the text appear before the material they refer to. The illustrations from the print edition are not included. The Table of Contents does not have links for particular sections and is therefore not very useful. I see now that others had the same problems with the format.

Shame on me for not reading the reviews before clicking to buy. The digital version should carry a warning label, it is so bad. The hard copy version maybe better, but in digital version it is not good. There are none of the illustrations referenced in the text and footnotes. The annotations are discontented from the text. It only gets 3 stars because of the content provided by the author.

One person found this helpful. This is a very small book with annotations too short and selective to be of much utility. Wikipedia even, if less authoritative, gives more insights, provides greater background, suggests more directions for deeper inquiry, and comes closer to achieving politically neutrality than this nearly pocket-size softback. Little flavor of the history and little richness of the controversies emanates from the annotations -- which are really just inadequate footnotes.

The book was produced by a scholar who of course deeply appreciates the subject matter -- it's unlikely that anyone with a lesser name than Rakove would manage to sell many copies of this book -- but barely satisfies as even an outline. While I would recommend not spending money on this little volume, it warrants two stars since if you knew nothing of the basis and impact of a particular provision, this might tell you what in Wikipedia, for instance to look further into.

Understanding How the Declaration of Independence and Constitution Work Together

But were you to watch Rakove spend an hour on camera with Brian Lamb, you would become far more informed, and intellectually entertained, than you are likely to be with this book. One takes away the idea that this was just meant as an easy little money-maker for the author, and not designed to be of great use. The content of the book is good.


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However it is the worst formatted kindle book I have ever read. The footnotes are mixed in with the text and most are before the paragraph they are related to. It is sometimes hard to keep straight the text of the constitution, the comments, and the footnotes. None of the images are in the kindle version.

The Annotated U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence by Jack N. Rakove

If you want to read this book buy the printed book. Do not buy the Kindle version for either iPhone or PC. The captions for the illustrations are there, but the illustrations are not. Instead, the captions say to refer to the print edition to see the illustration. What is the purpose of having a Kindle version if you have to refer to the print edition?

Also, the footnotes actually are inserted in the midst of the text, in many instances before the footnoted text. The continuity of the text is non-existent. Very disappointed with the Kindle version of this book. It does not contain any of the pictures or illustrations mentioned in the book. This little text is a great in-depth look at the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that's very accessible for readers. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful.

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Professor Rakove provides a useful tool for the general reader for study of the specific language of the Constitution and entry into "original" meanings, intent, background, circumstances. For example, the 2nd Amendment was provided to ensure that the states would be able to muster an adequate militia just as the language literally says since the country had, and intended, no standing army. The concept of guns for individual defense really wasn't that much of a consideration although it was a reality given fear of indians.