With the spate of information available on so many historical subjects, it is a difficult task for the modern historian to write a book that rises above fact and event to capture the spirit and life force of the time and to impart that elusive sense of meaningful actually to the reader. Happily, the author here admirably accomplishes this. The creation of the Constitution was an enormously detailed task, but Mr. Commager manages to select and highlight the most important issues facing the delegates in Philadelphia. In a conversational warm style he presents portraits of the most influential delegates with quotes from their contemporaries, and vivid accounts of the happenings at the Convention, the struggle for ratification afterwards and Washington's dramatic inauguration. Anecdotal digressions are as informative as they are fascinating. Without relying on fictional support this author has ingeniously enlivened fact with fact.