The People's Constitution: 200 Years, 27 Amendments, and the Promise of a More Perfect Union


Product Details

$29.99  $27.89
New Press
Publish Date
5.98 X 9.13 X 1.65 inches | 1.8 pounds

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About the Author

Wilfred U. Codrington III is an assistant professor of law at Brooklyn Law School and a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law. His teaching and scholarship focus on constitutional law, election law, race, and antidiscrimination. Prior to joining the Brooklyn Law School, Codrington was an adjunct assistant professor of public service at New York University's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, an associate at DLA Piper, LLP, and a law clerk for Hon. Deborah A. Batts, U.S.D.J. A graduate of Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania's Fels Institute of Government, and Stanford Law School, he lives in New York City.

John F. Kowal, a former director of grantmaking initiatives at the Ford Foundation and Open Society Foundations, is vice president for programs at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where he is responsible for coordinating and guiding the organization's programs on democracy, justice, and liberty and national security. Kowal writes on issues of constitutional law and democracy reform. He lives in New York City.


Praise for The People's Constitution:
"With a focus on the people and strategies that changed a nation by changing its Constitution, the book offers an insightful and captivating description of the country's popular movements and the incredible challenges posed by the amendment process."
--Caroline Fredrickson, Washington Monthly

"Readers at all levels interested in the Constitution's history and future should find this work thoughtful and instructive."
--Library Journal

"Legal scholars Kowal and Codrington debut with a rigorous yet accessible history of how the U.S. Constitution has been made 'more democratic, more inclusive, and more responsive to the needs of a changing country' through its amendments. . . . Incisive character profiles, brisk historical sketches, and lucid analyses of legal and political matters make this a fresh and invigorating take on the history of American democracy."
--Publishers Weekly

"I've been waiting for someone to write this book for a long time. Professors Kowal and Codrington have done a remarkable public service by showing America what our Constitution really means and how it has come about. It is hard to think of a more patriotic act of scholarship than what is contained in these pages."
--Congressman Jamie Raskin

"The People's Constitution is a fascinating story of how we changed our founding document through the difficult amendment process. It's also a reminder that since 1787, popular movements have led the country to embrace democratic innovation and push through changes that made our nation more just and more equal--and our governing process more broadly participatory."
--E.J. Dionne Jr., author of Our Divided Political Heart and co-author of 100% Democracy

"A carefully researched deep dive into America's founding document and its amendments, The People's Constitution injects color and life into constitutional history. At a time when so much of the American experiment seems precarious, The People's Constitution is an urgent and necessary reminder of the promise--and challenges--of sustaining a government for and by the people."
--Melissa Murray, Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

"Kowal and Codrington forcefully remind us that the Constitution must be understood not as it was written in 1787, but through the lens of how it has been amended."
--Erwin Chemerinsky, dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law

"A fine, accessible overview of American constitutional development . . . at once inspiring and chastening, underscoring the importance of establishing a true 'People's Constitution' that responds to the new challenges that emerge over time."
--Sanford Levinson, co-author (with Cynthia Levinson) of Fault Lines in the Constitution

"The People's Constitution . . . helps us understand that, whether for good or ill, the expressions of popular will through constitutional amendments may well alter the course of American democracy in the 21st century."
--Russ Feingold, president, American Constitution Society, and former U.S. senator from Wisconsin

"A crucial antidote to the spurious claim that the...