Vanderbilt Law Review

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Book Reviews

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Index Digest of State Constitutions:

This is a revision of the first edition of Index Digest of State Constitution prepared in 1915 for the use of the New York State Constitutional Convention of that year. Both the first and the present second edition were prepared by the Legislative Drafting Research Fund of Columbia University. The editor of the present volume was Richard A. Edwards, who worked with the aid of associate editors James L. Blawie and Marilyn B. Blawie. Over forty years have passed since the first Index Digest appeared.This has been a period of some rewriting of state constitutions,considerable amending, and the addition of two new ones. The urge to constitutional change has not abated, and this volume will be useful for further rewriting of the basic documents.The arrangement of this digest is the normal one. Constitutional provisions are cataloged under approximately five hundred major titles, with subtitles appropriate to the subject dealt with. The titles themselves disclose the familiar mixture in state constitutions of the sublime and the ridiculous. Two items away from the title, "The Congress of the United States," is an entry for "Concealed Weapons";and "Gas Companies" rest, fortuitously, next to "Government, Theory of." But the titles themselves appear well and carefully chosen.Verbatim excerpts from the constitutions are not given, for reasons of space, but passages are summarized with care. Case annotations are beyond the scope of the project.There can be no doubt that this will be a standard reference work.No library useful for the study of American constitutional law can afford to be without it.


Pension Funds and Economic Power:

Whenever man's culture has been urban he has concerned himself with the large question of personal economic security, in particular the prospect of his condition under the burdens of disability, age, and death. Indeed, it is this concern that has so often caused the city-dweller to consider enviously the situation of his otherwise despised country cousin. The latter generally has a certain anticipation of food,of shelter, and of care at each stage of his life, partly because of the economic structure incident to agrarian life and partly because of the expansive family organization normal in agricultural society. Unfortunately, the very factors that compel the creation of the city render the level of living and aspiration enjoyed by rustics distasteful to those accustomed to other, more varied if not higher, levels.In order to cope with this problem in the city environment of nuclear families and of utter dependence upon money incomes, city dwellers have devised several sorts of relief. One of the oldest is the gratuity dispensed by the state either for patriotic services or for reasons of general public welfare.