Richard B. Bernstein

Bernstein headshot
Born in Flushing, New York in 1956, Richard B. Bernstein is a scholar of American constitutional history and a biographer of founders of the American Republic and of its constitutional system. Educated in the New York City public schools, he graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1973, received his BA from Amherst College in 1977 where his mentor was Henry Steele Commager, and earned his J.D. degree from the Harvard Law School in 1980. After three years practicing law in New York City, Bernstein returned to academia in 1983, pursuing graduate study in history at New York University. From 1991 through 2014, he was an adjunct professor of law at New York Law School, rising to the rank of Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law. He also was director of online operations at Heights Books, Inc., in Brooklyn, New York, until the used books store closed in 2011. In 2011, he became an adjunct professor of political science at the City College of New York’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. He is now a full-time lecturer in law and political science at CCNY.

Bernstein’s books include
Are We to Be a Nation? The Making of the Constitution (1987), Amending America (1993), Thomas Jefferson (2003), considered the best modern short biography of Jefferson, The Founding Fathers: A Very Short Introduction (2015), and The Education of John Adams (2020). He is working on three books to be published by Oxford University Press, Alexander Hamilton: The Energetic Founder, Hamilton: A Very Short Introduction, and Jefferson: A Very Short Introduction. Future books include two more Oxford projects, The Man Who Gave Up Power: A Life of George Washington and John Jay: The Diplomatic Founder.

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Amending America eBook cover