In some old English books, through whose must and dust I have plowed in writing this book, I have seen at the beginning of many a one an ADVERTISEMENT. This was a sort of opening statement by the publisher, telling what a fine, upstanding, scholarly gentleman was the author (who was both learned and gallant), and how fortunate was the reader to have the opportunity of reading the book at so low a price.

One Advertisement went so far as to say that it would be well for the sons of worthy tradesmen to spend their money thus wisely; that the price was so low that a grocer's clerk could easily afford it.

But we shall be very serious, and the name of the book shall be In Blood and Ink, though it might well be Our Constitution and What Is In It, for, as we shall come to see, there is far more than ink and paper to our Constitution,—there is blood in it. Blood has been spilled in achieving and in maintaining it. And from this blood, and from the lives of the millions of Americans who have lived and who live under it today, comes its own life and pulse and spirit. So this book might also have been called Humanizing the Constitution or The Spirit of the American Way, for, bless me, this is no technical "lawbook." Perhaps best of all I should simply have dubbed it The Grocery Man's Constitution, since its price is about that of a good beefsteak, an expensive two dozen eggs, or, say, three gallons of Andy Mellon's or John D's gas.

In truth and fact, groceries are at the bottom of every constitution, and they come from the land. If you don't eat, and in comparative peace and freedom, you have no constitution.

This book is written not for New or Old Dealers, but for everyone who lives under the sun of our country, and wants a living American Constitution. I have my opinions, of course, and will express them. But we Americans are getting too namby-pamby; we are afraid to look at the other fellow's point of view, so we all sit down and blink through the kind of propaganda that warms the cockles of our irritated and partisan hearts.

If one does not approve of the President, one reads a Hate-Roosevelt book, and moons over the Old American Spirit which, alas, is no more. If he is a New Dealer, he reads a New Deal book, and moons over the Progressive Spirit which he hopes is still alive. In other words, people usually get a book with which they agree in advance.

But aside from our views and prejudices, what do we all want in society?

For my part, I want the businessman to make a fair return on his money, the farmer to have good crops and sell them at a profit, and the worker to get good wages.

You say: What has that got to do with the Constitution, or the Law of the Land? The answer is, everything. For turned into constitutional language, it is life, liberty, and property. And no matter who we are, if we are reasonably good Americans, we want a fair Constitution, and a government on which We the People, can depend.

Indeed, this is the grocery man's constitution, the property owner's, the worker's, the taxi-truck-mule driver's, the college youngster's, the doctor's, the strap-hanger's, the clergyman's, the farmer's—and even the economic royalist's.

Constitutions develop and become living forces under which people may live together in peace. And that is why I hope not only Progressives, Democrats, and the like will read this, but likewise the most conservative Republicans, whose backs are swayed with worry, worry. For we are all Americans—and human.

And you will find that constitutions have blood in them. They are born in suffering and hardship. But likewise you should know that constitutions must continue to pulse with blood, and must have in them living force.

Though I personally dislike in other writers this curvetting, and stalling and prancing, I am adding a Foreword, which is an Author's Prerogative, much like a King's Prerogative, and you will read it if you only go far enough. So before the horse gallops off, let us read the Foreword, and then we will really ride through times thrilling and brave and full of knowledge.

Maury Maverick