As a law student at Ole Miss, I was easily bored with the study of constitutional law. However, I did not have the benefit of studying under a gifted storyteller like Jimmy Robertson (he taught me federal procedure). This collection is a delightful romp through the highs and lows of Mississippi's struggle to govern itself. -John Grisham James L. Robertson focuses on folk encountering their constitutions and laws, in their courthouses and country stores, and in their daily lives, animating otherwise dry and inaccessible parchments. Robertson begins at statehood and continues through war and depression, well into the 1940s. He tells of slaves petitioning for freedom, populist sentiments fueling abnegation of the rule of law, the state's many schemes for enticing Yankee capital to lift a people from poverty, and its sometimes tragic, always colorful romance with whiskey after the demise of national Prohibition. Each story is sprinkled with fascinating but heretofore unearthed facts and circumstances. Robertson delves into the prejudices and practices of the times, local landscapes, and daily life and its dependence on our social compact. He offers the unique perspective of a judge, lawyer, scholar, and history buff, each role having tempered the lessons of the others. He focuses on a people, enriching encounters most know little about. Tales of understanding and humanity covering 130 years of heroes, rascals, and ordinary folk-with a bundle of engaging surprises-leave the reader pretty sure there's nothing quite like Mississippi history told by a sage observer.