The three most important documents in American history—expanded and explained.
In the centuries since the creation of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, as well as its Bill of the Rights, the liberties set forth within these documents have faced many challenges, including war, unrest, political debate, and legal disputes. Such trials persist today, but the initial strength of our founding papers—shining as beacons of hope and freedom to America and beyond—continues to stand the test of time.
Now, The American Reader provides a brief summary and analysis of these landmark documents: examining constitutional interpretation, specifically originalism vs. living Constitution; exploring the Declaration’s “saving principles,” expressed by Frederick Douglass, one of many influential leaders referenced in this concise guide; and more. Also included are noteworthy facts about the founding fathers, a detailed timeline of events, and other fascinating trivia.
At a time when our understanding of individual liberties in America is especially imperative, this essential reference puts our country’s foundational beliefs into much-needed modern perspective.