Civil Liberties and the Bill of Rights : The Great Courses: Modern History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor John E. Finn
  • Series: The Great Courses: Modern History
  • 18 hrs and 2 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

The civil liberties and constitutional rights possessed by our nation's citizens - not only in theory, but in the courtroom, where the state can be forced to honor those liberties - are a uniquely American invention.
And when we were taught history and learned about the Constitution and its Bill of Rights, we were always made aware of that uniqueness, of the extraordinary experiment that gave to every citizen of this new nation a gift possessed by no others.
Now you can learn exactly what that gift was - in a series of 36 lectures based on Supreme Court opinions from dozens of the Court's most important landmark decisions, presented by an award-winning teacher who is also an internationally recognized expert in constitutional law.
You'll learn just what liberties and rights the Founders wanted the new government to protect, as well as how we get from what Professor Finn calls the Constitution's "wonderfully elastic and vague" language to the finely tuned specifics of the Supreme Court's opinions about speech, abortion, and religion, and so much more. And you'll grasp the hard truth that no matter how unwavering the Constitution's language on any subject may appear, things are almost invariably more complicated than it would seem at first reading.
The result is a legacy of questions that multiplies with each passing decade, and explains why generations of jurists and legal scholars, not to mention legislators, presidents, and citizens, have argued so long and hard about the meaning of what often appears to be unambiguous phrasing.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great Course. Good Narration.

I'm only writing this review because I saw where another review stated how terrible the narration is. While it's true, the professor does correct himself here and there, I found it no more irritating than any other college lecture course I've taken over the years. He's human. He makes mistakes. He corrects himself. Get over it.

The substance of the course is EXCELLENT. If you're interested in the cases that have shaped our Bill Of Rights, this is the course for you. Prof. Finn knows this subject like the back of his hand, and educates you in a clear, entertaining manner that I found to be very enjoyable.
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- aaron "Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!"

Content is great performance is confusing

What disappointed you about Civil Liberties and the Bill of Rights?

The professor keeps saying one word or name then quickly changing his mind and correcting his previous statement. It became very hard to remain focused on the lectures content. My poorly equipped mind was still trying to join the dots as the professor changed his mind on what he was trying to say. This lecture could be great if the mistakes were edited out. As it is, expect to spend 50% of your attention being focused on what the professor was trying to say but didn't and then corrected himself.


Any additional comments?

I should have asked for a refund. The content is interesting. The performance makes this kind of content difficult to absorb.

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- Catherine D. Schafer "Inside sales for major alarm company"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses