• We the People

  • A Progressive Reading of the Constitution for the Twenty-First Century
  • By: Erwin Chemerinsky
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (38 ratings)

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We the People

By: Erwin Chemerinsky
Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
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Publisher's Summary

Worried about what a super-conservative majority on the Supreme Court means for the future of civil liberties? From gun control to reproductive health, a conservative court will reshape the lives of all Americans for decades to come. The time to develop and defend a progressive vision of the US Constitution that protects the rights of all people is now.  

University of California Berkeley Dean and respected legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky expertly exposes how conservatives are using the Constitution to advance their own agenda that favors business over consumers and employees and government power over individual rights.  

But exposure is not enough. Progressives have spent too much of the last 45 years trying to preserve the legacy of the Warren Court's most important rulings and reacting to the Republican-dominated Supreme Courts by criticizing their erosion of rights - but have not yet developed a progressive vision for the Constitution itself. Yet, if we just look to the promise of the Preamble - liberty and justice for all - and take seriously its vision, a progressive reading of the Constitution can lead us forward as we continue our fight ensuring democratic rule, effective government, justice, liberty, and equality.

©2018 Erwin Chemerinsky (P)2018 Tantor

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Hypocritical evaluation of the constitution

This is probably one of the meaningless books I have ever read in the recent history. Let me first establish my POV so I add some context. I am political moderate and could be classified as Center-Right or Center-Left based on some nuances. I read Randy E Barnett's Republican Constitution and it was quite persuading and I expected to be equally persuaded by the Democratic version of the constitution since I hold bipartisan views on different issues.

I do believe that the constitution is a living document and a plain text reading of the same does more injustice as the constitution ought to be adapted for changing times. But, the foundational values that are to be used to interpret and evolve are something we need to agree on and the author of this book should be given some recognition in attempting to discuss the same but this is where it goes haywire.

As the author argues in the second chapter how an abstract view of something could be stretched so thin that it can be used to explain any possible outcome. Well, the author falls into the same pit as he takes such an abstract view of just the preamble to fit all the policy measures that he wishes were reality that the book reads like propaganda than an erudite reading of the constitution. For example, he discusses liberty but doesn't explain why liberty that is promised to all citizens is not ascertained to businessmen who have rational self-interest to make more money. The author doesn't discuss the biggest challenge of our time, individualism vs collectivism.

The constitution is more than just the preamble. I agree that the preamble is a real important piece of the document and one ought to start there to understand the core but that doesn't make the rest of document a period drama fluff. The author should have had the guts to put the entire text of the constitution under the microscope to see how a progressive would find meaning in the same but this is such a meaningless propaganda endeavor that you walk away just annoyed.

6 people found this helpful

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Powerful tools for evaluating the Supreme Court

Mr. Chemerinsky has written the textbook about the Constitution most widely used by law students. His book “We the People” should be read by everybody else, including people who do not consider themselves progressives but believe it’s important to understand diverse arguments about how the Supreme Court does and should make decisions. The book provides powerful tools for assessing those arguments. Using these tools makes it much easier to understand and judge the Court.

4 people found this helpful

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despicable inhumane

worst book i have ever bought completely unethical and without base or evidence comparing a buisnessman to a 47 year politician that hasnt helped our country in all those years is irrefutable his opposition was a segragationist and a puppet for for big tech and corporate america wake up author you are spreading lies and are false in almost every area tell the truth ccp controls corporate america and london owns the United states

3 people found this helpful

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Great points with facts to back them up!

The book was very easy to comprehend. You could be any level of expertise when it comes to the Constitution and still learn from this author. The author has credibility as well as knowledge of the topic with facts to back up his claims. Well done.

2 people found this helpful

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  • 05-26-21

prescient vision from 2018

Prof. Chemerinsky saw in the Supreme Court what we in 2021 are watching ... aghast.
great work and superior analysis

1 person found this helpful

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every American should read and/or listen.

great approach on history of constitutional jurisprudence and arguments on how to better serve the people. you won't regret this book.

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Very compelling analysis of the US constitution

I think reading this book gave a better understanding of how the US Supreme Court is shaping the way to live in America. Meaning the future of the country is defined open interpretation in f the constitution by few justices.

1 person found this helpful