The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today (Peachtree Press, 2017) by author Cynthia Levinson and Visiting Professor Sanford Levinson. Professor Levinson is also the W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Texas Law School.
Copies of Fault Lines in the Constitution will be available for sale and Cynthia Levinson and Professor Levinson will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School Room WCC 2036 Milstein East C (Map & Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
About Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today
“The United States Constitution has been amended 27 times since its 1788 ratification, but the Levinsons make the reasonable and compelling case that further revision will make it even more efficient and just.
Cynthia Levinson, the author of We’ve Got a Job (2012), teams up with her husband, Sanford Levinson, a constitutional law scholar and professor, to explain how many of the political issues we struggle with today are rooted in flaws in the U.S. Constitution. Among the issues explored, in lively, accessible prose, are bicameralism, the Electoral College, emergency powers, gerrymandering, the presidential veto, and voter-identification requirements. In the chapters examining these issues, real-life examples illustrate each constitutional flaw (the 2000 election illustrates the problems in the Electoral College, for instance). Putting it in historical and contemporary context, the authors explain the problem, make comparisons to constitutions of other nations, and suggest viable solutions. The Levinsons grade the Constitution’s success in meeting its primary goals as outlined in the Preamble, giving it a C-plus overall. The text concludes with the authors debating the pros and cons of a second Constitutional Convention.
A fascinating, thoughtful, and provocative look at what in the Constitution keeps the United States from being “a more perfect union.”” — Kirkus Reviews
R. Shep Melnick, Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Professor of American Politics, Boston College
Daniel Carpenter, Allie S. Freed Professor of Government and Director of Social Sciences at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Dan Covino, Lawrence S. Pidgeon Director, Education Professions Community, Grinnell College
Amy Shine Jones, History Department Faculty, Haverhill High School
More About Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today
“Opinionated, may be controversial, but should spark a national dialogue about our Constitution and the nation’s future.” — Dan Rather
“When one of the nation’s foremost constitutional scholars teams up with one of the nation’s favorite young adult authors, the result is a highly educational, readable and entertaining look at the United States Constitution, warts and all. Cynthia and Sanford Levinson’s “Fault Lines in the Constitution,” could not be more timely and thought provoking.” — Ted McConnell, Executive Director, Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, Assistant to Chairman, Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution 1986-1990
“Insightful… Much food for thought on the application and relevance of many of the Constitution’s stipulations. Essential for class discussions, debate teams, and reports.” — School Library Journal
“Lately there’s been dismay that civics, government, and history have taken a backseat in classrooms. This smartly conceived book goes a long way toward reintroducing students to those subjects….the Levinsons link both history and current events as they offer an illustrative group of examples that show where the Constitution got it right–and wrong…. Although the font, charts, and well-written text make this appealing, it’s not always an easy read. It is, however, an important one.” — Booklist
“Interest-piquing anecdotes open each chapter, the effects of the Constitution’s provisions are dramatically summarized in poster-like illustrations, and the ensuing discussions…are both cogent and highly readable…thought-provoking and exceptionally topical” — Publishers Weekly
This talk is co-sponsored with the Harvard Graduate School of Education.