The Words That Made Us
Tuesday, January 10 | 4:30pm | Auditorium
Akhil Reed Amar Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University
When the US Constitution won popular approval in 1788, it was the culmination of thirty years of passionate argument over the nature of government. But, for the next half century, ordinary Americans and statesmen alike continued to wrestle with weighty questions in the halls of government and in the pages of newspapers. Should the nation’s borders be expanded? Should America allow slavery to spread westward? What was the proper role of the judicial branch?
In The Words that Made Us, Akhil Reed Amar unites history and law in a vivid narrative of the biggest constitutional questions early Americans confronted, and he expertly assesses the answers they offered. His account of the document’s origins and consolidation is a guide for anyone seeking to properly understand America’s Constitution today.
About the Speaker
Akhil Reed Amar is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, where he teaches constitutional law in both Yale College and Yale Law School. His work has won awards from both the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society, and he has been cited by Supreme Court justices across the spectrum in more than 40 cases. “Based on excerpts from his new book, The Words That Made Us: America’s Constitutional Conversation, 1760-1840, Yale Law Professor Akhil Reed Amar will explore key figures and critical moments in the early life of the American constitutional project. Come prepared to hear about (and ask questions about) the Declaration of Independence, the framing and ratification of the Constitution, the enactment of the Bill of Rights, the death scenes and legacies of America’s leading founders, and more.”
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