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Publisher's Summary

A captivating 24-lecture audio series on the US Constitution by award-winning law professor David L. Hudson Jr. 

Written more than 200 years ago, the Constitution remains the backbone of American government and an example of freedom and democracy the world over. Once called the “Miracle at Philadelphia,” it remains America’s vital governing force today.

Join Prof. Hudson to learn how and why this foundational document came to be and how it has been interpreted and applied to all facets of American life. As Janis Adams Kyser, Director of the Tennessee Center for Civic Learning and Engagement, writes, “His true gift is educating students, educators, professors, and citizens on the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, and American liberties.... I could write for hours about the qualities of David Hudson.”

Your audio course will begin in the summer of 1787, as the Founding Fathers met to revise the Articles of Confederation, then explore the ratification process and James Madison’s championing of the Bill of Rights. After considering pivotal moments in constitutional history, including later amendments and influential periods of the Supreme Court, you’ll explore contemporary ramifications of the First Amendment as well as the articles of impeachment.

Through captivating lectures, you’ll not only learn how the Constitution was formed, but travel through history to see how it has shaped US politics ever since. You’ll see powerful examples of how the Constitution ensured that the United States would be governed by the rule of law.

After listening to this series, you’ll have a greater appreciation for the sweaty work that forged the Constitution, as well as the document’s role throughout US history. Don’t miss this chance to engage more fully with the work that changed the United States forever.

This course is part of the Learn25 collection.

©2019 Now You Know Media (P)2019 Now You Know Media

Critic Reviews

"David L. Hudson, Jr., is the ‘Teacher’s Teacher.’ His true gift is educating students, educators, professors, and citizens on the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, and American liberties.... I could write for hours about the qualities of David Hudson." (Janis Adams Kyser, director, Tennessee Center for Civic Learning and Engagement)

"David has an uncanny ability to explain complex issues of constitutional law in very understandable language. You do not have to be a constitutional scholar to follow his presentations, but you sure feel like one while listening to him." (J. Joshua Wheeler, George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School)

What listeners say about The American Constitution 101

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The Content is worth the listen

David Hudson is clearly a Constitutional scholar. His knowledge of the history of the constitution and Supreme Court cases are astounding. He presents each lecture in a very compact way that is easy to listen to and for the most part, the language isn't strictly designed for lawyers or law students. In some lectures, I had to stop the audio and go look up a word or two, but mostly the delivery is on an undergraduate collegiate level in terms of vocabulary.
The only issue I had with the audiobook was the lack of audio quality (sirens in the background, loud background white noise, etc.) and the lack of editing (mistakes were not edited out; diction problems weren't addressed when they happened; the pacing was inconsistent throughout - sometimes I thought my app has crashed because the pauses were so long in certain places.)
Hudson is obviously a dynamic speaker. By the time you get to the 4th or 5th lecture, you can understand why he narrated this himself. The first few lectures are very mechanical. Once he loosens up and gets comfortable (and the listener gets used to the audio in the background), it's an easy listen.
If you are at all interested in the creation and inner workings of the US Constitution, this is a great book to start that research.

16 people found this helpful

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A Must-Listened to By Every American

I have been covering the news in the Middle East, especially Egypt since the Arab Spring and I did not realize the importance of the constitution until I covered the voting on the Egyptian constitution in 2012 and the entire conflict happened around it until the military coup in 2013 that canceled 2012’s constitution. I realized then how important this document is.
I also realized that powerful countries have powerful constitutions allowing them to protect individual freedom, their democracies, and the country’s fundamental principles. After all, we live in a complicated Postmodernism that is full of laws.

I always wondered why America has been the most powerful country in the world for over 150 years until I found David Hudson's course that explained to me why. Now, I know; it is the constitution.
Since the military coup in Egypt, I have been looking for a source to tell me the whole story of the American constitution. I tried reading some books and even the constitution itself and listening to some audio books and courses but they were extremely boring.
I must say that Professor David Hudson is a great storyteller. He converted a boring topic into a great story. I kept listening for hours without feeling bored. David’s voice is full of passion. His words are clear and I kept imagining the events happening while listening.
Thank you, Prof. David and learn25 for this audio book.

8 people found this helpful

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Great starter for understanding the constitution

The lecture series is a great way to structure this information, it’s broken up into 25 minute segments that are perfect for commutes. The speaker goes into a lot of detail about the origination of the constitution, amendments, and hand picked Supreme Court cases. The audio quality isn’t perfect when compared to the high production standards of audiobooks but it is good for the lecture format. I’d definitely recommend this to anyone interested in the constitution and our country.

