Legal History and Law

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That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right

Revised and Updated Edition

Stephen P. Halbrook

That Every Man Be Armed, the first scholarly book on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, has played a significant role in constitutional debate and litigation since it was first published in 1984. Halbrook traces the right to bear arms from ancient Greece and Rome to the English republicans, then to the American Revolution and Constitution, through the Reconstruction period extending the right to African Americans, and onward to today’s controversies. With reviews of recent literature and court decisions, this new edition ensures that Halbrook’s study remains the most comprehensive general work on the right to keep and bear arms.


Stephen P. Halbrook’s recent books include The Founders’ Second Amendment and The Swiss and the Nazis. He is an attorney in Fairfax, Virginia, whose works are cited by the Supreme Court.


“Aimed not simply at law scholars or students, but at every citizen who is interested in discovering why the issue of gun control is a volatile one, and why the right to carry and bear arms is too ingrained in our society and government for a simple solution to be found.”


Constitutional Law

“Informs, challenges, and should change people’s understanding of the second amendment and of past and present policy debates. . . . Whether one wants more laws restricting guns, fewer restrictions on gun rights, or legal and historical evidence about what the second amendment really means, the book will provide new facts and insights.”


Constitutional Commentary

“Strikes directly at the heart of the controversy. . . . (T)he value of Mr. Halbrook’s work lies not in the answers it provides, but in the serious constitutional questions raised.”


Gonzaga Law Review

"The book is, as might be expected from Halbrook, and excellent piece of historic research and writing—and well worth adding to one's personal library."


Muzzle Blasts

6 x 9 in. 336 pages