Press/Journalists

Akhil Reed Amar to Discuss the Constitution’s Early Years May 4th at 6 pm
Press Release · Thursday, April 29, 2021

Washington, DC

On Tuesday, May 4, at 6 pm the National Archives again welcomes legal scholar Akhil Reed Amar to discuss his latest book: The Words That Made Us: America’s Constitutional Conversation, 1760-1840, a history of the American Constitution's formative decades.  Presented in partnership with James Madison’s Montpelier. Register online. Watch the live stream on our YouTube Channel. 

When the U.S. Constitution won popular approval in 1788, it was the culmination of 30 years of passionate argument over the nature of government. But ratification hardly ended the conversation, and for the next half century, ordinary Americans and statesmen alike continued to wrestle with weighty questions such as the expansion of the nation’s borders and the expansion of slavery, the rights of Indian Nations, and 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.

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.  He joined the Yale faculty in 1985 at the age of 26, after clerking for then-Judge (now Justice) Stephen Breyer. He has written widely for popular publications including: The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, and Slate. He was an informal consultant to The West Wing TV show. Professor Amar is the author of dozens of law review articles and several books, including: The Constitution and Criminal Procedure: First Principles, The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction, America’s Constitution: A Biography, America’s Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By, The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of our Constitutional Republic), and The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era.

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