A brief survey of the historical background of the US Constitution in relation to the struggle for rights by minorities, women, and youth, with a look at current and future issues. Wilson traces the idea of personal freedom from the time of the Magna Carta through debates over issues such as comparable worth and surrogate motherhood. Readers are invited to define and consider issues, including supremacy of the law, trial by jury, due process, equal protection of minorities, and affirmative action. There are brief profiles of Earl Warren, Thurgood Marshall, and Betty Friedan. Over one-third of the book is comprised of appendices--e.g., texts of the Bill of Rights and Brown vs. Board of Education, which would have been more helpful had they been listed in the table of contents or mentioned in the text. Period photographs and cartoons should pique interest, but a humorous attempt to depict the ""American civic animal"" (cartoon plus caption) is hard to read. Glossary; bibliography; list of organizations; index.