US Constitution in graphic novel form

Jonathan Hennessey and Aaron McConnell's The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation is a sweet, quick, thoroughgoing history of the US Constitution. I'm a Canadian and most of my grounding in US Constitutional law began with Schoolhouse Rock -- an engaging source to be sure, but sorely lacking in detail. Hennessey and McConnell do great work in picking up where Schoolhouse Rock ends, using a little sprinkling of humor and a lot of illustration to explain such abstractions as the three-fifths compromise, the electoral college, pocket vetos and other critical historical and contemporary elements of constitutional law. The section on the Bill of Rights is especially good in presenting the balanced case for each amendment, debunking the cheap talking-points on both sides of each right's debate.

I only have one criticism of this book, and that is that it stops short of the last eight years' worth of lawmaking and debate, failing to address the Patriot Act, the FISA courts, and other modern constitutional challenges. Still, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better primer for bringing the kids, foreigners and forgetful in your life up to speed on the niceties of the supreme law of the USA so that you can have these discussions. The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation


  1. Finally! A version of the Constitution with pictures, so that maybe George Bush can understand it.

  2. No, the Constitution was designed to supplement God’s law. God’s law isn’t specific enough. What’s God’s take on firearm possession, for instance? “Inalienable rights” are granted by no earthly court. For the other stuff, we have the Constitution.

  3. Jeff Thomas – They were trying to replace the word of any one Tyrant (claiming power through whatever means) with The People (tempered by a separation of powers).

    Is every single thing in your life seen through the lens you applied there? I feel you need an optometrist, and perhaps a mirror.

  4. Jeff Thomas, are you taking the stance that it is a PROBLEM that our country was designed with more tolerance than say Catholocism, Lutheramism or any of the other Christian movements? Do you not understand that millions of people have emigrated to this country so that they may worhsip freely the religion of their choice? Would you rather this country was run with the same fervor as say, Iran? Or am I just being cranky today?

  5. JeffThomas,
    You might find it instructive to review the Declaration of Independence.

    You might also want to recall that for the people composing both documents (the Declaration and the Constitution), the religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries stood out in their historical memory in the same way that the US Civil War stands out for Americans today.

    You may want to read some Jefferson while you’re at it.

  6. Jeff Thomas, I’m one of the assistant moderators. A troll is a person who picks fights in discussion forums by posting deliberately provocative comments. You have posted a grand total of two comments, on a provocative topic, and have no history of engaging in general discussion on other matters. That makes you look very much like a troll.

    The proprietors of BoingBoing are not paying money to run servers for the purpose of you using them to preach at people. This is not a public square. This is not your soapbox. I have un-published your two long comments. That means that they’re still in the comments database, but no longer visible to readers. Teresa, the chief moderator, might decide to re-publish them later. Or she might not. I make no guarantees in that regard.

    I haven’t banned you as a commenter. You’re still able to post comments. If you take this opportunity to prove that you’re not a troll, by engaging in civil dialog on topics other than the one you seem to be obsessed with, this will make you seem less like a troll.

    If, instead, you continue to pursue this topic, you will seem more like a troll, and will be banned.

    Temper tantrums about how we’re oppressing your free speech rights are also classic troll behavior.

  7. We the person, in order to form a more perfect pile of B.S., establish trollish posts, insure retaliatory futility, provide for the uncommon defense of the indefensible, promote the general welfare of no one but those who espouse my narrow agenda, and abusing the blessings of liberty for myself and for posterity, do ordain and establish this Constipation of the United States of America.

    Oh wait, it was unpublished. Can I has new version sans vowels?

    -Jeffer Thomason

    Welcome to the wading room, AVRAM. =D

  8. When I clicked for “discussion” I thought there would be a discussion. I was trying to provoke thought, not a fight. My apologies to all, sincerely.

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