Image - The Lives of the Constitution
Image - The Lives of the Constitution
Image - The Lives of the Constitution

The Lives of the Constitution: Ten Exceptional Minds that Shaped America’s Supreme Law

This event is the latest in our member-led forums’ Crisis in Our Country summer series. 

Monday Night Philosophy investigates Tartakovsky's blend of biography and history, which tells the epic and unexpected story of our Constitution through the eyes of ten extraordinary individuals ― some renowned, like Alexander Hamilton and Woodrow Wilson, and some forgotten, like James Wilson and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Tartakovsky brings to life their struggles over our supreme law from its origins in revolutionary America to the era of Obama and Trump. From Gold Rush California to the halls of Congress, Tartakovsky's vivid Dickensian cast grapples with questions like democracy, racial and sexual equality, free speech, economic liberty, and the role of government. He also chronicles how Daniel Webster sought to avert the Civil War; how Alexis de Tocqueville misunderstood America; how Robert Jackson balanced liberty and order in the battle against Nazism and Communism; and how Antonin Scalia died warning Americans about the ever-growing reach of the Supreme Court. From the 1787 Philadelphia Convention to the clash over gay marriage, this is a grand tour through two centuries of constitutional history and an education in the principles that sustain America in the most astonishing experiment in government ever undertaken.


George Hammond


MLF: Humanities

Image - James Tartakovsky
Joseph Tartakovsky
James Wilson Fellow in Constitutional Law at the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy; Author, The Lives of the Constitution