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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Toward a Model of Constitutions: How Human Rights, Lincoln’s Address, and Berlin’s Liberties Explain Democracies is a work of non-fiction in the government and politics subgenres. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Williams Kuttikadan. The book aims to provide a guide for every aspect of constitutions ranging from what they are, why they are needed, what informs their writing, and what we can learn about various countries from the constitutions they base their laws on. By basing the discussion on analyzing human rights and how those are articulated into law, the book provides a unique perspective on the tool used to define a county’s laws and values.
It seems so strange to me after reading this book that I had gotten through my life so far with such a poor understanding of something that dictates so many of the rights and liberties I enjoy every day without a moment's thought. Perhaps it is the language that Constitutions are written in, grandiose legal speak with linguistic norms from hundreds of years ago that make them feel impossible for the modern reader to navigate. But now, the modern reader has author Williams Kuttikadan, whose superbly researched and effortlessly approachable work on the subject of Constitutions is essential for every civics student. As modern social challenges seek to change the status quo into a fairer world for many, it is important to look at the documents that founded our democracies and understand what they are for and what the people who wrote them hoped to achieve. Overall, I can heartily recommend Toward a Model of Constitutions which does a marvelous job of contextualizing the sentiments of yesteryear to help us understand how to use these documents in the modern day.