3 people found this helpful

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Could Not Do Better as a Primer

The American Constitution 101, by David L. Hudson. If you want to have a good understanding of what is, why is and what does it do for me and my living on this earth, The American Constitution 101, should be put on your reading list immediately and read directly thereupon. This is just a good concise statement of the what is, why is, and what does it do for me. This is not legalese. This is a political understanding, not a technical legal display. For that purpose, this study is highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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This guy knows his stuff

David Hudson is a man of many talents (check out his Boxing book!) This product serves as a wonderful introduction to the US Constitution. Not just what the piece of paper means, but the context of the world and time it was created. A must listen for anyone interested in the beginning of the United States

2 people found this helpful

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Good introduction to the Constitution and more

The war for our independence lasted longer than it should have partly because the colonies were not united. Far from it. They were founded under very different situations and had developed very different cultural identities. Washington and the other generals were in constant need of funds and supplies, costing many lives. When the war was won they still saw little need for a central government and choose to be a loose confederation of states. (Note that traditionally, “state” meant the same as “nation” and still does in most of the world, which is why the department of government in charge of foreign affairs is called the State Department.) It only took a few years to see that something was not working and a convention was called to modify the Articles of Confederation. 

However, as soon as the meetings started, the focus shifted away from modification towards a complete rewrite and that it should be for a nation instead of a confederation. Washington strongly supported a central government with more authority and James Madison had done a lot of homework before arriving at the convention. One interesting fact was that they had a very strict code of keeping all discussion completely confidential. They wanted a free and open discussion without fear of backlash from outside of political interference. It was so strict that it was reported later that one day Washington berated the delegates because he had found some notes left on a table the day before. 

Our constitution is actually quite brief, only giving almost a basic outline, leaving the details of how it was to be implemented to be developed through experience and future legislation. But, we take it so much for granted that it is easy to forget how radical it was. Governments didn’t have constitutions. There were traditions and customs that had slowly built up over the years but the idea of laying down a governing document for government was a radical thought. Even today, there are many countries, including the UK, that don’t have a constitution and it was not until almost a century later that rebels in Europe started demanding constitutional government. 

The first line, “We, the people…” set the stage for the document. It was power derived, not from a military victory, not from a divine right, not from heredity or tradition. It was an agreement between people on how they wanted to govern themselves. 

From the title, you can easily guess that this is not a book. It is a course, a series of 25 lectures by David L. Hudson, Jr., a well-respected legal scholar. The course begins in the summer of 1787 when the delegates met in Philadelphia. There is a good discussion of the Federalist papers that lay some of the groundwork for understanding the philosophy of the constitution. He explores the constitution article by article and goes on to the ratification process, including the criticism that the convention had gone beyond its authority to just modify the Articles of Confederation and that it should not have said, “We the people…” since it didn’t represent the people’s will when they sent them to Philadelphia. He discusses James Madison’s turnabout from opposing to becoming a champion of the Bill of Rights. 

The amendments that form the Bill of Rights are discussed one by one, including the one that was not passed by the sufficient number of states, and then goes on to discuss each of the other amendments. Peppered in with all of this are many court cases and other pivotal moments in constitutional history, particularly the development of the Supreme Court and some of its important decisions. And, it does so in laymen’s terms, avoiding the legalese that most of the rest of us find so difficult to understand. 

It’s a book that is very significant today when we hear so much talk about constitutional rights and pronouncements that this or that is unconstitutional by people who quite obviously have not really read the constitution. But, it also shows the genius of the authors, a genius that deserves our respect. The framers deliberately made our government more cumbersome in order to avoid concentrating too much power in one person or even in one place. And yet, they also deliberately avoiding going into too much detail to give it the flexibility to adapt to different times and situations. 

Professor Hudson has done an excellent job in these lectures. If there is any criticism, it is that there are too many pauses and he sometimes speaks too slowly. I listened at 1.6 speed and it still seemed a bit slow. But, that’s minor and even petty in comparison to the excellent content. 

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Legit.

I enjoyed this a lot. Kept my attention and brought me great insight to the Constitution. Tremendous.

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Increased my awe for the Founding Fathers

Through this audio course, I learned far more about the Constitution than I ever did in school. While I knew the basics of the Constitutional Convention and the Articles of Confederation, I never before realized how tenuous the drafting and ratification of this essential document actually was. Hudson is a gifted storyteller, and his knowledge is immense. Highly recommend!

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Excellent review

I’ve read several books on the constitution and this has been my favorite audio book so far. It’s like being in a well developed class room. Highly recommend

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Surprisingly good

I never thought Constitutional law could be so interesting. David Hudson takes a boring and confusing topic and makes come alive - and I'm not even American. The only criticism I have is that he paused a lot and I was often checking to see if the audio had stopped. besides that a valuable listen.