On September 17, 2015, the American Founding Group, the School of Public and International Affairs, and the UGA Law School hosted a celebration of Constitution Day. The centerpiece of these festivities was a lecture by Dr. Jack Rakove, Pulitzer Prize-winning professor of history, political science, and law at Stanford University and a world-renowned expert of the U.S. Constitution, entitled “What Did the Constitution Originally Mean? Two Interpretations.” The lecture and moderated question and answer session was held at 2pm in the UGA Chapel, and was followed by a dessert reception in Candler Hall. In addition, there historical documents and materials related to the American founding and U.S. Constitution were on display at the Chapel from the Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
About the Speaker
Jack Rakove is the William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies, and Professor of Political Science and Law (by courtesy) at Stanford University, where he has taught since 1980. He was educated at Haverford College, where he earned a B.A. in History in 1968, the University of Edinburgh, and Harvard, where he received his Ph.D. in History in 1975 and studied under Bernard Bailyn. Before going to Stanford, he taught at Colgate University from 1975-1980. At Stanford he teaches courses in early American history and the origins and interpretation of the Constitution.
In 1997, Rakove won the Pulitzer Prize in history for his book, Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution, which also won the 1997 Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award and the 1998 Society of the Cincinnati Book Prize. He is author and editor of several other books on topics related to the American founding, has contributed chapters to scholarly collections and written for various journals in history and law, and has published numerous op-ed articles in such newspapers as the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and New York Times. In addition, he has testified before the House of Representatives, served as a consultant and expert witness is several cases in New York, has written four amicus curiae briefs for the Supreme Court, and has been a guest on PBS News Hour and The Daily Show.
Dr. Rakove lives on the Stanford campus with his wife, Helen, a retired attorney. They have two sons, Rob and Dan.