Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



Could it be fortunate that so much of history is a closed, or at least a forbidden, book? Otherwise might we not squander our resources reliving and refighting the past? The present soon would be unendurable, the future an endless remarshalling yard for causes stretching back to antiquity.

If the first volumes of Professor Crosskey's study invite this somber opening reflection, it is not that his achievement is unimpressive. Here, undeniably, is a work in the great tradition of controversial writing. Few lawyers and certainly fewer historians--ever willingly have assumed greater burdens of proof. Yet fewer still have contrived a more ingenious tour de force, or written with greater verve and clarity. Politics and the Constitution may be a mistaken, and many will say, a misdirected book; yet it unquestionably also is a challenging one--an intellectual achievement destined to leave a mark on scholarship for years to come.