A New Introduction to American Constitutionalism is the first text to study the entirety of American constitutionalism, not just the traces that appear in Supreme Court decisions. Mark A. Graber both explores and offers original answers to such central questions as: What is a Constitution,? What are fundamental constitutional purposes? How are constitutions interpreted? How is constitutional authority allocated? How to constitutions change? How is the Constitution of the United States influenced by international and comparative law? and, most important, How does the Constitution work? Relying on an historical/institutional perspective, the book illustrates how American constitutionalism is a distinct form of politics, rather than a means from separating politics from law. Constitutions work far more by constructing and constituting politics than by compelling people to do what they would otherwise do. People debate the proper meaning of the first amendment, but these debates are influenced by the rule that all states are equally represented in the Senate and a political culture that in which political dissenters do not fear for their lives.More than any other work on the market, A New Introduction to American Constitutionalism highlights and expands on what a generation for law professors, political scientists and historians have said about the American constitutionalism regime. As such, this is the first truly interdisciplinary study of constitutional politics in the United States.