With France a proving ground of Communist strength in western Europe, this book is of immediate importance. Too bad it is not being published for two months, with history in the headlines. In any case, its permanent value lies in the perceptive, comprehensive, objective analysis of the making of the constitution under which the 4th Republic is functioning. A brief summary of the checkered career of the 3rd Republic; of the hiatus of the Vichy regime; of the contribution made by the underground and Free French overseas, of the dominance of De Gaulle, -- this backgrounds the blow by blow study of the constituent assemblies in session. Particularly important is the thoughtful weighing of Communist tactics, -- now cooperation, now compromise, now blocking- their aim to work though legal methods so long as possible. Personalities emerge. The forming of the two new party movements in given emphasis, -- the MRP (Movement Republican Populaire) and the more recent RPF. (Russamblement de Peuple Francaise) which produced a landslide for De Gaulle in October. International affairs and internal reforms are touched upon, as they influenced the swing of popular sentiment. The changing values and their significance are given due consideration. The slender achievements of three years and the Monnet plan are balanced against the changes achieved by the new constitution. Not easy reading- but worthwhile. Some knowledge of French history is a prerequisite.