An assembly of demigods..."" Thus Thomas Jefferson described the Constitutional Convention of 1787. The author of this general study refers to it even more flatteringly as ""The Greatest Event in the History of the Country."" Fans of 1492, 1776, 1861 and 1941 may disagree, yet it can't be denied that the year of the Constitution provided an essential chart as the U.S. set on a course that led to its becoming a self-sustaining, mighty nation. The professor traces the event for us in microdetail: the historical setting, the delegates, the minutiae of the convention itself, the far-reaching consequences. The book is marred at times by an excessively enthusiastic, almost jingoistic approach. Despite this effort at energy, the result is a rather dry re-working of the vast literature on the subject The Rossiter name insures a degree of success, but this is not the sort of book the average reader will seek out.