Cover image for Encyclopedia of the American Constitution
Title:
Encyclopedia of the American Constitution
Author:
Levy, Leonard W. (Leonard Williams), 1923-2006.
Edition:
Second edition / Adam Winkler, associate editor for the second edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Macmillan Reference USA, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
6 volumes (cxlvi, 3164 pages) ; 29 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780028648804

9780028655826

9780028655833

9780028655840

9780028655857

9780028655864

9780028655871
Format :
Book

Available:*

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KF4548 .E53 2000 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
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Summary

Summary

This new 6-vol. revision of the 1987 Dartmouth Medal winner includes all of the material from the original 4-vol. set and 1992 Supplement, as well as updated original articles and completely new articles covering recent concepts and court cases since 1992. New material is alphabetically integrated throughout the set. Appendices include a case index and primary documents. Among the new articles in this edition are adoption, race, and the Constitution; birthright citizenship; Clinton v. Jones; disability discrimination; hate crimes; modern militias; Violence Against Women Act; and more.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This new edition admirably continues the standard set in 1986 of providing high-quality, insightful, and thorough essays by leading constitutional scholars, law school professors, judges, historians, and political scientists on practical and theoretical topics dealing with every aspect of constitutional law in the U.S., from the Constitutional Convention in 1787 to the Clinton impeachment. The first edition won the 1987 Dartmouth Medal awarded by ALA's Reference and User Services Association and was designated as one of four core reference sources for a "Bicentennial Bookshelf" by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1992, a one-volume supplement was published, covering major constitutional developments and decisions since 1985 as well as topics omitted from the original set. When it came time to consider publishing a second supplementary volume, the editors wisely decided that it would be too unwieldy for users to have to consult the main volume plus two supplements to obtain thorough coverage of a topic. Instead, the editors opted to produce one new set, which would not only update many existing articles and cover new topics of importance but also include the original content of the first edition and its supplement. So, for example, John Paul Stevens is the subject of three consecutive essays: the original 1986 essay, an update in the1992 supplement, and a 2000 update. Although this arrangement is much simpler than requiring the reader to look in three separate volumes, one must continually stay alert to the fact that the older essays have not themselves been revised and must remember the temporal context when reading and evaluating them. On the other hand, reproducing the original essays and updating them with separate articles give a sense of how the interpretation of events, court decisions, and legal theories may change over time and expose the reader to different viewpoints on the same topic. Contributors to the first edition were encouraged to write commentaries that expressed their own views in addition to describing and analyzing their subjects. The second edition takes this a step further. For a few controversial subjects, such as electoral districting and same-sex marriage, it provides two essays by scholars with contrasting views, a feature that will be much appreciated by students writing compare-and-contrast-type essays. The second edition contains 316 new articles, mainly focusing on constitutional issues arising since 1992 (such as DNA testing and the Internet), recent developments in areas still the subject of litigation and legislation (abortion, affirmative action, search and seizure), new perspectives on doctrinal or historical subjects (taking of property, war powers), influential persons (primarily new Supreme Court justices and President Clinton), and recent Supreme Court decisions. Contributors include noted scholars such as A. E. Dick Howard, Wayne R. LaFace, Catharine MacKinnon, Robert M. O'Neil, and Mark Tushnet. Articles contain cross-referencing within the text, indicated by small capitals. Although this format saves space, it is difficult for a person scanning an entry to notice the cross-references. Also, the decision to embed cross-references within the text means that the reader is often referred to a very broad topic but may not be referred to a narrower but more relevant article. For example, homosexual marriage is discussed in Sexual preference and the constitution. The article contains a cross-reference to Sex discrimination within the text but not to the more relevant Same-sex marriage. See also references are found at the end of many articles, but articles cross-referenced within the text are not repeated. As with many reference works, the cross-referencing and see also referencing are not as comprehensive as one might hope. For example, there is no referencing between the articles Sex offender notification laws and Sexual predator laws, even though the topics are closely related. Most entries also contain short but useful bibliographies. The first volume offers an alphabetical list of all articles and updates with authors noted, as well as lists of contributors with their institutional affiliations and articles written. Appendixes containing historical documents, a chronology of the development of American constitutional law, a glossary, and a case index, name index, and subject index complete the set. Absent is an index for statutes. When a statute is the subject of an article, the statute-at-large citation is given for it; but when a statute is mentioned in the text of an article, the citation is not given. Including the citation information in an index modeled on the case index would have been useful. Apart from the minor flaws noted above, the second edition of Encyclopedia of the American Constitution is a masterful contribution to the reference literature. It fulfills its mission of bridging the disciplines of history, law, and politics using language that is accessible to a mixed audience ranging from high-school students and the general public to constitutional law scholars. It is recommended for public, secondary, academic, and law school libraries, as well as appropriate special libraries.


Library Journal Review

Editors Levy and Karst, noted scholars and authors of numerous works on U.S. Constitutional law, have updated and revised this classic reference workDwinner of the Dartmouth MedalDto reflect changes in American constitutional development since the first edition was published 14 years ago. This six-volume reference contains approximately 3000 contributions from academics, lawyers, and judges concerning key constitutional law cases and legislative developments relating to constitutional issues (e.g., abortion, welfare rights, and affirmative action). This edition updates the coverage of such key issues as the state regulation of commerce, the taking of property, substantive due process, and executive privilege. It also offers new information on key judicial personnel, such as U.S. Supreme Court justices, and assesses both classic and current theories of constitutional analysis (e.g., critical race and feminist theories). Cross references allow readers to pursue related and additional items throughout this outstanding work. Highly recommended for all public and academic libraries.DSteven Puro, St. Louis Univ. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

The first edition of this work has long been known as one of the authoritative reference sources on the US Constitution. This second edition updates the first (CH, Jun'87) and its supplements through 1999. The main ingredients that have made this a useful source are still present--an extensive case index, name index, subject index, and glossary. Included in the appendixes are outlines of the development of constitutional law, the history of the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and an unannotated copy of the Constitution itself. The editors have expanded the subject index, including more popular terminology and enhancing access points for nonlegal scholars and undergraduates. Listed alphabetically by title, most records include a brief bibliography and extensive cross-references. Highlights of recent entries include information about the Clinton impeachment (1998), Reno v. ACLU (1997; Internet freedom of speech), and the Violence Against Women Act (1994). Along with The Oxford Guide to United State Supreme Court Decisions, ed. by Kermit L. Hall (1999), and Encyclopedia of the US Supreme Court, ed. by Thomas T. Lewis and Richard L. Wilson (CH, Feb'00), this set would enable beginning research on most constitutional topics. Ideal for college, university, and public libraries, and useful for graduate students reviewing for exams. R. H. McDonald; Auburn University