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Imperfect Union: The story behind the stories

Today MinnPost launches a series by Eric Black called Imperfect Union: The Constitutional Roots of the Mess We’re In.

The series will continue over the next two months, with anywhere from two to four articles each week.

The basic idea for the series had been bubbling in Eric’s brain for some time. Eric has been interested in — and has written about — the Constitution for years. It’s a topic he loves and knows a lot about. (Among the five books Eric has written is “Our Constitution: The Myth that Binds us.”)
About a year ago, Eric and his MinnPost editor, Roger Buoen, were talking about the public’s frustration with gridlock in Washington, brainstorming possible stories on the topic for MinnPost. Eric had long been thinking about the Constitution’s connection to gridlock, and how Americans seem blind to the document’s weaknesses. After all, it was written more than two hundred years ago by men who couldn’t possibly foresee today’s challenges of governing. The more Eric discussed the idea with Roger, the more intriguing his analysis seemed. And later, the more he researched, the more clear it became that this was a subject MinnPost’s readers should know about.

I showed the first piece earlier this week to Arianna Huffington, and asked her if the Huffington Post would like to run any of the articles. She promptly responded that they would like to run them all. We have arranged for each piece to appear on the Huffington Post, one of the 10 most-read news websites in the nation, about six hours after it’s published in MinnPost.

Some of the pieces in the series will be accompanied by drawings by Jaime Anderson, a Minnesota illustrator who currently resides in Vancouver, B.C. Her illustrations have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Oregon Business Magazine and Eugene Weekly.

We hope you enjoy the series. And if you’re not a sustaining member of MinnPost, please become one now during our fall drive, so we can afford to do more major projects like Imperfect Union.

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