The former Solicitor-General of the U.S. published this standard history of the constitution in 1923. It is singularly timely today, when questions of constitutional rights are constantly in the public eye. The first half of the book traces the slow and painful steps by which the founding fathers achieved the constitution as we know it, the initial Articles of Confederation having proved inadequate, and a constitutional convention having been called to draw up a more powerful form of governmental control. The intervening years made possible the success of the new government, -- restoration of prosperity, Washington's position, the administrative genius of Hamilton. He then discusses the political philosophy and basic principles, -- (1) representative government; (2) dual form of government; (3) guarantee of individual liberty; (4) independent judiciary. The last part of the original text weighs the government after the first World War and finds it wanting, and analyzes the reasons. Many of the arguments he presents are arguments that have been rife during the past eight years. Adams, in an epilogue, pays tribute to the farsightedness of Beck, carries his points a step further, but expresses his confidence in the awareness of the people to the dangers and the challenge.