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4 books you'll want to add to your collection on the Constitution


Required reading as suggested by leading libertarian political scientist Charles Murray.

For the avid reader, one of the nice things about Charles Murray's new "By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission" (in-depth interview with Murray on the book below) is that he provides helpful reading suggestions on a variety of subjects.

One of them is Constitutional jurisprudence.

In a section titled "The Talmudic Morass of Constitutional Jurisprudence," Charles Murray tells us:

The scholarship that has grown up around the interpretation of the words of the Constitution is dazzling if seen as demonstrations of intellectual agility, but depressing in terms of the sophistry that accompanies much of it. Not being a constitutional scholar myself, I have drawn my description of the key Supreme Court decisions and their historical context in this chapter from the work of Randy Barnett, Richard Epstein, Michael Greve, Gary Lawson and other eminent scholar whose analysis of Constitutional jurisprudence proceeds from a Madisonian perspective.

The four books Murray suggests include:

1) The Classical Liberal Constitution: The Uncertain Quest for Limited Government by Richard Epstein

2) How Progressives Rewrote the Constitution by Richard Epstein

3) Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty by Randy Barnett


Note that Prof. Barnett shared with us his own reading recommendations here.

4) The Dirty Dozen: How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom by Robert Levy and William Mellor


Murray concludes this section by noting:

Even lacking expert standing, I will venture a response to those who find support for an expansive federal government in the writings of the founders: The Constitution wouldn't have had a snowball's chance in hell of being ratified only because all of the leading Federalists vigorously rejected those interpretations during the debate over ratification--earnestly in the case of advocates such as Madison, disingenuously in the case of Hamilton.


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