By comparing the constitutional systems of Israel and the United States, Gary Jacobsohn provides a new view of the essentials of constitutionalism itself--a balanced picture that would have been impossible to achieve by focusing on any one polity. Abraham Lincoln, in likening the Declaration of Independence to the Biblical "apple of gold," and the Constitution to its "picture of silver," illuminated the connections in the United States between political ideas and constitutional government. Jacobsohn applies Lincoln's insight to the Israeli experience to develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between political culture and constitutionalism, and the limits and possibilities for constitutional transplantation.
Originally published in 1994.
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"Gary J. Jacobsohn's book is among the most astute and far-seeing of the current batch of books on comparative constitutional issues. In fact, it is hard to overstate the importance of his book because its significance transcends its immediate subject. He compares Israel and the United States, but his comparison speaks powerfully to the identity crisis of liberalism in a multicultural era."--Graham Walker, American Political Science Review
"Jacobsohn's comparative study of constitutionalism in the United States and Israel is a model of comparative constitutional analysis, and the best book of its kind in a very, very long time."--John E. Finn, The Review of Politics
"Set in the broad context of theology, political philosophy, and legal theory, this is an important book for anyone interested in how principles of liberal democracy interact with communitarian and religious ideals."--First Things
"[Jacobsohn's] examples are thought provoking and reflect the depth of his research and the stellar sources to which he had access. As a historical account of Israel's constitutional struggles, Apple of Gold is both educational and engaging."--Cynthia A. M. Stroman, The Michigan Law Review
"This is a very well written and impressively documented book. . . . a very good example of the merits of the comparative method."--Gregory S. Mahler, Journal of Politics
"Good work on comparative constitutionalism . . . is hard to come by, because it requires a solid grounding in at least two different consitutional orders and at least two political cultures. Accordingly, Gary Jacobsohn's rich and nuanced comparison of constitutionalism in Israel and the United States is a remarkable achievement, which provides scholars in the growing field of comparative constitutionalism with a framework for analysis that is well worth emulating."--Michel Rosenfeld, Constitutional Commentary
Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Gary J. Jacobsohn: