THE REINS OF POWER by Bernard Schwartz


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Subtitled ""A Constitutional History of the United States,"" this volume is an excellent brief introduction to the vast subject of how and why our government is what it is. Beginning with the British antecedents, particularly law, the author, who is Professor of Law at New York University, takes us step by step through the formulation of the ""most wonderful work ever struck the brain and purpose of man,"" and then across the next two centuries as each of the three branches--Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Presidency--in turn tried, and shaped, and defined our Constitution; until, truly: ""the ordinary individual in this country enjoys a legal freedom of movement never before attained in the history of civilization"". Each case, each turning point along the way, is soundly chosen and integrated into the overall idea with great clarity and simplicity. A finer primer on the subject can scarcely be imagined.

Publisher: Hill & Wang