Amending America

If We Love the Constitution So Much, Why Do We Keep Trying to Change It?

Richard B. Bernstein with Jerome Agel

Even as we marvel at the grandeur of our constitutional system, we can't resist tinkering with it. Amending America tells the dramatic story of how, over the past 206 years, the American people have reshaped the Constitution to meet the country's changing needs. It describes how we have adopted 27 amendments since 1789-and debated and rejected 10,000 more.

A provocative examination of one of America's most important yet least-known democratic tools, Amending America brings to life events in our history that continue to resonate today as, as various politicians have set their hearts on amendments to balance the budget, to ban abortion, or to allow school prayer.

“A skillfully rendered, comprehensive, and engaging study of Article V's procedures for amending the Constitution.”

Washington Post

“Instructive and fascinating. The book is thorough, erudite, and packed with the anecdotes that make our political past so enjoyable to review.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune
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About the Author

Richard B. Bernstein, adjunct associate professor of law at New York Law School, is the author or editor of twelve books on American constitutional history, including Are We to Be a Nation? The Making of the Constitution (with Kym S. Rice) and Into the Third Century: The Congress, The Presidency, The Supreme Court (with Jerome Agel). Jerome Agel has written and/or produced more than fifty books, including collaborations with Carl Sagan, Marshall McLuhan, Herman Kahn, Arthur C. Clarke, Stanley Kubrick, and Isaac Asimov. His works include The U.S. Constitution for Everyone.