The perfect complementary volume to follow the Alfange book, reviewed above. Where that book (The Supreme Court and the...



The perfect complementary volume to follow the Alfange book, reviewed above. Where that book (The Supreme Court and the National Will) bandles sanely and objectively the place the Court has taken in the nation's growth, the trends, both horizontally and vertically, the gradual accumulation of value as a responsive instrument to public sentiment, Hendrick's book approaches the Constitution and the Court as human entities, evolved from and through the men who created the instrument and its interpretation. Hendrick poses no question, he makes no attempt to present a thesis of his own beliefs, one knows not at the close what single point of view he represents. He brings to life the men who built the Constitution. He takes one into their way of life and thought, the social and economic and political problems that gave rise to the successive steps in the building of the Constitution and subsequent changes and interpretations. He traces the storms that raged around the issues that necessitated new interpretation and alterations. He makes no bones of his belief that the Court was indubitably planned to pass upon the laws made by Congress, but shows how in the main it has stood for progress and kept itself elastic, recognizing mistakes and rectifying them, when need arises. He traces the great figures and the great issues -- the human frailties and partisanship and bias -- the halting in keeping abreast of social problems -- the close intertwining of the history of the Court with the whole political and economic history of the country. From the human interest point of view, the book recalls Preston's Revolution of 1776. It is an achievement to present profound subject matter with so human a touch that it stands a good chance of overleaping the barriers of a surfeit of books on the subject and the danger of excessive partisanship, and of coming through to best seller-dom. The fact that the author avoids the direct issue of the moment is, perhaps, a disappointment at first; afterwards one realizes that what he has succeeded in doing is to give the reader the groundwork for his own clearer thinking, greater confidence, and longer view. It's a grand job.

Pub Date: June 3, 1937


Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1937