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The United States Constitution

Resources for researching the history, drafting, interpretation, and other elements of the U.S. Constitution.

Books

Many items on this list are from lists on the Library of Congress' Constitution page and the bibliography section of USconstitution.net. The Dee J. Kelly Law Library recommends these books only as resources for interested citizens and does not endorse any particular content or point of view that may be expressed in any book on this list.

If you're interested in reading any of these books, you can click on the title to be taken to its page on Amazon.com. Don't forget to see if your local library has a copy you can borrow!

For a much more complete list of books about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution's effects on various aspects of American life, please see this law review article, which is available online at no charge: Thomas E. Baker, "A Constitutional Bibliography", 5 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 277 (1996)

Books for all readers

The U.S. Constitution

Amar, Akhil Reed. America’s Constitution: A Biography. Random House, 2010

Beeman, Richard. The Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution. Penguin Books, 2010

Beeman, Richard. Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution. Random House, 2010

Berkin, Carol. A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution. Mariner Books, 2003

Bowen, Catherine Drinker. Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention, May to September, 1787. Little, Brown, 1986

Collier, Christopher, and James Lincoln Collier. Decision in Philadelphia: The Constitutional Convention of 1787. Random House, 1986

Maddex, Robert L., The U.S. Constitution A to Z. CQ Press, 2008

Madison, James, Edward J. Larson and Michael P. Winship. The Constitutional Convention: A Narrative History From the Notes of James Madison. Modern Library, 2005

Maier, Pauline. Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788. Simon & Schuster, 2011

Monk, Linda R. The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution. Hyperion, 2010

Rakove, Jack N. Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution. A.A. Knopf, 1996

Stewart, David O. The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution. Simon & Schuster, 2007

Tribe, Lawrence and Michael Dorf. On Reading the Constitution. Harvard University Press, 1991

Van Doren, Carl. The Great Rehearsal: The Story of the Making and Ratifying of the Constitution of the United States. Viking Penguin, 1986

Vile, John R. The Constitutional Convention of 1787: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of America's Founding. 2 vols. ABC-CLIO, 2005

The Bill of Rights

Amar, Akhil Reed. The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction. Yale University Press, 2000

Berkin, Carol. The Bill of Rights: The Fight to Secure America's Liberties. Simon & Schuster, 2011

Bodenhamer, David J., and James W. Ely Jr., eds. The Bill of Rights in Modern America. Indiana University Press, 2008

Cogan, Neil H., ed. The Complete Bill of Rights: The Drafts, Debates, Sources, and Origins. Oxford University Press, 1997

Conley, Patrick, and John P. Kaminski, eds. The Bill of Rights and the States: The Colonial and Revolutionary Origins of American Liberties. Madison House, 1992

deRose, Chris, Founding Rivals: Madison vs. Monroe, the Bill of Rights, and the Election That Saved a Nation. Regnery History, 2011

Hickock, Eugene W., Jr. The Bill of Rights: Original Meaning and Current Understanding. University Press of Virginia, 1991

Labunski, Richard E. James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights. Oxford University Press, 2006

Levy, Leonard. Origins of the Bill of Rights. Yale University Press, 1999

Monk, Linda R. The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide. Close Up Publishing, 2000

Veit, Helen E., Kenneth R. Bowling, and Charlene Bangs Bickford, eds. Creating the Bill of Rights: The Documentary Record From the First Federal Congress. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991

Books for Young Readers

Books for young readers

The U.S. Constitution:

Catrow, David. We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States. Puffin Books, 2005

Cheney, Lynne. We the People: The Story of Our Constitution. Simon & Schuster, 2012

Collier, Christopher, and James Lincoln Collier. Creating the Constitution, 1787. Benchmark Books, 1999

Fritz, Jean. Shh! We're Writing the Constitution. Putnam, 1987

Hennessey, Jonathan. The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation. Hill & Wang, 2008

Maestro, Betsy. A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution. HarperCollins, 2008

Orr, Tamra. The Story of the Constitution. Mitchell Lane Publishers, 2012

Shea, Therese. The United States Constitution. Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2014

Sobel, Sly. The U.S. Constitution and You. Barron's, 2012

Sonneborn, Liz. The United States Constitution. Heinemann Library, 2013

Travis, Cathy. Constitution Translated for Kids. CreateSpace, 2012

The Bill of Rights:

Baxter, Roberta. The Bill of Rights. Heinemann Library, 2013

Graham, Amy. A Look at the Bill of Rights: Protecting the Rights of Americans. Enslow Publishers, 2008

Heymsfeld, Carla R. and Joan W. Lewis. George Mason, Father of the Bill of Rights. Patriotic Education Incorporated, 1991

Leavitt, Amie Jane. The Bill of Rights. Mitchell Lane, 2012

Meltzer, Milton. The Bill of Rights: How We Got It and What It Means. Thomas Crowell, 1990

Sobel, Syl. The Bill of Rights: Protecting Our Freedom Then and Now. Barrons Educational Series, 2008