Despite its crucial importance in United States history, the study of the constitutional system fell out of favor with many historians and history departments for several decades during the latter half of the twentieth century. The dawn of the twenty-first century, however, has borne witness to a new interdisciplinary interest among scholars in reviving this important dialogue in American history. This book represents some of the most invative contributions to this dialogue by a new generation of historians and legal scholars. The essays presented in this volume offer new insights into constitutionalism, legal culture, and the political arena, together contributing to an 'ongoing reconceptualization of the historical relationship between the Constitution and public policy'. In this volume of Issues in Policy History , Julian Zelizer and Bruce Schulman bring together eleven essays from rewned scholars Mary Sarah Bilder, Donald T. Critchlow and Cynthia L. Stachecki, Christine Desan, Morton Keller, Ajay K. Mehrotra, David Quigley, John A. Thompson, Christopher Tomlins, and Michael Willrich. By applying new archival research to questions of policy history and embedding constitutional history in its political context, these scholars breathe new life into the study of public policy and reaffirm Woodrow Wilson's conclusion that the Constitution's 'spirit is always the spirit of the age'.
Julian E. Zelizer is Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Bruce J. Schulman is Professor of History at Boston University.