Peter Sagal, the quick-witted host of the weekly NPR news quiz Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!, has made a brilliant addition to his resume ~ hosting the four hour-long episodes of a PBS miniseries on the document that binds us, divides us, and defines us ~ the United States Constitution.
The series, titled Constitution USA, explores the history, the language, and the ongoing controversies which surround our nation's seminal document. Sagal traverses the country on his "We The People" motorcycle (above), visiting key locations in our nation's saga and interviewing constitutional scholars as well as passionate representatives on both sides of current debates.
Here are links to each of the four episodes ~
- Episode I ~ A More Perfect Union
- Episode II ~ It's a Free Country
- Episode III ~ Created Equal
- Episode IV ~ Built to Last?
I cannot recommend this series highly enough. Sagal isn't afraid to look under rocks in his search for understanding, asking incisive, thoughtful questions and drawing conclusions that may be necessarily ambiguous at times. "Necessarily" because the Constitution is a living document, framed with provisions to grow and evolve as our understanding evolves as we consider concepts like equality, freedom, responsibility, individuality and community.
This should be required viewing for all American government students, all those seeking citizenship, and anyone else who has only a partial understanding of the Constitution and its amendments. Further, every citizen should have his/her own copy of the document, and read it at least once a year. If you are not well versed in the Constitution, and if you do not vote, you have no credibility when you take a stand on any political issue.
You can watch a preview of the series here.
Could you pass a U.S. citizenship test?