The Constitution is about to turn 225 years old, and throughout its long history, attempts to discern its meaning have dominated American politics. Indeed, arguments over its meaning are more animated today than ever given the popularity of the Tea Party, whose adherents demand strict adherence to what they regard as its true, original meaning. It is therefore not surprising that deep interest among the lay public in the Constitution's text is often associated with a very specific fundamentalist approach to interpretation. In American Epic, the eminent legal scholar Garrett Epps also reads the constitution closely, but with a very different aim. He shares his own interpretations of the text of the U.S. Constitution-as law, as poetry, as narrative, and as What the Framers Intended-both as a guide and an inspiration for others as they explore the document for themselves and find their own approaches. He shows that it is possible to pay close attention to each word and sentence in the Constitution without interpreting it narrowly; to engage with the text not searching for one meaning, but many.
A fluid and engaging writer, Epps' learned and surprising reading of the Constitution will make readers look at the document in an entirely new way.