Forthcoming 2014 • ISBN: 978-1-59460-463-8
Mortal Words tells the story of the U.S. Constitution’s evolution over the course of more than 200 years. Exhaustively researched and clearly written, it provides an authoritative guide for anyone wishing to understand the constitutional structure of the U.S. government and the American system of constitutional right. The first of a two-volume history of the constitution, Volume 1: Origins to World War II explains how law, politic, and historical forces interacted to fundamentally change U.S. constitutional law by the mid-1940s.
Jay brings a complicated topic alive through both a lively writing style and an emphasis on the critical relationship between constitutional law and U.S. social and political history. By tying constitutional cases to their historical contexts, he offers far more depth and interest for the reader than purely legal accounts. Although the book presents a broad survey of the American constitutional tradition, it delves deeply into the Supreme Court’s reasoning and identifies general themes that synthesize and explain the historical record behind hundreds of constitutional cases. Mortal Words can easily be used for courses in constitutional law, history, or political science.