Cover Image: The Year of Living Constitutionally

The Year of Living Constitutionally

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Member Reviews

I like A.J. Jacobs, so this review may be a little bias, however, his determination to live life by the book, which is something he is known to do if you read his book "The Year of Living Biblically", is really awe-inspiring and insightful. He makes his life, and by extension his family's life, an interesting anthropological experiment for the modern world; can we continue to live on the foundations that this country, or society, was built upon? If we adjust and modify to match our current environment, are we still honoring the fundamentals that made us into the community we are today? These are the intrinsic questions I asked myself as I read this book, and A.J. Jacobs' other books. He is really a fascinating author because not many people set out to LIVE what they study when they begin their research, so A.J. Jacobs continually to take up this mantle of fascination draws me back to him again and again.

I would recommend this for anyone interested in history, anthropology, or just seeing how far a man will go to live by the book. Also, fans of the Good Place may find this latest addition to this growing body of work to be humorous, in their own way.

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Jacobs provides an amusing and fun look at a hot topic issue. They are consistent in their writing and always provide fun immersive journalism.
I did not finish the e-Bally, as I moved to a physical copy.

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This is my first time reading a book from AJ Jacobs and I feel like I have missed so many fun times because I was late to his work. I loved reading this book and how he lived his life during this experience. It was great and I love his writing style, I really felt like I got to learn about his personality and his experience.

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The works of A. J. Jacobs are always focused on immersive lifestyle experiments. Each time, a theme is picked and pursued for a year with Jacobs' journaling what he's learned or how things have progressed. He read the entirety of the Encyclopedia Britannica, followed the bible as literally as possible, tried to live as healthily as possible, or tried to get through a day without using any plastics. Here he sets his goal on following the constitution as close to the original intention of its creators as possible. To do so he adapts his lifestyle to follow that of someone living in the 18th century and works through the constitution article by article, seeking to make the most of his rights or opportunities. Along the way he tries to bring back the tradition of having cake on election days, attends a supreme court hearing, attempts to be awarded a letter of marque and presents a petition to Congress.

Though there are some caveats. Jacobs still makes use of technology, in fact much of what he purchases to emulate historical living is from internet shopping, outside of some reenactor gear. While the chronicle is focused on the constitution, Jacobs is embracing it as it exists in the present day, which includes all the ways it has been amended. This is not a project to glorify the past, the writers of the constitution were human with all the foibles, personal believes and contradicting ideals of freedom (for wealthy white people) and acceptance or benefits of slavery.

Jacobs also does not do this alone. There is his long suffering and patient wife and now three children, two of them who usually want nothing to do with the project, but one who is open to it, especially the cooking. Jacobs also enlisted the help of politicians, academics and other associates to help him understand the creation of the Constitution and the many ways its content has been interpreted throughout the US's history.

Like A. J. Jacobs other books, The Year of Living Constitutionally is both highly entertaining and informative. Recommended for US residents looking to be a little more involved in political life, readers of American History or those looking to learn as they're entertained.

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I've been a long-time fan of A.J. Jacobs and find myself often thinking about a previous endeavor of his, The Year of Living Biblically, so when I saw this coming out, I was ecstatic. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy.

Living Constitutionally does a great job of expanding on the things we (the general population) believe about the U.S. Constitution versus what the document actually says, could have meant, and how it's interpreted today. The scholars and experts that Jacobs consults throughout the book are varied and brilliant, and he does a great job of showing the reader how complex the Constitution really is. I think this would be a fantastic book for anyone even remotely interested in understanding the Constituion and how it can be related to today.

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I really enjoyed The Year of Living Constitutionally by A.J. Jacobs. It was educational and enjoyable, those are key items for me. I learned quite a few things I hadn't known about the Constitution or some historical background on various Amendments to the Constitution. It left with some questions and a desire to do some research and understand a bit more or better. It's a nice balance of levity and serious research. I imagine it will cause many more people to pick up the book than if it were simply a historical tome on the topic, even a short one. Maybe schools will use it as a way to engage students more. .

#TheYearofLivingConstitutionally #NetGalley

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Let me preface this review by saying I am not American. I requested this on NetGalley because I have very good memories of Jacobs’s The Year of Living Biblically (I am not religious either) and was looking forward to the same kind of humour.

I was not disappointed, this book amused me a lot with its ridiculous situations and laughable interpretations. It was educational, made you laugh and made you think. It should be compulsory reading for *certain* Americans. Like for starters, those in Congress.

