Cover image for The Bill of Rights : a history in documents
The Bill of Rights : a history in documents
Patrick, John J., 1935-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2003..
Physical Description:
205 pages : illustrations, maps ; 26 cm.
Uses contemporary documents to explore the history of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the British traditions on which they were based, and their impact on American society.
The roots of American rights -- Rights and revolution in America -- The birth of the Bill of Rights -- The Bill of Rights marginalized -- Rights renewed and denied -- A resurgence of rights -- Nationalization of the Bill of Rights -- Political cartoons on right to bear arms -- Consensus and controversy.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF4750 .P274 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
KF4750 .P274 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The Bill of Rights is an extraordinary collection of original documents, carefully introduced and put into context by historian John Patrick, that traces the origins of the Bill of Rights back to England's Magna Carta and its legal traditions through to present day controversies over freedoms of speech, religion, bearing arms, assembling, and more. Examples of challenges to the Bill of Rights include: * The Sedition Act of 1798, which made itillegal to express criticism of the U.S. government * The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II * George W. Bush's Executive Order of November 13, 2001, expanding the government'sauthority against individuals when terrorism is suspected.

Author Notes

John J. Patrick is Professor of Education in the School of Education at Indiana University. He is also Director of the Social Studies Development Center and Director of the ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education at Indiana University. Professor Patrick is the author or co-author of many publications on civic education, history education, and political ideas. Among his recent publications are The Oxford Guide to the U.S.Government (Oxford, 2001) and The Supreme Court of the United States: A Student Companion (Oxford, 2001).

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 9^-12. The latest volumes in the Pages from History series spotlight topics from American history, featuring excerpts from source documents, which are introduced, occasionally explained, and put into context by Gray and Patrick's discussions. The large pages are divided into wide inner columns, which carry the main text, and narrow outer columns, in which short quotations, brief commentaries, and definitions sometimes appear. Reproductions of period documents, maps, art, and artifacts illustrate the texts. Colonial America presents a wide variety of documents thematically arranged in chapters discussing topics such as colonial confrontations with Native Americans and slavery. One chapter uses photos and texts to spotlight colonial American homes and artifacts. Beginning with English common law, The Bill of Rights covers not only the British and colonial background but also issues, actions, and court cases challenging and clarifying the rights, from the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 to a 2000 Supreme Court decision involving prayer before a public school football game. One unusual chapter commenting on both the right to bear arms and the right to free expression looks at gun control through the medium of political cartoons. Both books offer broad, varied representations of their topics through well-chosen selections of original documents supported by solid background information. Each volume concludes with a time line and a bibliography. --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Tracing the concept of human rights from the Magna Carta and John Locke's philosophy through to the present day, the author demonstrates through documents the development and interpretation of these rights in American history. A useful introduction defines primary-source documents and how to read them. Patrick then presents a brief overview of particular events and discusses the documents associated with them. He includes excerpts from the primary sources and a summary. Various period maps, cartoons, drawings, and court opinions are also included. Sidebars consisting of mini-biographies, quotes, and drawings provide added dimension. Readers get a true sense of the times, especially by perusing the court opinions. The issues of human rights, the civil rights amendments, the application of these rights in state constitutions, and the question of minority and majority rights are discussed. The chronological organization of the book provides students with an understanding of the evolution and the extent of the Bill of Rights. A chapter of political cartoons about the Second Amendment demonstrates how the interpretation of these rights is a continuing process. This attractive and informative volume will be a valuable resource for most collections.-Lana Miles, Duchesne Academy, Houston, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.