A Companion to the United States Constitution and Its Amendments
6th Edition
by John R. Vile
March 2015, 321pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3327-4
$75, £58, 66€, A103
Paperback: 978-1-4408-3560-5
$45, £35, 40€, A62
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3328-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The U.S. Constitution has only been formally amended 27 times in 225 years.

Now in its sixth edition with coverage of major Supreme Court decisions through the end of the 2013–2014 term, this book remains a key source for students, professors, and citizens seeking balanced, up-to-date information on the Constitution, its amendments, and how they have been interpreted.

A document that is well past two centuries old, the U.S. Constitution remains as relevant and important today as during the time of our country’s founding. Now in its sixth edition, this single-volume work offers a fair, non-partisan treatment of one of the most important documents in American history. The book begins with introductory background information on the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and then presents a clause-by-clause explanation of the Constitution from the preamble through all of its amendments, addressing how each has been interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court and other institutions throughout U.S. history.

This fully updated edition of A Companion to the United States Constitution and Its Amendments incorporates numerous new developments in the four years since the previous edition, including the appointments of new Supreme Court justices, impactful cases involving First Amendment rights for students, the Affordable Care Act, National Security Agency (NSA) data gathering, voting rights, campaign finance law, DNA sampling, and the ongoing battle over gay rights. As with the previous editions, John R. Vile provides a balanced and thorough treatment that identifies key Supreme Court decisions and other interpretations of the document while abstaining from unnecessarily complex and confusing explanations.


  • Provides an accessible and informative introduction to the creation, meaning, and continuing role of the Constitution that is suited for high school students, undergraduate audiences, law students and researchers, reference librarians, and interested citizens who want to understand the Constitution and its amendments
  • Presents balanced treatments of all key constitutional provisions and up-to-date information on how key U.S. Supreme Court decisions have interpreted the Constitution
  • Includes a glossary, highlights of constitutional history, and a fully updated appendix of the names and dates of U.S. Supreme Court Justices
  • Includes copies of the U.S. Constitution and Its Amendments, the Declaration of Independence, and the Articles of Confederation
John R. Vile, PhD, is professor of political science and dean of the University Honors College at Middle Tennessee State University. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Re-Framers: 170 Eccentric, Visionary, and Patriotic Proposals to Rewrite the U.S. Constitution; The Constitutional Convention of 1787: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of America's Founding; Encyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments, Proposed Amendments, and Amending Issues, 1789–2010 (third edition); Great American Lawyers: An Encyclopedia; and Great American Judges: An Encyclopedia. He is coauthor of Encyclopedia of the First Amendment and Encyclopedia of the Fourth Amendment. Vile holds a doctorate in government from the University of Virginia.
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