Video: Harvard Law School – Library Book Talk | The Broken Constitution – 16 Nov 2021

A discussion on “The Broken Constitution: Lincoln, Slavery, and the Refounding of America” with author and HLS Professor Noah Feldman and panelist and HLS Professor Nikolas Bowie.

More about The Broken Constitution from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: “In this groundbreaking study, Noah Feldman argues that Lincoln deliberately and recurrently violated the United States’ founding arrangements. When he came to power…[Lincoln] effectively rewrote the Constitution’s place in the American system. Before the Civil War, the Constitution was best understood as a compromise pact—a rough and ready deal between states that allowed the Union to form and function.


After Lincoln, the Constitution came to be seen as a sacred text—a transcendent statement of the nation’s highest ideals. The Broken Constitution is the first book to tell the story of how Lincoln broke the Constitution in order to remake it. To do so, it offers a riveting narrative of his constitutional choices and how he made them—and places Lincoln in the rich context of thinking of the time, from African American abolitionists to Lincoln’s Republican rivals and Secessionist ideologues.”