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The Blessings of LibertyThe Blessings of Liberty

A Concise History of the Constitution of the United States

Michael Les Benedict

Narrated by Larry Wayne

Available from Audible

Book published by Rowman & Littlefield

This concise, accessible text provides students with a history of American constitutional development in the context of political, economic, and social change. Constitutional historian Michael Benedict stresses the role that the American people have played over time in defining the powers of government and the rights of individuals and minorities. He covers important trends and events in U.S. constitutional history, encompassing key Supreme Court and lower-court cases. The volume begins by discussing the English and colonial origins of American constitutionalism. Following an analysis of the American Revolution's meaning to constitutional history, the text traces the Constitution's evolution from the Early Republic to the present day. This third edition is updated to include the election of 2000, the Tea Party and the rise of popular constitutionalism, and the rise of judicial supremacy as seen in cases such as Citizens United, the Affordable Care Act, and gay marriage.

Michael Les Benedict is a prominent American historian who taught at Ohio State University from 1970 until his retirement in 2005.


“The third edition of Michael Les Benedict’s The Blessings of Liberty is a treasure. Clearly written and easy to understand, the text takes us from the English roots of American constitutionalism to 2016. Taking the approach of the modern constitutional historian, Benedict plunges us into the controversies relevant to the formation and implementation of the Constitution of 1787 and its amendments, providing the necessary political, social, and economic context that accompanied the development of American constitutional law. I wish there were more undergraduate courses in constitutional history, so that more students could read this book. But we could all benefit by reading it.”

—Maeva Marcus, Director, Institute for Constitutional History, The New-York Historical Society and The George Washington University Law School

“There is no better introduction to constitutional history than The Blessings of Liberty. Learned, clearly written, up to date on recent scholarship, the book is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand this crucial subject.”

—Eric Foner, Columbia University

“I am astounded by Les Benedict’s ability to compress the story of American constitutional development—which he rightly treats as requiring far more than simply knowledge of Supreme Court decisions—into a relatively short and readable volume (that, in addition, contains extremely helpful bibliographies). I will certainly strongly recommend it to any of my own law students in need of the kind of overview that he so well provides.”

—Sanford Levinson, author of An Argument Open to All: Reading the Federalist in the 21st Century

All titles are published by:
University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks