Tsai offers an engaging series of eight chronologically progressive case studies .... Tsai’s second argument, [that, as the conventional sovereign developed, the available modes of dissenting constitutionalism shrank, becoming more expressive and less institutionalized], is a novel one that merits exploration.... His individual case studies also provide new dimensions to familiar tales (for example, postwar internationalists’ blueprint for a world government) and new tales (for instance, the black nationalist Republic of New Afrika’s claim to the Deep South). Historians of the groups that Tsai studies may find his analyses of their constitutions illuminating while historians of black nationalism, postwar internationalism, and contemporary white supremacism will find commendable primary source research on these subjects.Read the full review (behind a pay wall) here.
Monday, June 29, 2015
Professor Sophia Z. Lee (Penn Law & History) reviews America's Forgotten Constitutions in the June 2015 issue of The Journal of American History:
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Writing for Choice Reviews, H.J. Knowles of Skidmore College recommends America's Forgotten Constitutions:
As his subtitle indicates, Tsai (American Univ. Law School) brings the reader's attention to examples of popular constitutional pushback by groups who refused to worship the Constitution. In order to resolve societal shortcomings and crises of popular sovereignty they identified, these groups sought radical and idealistic salvation in the crafting of alternative constitutions. The book features examples from throughout American history--from the 1830s creation of the Republic of Indian Stream through the 2006 Aryan nation efforts to forge a new constitutional vision in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to painting rich portraits of those examples, Tsai makes useful observations about the conceptual similarities and differences among his case studies.... [The] volume admirably accomplishes its goal of spotlighting some of America's forgotten constitutions.Recommended for general readers, graduate students, and research faculty.