Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, And the Flaws that Affect Us Today
by Cynthia Levinson & Sanford Levinson
Peachtree Publishers (September 1, 2017)
Nonfiction * Government & Politics * Social Science
Audience: Ages 10 to 14
Indiebound | WorldCat
Description from GoodReads:
Many of the political issues we struggle with today have their roots in the US Constitution. Husband-and-wife team Cynthia and Sanford Levinson take readers back to the creation of this historic document and discuss how contemporary problems were first introduced then they offer possible solutions. Think Electoral College, gerrymandering, even the Senate. Many of us take these features in our system for granted. But they came about through haggling in an overheated room in 1787, and were still experiencing the ramifications. Each chapter in this timely and thoughtful exploration of the Constitutions creation begins with a story all but one of them true that connects directly back to a section of the document that forms the basis of our society and government From the award-winning team, Cynthia Levinson, children's book author, and Sanford Levinson, constitutional law scholar, Fault Lines in the Constitution will encourage exploration and discussion from young and old readers alike.
Thoughts about the book:
Over the last year, I have watched as our Constitution has essentially come under attack and been challenged. Yes, definitely an opinion statement but you can't turn on the TV or read the newspaper without learning daily of events happening in our government that has caused more and more people to sit up and take notice. Over the past year, I have been following Cynthia on twitter and Facebook and seeing regular posts about revisions on this book. Reading her posts about how they needed to update information in the book based on what was happening in our country was further evidence of the timeliness of this topic and the need for this book. It has also reminded me that I have taken our Constitution for granted and that I did not understand it as well as I had thought.
Cynthia Levison has partnered with her husband, Sanford Levinson to write a book to look at the issues impacting our government today and how these exact same issues have their foundation in the conflicts and challenges that faced our country at the beginning. The conflicts and challenges haven't gotten any easier in 200+ years, and yet, I am often amazed at how much foresight the original writers of the Constitution had when creating the basis for our government.
What I love about this book is how accessible it is. Though it is written for 10 to 14 year olds, it really can be read by anyone (and should be read by everyone). The topic can be a challenge but the authors do their best to make the subject clear to their readers. There are seven sections to the book with catchy titles like "Hello Can You Hear Me?" (Gerrymandering) and "If America Threw a Party, Would You Be In?" (Voting Rights). As I read this book, I kept wondering where the book was when I was in high school taking US History?!
Cynthia Levinson holds degrees from Wellesley College and Harvard University and also attended the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. A former teacher and educational policy consultant and researcher, she is the author of the award-winning and critically-acclaimed We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March as well as Watch Out for Flying Kids!. She has also published articles in Appleseeds, Calliope, Cobblestone, Dig, Faces, and Odyssey.
Sanford Levinson is an American legal scholar, a professor in the Law School and the Department of Government at the University of Texas, and a frequent visiting professor at Harvard Law School. He holds degrees from Duke, Stanford, and Harvard universities and is the author of several adult books on the Constitution, including Constitutional Faith (1988, 2d ed. 2011); Our Undemocratic Constitution (2006); and Framed: America’s 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance (2012); and, most recently, An Argument Open to All: Reading The Federalist in the 21st Century (2015).
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