Bench Memos

Introducing The Constitution: An Introduction

When I joined Bench Memos this winter as an occasional blogger, it was in part with the thought that I might, in addition to regular substantive blogging, use this forum to introduce my new book, co-authored with my son, Luke Paulsen.

Here it is: The Constitution: An Introduction, published by Basic Books, is officially being released today (Tuesday, May 5)

I wrote the book with Luke Paulsen (Princeton Class of 2014, now a software engineer at a Silicon Valley startup) over the course of nine summer vacations, during a period spanning Luke’s high school and college years.

Our goal was to provide a reasonably concise (just over 300 pages), reasonably-comprehensive, reader-friendly, lively, and intelligent (we hope) introduction to the U.S. Constitution in all respects: formation, content, and 225-year history of interpretation. 

The overall point of the book is to introduce the Constitution to general intelligent lay readers of all kinds, and to serve as something of a corrective to the shallow treatment of the Constitution contained in most journalistic, mass-media, web-site, and school-textbook discussions of constitutional issues. Sophisticated constitutional-law scholars, litigators, and judges should appreciate the book, too, but our intended audience is broader.

Enough shameless self-promotion: For those who are interested, a fuller description, reviews, and the story of how we came to write this book together as a father-son team, are all available on the book’s website and Amazon page.

Michael Stokes Paulsen — Mr. Paulsen is a professor of law and distinguished university chairman at the University of St. Thomas, in Minneapolis.

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