As a Canadian, I admit I started this book thinking the Constitution was an old document that had nothing to do with today’s reality, and it was a strange document for a whole country to base their ethics on. And well. I still think that.

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Would I have chosen a book about The Constitution if not for A.J. Jacobs? Chances are pretty slim.
The thing about A.J. Jacobs is- even if I’m not a bit interested in his subject matter, his unbridled enthusiasm draws me in. I find him so charming. You can feel his curiosity burst through in his writing, and he makes everything fun. Surely his wife must be rolling her eyes during the course of his year long experientials, but they bring me joy.
That’s really all you need to know! I learned a lot, and I enjoyed the ride.
Thanks to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for allowing me a digital ARC in response to my request.

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I've read other books by Jacobs and appreciate just how much he immerses himself into his topic. I was especially drawn to this one, because I have a deep interest in Colonial American history. I thought I knew a lot. Jacobs showed me just how little I knew. He has conducted a mind blowing amount of research and interviews with experts in history, political science, and constitutional law. The book connects the Founding Fathers with our lives today and shows us just how much we seem to expect out of a document that's over 200 years old. He spends a lot of time outlining the differences between the originalist and the living constitution viewpoints in light of modern issues, and that's appreciated. Jacobs offers fantastic insights while putting himself out there by carrying a musket through NYC and taking parchment, a quill, and ink everywhere he goes. The writing balances knowledge and humor; the subject is serious but there is plenty of levity.

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I wanted to love this…but I had a hard time getting into it. I think it’s more subject based. Even with the humor throughout the book, I had a really hard time just finding joy in this book. Not my cup of tea, but it wasn’t terrible!

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This was a great read. I've often wondered what life would be like if we adhered to some of the documents some so desperately cling to in modern times. Light-hearted and engaging.

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I love Jacobs' silly quests that he takes with the seriousness of a PhD. As an AP Government teacher, I found this book particularly enjoyable. Great fun read.

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Always a delight to spend time reading a journey of Jacobs. The delight he gets from creating these journeys always leaves me wanting more.

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This is second to last favorite Jacobs book, but it was still a good read. My issue was the subject and not the writing.

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I have read most of Jacobs's books and really appreciate his use of self-deprecating humor to help make certain subjects more accessible for the average reader. It is by no means a comprehensive book about the U.S. Constitution, but he hits upon a number of important issues and helps spell out some of the misunderstandings being (deliberately?) propagated in today's fraught political scene.

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This is another great book by A.J. Jacobs. He explores topics in a way that is both entertaining and informative, and this topic is an important one! I really appreciate this takeaway that he had from his year of living Constitutionally: While we absolutely do not want to partake in “deluded nostalgia,” “some ideas from the past are worth reviving. Most importantly, cake on Election Day. But also many other ideas: the emphasis on the common good, the quest to control one's rage, the slow thinking, the experimental mindset, the distaste for aristocracy, and the awe at being able to cast a vote.”

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Another fascinating funny book by AJ Jacobs his book Year of Living Biblically was one of my favorites the year it was published.Living and learning about the constitution was interesting eye opening and another entertaining book by the author.

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Really fun and interesting book. I don't know if living constitutionally worked quite as well as living biblically as far as actual living, it was a little more living as the 18th century. Still very interesting and a fun project. I liked that he included many different perspectives on how to interpret the constitution. It also got me in the mood to listen to the Hamilton sound track.

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I enjoy these books. They are a fun and light-hearted way to learn something new, while spending time with a faintly goofy but well-meaning guy next door who is willing and able to set his ego aside in the name of knowledge and entertainment. I am a lawyer so more than passingly familiar with the Constitution, but still found some tidbits in here that I was either not aware of or hadn't thought about since law school I also lived in worked in DC for a long time, so had more than passing familiarity with the political institutions and issues discussed also. While it did make some of the sections feel repetitive after a while, as Jacobs drove home issues about Constitutional interpretation and political processes, I still find his voice to be engaging and his humility about his lack of knowledge to be endearing and so the read was enjoyable throughout even when it covered material I already felt familiar with. It reminded me very much of the Living Biblically book for obvious reasons, as both focus on the concept of interpretation versus strict construction. It was an engaging read and a fun trip through our legal and political institutions.

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Another delightful entrant in A.J. Jacobs’ “Year of…” experiments. He takes on the U.S. Constitution in a time when the Constitution is being used as a crutch by people who wouldn’t know it if it smacked them in the face. Jacobs deftly and with humor tackles some of the challenges of the Constitution today. He is thoughtful in his approach and instills humor throughout. It’s a terrific read and gets you thinking about the importance of the Constitution.

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