Reflections on the Value of Constitutions in Our Revolutionary Age
By Karl Loewenstein AMHERST COLLEGE
The epidemic of constitution-making in the wake of World War II has no parallel in history. Since 1945 some fifty-odd nations have equipped themselves with new constitutions.1 In some countries____________________
Reliable texts are not easily obtainable except in the case of Western Europe and Latin America; a good collection of the latter is edited by Russell H. Fitzgibbon, The Constitutions of Latin America ( Chicago, 1948). For the Arab world, see Helen Miller Davis, Constitutions, Electoral Laws, and Treaties of the States in the Near and Middle East ( Durham, N.C., 1947). The ambitious undertaking by Amos J. Peaslee , Constitutions of Nations ( Concord, N.H., 1950), to assemble in three volumes the constitutions of all states seems, at least to the author of this section, a complete and unmitigated failure. Translations are often far from accurate even if obtained from American embassies abroad. The factual data (in some cases even concerning the very date of the constitution) are shot through with crude errors; the introductions of the editor are often without understanding. Much of the tabulatory material is worthless. The bibliographies are neither up to date nor properly selective. Misspellings abound. It is regrettable that the author's efforts have resulted in so amateurish a compilation.