Back Free for for U.S. high school teachers: The Essential Debate on the Constitution

In recent years Library of America has been able to send free copies of such titles as The Essential Hamilton and Reporting World War II to secondary school teachers in all fifty states.

This year, we’re pleased to be able to offer—again, thanks to the generosity of our members and donors, and again, free of charge—copies of The Essential Debate on the Constitution to high school teachers of history and social studies.

The Essential Debate
on the Constitution:
Federalist and Antifederalist
Speeches and Writings
Edited by the eminent historians of the American Revolution Bernard Bailyn and Robert J. Allison, The Essential Debate on the Constitution is a concise paperback volume that was conceived with students in mind. It provides a front-row seat to the dramatic original debates—on presidential power, religious liberty, the threat of foreign and domestic corruption, the balance of power between the federal government and the states, and more—that continue to dominate news headlines and ignite our political discourse. More than sixty newspaper articles, pamphlets, speeches, and private letters illuminate how the Founders wrestled with these questions in arguments that have much to teach us today.

Recognizing the unusual challenges currently faced by educators, this year we’re going to provide this essential teaching resource in two different formats—both free of charge. Teachers will receive copies of The Essential Debate on the Constitution and will also be able to share an online edition of the entire book with students, either in classrooms or in remote-learning environments.

Here’s how you can receive both a print copy of The Essential Debate on the Constitution and the link to the online edition:

• Send an email from your school (or school district) email address to
• Indicate the name of the school where you teach.
• Tell us the grade level(s) and subject(s) you teach.
• Include your mailing address (U.S. only), and indicate whether it is a home or school address.

Please note: Supplies are limited. Requests will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, and we can only send one print copy to each teacher.

We’re thrilled to be able to continue this program for another year—and to spearhead education about the constitution, our shared heritage as citizens, free of charge to teachers and students throughout the United States.

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