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History As It Happens

May 30, 2023

Americans – many of them, anyway – revere the Constitution and the men who framed it. We can recite its preamble with its aim of securing "the blessings of liberty” for future generations. But more than 230 years after its ratification, historian Jack Rakove contends we’re still laboring under damaging myths about what the Constitution does and does not mean. Rakove, who has written or edited dozens of books on the founding era, identifies the role played by myths, spurious claims, and lies in distorting constitutional debate and American politics in general. Jack Rakove is emeritus professor of history and political science at Stanford University.