Jonathan Gienapp

Nov 7, 2022

On "The U.S. Constitution"

A Discussion with Jonathan Gienapp

New Books Network 2022

The story of the Constitution of the United States began long before the American Revolutionary War. This document was influenced by centuries old English law, and the final product was the result of months of debate, arguing, and compromises from representatives of 12 states, including its essential recognition of slavery, leading to further debates and conflict after the document was signed. Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution remains a fundamental part of U.S. politics. We ask ourselves: Do we move forward, or must we return to our roots? How can we remember the origins of the Constitution while we live in a society that would have been unimaginable when it was written? Jonathan Gienapp is an assistant professor of History at Stanford University. He specializes in Revolutionary and early republican America, and he is the author of The Second Creation: Fixing the American Constitution in the Founding Era. See more information on our website,

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